Two men charged in the murder of Joseph McDaniel, a Berry College student found shot to death last October, have been found not-guilty on all counts by a Floyd County Superior Court jury, according to District Attorney Leigh Patterson. The suspects Ricket Damon Carter (then 19) of Columbus and Troy Jamal Cokley (then 19) of Riverdale faced charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, robbery, possession of firearm during commission of felony, and drug charges. The case was presented before Floyd County Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach and the jury this week.
While not the verdict Patterson hoped for, she says “we respect the jury’s verdict.”
McDaniel, 20, was found shot in his apartment at the Summerstone Apartment complex off Old Summerville Road on Oct. 28, 2017.
PREVIOUS ARREST REPORT
Both suspects in the murder of a 20-year-old Berry College student are now being held without bond in the Floyd County Jail. Charged with killing Joseph McDaniel, nicknamed Malibu, of Columbus are:
Ricket Damon Carter, 19, of Columbus. Charges: Murder (felony, nonfamily, gun; robbery; aggravated assault; possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempted (certain felonies); and purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of marijuana.
Troy Jamal Cokley, 19, Riverdale: Murder (felony, nonfamily, gun; aggravated assault; robbery; possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempted (certain felonies); and purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of marijuana. (The robbery charge is now show for Cokley; a check of jail records this morning shows the additional charge).
Also connected to the case, another Berry student was arrested in the days following the murder.
McDaniel’s roommate, Andrew David Horton, 22, of Savannah, has been arrested on three counts, according to Floyd County Jail record. They are tampering with evidence (felony); possession and use of drug-related objects; and marijuana (possession of less than one ounce).
According to the narrative in the arrest report at the jail (courtesy of David Crowder of WRGA):
“The listed accused did committed the listed offense when he did, with intent to conceal evidence and disrupt an investigation, remove items of evidence from his apartment following the shooting death of roommate. The accused removed marijuana, a smoking device and a butane torch from the apartment and hid said items at another apartment. During an interview, the accused admitted to removing the aforementioned items so that investigators would not view him or his roommate in a negative way. Moreover, the accused can be seen on the apartment complex’s video surveillance making multiple trips, removing items of evidence, prior to calling E911 regarding the shooting of his roommate.”
In addition, the report continues:
The accused was in possession of less tan one ounce of marijuana, a smoking device and a butane torch when he did have said items in his possession while removing the items from the crime scene. The accused also has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with this case. “