Murder suspects identified
Dec 26, 2012 | 2181 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two suspects have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and capital murder in connection with the disappearance Dec. 4 of a Longview man whose body was found Dec. 19 in Upshur County.

Sarah Haslam, 20, and Daniel Jones, 19, both of Longview, were charged in the death of Ronnie Joe Gammage, 27, of Longview. He had been reported missing Dec. 8 by his mother, Longview Police said.

A capital murder warrant was issued for a third person in Gammage’s death, but the identity had not been released as of press deadline Friday.

Bonds for Ms. Haslam and Jones were set at $1.3 million each, and they remained jailed in Gregg County.

Gammage, who reportedly was “slow” mentally, was described as a peaceful, friendly man.

Longview police said that he was threatened and robbed Nov. 29 by three unidentified people outside a convenience store he frequented. He filed a police report that they had taken his wallet.

A surveillance video at the convenience store was able to show a clear enough picture to identify suspects, police said.

A spokeswoman for Longview Police, Kristie Brian, said that Ms. Haslam and Jone and two others tried to cash a $400 check Gammage had given them to recover stolen property taken by others.

Gammage maintained an account at Gilmer National Bank, but when suspects presented the check at a drive-up window at the bank, a teller refused to cash it because of insufficient funds, police said.

Citing statements from suspects, Longview Police said tha the next day Gammage was confronted at a Waffle House restaurant on East Loop 281, where a tire was slashed on his truck.

Instead, police said, suspects took him to a location off Loop 281 where three suspects beat him, according to the police affidavit for probable cause in the arrest of Jones.

Fearing they would be seen by other motorists, they forced Gammage back in the car with them and took him to a field near the intersection of Mockingbird Road and Martin Lane in southeast Upshur County, where they resumed the beating.

According to suspects’ statements cited by police, Jones cut Gammage’s throat with a knife, killing him. The body was then doused with gasoline and set on fire.

On Dec. 19, police released a video from the Gilmer bank drive-through, resulting in tips which led to questioning Ms. Haslam and Jones, their arrests, and them leading police to the body.

Gilmer Police Chief James Grunden said that his department helped with the investigation in Gilmer, and turned over what information they found to Longview Police.

The body was sent for autopsy by the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted Longview police in the search within the county.
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