Driver facing murder charge in deadly crash that killed Auburn University Librarian

Local News
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AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – An Auburn University Library employee has died in a deadly crash and a Montgomery driver is facing murder charges after investigators say he was intoxicated and left the scene.

The pavement and sidewalk along Wire Road is stained with police markings, indicating the crash scene where investigators say 57-year-old Joe Cleere of Auburn was killed Tuesday morning. Auburn University confirms Cleere worked with AU’s Library System.

Now, George H. Shearer III of Montgomery is facing murder charges after police say Shearer left the scene of the crash and was allegedly intoxicated.

“On Tuesday morning, June 4, 2019 at about 1:25 a.m., personnel from the Auburn Police and Fire divisions along with EMS paramedics responded to a leaving the scene of an accident with injuries call on Wire Road near the intersection of Cox Road. APD officers arrived on the scene and discovered an individual, later identified as Joe Eugene Cleere, age 57 from Auburn, lying near the roadway unresponsive. The motorcycle he had been riding was also located along the roadway. Chief Deputy Lee County Coroner Gene Manning pronounced the victim deceased on the scene at 3 a.m.,” said Captain Lorenza Dorsey.

Captain Dorsey says an investigation was immediately initiated, and officers began canvassing the area, subsequently locating the suspect vehicle.

“The driver, George H. Shearer III, age 28 from Montgomery, was still occupying the vehicle. He was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and DUI after it was determined he was impaired and under the influence of alcohol. Additional investigation resulted in Shearer being charged with murder and arrested while he was incarcerated in the Lee County Jail on the previous charges,” said Dorsey.

Shearer remains in custody in the Lee County Jail on a $153,750 bond. The case remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division, the State of Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and the Lee County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call detectives at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.

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