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Bryan County kidnappings trial gets under way

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POSTED: August 21, 2012 2:34 p.m.

The third suspect believed responsible for two seperate kidnappings in Bryan County late last year and early this year is under way this week in Statesboro.

The trial of Antonio Lamont Murray, 39, of Pembroke, began Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia courtroom before Senior U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield.

Gary Lenion McDonald, 36, of Statesboro, and Cecil Dewitt Nelson, 32, of Pembroke, both pleaded guilty recently to conspiring with others to commit kidnappings. Both face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Murraysat in court Monday, smiling and waving at observers in the courtroom before being admonished by a security officer. He faces seven charges, according to an indictment: conspiracy to commit kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, six counts of using a firearm during acts of violence and obstruction of justice.

Murray is accused of kidnapping two Bryan County businessmen, Timothy Marshlett and Billy Downs. Marshlett was forced from his home on Dec. 1 and Downs was kidnapped Jan. 12.

The trial is expected to continue through Wednesday. See the Aug. 22 edition of the News for more coverage on the trial.

 

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