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Man indicted in lover's stabbing death

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Detectives found an empty bottle of French cognac and two drinking glasses on the back porch, outside the door. A man lay dead on the lawn, stabbed three times in what police described as the end of a romantic relationship.

Antonio Bernard Rome, a 24-year-old College Park man, was indicted Wednesday on charges he murdered 19-year-old Tommy Dayshawn Crooks, of Atlanta, at about 8 a.m., on Sept. 28.

Rome and Crooks were housesitting at 5966 Friar Court, in College Park, for a friend who was traveling in Europe, according to an arrest warrant filed at the Clatyon County courthouse. They were drinking Hennessy cognac and watching TV, Clayton County Police Department Detective Thomas Reimers wrote in his warrant application, and the two men had "been in a homosexual relationship for approximately one year."

According to a friend of the couple, who spoke to police after Crooks died, Rome confessed to the crime over the phone.

"Crooks wanted to have sex with him," the friend said to police, according to court documents, "but Rome did not want to have sex with Crooks. Rome wanted to break up with Crooks."

Crooks threw a remote control at Rome, according to the friend's statement, and then the argument moved outside and the jilted man allegedly grabbed a flower pot and raised it over his head like he was going to throw it.

He was stabbed in the stomach.

Rome stabbed him once with a three-inch knife blade, police allege, and Crooks said, "You cut me."

Rome allegedly stabbed him twice more in the chest and then Crooks staggered away, falling down and bleeding to death in the yard.

Rome was gone when police arrived at the scene, but detectives found his wallet there, with his drivers license and a bank card.

After speaking to the couple's friend, Reimers got an arrest warrant charging Rome with the Friday morning murder.

Hearing Reimers' testimony, a Clayton County grand jury indicted Rome on charges of murder, possession of a weapon and aggravated assault.

Rome's trial date has not yet been set.