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Crime News

‘Craigslist Killer’ Case Goes Before Georgia Supreme Court After Indictment Of Elderly Couple’s Alleged Murderer Tossed

Ronnie “Jay” Towns is accused of killing Elrey "Bud" Runion, 69, and his wife June Runion, 66, when they responded to an ad about a vintage Ford Mustang. 

By Gina Tron
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The case of a man known as another alleged “Craigslist killer" will be headed to Georgia's highest court after his 2015 indictment was dismissed.

Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns, 30, is accused of killing an elderly couple who traveled to rural Georgia seeking to buy a 1966 Ford Mustang through an advertisement prosecutors say he placed on Craigslist in 2015.

Elrey "Bud" Runion, 69, and his wife June Runion, 66, of Marietta, were found shot in the head. Investigators believe that robbery appears to have been the motive for the killing, the Associated Press reported in 2015. There was no evidence Towns ever owned a vintage Mustang.

Towns was indicted that year on two counts of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, and two counts of armed robbery. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Ronnie Adrian "Jay" Towns

However, in March 2017, Towns' attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against him, claiming that some members of the 2015 grand jury were intentionally chosen. Towns' attorneys claimed that, Telfair County superior court clerk Belinda Thomas called four people she knew personally to have them serve on the grand jury, according to WFXL in Southwestern Georgia. A trial judge sided with his lawyers and the indictment was dismissed.

Prosecutors appealed the decision and now the case has gone to the state's supreme court, which will decide whether to uphold the indictment's dismissal. If they do, a re-indictment with a new grand jury would have to come next, meaning this case still has a long way to go until any kind of conclusion is reached.

The Georgia Supreme Court is expected to hear the case on Tuesday.