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2 more men charged in West Hall slaying case

Hall Sheriff's investigators link men to items bought with victim’s credit cards

POSTED: May 21, 2008 5:01 a.m.
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Nathan Dewitt Rucker

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Two Gainesville men have been charged with property crimes connected to last week's home invasion shooting death of a West Hall retiree.

Terromy Bailey, 26, and Nathan Dewitt Rucker, 28, are not charged with the murder of 69-year-old Gene Baggett. He was discovered by his wife dead of a gunshot wound to the head in the bedroom floor of his upscale Monroe Circle home on the afternoon of May 1.

Donnie Gene Poland, 41, of Hoschton was arrested and charged with murder two days after the shooting when authorities identified him as a suspect through the use of Baggett's credit cards.
Hall County Maj. Jeff Strickland said Bailey is accused of being involved in the use of Baggett's credit cards and being in possession of unspecified items purchased with the cards. Bailey is charged with theft by receiving and giving false statements.

Rucker is accused of using Baggett's credit cards and is charged with financial transaction card fraud, Strickland said.

Authorities do not think Poland knew Baggett when he was allegedly confronted by the homeowner while burglarizing Baggett's home. A day after Baggett's death, Poland allegedly used one of the victim's credit cards at the Target department store on Shallowford Road, according to arrest warrants.
Both men were arrested early Sunday but authorities did not announce the arrests until Friday.

"We did not make this information public earlier because investigators were following other leads and recovering property," Strickland said.

Strickland would not say how detectives connected the two men to the case other than "they were identified as suspects during the ongoing investigation."

He said investigators are continuing to try to determine if the men had any further involvement beyond the property crimes.

Bailey was arrested at his West Dennis Drive home, where investigators seized unspecified items they believe were bought with Baggett's credit cards, Strickland said.

Rucker was arrested separately following a short chase in which he pulled his Chevy truck into a driveway on Tulip Drive and ran off after officers tried to pull him over, Strickland said. In addition to the fraud charge, Rucker faces a number of motor vehicle violations, fleeing and obstruction charges, Strickland said.

Poland was also arrested after a chase May 3, when he sped away from Gwinnett County police who tried to pull over his 2007 Ford truck on Interstate 85, authorities said. He crashed the truck and fled on foot before being captured behind a car wash on Ga. 317.

Poland is charged with murder, burglary, financial transaction card fraud and possession of cocaine.
Strickland said investigators have recovered additional items they believe were stolen in other burglaries Poland is thought to have committed prior to Baggett's death.

Citing the ongoing investigation, Strickland did not say what was stolen or bought with stolen credit cards. All three men remain in the Hall County Jail without bond.



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