Murder suspects protest; Murder rate climbs slightly - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Murder suspects protest; Murder rate climbs slightly

D. A. Greg Edwards D. A. Greg Edwards
Mayor Hubbard Mayor Hubbard
Walker and Rogers are in jail for the murder Walker and Rogers are in jail for the murder
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Despite 22 year old Kenzell Walker's protests, he was told he is charged with murder and armed robbery during his first appearance this morning.

21 year old Demickey Rogers was also charged with party to the murder of 55 year old Barry Kerper in the early hours of November 19th.  Investigators say he was shot with a shotgun through the front door of his business in the 2200 block of Palmyra Road. 

Prosecutors say what they found inside that business was part of the investigation. Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "There were electronic gaming devices that were found in the store."

There were several witnesses to the murder, who said Kerper refused to let a man through the glass door into the business, and moments later the man came back with a shotgun and shot through the door, killing Kerper. Prosecutors say robbery seems to be the motive.

Edwards said "Generally these gaming devices are sources of money. They normally contain money , and the persons that manage them will remove the money, and that would be potential means to or motive for a robbery."

Rogers was on house arrest with an electronic monitor for another robbery charge in November.  He is believed to have provided the shotgun and helped plan the robbery.

Carl Randle is also charged with murder and armed robbery. He was already in the Dougherty County jail on unrelated charges. Walker was arrested yesterday on West Whitney Avenue.  Prosecutors say they received tips that helped their investigation leading to these arrests.

Edwards said those electronic gaming devices apparently belonged to Kerper, who is the murder victim, so there has been no investigation into them. 

Albany Police report they investigated nine murders in 2015.  Arrests have been made in eight of those cases.

In 2014 there were eight murders investigated by Albany Police. In 2013 there were seven, and in 2012, there were four.

City leaders say Albany has improved greatly from 1988 when it was named the murder capital of America, when there were 29 murders in the city.

"People with perceptions of what we are doing and how we are doing things will certainly change their minds about things that have happened in the past," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

City officials say many of the murders in 1988 were domestic violence related, and they believe better police protocols handling domestic violence cases has headed them off before someone died.  Also concerned citizens working with police to reduce violent crime.

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