A 29-year-old man, formerly of Washington, D.C., and living in Thomson the last couple of months, has confessed to the robbery and killing of two young men in Georgia and North Carolina, authorities say.
Cedric Theodis "Scooter" Hobbs, Jr., reportedly confessed to the crimes during an interview with North Carolina authorities early Monday, according to McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Investigator Al Reeves.
Hobbs, a construction worker, is accused of robbing and shooting 22-year-old Rondriako "Ron" Burnett, of the 100 block of Hawes Street, Thomson. Mr. Burnett's body was discovered in a ditch off the dirt portion of Dearing Acres Road near Dearing about noon last Saturday.
An autopsy performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta on Tuesday revealed that Burnett had been shot once in the face with a .380-semi-automatic handgun, Investigator Reeves told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
That same gun later was used in the robbery and subsequent killing of a 19-year-old pawn shop clerk in Fayetteville, N.C., Investigator Reeves said. The slaying of Kyle Harris, a part-time clerk at Cumberland Pawn Shop in Fayetteville, occurred about 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
A second person, Hobbs' girlfriend, Alexis Mattocks, 20, originally from Washington, D.C., but who had been living with Mr. Hobbs in Thomson, was with her boyfriend when Mr. Harris was robbed and murdered.
Their 9-month-old daughter was left inside the Chevrolet Suburban that had been stolen from Mr. Burnett in McDuffie County. It broke down near the pawn shop. The couple walked in and out of the pawn shop several times, authorities say, before they robbed and shot Mr. Harris. Surveillance video from the pawn shop supports such evidence.
The infant remains in the custody of social services officials in Washington, D.C., while Hobbs and Mattocks are jailed there on a charge of auto theft.
The couple stole Mr. Harris' car and fled to Washington, where they were arrested.
After Mr. Burnett's body was discovered without any identification and his vehicle nowhere to be found, Investigator Reeves acted on his training and filed a stolen report of the vehicle through the Georgia and National crime information centers. As a result of that action, he later received confirmation from Fayetteville police that the vehicle had been found there.
About a half hour later, the investigator also received information from a reliable source that the couple would likely be heading for Washington, D.C. Such information was passed on to police detectives in North Carolina, which led to the couple being arrested.
Police in Washington have charged the couple with auto theft.
Fayetteville police since have issued warrants charging the couple with murder, armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
The couple has waived extradition to North Carolina. They are expected to arrive in Fayetteville later this week.
Investigator Reeves said Mr. Hobbs also has been charged with murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by taking of a motor vehicle.
Ms. Mattocks, who reportedly is not talking with authorities, has not been charged with any crime in McDuffie County, Investigator Reeves said.
Robbery is believed to have been the motive in the Burnett murder case, McDuffie County's first homicide of 2010.
Mr. Burnett's mother and sister reported him missing shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday.
He last was seen alive with Mr. Hobbs about 5 p.m. last Friday.
The two men were seen together in the Cherokee neighborhood of Thomson, Investigator Reeves said.
The investigator said he believes Mr. Burnett was killed elsewhere and his body dumped where it was found.