Man murdered in Rochelle - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man murdered in Rochelle

June 5, 2007

Rochelle--It's been more than two decades since anyone was murdered in the quiet town of Rochelle in Wilcox County--that changed this week.

52-year-old Jerome Tisdol is charged with murdering 50-year-old Robert Richardson. He was shot and killed Sunday night around 10:30 on Bessie Avenue.

People who live on Bessie Avenue say their street is known for one thing---being peaceful.

"I always felt safe living here, no fear or nothing," says Lizzie Jones.

So when a fatal shooting happened just a few feet away from Lizzie Jones' home late Sunday night:

"I just couldn't believe it," says Jones.

Especially, since she knows the accused killer, Jerome Tisdol.

"He came off as a nice person.  We all were members of the same church once," says Jones.

"It's still an unfortunate situation for everyone involved," says police chief, Keith McDuffie.

Rochelle Police Chief Keith McDuffie says he believes Tisdol and the victim, Robert Richardson, argued over a woman before Tisdol shot Richardson with a .22 caliber rifle.

"We believe it was over a domestic issue," says McDuffie.

When police finally arrived on the scene, they found the victim lying unconscious in front of the mobile home, drenched in blood, with several gunshot wounds to the back.

"He was transported to Crisp County hospital," says McDuffie.

Richardson died early Monday morning.

"Mr. Robert Richardson passed away around 2:06," says McDuffie.

Neighbors, like Jones, now wonder how such a violent crime could happen to such a small community.

"What really set him off to do something like this?" says Jones.

Police are also asking the same question.

"The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident," says McDuffie.

As for Jones, she keeps relying on her faith to keep her out of harm's way.

"I just trust God. That's the only think that's going to protect us all," says Jones.

Tisdol left Bessie Avenue after the shooting. Wilcox County deputies arrested him a few minutes later on King Avenue.

He's charged with murder, aggravated assault, and two weapons charges.

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