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One dead, one injured in hatchet attack
One arrested as result of attacks
pl RopedOff
Officials with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office wait outside a house in Riceboro as a crime scene technician prepares to enter the house and process what is reported to be a murder scene. Another victim was in critical condition after being brutally attacked with what police describe as a hatchet. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon


Interview with Chief Deputy Keith Moran and Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin

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RICEBORO — A woman was killed and a male relative severely injured in a hatchet attack Thursday morning by another relative, according to Liberty County Chief Deputy Keith Moran.
The attacker has been arrested and faces murder and aggravated assault charges, Moran said. He would not name the victims or attacker, saying all of their relatives had not been notified.
It seemed to be common knowledge around the Crossroads community just west of here by mid afternoon, as area residents converged on the scene to watch as officers investigated in and around their neighbor’s home at 2441 Barrington Ferry Road.
Officers were dispatched to the scene after another relative called authorities to report the suspect had just attacked her son at her house. Upon arriving, Moran said, officers found the suspect walking down the road and detained him. The deputy said the suspect commented about hurting another family member, which led the deputies to the second victim.
Her home, 2441 Barrington Ferry, was quickly roped off as a crime scene.
“One male had been struck with what appears to be an axe or hatchet type of weapon,” the deputy said. “That weapon has been seized as evidence.”
The injured man was taken to a hospital in Savannah and was listed in critical condition Thursday evening. Sources close to the victim say the suspect is that victim’s cousin.
The second victim, a woman who sources say is the mother of the suspect, was found dead inside the house. It appears the suspect used an axe or hatchet in attacking her as well, Moran said.
Although still shaken, the Riceboro community can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that someone is being held accountable for the crime.
“The suspect was identified and taken into custody and we’re working through the leads,” Moran said.
He did not detail what lead authorities to that a suspect, who he would not identify.
Sources in the area and close to the family say the suspect is long time resident and neighbor Wallace James, 49.
The tragedy has devastated the small community.
“It’s a tragedy for the entire community,” Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin said.
The community as whole is looking for strength to get through this tragic event.
“Continue to trust God and know He will see us through this tragedy and that He is present even in a time of trouble,” said the Rev. Frederick McIver, pastor of the area’s First Zion Baptist Church.
More information pertaining to the crime will be given as it is released by officials.

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