Alleged police killer indicted; Edwards to seek death penalty

Lt. Cliff Rouse

Lt. Cliff Rouse

ALBANY, Ga. -- A Dougherty County grand jury handed down indictments on two murder cases and a child molestation case Wednesday.

Dougherty County Police Department Lt. Clifford Rouse was fatally shot while investigating a robbery at the Pitt Stop convenience store on the 3000 block of Sylvester Road in December.

Indicted in the shooting, Dontravious Raynard Thomas, 20, faces charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault on a police officer and four other felonies, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to court documents.

"We will seek the death penalty in this particular case," said Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Edwards. "We filed our notice of aggravating circumstances with the intent to seek the death penalty."

If a jury finds Thomas guilty, it would then decide whether to apply the death penalty for the murder of the first county police officer killed in the line of duty in about 80 years.

After Thomas' arrest, Edwards called the murder an act of "wanton, vile and outrageous violence." Thomas meant to kill, and for that he should forfeit his life, Edwards said.

In another murder case, the grand jury recommended that the death penalty be sought for the fatal shooting of Robert Purvis, 19, during a robbery at an Albany car wash in February.

Brian Alexander Beasley, 28, was charged with malice murder, felony murder, two counts of armed robbery and two other felonies in connection with killing Purvis, court documents said.

"We are not at present seeking the death penalty in the (Beasley) case," Edwards said. "Because of the grand jury recommendation, we will re-examine the issues in the case."

The grand jury handed down an aggravated child molestation indictment of Gary Sharod Walker, according to court documents.

Edwards intends to seek recidivist punishment of Walker for his rape of a girl under the age of 16, the documents stated. Prior to the rape, Walker had been convicted of selling cocaine, a felony.