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Atkinson Co. man was beaten to death

Posted: Dec 09, 2009 5:43 PM EST Updated: Dec 13, 2009 5:32 PM EST

By Jade Bulecza – bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –An Atkinson County man is in jail Wednesday charged with murdering a neighbor.

66-year old Ronnie Mullis was found dead in his home Tuesday morning beaten to death. The cause of death according to the autopsy report is blunt force trauma to the head. Sources close to the investigation believe the killer used a crow bar.

Investigators won’t say much about what led to the murder but they charged 29-year old Jeffrey Dell who lives down the street from the victim.

People in this quiet neighborhood in Axson were shocked to find out someone was murdered here. David Gray was remodeling a home near the murder scene yesterday when he heard about the crime.

“It’s a nice neighborhood and usually there aren’t people having any problems around here,” said Gray.

Atkinson County authorities and the GBI won’t say why they think Dell murdered Mullis. The two men lived just a few doors down from one another. Authorities do say Mullis was robbed and killed in his home.

“The only thing known that was missing is three dollars in change,” said Atkinson County Sheriff David Moore.

This is only the second murder in Atkinson County in the last 11 years.

“My reaction is it’s too frequent even if it’s 11 years, considering the size of this county and the population is around 6,000,” said Mickey Davis.

Davis said he was shocked to hear the news of Mullis’s death because they had been neighbors for several years.

The last murder in Atkinson County was last year. 26-year-old Shawna Webber was found dead in a ditch last October.

Her killer Rashad Bester was recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

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