Arrested man may be linked to store clerk’s slaying


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 12:47 a.m.

A man arrested in Jacksonville on Thursday might be linked to the shooting death of a Lake City convenience store clerk.

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Heard

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Daymon Leon Heard, 20, of Valdosta, Ga., was arrested at 8:30 p.m. at a private home in Jacksonville. Heard was considered a fugitive from Lowndes County, Ga., where he was wanted for questioning about the murder of another convenience store clerk.

Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee said Friday that his agency saw some similarities but nothing “definitive” linking the shooting death in Georgia on Wednesday with the July 22 shooting death of Joy America Food Store clerk Linda Susan Raulerson.

The 56-year-old Raulerson died shortly before closing time in the store north of Lake City. A surveillance tape of the incident showed a man entered the store, pulled out a gun and immediately demanded money. Raulerson complied with the man’s demands, handing him cash over the counter but was fatally shot as the suspect left the store.

In the shooting in Georgia on Wednesday, a man reportedly walked into Triangle Foods in Lowndes County, Ga., and fired at least four shots at the male clerk. The employee later died at South Georgia Medical Center after a customer found him about 15 minutes after the shooting.

The robber could be seen on the video taking money from the register. A few seconds later he could be seen walking around the counter and stepping over the clerk to take cigarettes.

“At this point, we cannot rule anything out,” said Sheriff Gootee in a statement Friday morning. “It is equally important for us to prove or disprove Mr. Heard’s involvement in the murder of Mrs. Raulerson and that will take time.”

According to arrest records from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a task force of deputies arrested Heard at 3134 Penton St. without incident. During a search of Heard at the time of his arrest, deputies reportedly found a bag of marijuana in his left rear pocket and a digital scale containing marijuana in his backpack.

Heard was charged with use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana. He was booked into the Duval County jail Thursday night.

Jail records showed Heard had been living in Valdosta at least part of the year. A native of Atlanta, Heard had attended Lowndes County High School.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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