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Lee Co. murder suspect makes first court appearance

Chappell stands in front of judge Thurman who reads him his rights.
Chappell stands in front of judge Thurman who reads him his rights.(WALB)
Published: Feb. 27, 2022 at 8:54 PM EST|Updated: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:58 AM EDT
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LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - The man accused of killing a 59 year-old woman in Leesburg made his first appearance in the Lee County Magistrate Court Sunday morning.

Natonya Chappell, 41, is charged with aggravated assault and murder.

Chief Judge of the Magistrate Court in Lee County, Jim Thurman, said the charges may change before the grand jury is appointed. That’s because Chappell was captured in Texas on Feb. 22, making him a fugitive for more than five weeks.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) connected Chappell to the January murder of Tana Mullis. Police said Chappell left the scene in a stolen vehicle. He has not been charged with any crimes related to the stolen vehicle.

Chappell’s preliminary hearing is set for April 19. Chief Justice Thurman did not grant Chappell bond.

Members of the victim’s family said they want to remain anonymous but are praying for everyone involved in the case.

There will be a grand jury appointed between April and May.

This case is still under investigation by the GBI.

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