Death investigation underway in Mitchell Co. -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man arrested in Mitchell Co. deadly shooting


A Mitchell County man remains in jail charged with murdering his friend. The suspect claims it was self defense but investigators don't believe the story adds up in the shooting that left a father of four dead at a Baconton home.

57-year-old Greg Johnson was arrested Saturday at his north Mitchell County home. It was inside the double wide where deputies found the body of his friend 58-year-old Hugh Ethridge, dead from a shotgun blast to the head.

"It was around 4:30 or 5:00 we got a call there had been a death in the northern part of the county. Up on Georgia 3," said Mitchell County Sheriff W. E. Bozeman.

Johnson told investigators Ethridge threatened to kill him and the two struggled over 4-10 shotgun when it went off. But GBI agents handling the investigation don't believe that's how it went down.

"We've got some more investigation to do at the crime lab, but it appears to be a pretty cut and dry murder deal between two friends and don't exactly what happened," the sheriff said.

Bozeman says his deputies had been called to the home before for misdemeanor domestic cases but never imagined it would escalate to this which has taken a toll on the victim's family. "His mother's just a wonderful lady and I know she's all upset about this."

While the investigation continues, Johnson remains in jail charged with murder and aggravated assault, all the while a question remains over how a friendship could meet such a violent end.

Johnson made his first appearance in court this morning and was denied bond. An autopsy was scheduled today on Ethridge. This is the first murder in Mitchell County since 2009.


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