Friday, June 4, 2004
3 held for murder in death of Starrs Mill student
Coweta deputies say marijuana reason for robbery attempt at Newnan apartment
By JOHN MUNFORD
Three men are being held in jail for the murder of a Starrs Mill High School student two months ago in what Coweta County deputies are calling a drug-related robbery attempt.
Shots rang out during the March 30 incident at Lakeside Apartments in Newnan, killing Heather Rhodes, 17, of Peachtree City. Two other men were shot but survived their injuries, police said.
Two of the suspects are charged with murder: Marquis Damon Cannon 28, of 72 Thigpen Rd., Newnan and Roderick Calvin Thomas, 24, of 5632 Cypress Dr., Forest Park. A third suspect is charged with felony murder (party to a crime): Anricus Rayshun Holston, 21, of Apt. 502, 22 Forest Circle, Newnan.
Cannon also worked at Alenco Windows in Peachtree City, according to the warrants for his arrest.
The criminal cases against all three suspects have been bound over to Coweta Superior Court after commitment hearings were conducted in Coweta Magistrate Court. Because of the murder charges on each, a Superior Court judge must consider any bond request instead of a magistrate due to the seriousness of the charges.
In arrest warrants, detectives with the Coweta County Sheriffs Department said the robbery was Holstons idea to get marijuana from the apartment. Holston also drove Cannon and Thomas to the apartment in a green Ford Explorer, police said.
Cannon and Thomas burst into the apartment after knocking on the door, with one of the men brandishing a shotgun that ultimately killed Rhodes, police said. Rhodes died on the scene of her injuries, police added.
Rhodes was dating one of the men who lived at the apartment, police said. She was remembered by school officials as having a sweet demeanor. She was also described as very energetic and very polite.
In memory of Rhodes and fellow students Jillian and Charles Wagner, who died in a auto crash on Mothers Day, students, faculty and administrators at Starrs Mill wore blue ribbons during the schools graduation ceremony Friday night.
Rhodes and Jillian Wagner were on schedule to graduate with the class of 2004, school officials said.
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