Valdosta violent crime suspects arrested in Tennessee

Updated: Aug. 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM EDT
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LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Five people, two of which are juveniles, are charged with serious crimes across three states, including a gang-rape police say they put on Facebook.

When Valdosta Police officers investigated numerous car break-ins at the Drury Inn on North Saint Augustine Road on August 15, they could not have known the magnitude of the crimes the perpetrators are now charged with.

Valdosta police say that two 17-year-olds, two 18-year-olds, and a 20-year-old stole a car in the Miami area on August 14, and went on a crime spree that took them across Florida, Georgia, and into Tennessee.

Tennessee deputies say that three of the men have confessed to stealing the car, driving up I-95 to Brunswick, where they broke into a police officer's vehicle, and stole his duty weapon and badge. They drove down US Highway 84 and broke into the vehicles in Valdosta.

They got on I-75 and drove north to Byron, where they pawned some of their stolen items, and drove east to Augusta, to visit family.

Tennessee law enforcement caught them fleeing in the stolen car in Coffee County, on August 16.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department contacted the Valdosta Police Department, as they were looking for these men in connection with a homicide and a rape.  Arrest warrants were issued for rape were taken on two of them, after they live-streamed a gang rape on Facebook.

Fort Lauderdale homicide detectives flew to Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville, where the five are in jail, to interview them.

VPD says that detectives recovered over $10,000 of stolen property from the Valdosta area, and 50 warrants, including 45 for felonies, are waiting for them, just in the City of Valdosta. Multiple other agencies will have other charges pending. 
"The many hours of investigative work by our detectives and the many other agencies involved are to be commended. The Valdosta Police Department recognizes the excellent work by the Coffee County officers in Tennessee for their assistance in this case," said VPD Lieutenant Adam Bembry.

Here are the names and charges of the suspects, as we know them Thursday:

Dontavius Jamar Butler

  • Charged with Rape in Florida
  • (Multiple counts) Theft from Vehicle (Felony)
  • (Multiple counts) Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor)

Maurice Rodrea Thomas, Jr

  • Charged with Rape in Florida.
  • Person of Interest in the Fort Lauderdale Homicide
  • (Multiple counts) Theft from Vehicle (Felony)
  • (Multiple counts) Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor).

Karvis Christian David

  • (Multiple counts) Theft from Vehicle (Felony)
  • (Multiple counts) Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor)
  • Byron, GA PD will be seeking further warrants

Miguel James Harvey

  • (Multiple counts) Theft from Vehicle (Felony)
  • (Multiple counts) Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor)

Dean Hyatt

  • (Multiple counts) Theft from Vehicle (Felony)
  • (Multiple counts) Criminal Trespass Vandalism (Misdemeanor)

Tennessee charges have not been listed, but are expected to be several felonies, since they were caught fleeing police in a stolen car.

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