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Shallow Grave Found Behind Augusta House Leads to Resident’s Murder Arrest


Richmond County authorities have charged a resident on Heard Avenue with murder and concealing a death after Monday’s discovery of a man’s body in a shallow grave.

Colby Jovan Smith, 30, who lived at 843 1/2 Heard Ave., is accused of impaling a Black male with a knife and moving the body to the back yard, digging a shallow grave and placing it in the grave. He allegedly cleaned the residence of DNA evidence connected to the victim.

The death allegedly occurred on Oct. 1, meaning the body went undiscovered for the entire month, according to authorities.

On Monday afternoon, officers responded to the home about a suspicious situation and discovered the grave,” sheriff’s Sgt. John Perry said. “Investigators arrived on scene and later exhumed the deceased victim from the shallow grave.”

Smith was detained on scene and later committed to Charles B. Webster Detention Center. The victim will be sent to the GBI for identification.

Smith is a convicted felon who spent many years in prison for burglary and drug offenses crimes, and he was just released in April 2022 after serving five years.

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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