UPDATE: 2 suspects wanted in beating, car theft

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Richmond County deputies are searching for two suspects who accused of duct taping a man, beating him and stealing his car.

Deputies say three men -- 22-year-old Freddie Gibson, 23-year-old Michael Gibson and 21-year-old Charles Kellam -- got into a fight with 38-year-old Benjamin Franklin Rhodes at a home on Cedar Street around 8:35 p.m. Thursday.

They're accused of beating Rhodes with a 2x4, then stealing his car.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found Rhodes severely beaten.

Rhodes was able to tell deputies his roommate Michael, Freddie and Charles beat him up.

The car had Rhodes' 5-year-old child inside, but investigators say the suspects let the child out before taking off.

Deputies say the vehicle was seen at Gordon Highway at Sky View Drive and then the vehicle struck another vehicle as it fled from a police pursuit.

The vehicle then crashed at a ditch on New Savannah Road at Sky View Drive. The driver, Kellam, ran off on foot but was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

Kellam is currently at the Richmond County Jail and is charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery, false imprisonment, theft by taking, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Deputies are still searching for the Gibson brothers, who are wanted for the same charges as Kellam.

The victim, Rhodes, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Rhodes was arrested as soon as he was released from the hospital on outstanding warrants for contempt of court in connection to child support payments.

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