• 52°

Co-defendant in arson/double homicide pleads guilty

AMERICUS — One of the co-defendants in the arson/double homicide on R.W. Jones Road in Sumter County in February 2015 has pleaded guilty.
Southwestern Judicial Circuit District Attorney, Plez Hardin confirmed that Ruhemmenien King pleaded guilty, as a first offender, in Sumter Superior Court Tuesday morning to two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, first-degree burglary, first degree arson, and possession of firearm during commission of a felony. Two counts of malice murder were dismissed under the plea agreement.  King was age 17 at the time of his arrest.
Southwestern Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Rucker Smith sentenced King to serve two life sentences consecutively, plus 50 years.
If the Court determines  that King is or was not eligible for sentencing under the First Offender Act, the Court may enter an adjudication of guilty and sentence King to the maximum sentence as provided by law.
Hardin said co-defendant Demarcus Brown is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 23 for the same crimes King was charged with.
Other arrested and charged in the case were Qwinterrious Dodson, 22, charged with theft by receiving stolen property, and Brandon Lenorris Prince, 21, charged with one count of making false statements.
Sumter County Fire & Rescue responded to a house fire shortly after 6 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2015, at 780 R.W. Jones Road in rural eastern Sumter County. As fire personnel entered the residence and found bodies, they retreated and law enforcement was notified. The bodies of Bonnie Freeman McSpadden, 54, and her son, Dallas Freeman, 33, were both found inside, having been shot multiple times.
Upon investigation, it was determined that a burglary of the residence had also occurred. A majority of the stolen items were recovered later, according to law enforcement. Also recovered was Dallas Freeman’s pickup truck which was found abandoned at Joyce Myers Park in Americus.
Law enforcement believed these crimes were related to the business dealings of Dallas Freeman.
Those involved in the investigation included the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 3 Office, State Fire Marshal’s Office and Americus Police Department.