A committal hearing is set for Jan. 25 for a 21-year-old Gainesville man charged with murder.
Mark Antonio Taylor II, accused in Friday’s shooting death of an auto dealership employee, made his first appearance in Hall County Court on Monday morning.
He is being held without bail at the Hall County Jail. He also faces charges of armed robbery, theft by taking of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Taylor has requested an attorney, which will be provided by the public defender’s office.
“This is believed to have been a random crime,” Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, Gainesville police spokesman, said Sunday. “There is no indication that the victim or the Carriage Auto Group was specifically targeted.”
Gainesville police were called about 8 a.m. Friday to Carriage Mitsubishi at 2801 Browns Bridge Road, after an employee found the body of Charles Weaver, 42, of Gainesville, in the rear of the complex.
According to an arrest warrant, Taylor shot Weaver twice with a .45-caliber handgun at about 6 a.m. The warrant also alleges he took a 2011 Nissan Frontier, a knife and cellphone.
Police, discovering the pickup truck was missing from the scene, sought help from the public in locating the vehicle, which was covered in dealership markings. They got a break in the case Saturday when a tip led to the truck’s location in Atlanta.
The truck’s discovery then “led us to a possible person of interest,” Holbrook said.
“We were able to execute a search warrant (Sunday) morning in Atlanta with assistance of the Atlanta Police Department,” Holbrook said.
Gainesville police have worked with the Hall-Dawson District Attorney’s Office, Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol and other agencies on the case.
The case is still under investigation, but “we are confident (Taylor) is the one responsible for this crime and are not currently seeking anyone else in connection to it,” Holbrook said.
He declined to comment on any evidence that led to the arrest.
Employees at Carriage Automotive Group have declined to comment.
A funeral is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Park Funeral Home in Gainesville for Weaver, who was married with three sons and two grandchildren.