More details were revealed Friday about the circumstances that led to the discovery of a man’s body inside a vehicle submerged in Clarks Hill Lake this past summer.
Two men — Dezmond Moran, 28, and Flomo Gbelewala, 32, — have been in custody for weeks now charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault in the disappearance of 24-year-old Thomas Berry in August. This week, Aubern Marshall, 32, was also arrested.
During Marshall’s bond hearing in Richmond County Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 22, District Attorney Jared Williams said Richmond County Sheriff investigators got involved in the case after South Carolina officers called to say the body found in a submerged Dodge Challenger on Aug. 31 was Berry. Berry lived in Grovetown with Moran, Williams said.
Berry had been bound and shot 14 times, Williams said.
Although investigators haven’t determined where exactly Berry was killed, they were able to collect data from the Dodge Challenger to determine the vehicle traveled from the home Moran and Berry shared on Thompson Road to the McCormick County side of the lake. They also discovered the vehicle passed a Lumpkin Road convenience store where security video revealed the Challenger and two other vehicles appeared to be traveling together, Williams said.
Investigators believe Moran was driving the Challenger and that Marshall was driving one of the other vehicles, Williams said.
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From text messages, investigators learned there was an altercation with Berry because he owed the others money. Gbelewala is known to have brought large amounts of marijuana from California to Georgia, Williams said. At the home on Thompson Road, investigators found more than 80 pounds of marijuana, $25,000 in cash and several weapons.
While Marshall told investigators she never saw Berry and only agreed to drive a vehicle to McCormick County at Moran’s request, she also said she suggested the site for disposing of Berry’s body, Williams said.
Marshall does not have any criminal record, and she is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, but Williams said he was opposed bond because of the belief the conspiracy is ongoing.
Defense attorney Randolph Frails disputed the statement about Marshall suggesting the dump site. She didn’t know anything about Berry’s death and only agreed to drive a vehicle for Moran, he said.
Marshall was in a relationship with Moran and is pregnant with his child, Frails said. It is a high-risk pregnancy, and she requires daily medication. Marshall is a single parent of three children who has never been in trouble before and has maintains steady employment. She also has a large family to support her, Frails said.
Chief Judge Daniel J. Craig said there wasn’t enough information about Marshall’s pregnancy to decide about bond at this point, especially if there is an on-going conspiracy. He said Frails can request a follow-up bond hearing, however.
Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at email@example.com.
Her “large family to support her” can raise her children if she is convicted of felony conspiracy, felony murder, party to murder, drug possession/dealing, and possibly kidnapping, if the victim was alive when taken to SC. If you’re living with a drug dealer, you can not know how your baby’s daddy pays the bills.
she should not get bond, a man was murdered. if she was living with the murderer, she knew what was happening. And she knew what kind of person she was involved with. Sad for the kids, but big family can raise her kids and new baby, they should have taken them from her when she got involved with this person.