Murder charges mugshots

Three Rome men charged with killing two half sisters in May 2020 will be tried in Alabama.

The men are accused of killing Vanita Nicole Richardson and Truvenia Campbell over a misplaced wallet and dumping their bodies off a bridge in Rome.

The case was moved to Alabama after evidence pointed to the actual killings happening just over the state line.

Warrants taken out in Cherokee County, Alabama, charge Desmond Brown and Devin Watts with capital murder and Christopher Pullen with murder, according to Chief Deputy Josh Summerford of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

That means Brown and Watts could potentially face the death penalty in Alabama for the shooting deaths of the two women. At this point the warrants have not yet been served, Summerford said.

While the men still face numerous charges in Floyd County, the case in Floyd County Superior Court has been placed on the dead docket as of Monday to allow for prosecution in Alabama, according to a motion filed by Rome Circuit Assistant District Attorney Emily Johnson.

Cellphone records and statements given to investigators showed the five people drove to Alabama and somewhere along the road back to Rome, Brown pulled over.

“Mr. Brown pulled off onto the side of the road and questioned the females over the wallet,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Ghee Wilson said during a December 2020 preliminary hearing.

Eventually they got back into the car, but Brown pulled over again and ordered them to get out at gunpoint. He wanted to search the women, believing they stole his wallet earlier at a party at his home. Campbell put up a fight.

Wilson testified that Brown shot her several times and then shot the younger sister, Richardson, as she attempted to comply.

The men put the women’s bodies into the trunk of the Volkswagen and made a few more stops, Wilson testified. One was at a Mapco on U.S. 411 to buy three pairs of gloves, a Perrier water and a Black and Mild cigar. Another was to sell synthetic marijuana at the Callier Forest Apartments before throwing the women’s bodies off the 411 bridge.

Early on the morning of May 13, 2020, GDOT crews prepared to do bridge inspections. One the many bridges the transportation agency was tasked with inspecting was on the East Rome Bypass near Grizzard Park, where they found the bodies.

After the bodies were found, the three men fled Rome and traveled to Atlanta with several other men.

At that point, Wilson said, Brown learned his mother had found his wallet behind a television in the living room. Pullen, who was riding with Brown, told investigators that Brown got erratic and pulled out of a drive-through line cursing.

“He said ‘I just got two bodies for nothing,’” Wilson testified.

All the men involved were arrested a few days later on other charges and held in jail.

On July 23, 2020, Rome Police Chief Denise Downer-McKinney alongside GBI Director Vic Reynolds announced murder charges had been filed against the three men.

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