Timeline: Four arrested for Lanett murder - WRBL

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Timeline: Four arrested for Lanett murder

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Authorities have located and arrested four men wanted in connection with a Lanett murder that occurred early Wednesday morning, law enforcement announced Friday morning.

Late Thursday, Thomas Starkey, Paul Teague and Jacob Shaddix were all located in Valley and charged with the murder of Christopher Griggs, according to Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates. Additionally, police announced Friday that Rocky Starkey - the brother of Thomas - was also arrested and charged with the murder. Rocky Starkey was already in the Chambers County Detention Facility on unrelated charges, Spates says.

RELATED: Mobile app users can view a timeline of events by clicking here.

Lanett police had asked other law enforcement agencies and the public to be on the lookout for the men Wednesday. The investigation began Wednesday around 3a et when the Lanett police officers responded to a home on the 3200 block of 44th Avenue Southwest. Responding officers found Christopher Michael Griggs, 27, of Lanett, suffering from a gunshot wound, according to Spates. He was taken to the East Alabama Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

As a result, an arrest warrant was issued for Thomas Starkey. Police also released photos of Teague and Shaddix and said the two were wanted for questioning. They also asked the public to be on the lookout for Teague's Mercury Sable, which Thomas Starkey was last seen driving.

At 8:54a et Thursday, the car was spotted in LaGrange, according to Deputy Stewart Smith of the Troup County Sheriff's Department. The driver led authorities on a chase after refusing to pull over for law enforcement. The car traveled down Hamilton Road and Whitesville Road before getting on Interstate 85 southbound, Smith says. Just north of Exit 6 (Kia Boulevard), the vehicle pulled to the side of the road and the four occupants fled from the vehicle.

Several departments searched for the suspects using officers and canine units on the ground. A helicopter was also brought in to assist.

Around 10:30a, one of the vehicle occupants - Vanassa Yoon, of LaGrange, was located by a canine officer and arrested. Around Noon, another vehicle occupant - James Forrest McMillian - was arrested. Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. Officials ended the search for the other two vehicle occupants around 2p.

Around 5:30p Thursday, Troup County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 600 block of Robert Taylor Road after a 911 caller said a suspicious person had walked out of the woods behind a home. Deputies, believing the man was one of the suspects from the earlier vehicle pursuit, created a small perimeter and attempted to stop the man, who was now walking down the road. The man, later identified as Alan Brice Wood, lead authorities on a short foot chase before being taken in to custody. Wood was wanted on an outstanding warrant stemming from a charge of Violation of Probation Superior.

The driver of the vehicle is still wanted on charges of Fleeing and Attempting to Elude. The driver will likely also face charges for multiple traffic violations.

Law enforcement later determined Thomas Starkey was never in the car.

Late Thursday night, Thomas Starkey was booked in to the Chambers County jail after being located at a home in Valley, according to county jail records and Spates. Shaddix was also located at a home in Valley but it was not immediately clear if the two were together. Teague was found at an undisclosed location in Valley, Spates says. It was not immediately clear how officials located the individuals.

Spates told News 3 Thursday that their initial investigation indicates Griggs was likely killed following a dispute. An argument is believed to have occurred regarding a theft.

Lee County Sheriff's Department records show that Thomas Starkey was arrested on March 31 on charges related to a robbery at a home in Beulah. As of April 1, Thomas Starkey was being held in the Lee County Detention Facility without bond. Chief Spates says she is aware of those charges but that case is unrelated to the Griggs murder or any arguments that may have lead up to the shooting.

These cases remain open and under investigation. News 3 and WRBL.com will have updates as new information becomes available.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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