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Dead man connected to prior burglary

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Investigating a dead man, Clayton County Police have cleared up a robbery case and may be able to solve a few more.

Markus M. Gill, 33, was shot to death on Sept. 12, during what police believe was an attempted burglary. Responding to a 911 call, police found Gill inside a duplex at 5701 Willamsburg Trace, lying dead on the floor, next to a bag of burglary tools.

Police ruled the shooting justifiable homicide.

The man's name was not released until this week, because detectives were looking to connect Gill to a number of other burglary cases in the county and the metro region, and were considering the possibility he had an accomplice.

Detective David Robinson closed a recent burglary case, by looking into the dead man's past, Sgt. Rebecca Brown, a spokeswoman for the department, said Monday.

Detectives recovered a stolen cell phone, taken a few months before the shooting, and are looking to tie the dead man to some other open cases.

A review of Clayton County court records shows Gill had never been arrested for burglary in Clayton County. The 33-year-old had received three traffic tickets -- two of them this year -- and had once been charged with passing a bad check.

The District Attorney's Office dropped a more serious case against Gill a year ago. Gill, along with another man, was facing charges of rape, aggravated sodomy and false imprisonment.

According to the administrative dismissal, filed by the District Attorney's Office, Gill and his accomplice had allegedly kidnapped a woman at gunpoint from a bus stop in Atlanta, kept her drugged-up and imprisoned in a motel in Forest Park for 24 hours, and had, repeatedly, sexually assaulted her.

The case was dropped because the alleged victim refused to cooperate with prosecutors. When the woman reported the crime to police, she gave them a false name, prosecutors said.

After reporting the case, she fled to New York City. When county prosecutors made contact with her there, "she denied her own identity," according to authorities.

When shown a picture of herself, she reportedly claimed someone had stolen her identity and suggested the other woman was the one who had been kidnapped and raped in Georgia.

The woman, whose name is not being used, because of the nature of the alleged crime, is wanted on other, unrelated, charges in the state, and refused to cooperate or return to Georgia, according to the district attorney's investigator.

The three felony charges against Gill were dropped for lack of evidence in November 2006.

Eleven months later, he apparently broke into a duplex in College Park, and was met by an armed resident. According to police, the resident heard noises coming from his back door at about 4:30 a.m., went to check, and bumped into the man in a dark hallway.

"He saw the suspect reaching for a gun in his waistband," Robinson said at the time, "[and] was somehow able to disarm the suspect. He fell back -- I'm talking, maybe 10 feet -- he fired, and he killed the suspect."

The resident called police 2 1/2 hours later, from a cell phone while standing down the street. He said he had run away after shooting the man, and called 911 as soon as he was calm.

The man was cooperative, with police, and the evidence apparently confirmed his account.

"The physical evidence tends to support his story," Robinson said. "[Gill] did have a backpack, and inside that backpack he did have several items that are indicative of someone who was burgling homes."