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Jury indicts four in slaying

ALBANY, Ga. -- Four men are being held in the Dougherty County Jail without bond after a grand jury indicted them on felony murder charges for the July 3 shooting death of Albany businessman and former Lee County commissioner Walter Phelps.

Jordan Harris, 21, Ezekiel James, 19, Jamon Carter, 21, and Ryan Richardson, 18, were indicted in the shooting of Phelps, 67, at his business P&P Hardware Center, 2500 N. Slappey Blvd.

Heather Lanier, Dougherty Circuit chief assistant district attorney, said, "Although Harris was the shooter, they were involved in the commission of the crime and are charged with felony murder."

In addition to the murder charges, the men were also charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault, Lanier said.

Phelps at first appeared to be recovering from the gunshot wound to the shoulder, but on Aug. 8, he died in an ambulance on his way back to the hospital.

According to Lanier, Richardson once worked for Phelps and assisted in planning the robbery.

He had knowledge of the store's surveillance cameras, she said.

A surveillance camera helped lead to the men's arrests.

James and Carter were arrested after police issued a Lake Park outlet store video showing them using Phelps' credit card.

The video was featured online, on television and a print picture in The Albany Herald.

In the video, James and Carter can be seen dumping $2,200 worth of Polo outerwear onto the store counter.

Harris was arrested July 28 at an apartment complex on the 2300 block of West Gordon Avenue.

No information was immediately available on where or when Richardson was arrested.

Lanier said that Carter's mother, Gloria Carter, was indicted for tampering with evidence.

Gloria Carter is free on $2,500 bail, a jail spokeswoman said.ere all involved