Two arrested for Moultrie Mass Murder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two arrested for Moultrie Mass Murder

Jerry Johnny Thompson, Jr. (Source: U.S. Marshal's Service) Jerry Johnny Thompson, Jr. (Source: U.S. Marshal's Service)
Wilma Ann Yvonne Stover (Source: U.S. Marshal's Service) Wilma Ann Yvonne Stover (Source: U.S. Marshal's Service)
Tina and Jaime Resendez Tina and Jaime Resendez
Police want to interview this man in connection with the murders. Call 229-225-4090. Police want to interview this man in connection with the murders. Call 229-225-4090.

August 17, 2006

Colquitt County - Investigators say drugs led to that mass murder in Moultrie nearly two years ago. Tonight, two people are charged with the execution-style killings of a man, his wife, child, mother in law and housekeeper.

45-year old Jerry Johnny Thompson, Jr. and 20-year old Wilma Ann Yvonne Stover, both of Nashville are charged with five counts of murder for killing Jaime Resendez, his wife, child, mother-in law and housekeeper.

Tina and Jaime Resendez were found face down, head to head, in the hallway of their home on Highway 37 in Colquitt County. Her mother, 50-year-old Betty Watts was dead in the bathroom. The housekeeper, 30-year old Liliana Alegria Aguilar, was tied up and shot in the living room.

The couple's three-year-old, Juan Carlos Resendez, was shot and his body wedged between a mattress and headboard.

Investigators say Thompson and Stover were already in federal prison on drug convictions, for their part in a drug operation that spanned from Texas to Moultrie. They believe Jaime Resendez was involved with their drug ring.

Murder victims Jaime and Tina Resendez had been in trouble for drugs before. In fact, at the time of their murders, they were awaiting trial on drug charges. They were arrested in November 2003 as part of the biggest drug bust in Berrien County's history. At the time, officers seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana, guns and money. The drugs were being smuggled from Mexico to Texas, then to Berrien County, Georgia. Both were charged with trafficking marijuana. The Resendez' were set to go to trial sometime in 2005.

Investigators say the Resendez murders aren't connected to their previous arrests, though. They believe Jaime Resendez was involved in a new drug ring and that the slaughters of him and his family were the result of a drug vendetta. Investigators say the four others were killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's a day Morris and Betty Gaines have been waiting on for 21 months.   They say, "People always asking if they caught 'em. And we say 'no'. Now we can say yes."

Two people charged with the murders. But police won't say which or if these suspects actually shot the victims.  GBI Agent In Charge Ronny Thompson says, "They are both charged with murder, which would indicate some participation there."

And we now know why they were killed. "From what we've pieced together," says Thompson, "we believe that the motive in this case was definitely drugs and money."

They say the only victim who had any involvement with the drug ring was Jaime Resendez.  Agent Thompson says, "The other victims in the case are just that, they are victims. They were there at the wrong place at the wrong time. Like I say, the only person we've linked to the drug ring is Jamie Resendez."

But he's not the only person the murderers targeted. Jaime's wife, mother-in-law, housekeeper, and three year old little boy, Juan, were also gunned down on that cold November day.  "I will tell you that the child was a big motivation," says Thompson, "and I know that each and everyone of them, as I expressed, feel great that we're to this point today."

But there's more work to do. "We anticipate more arrests in the case," says Thompson. 

All news that will help Morris and Betty Gaines sleep a little better at night. "Somebody's doing their job," says Morris.  Betty adds, "We appreciate all the law enforcement. They did a good job. Makes us feel a lot better to know that someone's in prison for it."

And that there may be some vindication for the victims.

Thompson and Stover have been in prison since they pleaded guilty in September 2005 on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Investigators released a sketch of a person in interested in this case as well. They believe this man has valuable information about the murders. He was last seen November 2004 in the Valdosta area . If you recognize him, you should call the GBI office in Thomasville at 229-225-4090.

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