Nightclub murder suspect arrested - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nightclub murder suspect arrested

January 27, 2003

Ashburn-- Pink Panther owner Gene Grimes returns to the nightclub that became a crime scene early Saturday morning.

"There was no argument, all I heard was a 'bam,' and I called law and told them to bring the sickwagon on," Grimes said.

But EMTs could do nothing to save 35-year-old Willis Jordan of Fitzgerald. The effort then turned to find his killer, but police weren't optimistic after interviewing witnesses.

"Lot of times that happens at a nightclub, police show up and they scatter, don't want to cooperate a lot," Ashburn investigator Jeff West said.

Later that afternoon 28-year-old Jeff Douglas became the prime suspect.

Police say the calls started coming in to the department, that Douglas was walking around town with a gun in his pocket. "We got him stopped on the road, recovered a weapon, and now we have got to confirm it with ballistics," said West.

Now that Ashburn police say they've solved their first murder of the year, the questions that remain are why it happened and what will happen to the Pink Panther?

Police aren't releasing a motive, and the owner who was tending bar that night says he doesn't know why the frequent patron turned violent. All he knows is the murderer broke a rule clearly written at the entrance by bringing in a weapon, so after 30 years no longer will he be as trusting.

"We will have metal detectors and more security in the future," Grimes said. He said, that is if he gets to stay in business.

Grimes says he's not sure whether Douglas was at his club or not the night of the murder. There were about 60 people there for a birthday party. Douglas remains at the Turner County Jail.

posted at 6:37PM by dave.d'marko@walb.com