Two jailed in Cedartown shooting death
♦ Police, GBI charge Laryan Walker with murder of Ronald Bentley in early Sunday morning homicide
Two people have been arrested in connection with a late June murder that saw a man gunned down in the street.
Police arrested Laryan Walker, 30, of 501 Line St., at his residence on the evening of June 28, then followed that up with a second round of charges for 26-year-old Tashon Brown of 217 Pinecrest Circle after he was jailed on unrelated charges in Floyd County.
Walker faces charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon. He had already been jailed and was being held without bond as of press time on malice murder and murder in the second degree charges.
Cedartown Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took Walker into custody without incident for the shooting death of 40-yearold Ronald Morris Bentley, who was shot twice in the chest and died on Gibson Street just three blocks from his residence at 5:15 a.m.
“Ever since Sunday morning, several of my investigators and a few GBI agents have been working long days,” Newsome said.
All that time paid off with the resulting arrest on June 28. He added that further investigatory efforts by his office and the state agency are expected. Part of those efforts produced the charges against Brown, which included party to the crime of murder, party to the crime of felony murder, party to the crime of aggravated assault, party to the crime of the possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence.
“These two arrests were made after an aggressive investigation by the Cedartown Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,” Newsome said. “The subsequent criminal charges that Walker and Brown now face came as a result of a lengthy conversation between the Cedartown Police, GBI and District Attorney Jack Browning.”
The charges came just days following the death of Bentley more than a week ago.
Bentley just left home and made it to the corner of Park and Gibson Street when he was gunned down in the early morning shooting.
He was an employee at the Bojangles in Cedartown prior to his death. Payton said not much else is known about the victim they can release at this time, or what motive there was yet in the shooting.
Bentley wasn’t completely unknown to police in the past. He’d been jailed five times in the past two decades. Starting in 1995 and through 2016, Bentley was arrested on five separate occasions for misdemeanor offenses according to booking records from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Police don’t believe his past experience with law enforcement is involved with his death over the past weekend.
Bentley’s tragic end came at around 5:15 a.m. on June 24, when a call came into Polk County 911 operators to report several gunshots fired in the area around Gibson Street.
A follow-up call came in at 5:21 a.m. then to report the body in the middle of Gibson Street. Officers found Bentley dead when they arrived at the scene, and Polk County Coroner Tony Brazier pronounced him dead officially at 5:45 a.m.
Bentley’s body was taken to the GBI crime lab for examination, and an autopsy was concluded on Tuesday. Brazier said that Bentley’s death is officially ruled a homicide by shooting.
Brazier added that he died as a result of gunshot wounds to the chest and torso, but did not wish to elaborate due to the nature of the investigation at this time.
Walker was also well known to local police with a long wrap sheet built up over the past 12 years. Once he turned 18, the arrests began for
His wrap sheet provided by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office begins with a 2005 arrest on several charges including obstruction, simple battery, possession of a firearm or knife for certain crimes, and reckless conduct. He followed that up months later with an arrest for armed robbery and possession of a firearm or knife during certain crimes.
Following that, there is a decade of escalation, including a number of drug and weapons charges, three different arrests in 2008 alone for battery and aggravated assault, and more.
Newsome said he also was familiar with other law enforcement agencies around the area.
Brown was at the time of this report being held at the Floyd County Jail on the unrelated charges to the shooting on June 24.
Ronald Morris Bentley