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Judge denies bond reduction for suspect

A man suspected by police of killing a man in an alleged drug deal gone wrong last July was denied a lower bond last week.

Tyler James McGriff, is charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies for the July 14 slaying of Shaun Williams at Harbor Rain Apartments.

His current bond is set at more than $200,000.

McGriff’s public defender, John Ely, said his client is not a flight risk. However prosecutors said McGriff was arrested in Camden County after he fled Liberty County.

He was captured by U.S. marshals, according to earlier reports by Hinesville Police Chief of Detectives Chris Reid.

McGriff and Williams were allegedly involved in an altercation sometime around 2 a.m., according to testimony by Hinesville Police detective Michael Bell during a bond hearing.

Bell said a witness, who was unnamed at the hearing, and an accomplice who was later arrested and identified as Herbert Roberts, claimed McGriff pulled the trigger during a drug buy.

Bell said Williams asked where he could score some cocaine and someone provided him with McGriff’s number. Bell said phone records obtained during the investigation corroborate the accounts.

Bell said the two men had a brief argument on the phone regarding gang affiliations. It was reported that Williams was intoxicated when he met McGriff, there was a fight and at some point McGriff grabbed a gun and started firing.

HPD arrived to find Williams on the ground. He was taken by ambulance to Liberty Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 3:08 a.m.

Roberts faces charges of party to the crime of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies. His bond is set at $165,000.

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