2014-10-22 / Front Page


Birthday party ends with double murder
By Elizabeth Billips

Warner Tolbert III, 22, was arrested for two counts of murder. Warner Tolbert III, 22, was arrested for two counts of murder. Two Jefferson County men were shot and killed during a birthday party near Waynesboro.

The accused gunman, 22-year-old Warner Tolbert III, was already on probation for robbing a disabled man; and one of the victims was on bond for an aggravated assault the week prior.

According to Sgt. Dedric Smith, chief investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the Lawson Road party around 2:40 a.m. Sunday after Andre Harris Jr. of Stapleton and Likensie Holliday of Wrens, both 24, were fatally wounded.

Investigators were sparse with details but did confirm that one victim was shot inside the former Club Dynasty facility and the other was outside.

“All we know right now is that some type of altercation took place right before the shooting,” Sgt. Smith said. “We believe it may have been started by some young ladies and escalated from there.”

While it is unclear if there is any connection, Harris had been arrested by Jefferson County authorities Oct. 17 on charges of aggravated assault and criminal damage to property in the second degree. He was out of jail on bond.

Sgt. Smith called the deaths a senseless act of violence.

“Kids no longer argue and solve their differences … they want to pick up a gun,” he said. “In a split second, two lives were lost and three families have been totally destroyed.”

While there were no other injuries from gunfire, another man, whose identity has not been released, was hit by a fleeing vehicle.

Sgt. Smith said he was transported to Burke Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and has not been cooperative with the investigation.

Deputies spent most of Sunday morning interviewing witnesses and said Tolbert was quickly identified as the lone gunman.

“We have no reason to believe that anyone else discharged a weapon,” Sgt. Smith said, noting that Tolbert voluntarily came in for questioning and was subsequently arrested.

Tolbert had already been sentenced to eight years probation back in Feb. 2012 when his armed robbery charge was reduced to theft by taking during a plea negotiation.

He is now charged with two counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.


Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 706-554-2133.

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