Arrest made in slaying at Econo Lodge

One of two suspects in a robbery-homicide at the Econo Lodge hotel in Jonesboro, last month, has been arrested, according to Clayton County police.

Phong Nguyen, a spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department, said the suspect, Singlee Soun, 24, of Morrow, was arrested on March 2 and charged with aggravated assault and murder.

Witnesses to the incident led police and detectives to Soun's home, Officer Nguyen said, where the suspect cooperated with authorities and answered their questions, several days before his arrest.

Nguyen said police are still searching for a second suspect, Chaz Ballard, a 26-year-old man with a Rex address.

"The other suspect has the same charges [as Soun]," said Nguyen. "He is at-large, and considered [armed] and dangerous."

According to Nguyen, Ballard is 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighs 175 pounds, and drives a Dodge Ram truck that is gold in color, with Georgia tag –– No. 528WTS. He may be traveling with a woman named Ann Thai, Nguyen said.

Police are asking anyone, who sees or comes in contact with the suspect, to call Detective J. W. Hutto, at (770) 473-5474, or (678) 796-4035.

These two suspects were identified witnesses, and through video footage taken at the Econo Lodge, said Nguyen. "It shows the suspects running away from the room," where the incident occurred, he said.

Nguyen said officers were dispatched to a "gun-shot call," on Feb. 24, at 11:20 p.m., at the Econo Lodge hotel, at 340 Upper Riverdale Road, in Jonesboro. He said James Johnson, 27, of Coden, Ala., was found in a room there. He had apparently been shot the night before, on Feb. 23. "When they [officers] got there, they observed a white male lying on the floor," Nguyen said.

Nguyen said the shooting occurred on Feb. 23, but he cannot release specifics on how the victim was found, as well as where and how many times he was shot, because of the ongoing investigation.

Capt. Tina Daniel, public information officer for the police department, said the incident appears to be a pre-meditated robbery, and that the suspects knew the victim.

"We do know the relationship, but we cannot release that," she said.