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Clemons indicted by grand jury in murder of Dearing woman

A Thomson man has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the shooting death of his sister-in-law at her residence near Dearing back in July.

Dennis Clemons, of the 400 block of First Street, was indicted on charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to records filed in the McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk's Office.

The 63-year-old Mr. Clemons, who is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center in Appling, is accused in the death of Shirley Ann Hunt, according to McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall. Ms. Hunt was shot "several times" inside her single-wide mobile home off Hobbs Mill Road near Dearing on the night of July 31, 2008. She died a short time after arriving by ambulance at the emergency room of McDuffie Regional Medical Center in Thomson.

Authorities have never revealed publicly what the motive was behind the slaying. Ms. Hunt's boyfriend, Melvin Floyd told The McDuffie Mirror on the night of shooting that Mr. Clemons had come to the residence looking for his estranged wife, Dorothy Mae Clemons. Mr. Floyd said Mrs. Clemons had left her husband several weeks prior to the shooting and had stayed with her sister on several occasions during that time.

Mr. Clemons reportedly fled from the scene in an older model pickup truck and became the subject of an intensified manhunt by several area law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol. Sheriff Marshall later learned that the suspect was holed up at his residence.

After requesting and receiving help from the Richmond County Sheriff's Department SWAT team, more than two dozen lawmen surrounded his home where Mr. Clemons was arrested a short time later without incident.

Mr. Clemons is a former custodian with the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department.

A trial date has not been set in the case.

Web posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008

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