Lowndes Co. church arson case solved - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes Co. church arson case solved

Posted: Updated:
McKeitchen, Jessica, 20, McKeitchen, Jessica, 20,
Davis, Martavius Deshad Davis, Martavius Deshad
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Lowndes Co. Sheriff Chris Prine says that  Relandall Megal Samuel, Archie Cone, Kelle Lawrence, Jessica McKeitchen, and Martavius Deshad Davis have been arrested for burglarizing and burning a Lowndes County church on Christmas last year.

The sheriff issued this report-

On December 25, 2012 around 1:00 in the morning, a citizen observed a fire at the Ousley Road Church of God in Christ, located at 8619 Ousley Road in western Lowndes County.

Personnel from Lowndes County Fire Rescue and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire but not before the church sustained heavy damage.

Since that morning, investigators have worked closely with personnel from the Lowndes County Fire Rescue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Georgia State Fire Marshall's Office to identify the cause of the fire. A number of persons were identified as suspects when it was discovered that property had pawned or sold at a pawn shop in Valdosta.

The particular property was recovered and it was discovered that it had been taken from a church in Morven. This information led to a joint investigation involving investigators from the Thomas County Sheriff's Office, the Brooks County Sheriff's Office and this agency. The investigation involved the interview of multiple persons and the collection of evidence.

This joint investigation has led to the issuance of arrest warrants in Lowndes County for Martavius Deshad Davis and Relandall Megal Samuel in connection to the church burglary and arson at the Ousley Road Church of God in Christ.

Additional arrest warrants have been issued for Archie Bryant Cone, Kelle Lawrence and Jessica McKeitchen for their possession of stolen property which they possessed and sold in Lowndes County.

All of the persons have been arrested but only Martavius Davis and Jessica McKeitchen have been returned to Lowndes County. The other persons are either in the Thomas County Jail or the Brooks County Jail and will be picked up and returned to Lowndes County in the near future.

Nothing learned thus far during this investigation has indicated that this event was a hate crime but rather the fire was a result of the actions of the pair while burglarizing the church.

Sheriff Prine has stressed that this investigation is on-going and persons with information are asked to contact investigators at {229} 671-2950 or on-line at www.lowndessheriff.com. Anonymous tips can be provided at {229} 671-2985.

Here are the suspects and their charges-

  Davis, Martavius Deshad. 23, South Walker Street, Quitman

Charges: Arson – first degree {felony}
Burglary – second degree {felony}
Vandalism to a place of worship {felony}

Samuel, Relandall Megal, 27, Winstead Street, Thomasville

Charges: Arson – first degree {felony}
Burglary – second degree {felony}
Vandalism to a place of worship {felony}

Cone, Archie Bryant, 22,  Young Street, Thomasville

Charges: Theft by receiving stolen property {felony}
Theft by deception {misdemeanor}

Lawrence, Kelle, 25, Winstead Street, Thomasville

Charges: Theft by receiving stolen property {felony}
Theft by deception {misdemeanor

McKeitchen, Jessica, 20, East Jane Street, Valdosta

Charges: Theft by receiving stolen property {felony}

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