Roswell chief speaks; Suspect in teens' murders denied bond

- The suspect accused of gunning down two teens in Roswell went before a judge Friday morning. 

SEE RELATED: Memorial services for teens murdered in Roswell

Murder suspect Jeffrey A. Hazelwood, 20, of Roswell, was denied bond at his first appearance hearing Friday morning and will remain behind bars at the Fulton County Jail. He's accused of murdering Carter Davis and Natalie Henderson, who were found shot to death behind a Publix in Roswell early Monday morning. 

Hazelwood has been charged with two counts each of murder, aggravated assault, and theft by taking. Hazelwood is also charged with possession of a firearm during commission of a felony as well as financial transaction card fraud, which investigations said stems from Hazelwood’s use of Henderson’s debit/credit card at an area gas station after the murder.

The suspect's next court appearance is scheduled for August 19 at the Fulton County Courthouse. 

 

Hazelwood was transferred from the Roswell Detention Center to the Fulton County Jail late Thursday night as investigators announced they had completed their questioning.

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Thursday, investigators released a photo of Hazelwood’s silver Honda Passport in hopes that someone may have seen the vehicle, especially if it seemed suspicious. Investigators wanted the public to note the damage and silver tape on the front bumper.

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Hazelwood was arrested at a Roswell gas station early Wednesday morning. The announcement of the arrest came hours after Roswell police executed a search warrant at a Cobb County home.

Investigators would not release many details surrounding the arrest of Hazelwood or his connection to the two teens. Roswell police chief Rusty Grant said he could not release a motive because it speaks to the heart of the murder case, but said all the evidence officers have collected so far points to Hazelwood’s involvement.

The chief said this was “still a very active investigation.” Investigators were able to say they believe Hazelwood acted alone.

Investigators said Henderson, of Roswell, and Davis, of Woodstock, were found dead behind the Publix on Woodstock Road by a delivery driver just before 6 a.m. Monday. According to the initial police report, the two bodies were “found laying on the ground by two vehicles” when officers arrived at the scene.

Autopsies on Tuesday determined that both 17-year-olds were killed by gunshots to the head.

Wednesday morning, police told FOX 5 they were making headway in the case after executing a search warrant at a home on Gilhams Road. Detectives arrived at the house around 8 a.m. and remained there for about three hours.

Police would not confirm whether any evidence was collected or how the search was related to the case, but said the residents were cooperative as officers searched the home.

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Hazelwood's aunt, Kathy Dinwiddee told FOX 5 News she cannot believe her nephew would harm someone. She said she has always been very close to him, through the ups and the downs.

“He has some hurt and anger in him, but I don't know what it was about, only Jeff could tell you,” said Dinwiddee.

His aunt said Hazelwood was mostly raised by his grandparents who are longtime members of the Roswell Church of Christ. The minister of the church said he is thinking about all of the families affected.

“I think we need to trust our police to follow this through and the truth will be found out through that process. Our prayers are for the innocent victims involved,” said Minister Ross Fink.

FOX 5 News also spoke to David Harris, a former teacher of Hazelwood, from his current home in Augusta.

“I met him at a military-type school in Roswell,” said Harris..

Harris said he taught a “troubled” Hazelwood at a Roswell area alternative private school a few years ago.

“We tried to make some changes, it wasn't working. We put him into a mentorship and tutorship program working with the National Park Service,” said Harris..

Harris said he has been watching the teen murders story unfold from afar, never imagining one of his former students would be charged.

The CEO of a technology firm said Henderson was a representative for its "Smack High" social media app, designed to connect teens with similar interests.

Smack High co-founder Giuseppe Stuto said in a statement that Henderson had been a Smack High Georgia representative since September 2015.

Chief Grant said Wednesday that his detectives encountered apps used to send messages as they investigated the killings, but he declined to say which ones are among the evidence or discuss any possible motive for the slayings.

Henderson was a student at Roswell High School and Davis attended River Ridge High School in Woodstock. Administrators at both schools are working to provide counseling and other resources to fellow students of the two teens.

A vigil was held on Tuesday night for Davis at River Ridge High School. Teammates, friends and fellow students gathered to remember the 17-year-old.

There were tears, hugs, and flowers for Carter's mother. His number 4 lacrosse jersey was draped across a table.

“We shared some good times and some stories that brought tears, but just sharing and getting some pain out,” said River Ridge High School Principal Darrell Herring.

Davis made a big impact in a very short time. He had just moved to Georgia last year. His friends said he was very outgoing.

“Carter was a great person; he worked hard on and off the field. He put everything he had into everything he did,” said his friend Aidan Murphy.

“We prayed around the goal post, that's one of the last memories we have of him is on the field,” said Jack Corder, who played football with Carter Davis at River Ridge. Corder said Davis was a strong football player, but gave it up to focus on the sport he loved, lacrosse. He was also actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

One of the parents in the booster club has set up an online account to help with funeral expenses for Davis, who was laid to rest on Thursday. Anyone who wishes to donate can go to gofundme.com/2hmhqdws.

Henderson, a friend of Davis and a rising senior at Roswell High School, was a member of the color guard. Her friends said she loved football.

Loved ones gathered for a prayer vigil Thursday night to remember Henderson's life. 

“She loved our school, she loved showing her spirit. She was so proud to be on the color guard and so proud to be at football games,” said Henderson's friend Suhad Hussain.

Friends said Henderson had a generous quality which ran deep and came from a loving family.

Henderson's funeral was held Friday morning in Roswell. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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