Lake Park murder suspect back in Lowndes jail - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lake Park murder suspect back in Lowndes jail

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20-year-old Daymon Heard 20-year-old Daymon Heard
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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

August 5, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Investigators say a cold-blooded killer is in the Lowndes County jail.

They say 20-year-old Daymon Heard admitted he gunned down a store clerk while he was high on drugs.

He then emptied the store's register and stepped over the victim's body to grab cigarettes.

Heard was captured in Jacksonville Thursday and was brought back to Georgia Tuesday morning.

Bound with cuffs and shackles, Heard was escorted to the Lowndes County jail by two armed deputies.  He shrunk away from our cameras as they charged him with armed robbery of the Triangle Foods in Lake Park, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and the murder of the 48-year-old store clerk Jay Patel.

"I'm so glad he's not on the streets. He did something very bad to a very good person," says Linda Fussell, a neighbor of Patel.

Patel lived right across the street from where he worked. Neighbors and customers describe the father of two as a humble man and a very hard worker.

"My grandchildren are going to miss him. The kindness of giving candy and even giving ice cream pops to them every now and then, they are just going to miss him," Fussell says.

"He was a nice person. he helped people out. I had some many people come to me and say you could walk in that store and say I don't have money to buy gas, I'll have it Friday and he'd say get the gas and pay me later. just a wonderful easy going guy," adds Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

The store has now reopened since Patel was gunned down last week.

"He would have wanted that. he was very devoted to his store and his work," Fussell says.

Investigators believe drugs was the cause of this brutal crime.  "He was high on cocaine. he actually make the remarks that the guy he'd shot had always been real nice to him," Paulk says.

They now say they do not believe Heard is responsible for a similar store clerk murder in Lake City, Florida.

"You had two different caliber weapons and that wouldn't rule it out by any mean but the robbers mannerisms were quite different, he tried to cover his face and after enhancement-- his build is different.  We can do voice analysis if we come down to that but we pretty much ruled that out. Of course, this young man has been questioned, did he do Lake City.  He adamantly denies it, and like I said, he hasn't denied anything that he did up here so that carries credibility too," Paulk says.

Heard is being held in the Lowndes County jail without bond.