Two suspects were arrested and charged within 24 hours of allegedly killing a Covington man after a dispute over a drug deal in the City of Covington's first murder of the year, announced on Tuesday at a Covington Police Department press conference.
Cecil Freeman Allen, 18, and Julian Anton Holloway, 18, both of Covington, were charged with felony murder, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Ashley Obryant Vinson, 20, of Covington was shot in the head at close range with a .40 caliber handgun at the Magnolia Heights apartment complex around 3 p.m. on Monday in a tan 1993 Buick LeSabre owned by one of the suspects' parents, according to Capt. Craig Treadwell.
Allen and Holloway were allegedly buying marijuana from the victim when a dispute arose and Vinson was shot. Police aren't exactly sure which suspect fired the shots. There was no indication of premeditation, but it didn't appear to be an accident either, said Treadwell. After an autopsy Tuesday morning, it was concluded Vinson died immediately, said Treadwell.
Allen and Holloway then drove back to Holloway's home in the quiet, upper-middle class Links subdivision with Vinson's body in the car.
"I think they were basically in a panic and that was the first place they thought of to go," said Treadwell.
The 911 dispatch center received calls of a person having been shot at Magnolia Heights apartments off of Ga. Highway 36 around 3:17 p.m., but when police arrived on the scene, they were not able to find a victim.
Patrol officers traced the number that called 911 back to the number and address of Holloway's home in the CPD's database.
The victim and Holloway apparently knew each other through school, said Treadwell.
When police arrived at the Holloway home around 3:35 p.m., no one answered the door, but they could see people walking around upstairs. After a few calls to the home, the door was opened and they found Vinson's body lying in the LeSabre that was parked in the garage.
He was pronounced dead by the deputy assistant coroner at 4:45 p.m.
The suspects were taken in for questioning and investigators were at the station until midnight. Officers were then back early this morning, said Detective Daniel Seals.
"The patrol officers went above and beyond trying to track down, when we got the initial calls, where this incident occurred," said Police Chief Stacey Cotton.
He commended the work of Officers Julie Cole-English, Oscar Rogers, Donald Jones and Lt. Mike Bruno.
The department recently installed laptops in the patrol cars, and through those, officers were able to start researching the phone numbers and addresses while still at the crime scene instead of going back to the station, said Cotton.
"A lot of things came into play. Good police work, stick-to-it-ness and proper use of technology," said Cotton.
He said the shooting was an isolated incident among people who knew each other.
A pained-looking Holloway family said they had no comment when visited on Tuesday.