Third suspect arrested in Augusta barbershop double slaying

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 12:39 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - A third suspect has been arrested in the Nov. 23 shooting deaths of two men at a barbershop in a crime that rocked Augusta’s Harrisburg neighborhood.

Cortez Bernard Berry was arrested Wednesday, according to Richmond County jail records.

He faces two counts of murder, a count of possession of a firearm or knife during a crime, criminal attempt and parole violation.

Two suspects had already been arrested in connection with the slayings at Johnson’s Beauty & Barber Salon, 706 Eve St.

The slayings left the community in mourning and served as wake-up call to a deadly crime wave across the CSRA.

The big break in the Augusta case came in mid-December, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. That’s when investigators learned the identities of three suspects.

Cortez Berry
Cortez Berry(WRDW)

Investigators arrested and charged Marquise Harris and Kazarie Middleton, both 18-year-old Augusta residents, with two counts of murder, criminal attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the sheriff’s agency.

A third suspect — Berry — remained at-large until Wednesday.

The bodies of the victims, Meguel D. Freeman, 48, and Wyman K. Scott, 34, both of Augusta, were found at the barbershop by a customer, who contacted authorities at 2:18 p.m. Nov. 23.

Freeman was a barber there, and Wyman was a customer.

Neighbors took the shooting hard.

“It could have been any one of us around here. It’s getting dangerous out here, especially in this neighborhood,” next-door neighbor Claude told News 12 in the days after the slaying.

It was one of the most shocking in a string of deadly crimes across the region that claimed at least seven lives and lasted into early December.

Those crimes included the late November slaying of a North Augusta man at the Seventh Lounge in Aiken and the fatal shooting of a 77-year-old in Barnwell County.

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