Cairo, Georgia-- Federal agents are looking for more evidence in a Donalsonville motel arson. This afternoon, they searched the house of a well-known Grady County man they believe is involved in the case.
At high noon on Wednesday, ATF agents and Grady County Deputies executed a search warrant at 572 Harrell Road outside Cairo. "This is part of the Harrell household. Don Harrell lives here. That’s the father of Marty," says ATF Resident Agent-in-Charge, Morgan Fisher.
Marty Harrell is accused of being hired to burn down the Ramada Limited motel in Donalsonville in 2002 as part of an insurance scam. His federal arson, conspiracy, and racketeering trial is scheduled to start in Thomasville February 21 st . Agents say Don Harrell tried to intimidate witnesses in the case. "He is in custody for a witness tampering charge," says Fisher.
The motel has been rebuilt since '02, and Wednesday, agents would only say they were looking for more evidence in the case. Bags were brought out; what was in them is a mystery in itself. "It’s an ongoing investigation. I can’t really disclose the reason or what we’re exactly looking for in the residence," says Fisher.
While agents continue searching, W. Dexter Harrison, the man accused of hiring Harrell is out of jail on $50,000 bond.
Marty Harrell is accused of starting the fire with gasoline and diesel. He’s being investigated for a separate incident, the murder of Bobby Powell, a man he’s accused of hiring to intimidate a farmer who was involved in a cattle dispute with him.