Man charged in cousin's murder

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

January 14, 2007

APPLING, Ga.---A day after 45-year-old Thomas Tankersley was found dead in his Appling home, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office is charging a family member with his murder.

40-year-old George Reid is in jail at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, charged with murdering his own first cousin, Thomas Tankersley. The victim's wife, Stephanie Tankersley, discovered her husband's lifeless body yesterday afternoon.

"What are my kids going to do?" she asked. "What am I going to do? Why would somebody do that?"

Clutching pictures of her husband and their three young children, Stephanie Tankersley tried to come to grips with the loss of her husband Thomas. She found him shot to death yesterday at the couple's Appling home.

"I don't ever want to see something like that again in my life, ever. I just thought he was asleep but he wasn't," Stephanie told News 12. "I told him to get up and asked him what he was doing, and he didn't move, so I went over and I got closer. I touched his hand and it was so cold."

Thomas was gone.

Also gone was the couple's new van.

A few hours later the van was found in Richmond County. It was brought to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office along with eight persons of interest.

"All eight were interviewed here at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office last night into the early morning hours," Capt. Steve Morris told News 12.

Seven people were finally released, and the victim's cousin George Reid was charged with his murder.

"Why his own family? You just don't do family like that. You just don't," Stephanie said. "He's got life and he's still here, but my kids' daddy and my husband is gone, and he's never coming home, and it's not fair. It's just not fair."

Stephanie Tankersley said she plans to see the case through to the end, adding she wants Reid to get the death penalty for murdering her husband.

Investigators tell News 12 Reid has been arrested numerous times over the years. Now he is charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and theft of a motor vehicle.

If convicted of murder, he could get the death penalty.


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