UPDATE| Conviction upheld in McDuffie County murder case

A judge up holds the conviction of James McGuyton, who was arrested and found guilty in the death of McDuffie County man.

James Ethiredge McGuyton

Tuesday, Jan. 2016

THOMPSON, Ga. -- A judge up holds the conviction of James McGuyton, who was arrested and found guilty in the death of McDuffie County man.

McGuyton was found guilty of murdering Kenneth Seek, Jr. in 2012. Seek's body was found in a wood area near Marshall Church Road in November.

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Nov. 23, 2012

THOMPSON, Ga. -- In a small town, everyone knows everyone and word travels fast. When something like a shooting happens, everyone's affected.

"It's a small place. You don't expect it to hit here, and it does add a little bit of reality that things aren't always what they seem," said friend of the victim Maria Cavnor.

Cavnor lives just a few roads over from where investigators say 33-year-old Kenneth Seek Jr. was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day.

She says she's known Seek for years, and now that he's gone, the community just won't be the same.

"This small community is used to him test driving his cars and just being Kenny," Cavnor said.

Cavnor is deaf, but she says she always knew when Seek was around.

"I feel vibrations since I don't hear things, and I would feel something, and my husband would say, 'Oh don't worry, that's just Kenny,'" Cavnor said.

Seek's body was found in the woods near Marshall Church Road.

Officials say 45-year-old James Ethiredge McGuyton Jr. killed him. He's in jail, charged with murder.

Don Brown lives right down the road from where Seek's body was found. He thinks he saw the shooter earlier in the day.

"Yesterday as I was going down to get some ice for our Thanksgiving dinner, I passed a man walking down the road with a big stick that I thought was maybe looking for cans or something. I was gone about 10 minutes, came back by, and the police and all had the road blocked and had him in possession," Brown said.

Neighbors say the road was blocked off for about five hours yesterday while cop cars and helicopters flooded the area.

Both the GBI and the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office were out combing through the woods.

For those that knew Seek, the reality of what happened is just starting to set in.

"He was very outgoing, he loved cars, he loved to work on cars, and he loved to drive really fast. Seems strange saying past tense," Cavnor said sadly.

McGuyton is in jail, but the investigation is still going on, so details are limited at this time.

The Sheriff's Office says they should know more in the next couple days.

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