19-year-olds charged with mur­der

Rome in­ves­ti­ga­tors travel to Colum­bus to track down sus­pects in the mur­der of Berry stu­dent Joseph McDaniel.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Doug Walker As­so­ciate Editor DWalker@RN-T.com

Floyd County po­lice ar­rested two teenagers Satur­day night in Colum­bus in con­nec­tion with the Satur­day morn­ing shoot­ing death of a Berry Col­lege stu­dent. Maj. Jeff Jones with the Floyd County po­lice iden­ti­fied the first sus­pect as 19-year-old Ricket Carter of Colum­bus. Jones said that Carter was ac­quainted with the vic­tim, Joseph P. McDaniel, 20, also of Colum­bus.

A sec­ond ar­rest was made ap­prox­i­mately an hour af­ter Carter. Jones iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as Troy Cok­ley, 19, of Riverdale. Both Carter and Cok­ley will be charged with felony armed rob­bery and felony mur­der.

McDaniel was shot in the chest at the Sum­mer­stone Apart­ments off Old Sum­merville Road around 2:26 Satur­day morn­ing. Jones said a hand­gun was used in the armed rob­bery and shoot­ing. Jones and other Floyd County in­ves­ti­ga­tors were fol­low­ing other leads late Satur­day night.

Coro­ner Gene Proc­tor said some­one heard a shot and then heard some­one cry­ing which prompted the call to 911. A look­out was posted a short time later for a black au­to­mo­bile that left the gated com­mu­nity in a hurry.

“A lot of knock­ing and talk­ing led us to Colum­bus,” Jones said Satur­day night. “We are con­tin­u­ing to do searches.”

The in­ves­ti­ga­tor said Colum­bus po­lice were also as­sist­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In an email to Berry Col­lege stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff, Dean of Stu­dents Deb­bie Heida said that McDaniel was a third-year stu­dent ma­jor­ing in busi­ness man­age­ment.

“As a col­lege com­mu­nity al­ready mourn­ing the loss of one of its stu­dents, this ad­di­tional tragedy cuts deep. We grieve with Joseph’s fam­ily and friends,” Heida said in her let­ter to stu­dents and staff.

Ear­lier this month, Berry Col­lege lost cross­coun­try run­ner David Shankles. The sopho­more from the Knoxville, Ten­nessee, area died un­ex­pect­edly.

“Our com­mu­nity has been re­mark­able in show­ing sup­port and care for each other in tragic cir­cum­stances and it is heart­break­ing to need to do so again,” Heida wrote. “Please be as sup­port­ive of each other as pos­si­ble as we all seek to make sense of this tragedy.”

Doug Walker / Rome News-Tri­bune

The Sum­mer­stone Apart­ments gate is open for po­lice to ac­cess the scene of a homi­cide early Satur­day morn­ing.

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