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Elderly Murder Suspect Dies 1 Month After Arrest


An 86-year-old Augusta man died early Tuesday from natural causes, one month after being charged with killing his caregiver in a bizarre shooting on Leland Drive.

John O’Bryant died at University Hospital at 3:05 a.m. Tuesday, Coroner Mark Bowen said. He had been held since last month by sheriff’s officials for the death of his caregiver, 65-year-old Karl Hodge. He was accused of shooting and killing Hodge on March 14 at his house on Leland Drive. A motive was never clear.

O’Bryant was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and he was denied bond. Yet he was cared for at University Hospital under supervision. Authorities said he had an extensive medical history.

“He was at the hospital for a couple weeks,” the coroner said. “He had a good medical history and just died.”

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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