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Lovick suspects barred from funeral, face harsher charges

By Walter Geiger District attorney Richard Milam reported Tuesday that charges against the three people in connection with the death of Ryan Lovick could be upgraded by the time the case goes to the Lamar County grand jury. ”After the crime lab provides us with a report on the autopsy, toxicology, and any other forensic tests, we will present the cases to the Grand Jury. That will take months to accomplish. There are other possible charges, but that will be dependent on the facts discovered in the investigation. In most cases, prosecutors consider the possibility of other charges,” Milam said. Investigator Todd Pippin said the upgraded charge could be concealment of a dead body. Full print coverage from the the 1.22.2013 print edition of The Herald-Gazette: A mother returning from a business trip walked into a parent’s worst nightmare here last week when she found her 19-year-old son dead in his bedroom. Susan Lovick found her son, Ryan Jarred Lovick, about 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16 and called 911, reporting he was cold and unresponsive. Deputy Adam Rowell arrived to find EMTs already on the scene who advised him Lovick was deceased and that they had touched nothing in the room. Coroner Jim Smith arrived, confirmed the death and then everyone backed out of the house while a search warrant was obtained. Veteran GBI crime scene analyst Todd Crosby arrived to process the scene and Lovick’s body was taken to the state crime lab where an autopsy was conducted. Sheriff Brad White said Monday the preliminary autopsy indicated only that there was no trauma to the body. Toxicology results will take months, the sheriff added. Investigators believe Lovick hosted a small party for six people at the home while his mother was away and at least some of those in attendance mixed and ingested a street drug called ‘˜Lean’. Lean is a mixture of promethazine (phenergan)based cough syrup with codeine mixed with Sprite and Jolly Rancher candy. The concoction is glorified in rap and hip-hop music lyrics and openly used by many of the ‘˜artists’ from that musical genre. The story took another bizarre twist when three of those who allegedly attended the party were arrested and charged with abandonment of a dead body. Elbert Tyler Horton, 21, of Lamar County; Jessica Amanda Casteel, 19, of Williamson and Katherine Noelle Nordan, 21, of Griffin had a first appearance hearing before chief magistrate William Thomas January 17 at which bond was set at $2000. ‘This is all about decisions. If you expect better outcomes, make better decisions,’ Judge Thomas told the trio – all of whom made bond quickly and were released. Casteel was reportedly dating Lovick. Horton was described by acquaintances as the dead teen’s best friend. Nordan was previously arrested prior to the Georgia-Georgia Southern football game November 17, 2012 in Athens on charges of battery, underage possession of alcohol and obstruction of an officer. All three were asked by Lovick’s family not to attend his funeral, sheriff White said. ‘The investigation into Lovick’s death is ongoing but no further arrests are anticipated,’ the sheriff added. Lovick was a graduate of LCCHS where he played baseball. He was also an avid hunter. Funeral services were held January Church. 20 at Rock Springs In addition to his mother, survivors include his father, Wiley Eugene ‘˜Jabo’ Lovick; two sisters, Tara Lovick and Sydney Lovick; a step-sister, Emily Chester; maternal grandfather, Milton English; and paternal grandparents, Wiley and Carol Lovick.

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