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Clayton Police: Armed murder suspect on the loose

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Police Department is warning local residents to be on the lookout for a 23-year-old man, who is a suspect in a murder that happened just a few hundred feet away from the Clayton and Henry county line, in Stockbridge, on Wednesday.

Claude Keith Hunter, II, is being sought in connection with the shooting death of another 23-year-old, Andrew Wilson, at the Hyde Park Manor Apartments, located at 3386 Mount Zion Road, according to police department spokesperson, Lt. Tina Daniel.

An arrest warrant for murder has been taken out against him, she said. She added that Hunter is believed to be armed and dangerous. "He is definitely carrying a weapon, a gun of some type," Daniel said.

Both Hunter, and another suspect in the murder, 25-year-old Jason Leon Heywood, were arrested weeks before the murder -- on April 9 -- and charged with possession of marijuana, Daniel said. "They were out on bond and awaiting their trials when the shooting incident occurred," she said.

Heywood turned himself in to Clayton police at 2 a.m., on Friday, was charged with murder, and then, transported to the Clayton County Jail, Daniel said. Heywood made his first appearance in Magistrate Court hours later, where a judge denied him bond, according to online court records.

Heywood is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court on May 13, according to online court records. The records show that he is also scheduled to have a bond hearing the next day.

At around 8:50 p.m., on Wednesday -- the day of the murder -- a white "Saturn-make" vehicle, allegedly carrying Hunter and Heywood, pulled up beside a black "Nissan-make" vehicle, carrying Wilson, Daniel told a Clayton News Daily reporter on Thursday.

She said there was an alleged "exchange" between Wilson and the occupants of the Saturn. One of the occupants of the Saturn, then, allegedly shot Wilson, took something from his car, and fled the area.

On Friday, Daniel said police identified Hunter and Heywood as suspects in the case shortly after the shooting occurred, but waited to announce anything to keep the pair from knowing they had been identified as such. Daniel was vague about how the pair were marked as suspects, but indicated that unidentified evidence pointed police in the direction of Hunter and Heywood.

"Every time a crime is committed, something is left behind," Daniel said.

Clayton Police released a mug shot of Hunter, along with a "Be On the Lookout" (BOLO) notice. That BOLO notice has been sent to every law enforcement agency in the state, and has also been filed with the National Crime Information Center, which distributes such information to law enforcement agencies across the U.S., Daniel said.

Daniel would not say if police believe Hunter is still in the area. Anyone who sees him, or has any information about him, or his whereabouts, is asked to call Detective Tom Martin at (770) 477-3635, or (678) 410-6845.