Two Arrests in Buckingham County Murder

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

March 20, 2007

Two suspects walked into the Buckingham County Sheriff's department Monday afternoon and turned themselves in. A third suspect remains at large.

Theodore Timberlake of Charlottesville and Claude Booker of Palmyra are charged with six felonies including capitol murder and abduction.

Deputies are still looking for 18 year-old Ryan Turner of Charlottesville. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Investigators believe the three men are responsible for the brutal shooting death of Clarence Austin 11 days ago. They said it was a robbery gone bad.

“I think they actually abducted him and then when they were in the vehicle something went wrong took a turn for the worse and they ended up pulling over on the side of the road and getting into a gun battle,” said Buckingham County Sheriff Danny Williams.

Austin was shot five times. His body later dumped on Ranson Road.

“We do feel like it was drugs involved but irregardless of that he died a terrible death and nobody deserves to die like that,” said Williams.

The car used in the shooting was stolen. Investigators found it the next day. Evidence inside the car led authorities to identify these three suspects early on in the investigation.

“When you have a high profile case like this you try to focus all your attention on it and get it solved and we feel very fortunate that we have come this far with this case,” said Williams.

If convicted of capital murder the men are facing life in prison and prosecutor could choose to seek the death penalty in this case.

The two men in custody are being held without bond awaiting an arraignment on Friday.

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