HAZLEHURST, GA — A man charged with killing two Laurel Hill residents and dumping their bodies in a well was found guilty last week of concealing the deaths.
Kelly Rashad Williams, 25, of Hazlehurst,Ga. was acquitted of the more serious charges of malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to violate Georgia drug laws, according to news reports.
The four-day trial ended on Friday with the Jeff Davis County Superior Court jury returning verdict after an hour of deliberation. Williams was sentenced to eight years in prison.
The families of victims, Randall Hobbs, 55, and Lonnie Patterson, 46, both of Laurel Hill, had reported the men missing in December 2014.
The Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office received information in March 2015 on the location of the bodies and recovered them from a 50-foot well.
Robert Johnson, a co-defendant in the case, testified Williams had shot the two men in the head during a drug transaction. Robert Johnson testified he and Williams dumped the bodies in a nearby well and drove the car to Tattnall County and abandoned it on the side of the road.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the case for months, and the GBI linked the vehicle to the two victims through DNA analysis of blood found in the car.
Patterson’s wife had reported that he and Hobbs had left Laurel Hill in a rental car found for Georgia to pick up another car for her.
Robert Johnson, who also had lived in Laurel Hill, remains charged in the case, but no trial date has been set, court officials said.
Jackie Johnson, the district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, could not be reached for comment.