Updated: 3 in custody following pursuit, manhunt

Steena Hymes

April 10, 2014

Three people are in custody and one remains at large after a manhunt Thursday for multiple suspects.

One of the suspects was originally believed to be Thomas Brent Starkey, 23, of Valley, Ala. He is a suspect in the Wednesday shooting and murder of Christopher Griggs of Lanett, Ala.

Troup County Sheriff’s public information officer Stewart Smith said Starkey was not one of the four suspects in yesterday’s manhunt, however, they are connected to him.

Starkey, along with three other suspects, were taken into custody late Thursday night by Lanett Police and booked into Chambers County Jail.

Thomas Starkey was found at a residence in Valley, Ala., according a press release. Rockey Starkey, 18, Paul Teague, 25 and Jacob Shaddix, 18, all from Valley also were arrested.

All four are facing murder charges.

According to a press release by Smith, on Thursday morning investigators with the sheriff’s narcotics division received information from Lanett Police Department that Starkey was possibly in a gold Lexus.

About 8:45 a.m., the Lexus was spotted with four unknown individuals inside. Officials attempted to stop the Lexus at Hamilton Road near Davis Road, but it didn’t stop and a high-speed chase ensued.

The Lexus continued south on Whitesville Road and onto the southbound lane of Interstate 85. The suspects pulled off to the side of I-85 just north of Kia Parkway and fled on foot into the woods.

Drugs were found in the Lexus, Smith said.

Deputies and investigators began searching for the suspects on foot and called in assistance from other agencies including K-9 and helicopters.

In addition to perimeters set up, Long Cane elementary and middle schools were on a soft lockdown throughout the day, allowing parents to pick up their children if they wanted to.

About 10:30 a.m., a female suspect, identified as Vanessa Yoon of LaGrange, was tracked down by a police K-9 and taken into custody. A male suspect, identified as James Forrest McMillan of LaGrange, was apprehended around noon after a 911 tip that he went to a house on Sandtown Road and asked to use the phone.

According to the report, after talking with McMillan, it was determined that Starkey was not in the vehicle.

All officers cleared the scene at 1:55 p.m.

About 5:30 p.m., a third suspect and the alleged driver of the Lexus, Allen Brice Wood, 26, of LaGrange was found in the 600 block of Robert Taylor Road after a 911 tip of a suspicious person walking out of the woods behind a residence.

Smith said that deputies and investigators set up a small perimeter and after giving several verbal commands to stop running, the deputies chased the suspect, who was caught and taken into custody.

Smith said officials have a good idea of who the fourth suspect in the car is, but could not confirm an identity.

All three suspects in custody will be interviewed again, he said.

Both Yoon and McMillan face charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The fourth suspect will face those same charges, Smith said.

Wood, along with drug charges, will be charged with attempting to elude, and additional traffic and obstruction charges.