Suspect in metro Atlanta golf course death could face the death penalty

However, any judge already assigned to a death penalty case is exempt from Wednesday’s draw. In Cobb, Superior Court Judge Kellie Hill is already presiding over another death penalty case in which Dafareya Jamal Hunter is accused of raping and killing his 14-year-old stepdaughter in 2016 before burning down the house in an attempt to hide his crime.

ExploreCobb DA seeks death penalty in rape and murder case

Rhoden took to Instagram for the first time in months on Tuesday morning, denouncing what he called “erroneous” allegations against him and saying that reporting on the murders “couldn’t be further from the truth.” reality”.

“In my absence, I ask people to keep an open mind as to what led to the unfortunate turn of events and who is responsible,” the message said.

The account had not been updated since October. Past posts included video releases, performance clips and recording updates.

Rhoden has been incarcerated in Cobb County Jail since his arrest in July 2021. It was not immediately clear if he had access to a mobile device or computer or if someone posted the message on his behalf.

The murders of the three men, including the Pinetree golf pro, shook the Cobb County community last summer.

Rhoden is accused of killing 76-year-old Paul Pierson and 46-year-old Henry Valdez, who were both found tied up and shot in the back of a Dodge pickup truck on the golf course’s 10th hole.

The third victim, golf manager Gene Siller, was fatally shot after driving to the course to find out why the truck drove down the fairway and got stuck near a sand trap, investigators said.

Gene Siller and his family

Gene Siller and his family

Cobb police released few details about a possible motive in the case, but said Siller was killed “because he witnessed an active crime in progress.” The 46-year-old had a wife and two young sons.

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Rhoden was recently re-indicted along with two of his alleged accomplices, Justin Caleb Pruitt and Taylor Nicole Cameron.

Rhoden faces 17 counts, including three counts of malicious murder, seven counts of felony murder, two counts of kidnapping with bodily harm, three counts of aggravated assault and one count each of possession of a weapon. fire when committing a crime and tampering with evidence. , court records show.

Explore3 charged in triple murder at Cobb golf course

Pruitt’s warrant alleges he acted as a “co-conspirator and accomplice” in helping to bind Pierson and Valdez with duct tape and zip ties in a building along Jonesboro Road in Clayton County. He is also accused of helping transport the men about 41 miles to the golf course, where investigators say Pierson and Valdez were killed by Rhoden.

Pruitt faces two counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping with bodily harm, according to court records.

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After fleeing the scene, Rhoden allegedly had Cameron driven to the golf course to pick up the gun, authorities said. She was recently charged with one count of criminal attempt to tamper with evidence.

“Although we have not yet filed a written notification, we intend to seek the death penalty,” Broady said Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the first time Broady has sought the death penalty since becoming a district attorney and Cobb’s first death penalty case since former DA Vic Reynolds announced his intention to seek the ultimate sentence against Hunter.

Rhoden’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Denise W. Whigham