COVINGTON, Ga. — The process for pursuing justice for Kevin Marshall has taken its first step.
Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown, during a Tuesday afternoon press conference in the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, stated Joshua Anderson, the man accused of malice murder in Marshall’s July 4 killing, was apprehended in Upstate New York Tuesday morning.
Brown, along with Newton District Attorney Layla Zon, Marshall’s mother Robbie and a host of other law enforcement workers and community leaders, stood in front of a small media contingent to deliver the news.
Though Brown stated at the onset of the press conference there would be “absolutely no questions, no answers regarding Anderson’s arrest, nor about the particular facts surrounding the incident,” the sheriff did suggest that Anderson’s capture was the fruit of a wide-ranging team effort, from local citizens to federal law enforcement.
“We would like to thank all of the citizens who provided anonymous tips, various concerns as it related to this crime,” Brown said. “I’d like to thank law enforcement locally and abroad, especially the U.S. Marshals, in the outstanding work and performance in the apprehension of suspect Joshua Anderson.”
Anderson, 27, became a wanted man on the charges of malice murder, aggravated assault and duty to stop at the scene of the accident less than 24 hours after allegedly running down Marshall, a 2018 graduate of Newton High School, with his vehicle. He was later seen driving a 2001 Toyota Tacoma and a 2005 Toyota Highlander.
The case gained more intrigue when Kendra Browning, Anderson’s girlfriend, was reported missing and suspected to be accompanying Anderson.
Those suspicions were put to rest Tuesday when Brown also stated that Browning was with Anderson in New York and was no longer classified as a lost or missing person. But as of Tuesday’s press conference, only Anderson had been brought into custody.
Further fueling the controversy of the case is the fact that Anderson, a white male, committed this crime against Marshall, 20, a black male, which caused some to speculate that the case should be considered a hate crime.
However, NCSO Deputy Michael Gregg told The Covington News Friday the incident was not a hate crime, and the Rev. Eric Lee, pastor of Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers, urged the Newton County community to not be hasty in running with every existing storyline regarding this case.
“To the members of Newton County, I want to encourage you: Do not believe everything you read on social media,” Lee said. “Do not respond to information that may be inaccurate. Please exercise some level of patience and some level of emotional maturity as we seek to understand what happened on that day.”
Lee also urged for patience as area officials of justice “do our part to ensure that whatever rhetoric, whatever institutions, whatever ideology that may exist that may have contributed to this gets addressed.”
“We’re going to leave it up to our officials to determine if this is a hate crime,” Lee added.
Tuesday’s press conference did not answer the question of what role, if any, Browning had in Anderson’s alleged murder of Marshall or in his fleeing to New York. But both Lee and Zon were bullish about making sure anyone connected to the crime would held accountable for it.
“We will do all within our power to hold the person responsible who committed this horrific, heinous, inhuman, wantonly vile, evil crime on July 4,” Zon said. “He or she will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Robbie Marshall, Kevin’s mother, also spoke to the media contingent, offering her thanks and appreciation to those who have helped in various ways, while also joining in with the resolute chorus of the day for justice for her son.
“It’s imperative that justice be served to Joshua and all parties involved to the highest extent for taking my son’s life,” Robbie Marshall said. “I will not rest until Joshua Anderson and all his accessory parties are punished for what they’ve done to my son.”
Brown said that Anderson is on his way back to Georgia to face his charges, but the sheriff did not provide a time table toward Anderson’s arrival back to the state nor when criminal proceedings may begin in court.
With so much still up in the air regarding the case — including the extent of Browning’s or anyone else’s involvement — Lee made one final attempt to rally the county toward unity.
“Unfortunately, Newton County has seen days like this before,” Lee said. “But I’m proud to acknowledge that in moments like that, it was the community of faith and it was people black, white and hispanic who came alongside grieving families to find a way forward. I believe we’ll do that again this time as well.”