Who Is Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns? New Details About The Man Who Killed Two Senior Citizens

Photo: Crimeonline.com 
who is Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns

When the people we love are in danger or the victims of a crime, there is nothing scarier. In a way, it's almost worse than when something like happens to us, because when it happens to people we love we feel particularly powerless to defend those who matter the most to us. 

In 2015 a man was accused of luring a senior couple to his home and heartlessly killing them. Now, more than four years after the fact, their families have had to look on in horror and disbelief as the system continues to keep the man behind their deaths from receiving the sentence they believe he deserves. Who is Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns, what did he do, and what will happen to him next? We answer these questions and more below. 

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1. The Alleged Crime

On January 22nd, 2015, Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns of McRae, Georgia was set to meet with an elderly couple from Marietta George. The couple, Bud and June Runion, two retirees were interested in buying a classic 1966 red Ford Mustang which they saw posted for sale on Craigslist by Towns.

Tragically, it was the last day that anyone who knew the couple saw them alive. Towns claimed the couple never appeared to check out the car, but that story wouldn't hold together for very long. As an investigation began to unfold it wouldn't take long for the police to begin realizing they wouldn't have to look very far for a suspect and for answers.  

2. The Police 

You see, on January 26, 2015, just four days after they suddenly fell off the map, authorities located the Runions' 2003 GMC Envoy. The vehicle had been dumped in a small pond right there on Towns' property, and the finds didn't stop there either. Their bodies were found just feet away, with both Bud and June having died due to gunshot wounds to the head. 

The police believed that Towns created the fake Craigslist post to lure people to him so that he might rob them. He even acquired a temporary phone likely used for this purpose. 

“The phone was bought a very short time ago,” said Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson during a press conference held back in 2015. “This deal was negotiated for the Runions to come to Telfair County. And it was soon turned off.”

Police found that he confirmed the meeting with the couple and then tried to get rid of the phone. 

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3. Jury Tampering 

It all seems very straightforward, but incredibly, that wasn't the case. In spite of the evidence, Towns' pled not guilty but was indicted and imprisoned. But now, Towns' lawyers have caught out the country's court clerk, Belinda Thomas, in a potential gaffe that has led to a judge on the case to totally dismiss the indictment! 

What happened? It's a good question. According to the lawyers for the accused, court clerk Belinda Thomas “telephoned four individuals she knew personally” and requested that they appear to serve on a jury. Of the four she called, two wound up serving on the jury. 

“[This] non-random selection of four individuals from the trial jury list, compounded by the self-selection of two of those individuals based on their willingness to serve, destroyed the randomness of the selection process for the trial,” said the lawyers. 

4. The Dismissal 

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Though Thomas insists she wasn't looking to game the system, it doesn't look good for the county. Sure, she needed to procure a jury, but doing that from a pool of people she already knows seems like an utter no-brainer, and to call it a disservice to the Runion family.

“Instead of randomly selecting names from the [trial] jury list, the Clerk of Court identified specific individuals that she personally knew, that she could readily contact, and that she believed would be readily available…,” the judge wrote in their dismissal. “The Clerk of Court chose Tim Spires and Brad Williams purposefully and not at random as required by the statute.”

5. What Now?

Now the state is in a really tricky position. They will take this dismissal to the state's Supreme Court and hope that they can have the dismissal overruled, allowing the case to move forward in its attempts to see that Towns is subject to the justice system for all of his alleged crime.

But, If the Supreme Court upholds the dismissal, the Telfair County District Attorney Tim Vaughn would have to start all over again. He would have to propose a new indictment and hope that this time the county plays by the book and allows the course of justice to unfold as it should. Either way, this has got to hell on the families. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr