3 arrested in connection to Coffee Co. double homicide

DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) - Coffee County sheriff’s detectives have charged three men in connection to the deaths of Kristian Bell, 25, and Steven James Ward, 35.

Bell and Ward were located buried in a makeshift grave on property off Deep Woods Rd. just outside of Nicholls on Feb. 9 during an investigation into Bell’s disappearance. Both had suffered apparent multiple gunshot wounds.

Following an investigation into these homicides, detectives located and arrested Joseph James Osburne Burch, 25, of Waycross and Dedrick Allen Johnson, 29, of Nicholls. Burch and Johnson have each been charged with two counts of concealing a death of another person and are currently in the Coffee County Jail without bond.

Christopher Lane Jones, 21, was charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of concealing a death of another person, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

With the assistance of the United State Marshals Service, Jones was located Friday afternoon, Feb. 15, in San Diego County, California and taken into custody. He is currently incarcerated, awaiting extradition back to Georgia.

The Coffee County Sheriff’s Office greatly thanks the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Crime Lab, Georgia State Patrol, and U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance in this case.

Anyone with further information regarding the deaths of Bell and Ward is encouraged to contact the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at (912) 384-4227.

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