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DA: Murder drug related

Lamar County recorded its second homicide in 70 days Jan. 30 when a 28-year-old Grove Street man allegedly shot and killed a neighbor. Ronald A. Smith is charged with malice murder in connection with the early morning shooting that left Charles G. Adams, 56, dead in the doorway of his home at 488 Grove Street. Smith was bound over to superior court and ordered held without bond at a first appearance hearing before chief magistrate William Thomas Feb. 1. District attorney Richard Milam reported the incident was drug-related. ‘All indications are the shooting was very much related to the distribution and use of illegal drugs in Lamar County,’ Milam said. Smith served three months in the Al Burruss boot camp in Forsyth in 2007 on charges of possession of methamphetamine. The shooting occurred at approximately 6 a.m. Initial reports were Smith allegedly approached the Adams duplex armed with a rifle, warned a neighbor to go back inside her home and then shot his victim in the head. Within minutes the area was crawling with law enforcement personnel including deputies, Barnesville police, at least three GBI agents, DNR rangers and a K9 team from the Georgia Department of Corrections. Also on the scene were assistant district attorney Scott Johnston and investigator Scott Thurston from Milam’s staff. Additionally, a helicopter equipped with a forward looking infrared radar system was dispatched from the Spalding County sheriff’s department. It was driven away by high winds but later returned to do aerial photography of the scene. In the initial stages of the investigation, a lookout was issued for a white male in a gray hoodie. Lamar public schools were briefly locked down when a suspect matching the description was spotted near one campus. That turned out to be a false alarm. Several day care centers and St. George’s Episcopal School in Milner were also under lockdown for a time. A woman who resides next door to the duplex where the shooting occurred said she heard a noise that sounded like a shot. ‘I was in my house and heard a loud noise like a shot. About 10 minutes later the cops pulled up,’ she said. Another witness on the scene said DFACS personnel had been in the neighborhood of several duplexes two days before the shooting on a protective matter involving methamphetamine. As the long, cold day wore on, two black females stopped officers at the scene and gave a detailed statement regarding something they had seen in the area that they felt might have been of importance. Additionally, school system transportation director Glenn Forsyth delivered a videotape – presumably from a school bus security camera that may have recorded something of significance while students were being picked up in the area near the time of the shooting. Smith, however, apparently did not flee the area but returned to his home at 501 Grove Street where the investigation shifted as evidence was uncovered and a search warrant issued. That evidence included the murder weapon, shells, a gun case and drug paraphernalia including syringes, according to reports. GBI crime scene investigator Todd Crosby was seen loading a large evidence bag that appeared to contain a rifle or gun case into a mobile lab at Smith’s home. Smith was arrested at 6 p.m. but his identity was not released for over 21 hours. No explanation was given for the delay. Editors Note: We’ve added this video documentary about the meth epidemic plaguing our communities – both kids and adults.

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