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APD: 19-year-old Baker County resident charged in clerk killing

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

The head of the Albany Police Department says that a 19-year-old Baker County man has been charged in connection with the killing of a clerk at a Hispanic convenience store last year.

Chief John Proctor and lead investigator Detective Darryl Laster said that 19-year-old Santarious Nelson has been charged with armed robbery and murder.

"Anytime you have a horrendous incident like this, I think it's important to bring justice to the family who had to experience this. This is a very difficult situation for them, but we wanted to make sure we did all that we could to bring conclusion to it," Proctor said.

Nelson joins 16-year-old Anthony Hill as a suspect in the killing that left one dead during what police say they believe to have been a robbery.

Sentos Vincente, 19, died of a gunshot to the head when Hill and Nelson robbed the Miscelanea Guate-Mex convenience store at 2120 Radium Springs Road at about 9:30 a.m. Dec. 17, 2010, Albany Police Department officials charge.

Laster said that based on statements given by Hill and others and "good old-fashioned police work," detectives were able to develop Nelson as a suspect.

Nelson was arrested at his home in Newton Thursday night, Laster said. Both he and Hill are being held at the Dougherty County Jail.

While the investigation is ongoing, Laster did say he believes the fact that the convenience store was one frequented by local Hispanics, who are traditionally hesitant to confide in police, was a factor in Hill and Nelson allegedly targeting it.

"The primary motive of this incident was robbery, and we're still actively working this investigation. ... That could be a possibility as well as the actual physical location of the facility could have a played a part in this incident," Laster said.