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Rex man indicted in death, botched arson

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — Prosecutors said a Rex man stabbed to death his mother’s friend and then tried to burn down the house to hide evidence.

Chinua Anozienyako Plez, 20, was indicted Wednesday in the Oct. 22, 2011, death of Gary Thomas Bussey, 61. Plez, who is being held in the Clayton County Jail on $300,000 bond, was indicted on malice and felony murder, aggravated assault, attempted arson, motor vehicle theft and financial transaction card theft.

Police said Plez stabbed Bussey inside the Plez family home and then tried to set the house on fire. Police found a butane can in the oven and an extinguished fire in the hall stairs.

Bussey was in town from Augusta to attend a Morehouse College football game the weekend of Oct. 21, according to criminal warrants.

Plez spoke to his sister, Ebony Thomas, Oct. 22 about 7 p.m., stated the warrants. He reportedly told her to not come home because he had a girl there and wanted privacy. Thomas returned to the family’s Rex home the next night about 12:30 a.m. and found all the exterior doors locked and she could hear the inside fire alarm sounding.

Using a spare key, Thomas was able to get inside and found someone had tried to set the stairwell leading to the upstairs on fire.

Thomas told police she was unable to get in touch with Plez that day. On Monday, Oct. 24, about 3:51 a.m., Thomas found a bottle of butane in the stove and got scared there might be something on fire upstairs, she reportedly told police. The door to an upstairs bedroom was locked and Thomas didn’t find a key until about 2:10 p.m.

When she opened the bedroom door, she told police, the floor, walls and curtains were smeared with blood. When Thomas discovered a body on the floor of the bedroom’s bathroom, she called 911. She also told police she thought Plez was responsible.

Police said they found Plez’s pants covered in blood under the bed in that bedroom. Police said Bussey was stabbed at least eight times in his chest and arms.

A subsequent investigation showed Bussey’s car, a 2006 Toyota Camry, was missing. Police were able to track Plez’s movements through his cell phone and alerted Hollywood, Fla., police he might be in the area. Florida police located the Camry the same day Bussey’s body was found and arrested Plez when they saw him and two women getting inside the car.

Police said Plez also used Bussey’s Wells Fargo debit card.

In other indictments:

• Iesha Mariah McAlpine was indicted for aggravated assault, false imprisonment, aggravated stalking, criminal trespass and third-degree child cruelty. Police said she threatened Jerome Mackey with a knife and pushed his television to the floor April 13.

McAlpine also allegedly violated a condition of her May 30 bond by contacting Mackey where he worked.

• Mitchell Matthew Jenkins was indicted for two counts of robbery by intimidation in connection with the alleged Oct. 5 robbery of Wells Fargo Bank. Jenkins is also charged with giving a false name and obstruction of an officer.

• Ade Jarod Ison was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and terroristic threats. Police said Ison used a shotgun to threaten two people.

• Sherri Lynn Wright was indicted on six counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police said she was convicted December 2008 of theft by taking. Police said they found her in possession of four shotguns and two rifles.

• Rodney Allen Hardimon was indicted in an alleged November 2008 child molestation. He faces aggravated child molestation, child molestation and sexual battery of a person under 16.

• Lawanda Michelle Mitchell was indicted for giving false statements to police. Police said Mitchell falsely reported being held against her will July 25, 2011.

• Roshund Lewis was indicted for shoplifting automotive items from Walmart. Prosecutors allege Lewis has previous shoplifting convictions in Atlanta, Fulton County and Riverdale.

• Nancy Gail McCullough, 56, was indicted for allegedly stealing her dead sister’s Social Security checks. Patricia McCullough died Nov. 28. Police said Nancy McCullough cashed two of the checks, using her sister’s identity to do so.

McCullough was indicted on charges of financial identity fraud and two counts of forgery.

• Jeffrey Tyrell McCray and Travion Marquise Willis were indicted for breaking into Church Street Elementary School in Riverdale Feb. 11. Both are charged with burglary, interference with government property, criminal trespass and loitering.

• Tyreke Pipkin was indicted for aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Two codefendants were also indicted. Gloria Mitchell was indicted for aggravated assault against a second alleged victim in the alleged June 12, 2010, incident and Altrell Deaunte Gross was indicted for making false statements.

• Kevin Wayne Austin was indicted for allegedly stealing copper wire from a vacant restaurant building in Morrow Oct. 30. Police said Austin broke into the empty building on Mt. Zion Road and stripped it of the wire.

Austin was indicted for burglary, criminal damage to property in the second degree and criminal trespass.

• Fredrel Donnell Lewis was indicted for statutory rape, enticing a minor for indecent purposes and interference with child custody. Police allege Lewis took in an underage runaway girl Oct. 26, 2010, and had sex with her.

• Jerry Bernard Hughley III and Shaquille Shavon Lee were indicted in an alleged March 19 armed robbery where a gun was used to take money from a victim. They are also charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and false imprisonment.