Update: 22-year-old arrested by WCSO SWAT in connection with Morgan County double homicide


According to a press release from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Justin Slaughter, 22, was arrested by Walton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and is charged in the double homicide Monday of Colin Smith, 53, and Paula Slaughter, 54. The incident happened at 1070 Slaughter Veasley Road in Morgan County which is where Morgan County Sheriff’s Office responded to just after 5.05 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2017.

“Preliminary information received by responding officers was that the shooter was either barricaded in the home with a hostage or hiding in the woods surrounding the home. Officers from a variety of local and state agencies secured the perimeter of the home and the Georgia State Patrol helicopter and Walton County SWAT Team was requested to secure the home and search for the offender and other potential victims,” Morgan County authorities wrote in the press release. “Justin Slaughter was discovered in the woods near the home and arrested for murder. SWAT officers conducted a search of the home for other potential victims and discovered a female deceased outside the residence.”

Morgan County authorities said that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was contacted to assist with the crime scene and a search warrant was executed on the home. The investigation is ongoing and a motive has not yet been established.

Initial Story

The Walton County SWAT Team was called in Monday night to assist in locating a suspect after two people were found murdered just outside Madison in Morgan County. According to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was asked to assist, something that often takes place between neighboring Sheriff’s departments.

“After a short stand off with (the suspect), he was encircled by our SWAT Team and taken into custody,” Chapman said. “We aren’t bound by mutual aid agreements like the cities are, but the sheriff’s offices often call on each other for help. We aren’t as large a department as Gwinnett County’s Sheriff’s Office is and we don’t have a lot of the equipment they have, so I often call on the Gwinnett County Sheriff if we need help. And Morgan County isn’t as large as we are and they don’t have a SWAT team. They call on us and we call on them from time to time too. When we deploy our team, we usually ask the sheriff what the objective is and what the outcome is that he is looking for and we try to do just that.”

Chapman said he was headed to Loganville for a dinner when he got the call, at about 6 p.m. At this time, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is getting together information to release to the public, but according to a news report by Fox 5, a body was found just before 5 p.m. in the driveway of a home just outside Madison. Another body was found inside the home. The Walton County SWAT team assisted in tracking down and arresting a suspect in the woods. The identity of the two deceased as well as the suspect have not yet been released.

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