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Convicted Drug Dealer Arrested in Murder at East Augusta Commons


A convicted drug dealer was charged Wednesday in the shooting death of a local father at East Augusta Commons.

Cornelius Antonio Sims, 34, is accused of killing 28-year-old Wonya Malik Ryan just after midnight Wednesday. Neither man appears to be residents of the town homes on East Boundary Street, where the shooting took place. Sims lived on Lumpkin Road and the victim resided 12 miles away on Monte Carlo Drive.

Sims is charged with murder, weapon possession, criminal damage to property and three warrants for order to show cause warrants from Superior Court. A motive is not clear, but a viral post online suggests it was a set-up with Sims calling the victim to the home of Sims’ girlfriend before the shooting.

Authorities say Ryan was shot at least one time. He was rushed to Wellstar MCH Heath, where he was pronounced dead at 2:06 a.m. Wednesday, according to Coroner Mark Bowen.

Ryan was the father of a 2-year-old boy, according to his Facebook page. He is being remembered as an awesome dad who worked hard to make sure he took care of his son.

The suspect has twice served time in Georgia prisons for drugs, including a one-year stint from August 2020 to November 2021 related to a conviction for dealing cocaine in the Augusta area. Sims has multiple arrests for dealing drugs since he was a youth, including a 2012 trafficking cocaine charge that was simply dismissed a year later. He also has arrests for obstruction and several suspended license and open container charges.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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