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Hotel murder suspect arrested

Police may charge second man, too

Demario Askew

Demario Askew

JONESBORO — Clayton County Police have made an arrest in a recent hotel murder and issued a warrant for a second suspect.

Police arrested Demario Askew on Sunday and charged him in the murder of Christopher Montanna Wilson, 23, of Jonesboro. Askew is charged with felony murder, possession of a weapon during a crime and possession of a firearm by a felon and first offender.

Askew, 35, of Jonesboro, was convicted of aggravated assault, a felony, on Sept. 11, 1996, in Fulton County Superior Court, according to Clayton police detective Michael Lowe.

The fatal shooting occurred Oct. 13, at 12:20 a.m., at Magnolia Bay Motel located at 701 Southside Commercial Parkway in Jonesboro, according to Clayton police Lt. Chris Windley.

When Clayton police arrived at the motel, they saw Wilson lying in the hallway in front of room 103. He had been shot multiple times in his back and side. He died at the scene as a result of his injuries, according to the arrest warrant.

According to the warrant affidavit, police found a small bag of what they suspected to be marijuana on one of the hotel room beds. It was the same hotel room near where they found Wilson’s body.

Detectives watched the incident on the hotel surveillance video. They said Askew was seen walking in the hotel’s parking lot and walking between rooms 103 and 110, knocking on the doors around 11:45 p.m. Police said around the same time a silver Dodge Challenger pulled into the parking lot.

“Askew walks to the vehicle and then walks back toward the building,” Lowe said in the warrant. “As he walks back to the building, he is with a second person, later identified as Tracy Strozier.”

Police also issued a warrant for Strozier.

Police said on the video the two men could be seen going into Wilson’s room. Meanwhile, police said, the Dodge Challenger pulled into the front of the building, though they did not offer any details on who the driver might be.

“Approximately two minutes later, Askew comes running out of the room towards the parking lot, with a limp,” Lowe added. “As he runs out, Wilson falls into the hallway and dies. Strozier then exits the room crawling. As he crawls out, Askew gets into the Challenger and it drives off. Strozier reaches the parking lot holding his side and waves to the Challenger to come back. The Challenger returns and picks up Strozier and leaves.”

Police said Wilson had been shot seven times in his side and back, according to the autopsy. Police said “it appeared” Wilson was shot with a 9mm handgun, which was the type of gun police found at the scene, Lowe said in the arrest affidavit.

“Askew and Strozier were found at Grady Hospital,” Lowe continued. “Both had been shot, which is why they left the scene with injuries. Askew, who had been shot one time, sustained a shot in his right leg near his knee. Strozier was shot twice, both bullets entered his right side and traveled through his body.”

Police said one of the bullets struck Strozier in his lower abdomen and the other bullet went through his chest and struck his spine. The clothing the two men were wearing at the hospital matched the clothing police saw on the video, according to the detective.

Police said the silver Dodge Challenger seen in the video belongs to one of Strozier’s relatives.