UPDATE: Hold placed on deadly church shooting suspect

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Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

Daniel Robinson (WRDW-TV)

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Columbia County Sheriff's Office have placed a hold on the man accused of attacking a couple in a Columbia County church parking.

Daniel Robinson is still in custody at a jail in Jacksonville. Bond was set at $200,018 for all of the charges he is facing in Florida.

His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 8. He will be extradited back to Columbia County after facing charges in Jacksonville.

Robinson is accused of shooting and killing Bill Davitte during an attempted carjacking. Davitte was at the church with his wife turning on the sprinkler system.

Investigators say Jenny was sitting alone in her car when Robinson approached and started beating her in the head. When Bill ran over to help, he was shot three times, officers said.

Several hours later, Robinson was arrested on several charges while in Jacksonville.

News 12 First at Five/ August 15, 2014

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- A husband is dead, his wife injured after deputies say Daniel Robinson attacked the pair in their church parking lot. Deputies say Robinson shot Bill Davitte three times and hit his wife, Jenny, in the head. The two are members of Marvin United Methodist Church in Martinez. Investigators say the couple stopped by the church to turn on the sprinklers.

Investigators in Jacksonville, Florida arrested Robinson after a high speed chase. The Sheriff's Office says Robinson is from Jacksonville, and right now, deputies don't know why he was in Columbia County.

Here at home, the church family is grieving the loss of a member, a humble servant, and a friend.

Beverly Courson has gone to church with Bill for years. She says, "I could not believe something tragic like this could happen at our church. This was a very nice guy who had been working up here for years, just helping with no pay, volunteering to keep the grounds of our church nice."

Bill Davitte had been a member at Marvin United his whole life. Richard Albert has known him since he was five years old.

"It's very sad. Bill was a great man. He worked hard on the grass out there. That's the reason he was up here last night was to get the grass watered," Albert said.

The church family says they're relying on the man upstairs to help them get through this, but the random and violent nature of the crime has hit everyone hard.

Captain Steve Morris with the Columbia County Sheriff's office says, "It's just a sad set of circumstances. This couple was out for dinner, dropped by the church to turn the sprinklers on, and his life is over for no reason."

Along with being a loving husband, father, and grand father, Bill also enjoyed golf. Rev. Elizabeth Ackerman, the pastor at Marvin United Methodist Pastor says, "We have an annual golf tournament, and he would always get a team together."

He worked for the Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as the Newsprint factory, in Augusta for years.

"He was getting ready to retire. I've known him all of his life, and he did not deserve this at all. He was wonderful, a wonderful family guy," Courson said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, they got a call from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office asking for assistance. They spotted the Robinson's car going southbound on I-95. Robinson then lead troopers on a chase when they attempted to stop him.

We're told the suspect is being charged for fleeing and eluding an officer in Jacksonville. After he faces charges for that, he'll be extradited back to Columbia County to face charges for murder, motor vehicle theft, aggravated battery, and having a weapon during a crime.

Bill and Jenny Davitte (WRDW-TV)
Daniel Robinson (2013)
Courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol
Courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol

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