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Murder Trial Ends As Another Man Confesses To The Killing

February 27, 1985

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) _ The murder trial of a Georgia man ended in less than two days when another man suddenly showed up and confessed to the crime, saying he ″was tired of running.″

John Miller, 36, of Marietta, Ga., went on trial Monday in Etowah County Circuit Court for a 1982 slaying. He had pleaded innocent.

But at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Rannie Jay Childress, 27, of Attalla, who also had been indicted in the case but turned fugitive, walked into the police station in nearby Anniston and surrendered.

″He said he was tired of running and just wanted to straighten everything out,″ said Sheriff Roy McDowell. He said Childress was aware that Miller was on trial.

Before the day was over, the murder charge against Miller was dropped and he was freed, while Childress pleaded guilty to the murder charge and Circuit Judge Donald Stewart set April 11 for a pre-sentencing hearing.

Both men were indicted last year for the killing of Joyce Hollingsworth, 42, of Gadsden. She was shot three times and her body was found beside an Etowah County road Aug. 21, 1982.

The sheriff said Childress gave investigators a statement Tuesday saying he shot Mrs. Hollingsworth on his own and that Miller had no idea he was going to shoot her.

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