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Public Notices

April 19, 2014

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Two Arrested In Murder Of Rheatown Man In 2011

Originally published: 2013-02-07 10:52:12
Last modified: 2013-02-07 10:55:25
 


BY KEN LITTLE

STAFF WRITER

Two women were arrested this week by Johnson City police and charged in connection with the 2011 murder of a Rheatown man.

Ginger Holtsclaw, 28, and Ashley Harold, 29, were both served with indictments from Washington County Criminal Court charging them with felony first-degree murder in connection with the July 30, 2011, death of Gary A. Couch Jr.

Holtsclaw was taken into custody on Tuesday and Harold was picked up Wednesday. No addresses are available for the women, Johnson City police said.

Police said the arrests came "as the result of the ongoing investigation" into the murder of Couch, who was found shot to death on Quarry Road in Johnson City.

A third defendant, Justin "Puff" Stratton, 33, was initially charged with murder and other offenses and is currently awaiting trial. He remains in custody in the Washington County Detention Center, held on $181,000 bond.

Holtsclaw and Harold were being held in the Washington County Detention Center under $100,000 bond, pending appearances in Washington County Criminal Court.

The body of Couch, of Stone Dam Road, was found lying in Quarry Road near South Roan Street. He had been shot multiple times and robbed, police said.

Stratton, of 1500 Bell Ridge Road, Johnson City, was charged with murder soon after the death of Couch. He was also charged with one count of especially aggravated robbery.

Johnson City police Detective Kevin Peters said after Stratton's arrest that the defendant "set the victim up to rob him at the location that his body was found" and took Couch's wallet and other personal items.

Couch was last seen leaving Newman's Billiards, at 225 East Main St., about 3:05 a.m. on July 30, 2011.

Stratton was also charged in connection with a July 30, 2011, burglary and theft of two vehicles from Reliable Motors, 528 W. Market St., Johnson City.

Two sets of car keys and a camera were stolen from the building.

The two sets of keys belonged to two vehicles that were stolen, a black 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500 and a white 2002 Ford Expedition.

Peters said that the stolen Ford Expedition was involved in the shooting and murder of Couch.

 
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