THOMASVILLE — Two Thomasville men are charged in connection with the January shooting death of a military man who had returned home to attend his grandmother's funeral.
Marquis D. Gatlin, 27, 410 Wolf St., is charged with murder and criminal attempt armed robbery. Ryon J. Law, 22, 61 Woodhaven Road, is charged with theft by receiving a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Gatlin was denied bond. Law has a $4,100 bond, but remains in jail on a probation hold on a felony marijuana possession conviction.
The suspects are charged in the Jan. 9 shooting death of 19-year-old Chance Kelley, a U.S. Marine stationed in South Carolina, whose body was found near the intersection of West Merrill Street and Madison Street Alley under the Madison Street overpass.
Kelley's body was found about 5 a.m. He had been shot multiple times. His vehicle was found several hours later at a Georgia Avenue residence.
"It was obvious the vehicle was part of the crime scene," said Lt. Toby Knifer, Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander.
"Police detectives and the GBI have followed up on investigative leads and conducted numerous interviews to learn all facts and circumstances that led to the shooting, what happened during the shooting and what happened after the shooting," Knifer said. "The investigation is still ongoing and leads are continuously being followed up on."
The commander said it is necessary to maintain the integrity of the investigation, and it is extremely important not to disclose specific details of facts learned during the investigation.
Knifer said specifics will not be released at this time.
Law was arrested the day of the shooting death. Gatlin surrendered Jan. 17.
Knifer said the suspects and the victim knew each other.
The arrests could not be revealed until now because of the ongoing investigation, Knifer said.
"We still have more details we're seeking," he said. "Leads are coming in on an almost daily basis, and detectives are investigating each one."
The GBI and TPD encourage anyone with information related to the shooting death of Kelley to contact the TPD criminal investigations at (229) 227-3302.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820