Persons of interest in slaying charged with theft

by Wes Mayer

The investigation of a slaying in Meriwether County continues, but two persons of interest who were recorded with the victim’s vehicle have been charged with theft by taking.

Around 5 p.m. on Aug. 22, authorities with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office responded to an unresponsive person found inside his home on Callaway Road. According to Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith, inside, they found Tommy Ogletree Jr., 62, who had been killed from a single gunshot wound.

Authorities believe the motive of the slaying was robbery because Ogletree’s vehicle, a 1998 Lexus EX300, was missing from his home, according to Smith. With the assistance of the Atlanta Police Department, the Lexus was recovered in Atlanta later that evening.

During the investigation, with the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, authorities were able to identify two persons of interest, both from Newnan. According to Smith, these two were recorded on surveillance cameras shopping at the Bullsboro Drive Walmart on Aug. 19 and leaving in Ogletree’s Lexus.

On Aug. 25, the male person of interest, Christopher Dion Barner, 26, was arrested for theft by taking due to his connection with Ogletree’s vehicle, Smith said. The female person of interest, who is 16 and a juvenile, was arrested on Aug. 28 and was also charged with theft by taking. Barner is being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond, but the female was released as of Tuesday.

"Due to quick publications of surveillance photos taken from Walmart, we were able to get these individuals identified and arrested," Smith said.

According to Smith, additional search warrants were executed by investigators on Aug. 28 in Newnan, and all evidence in the investigation is being sent to the GBI Crime Lab in DeKalb County.

Anyone with any information on the slaying of Ogletree have been asked to contact Meriwether officials at 770-672-4489.



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