MERIWETHER COUNTY, GA (WTVM) – Four suspects involved in the brutal assault of an elderly Grantville woman have had their charges upgraded to murder.
Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that his agency has filed murder charges related to the home invasion and assault of Dorothy Dow, 83, on Aug. 4.
"Mrs. Dow put forth a valiant effort to recover from the injuries that she sustained not only immediately after the assault but in the days preceding while she was under medical care. Due to the death of Mrs. Dow our agency has obtained additional charges against four of the suspects in custody related to this heinous crime.
Dow sustained two broken arms, lacerations to her face and head, and broken fingers in addition to the third-degree burns on her back and head. Despite the injuries, she extinguished the flames herself with a jug of water kept near her bed for her oxygen machine, crawled to her living room where her cell phone was and called 911.
Law enforcement said she was able to make a positive identification of the suspects before being placed into a medically-induced coma.
Dow's body was released to the Meriwether County Coroner's Office, Coroner Johnny Worley, for transport to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.
"Our agency has been in communication with our District Attorney's Office related to these upgraded and additional charges being filed in this case investigation," Smith said.
Smith said four of the five suspects listed are being charged with the additional offenses of one count each felony murder and malice murder. These charges are in addition to the previous charges that they have previously been booked.
- Justin Peirce Grady, 38, of Grantville, GA. Grady is being charged additionally for the offenses of Felony Murder and Malice Murder, 1 count each.
- Cortavious Deshun Heard, 18, of Hogansville, GA. Heard is being charged additionally for the offenses of Felony Murder and Malice Murder, 1 count each.
- Mina Christine Ellery, 17, of Newnan. Ellery is being charged additionally for the offenses of Felony Murder and Malice Murder, 1 count each.
- Angel Latrice Harmon, 17, of Newnan. Harmon is being charged additionally for the offenses of Felony Murder and Malice Murder, 1 count each.
All of the above individuals are being held in jail without bond.
The four suspects will appear in front of a Meriwether Co. judge for the first time since the charged were upgraded on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Another person, Shanquavious Cameron, 17, was arrested in connection with an Aug. 2 robbery of Dow's home.
Grady and Heard previously worked in the blueberry fields next to Dow's home and helped the family during harvest seasons.
"Please keep the Dow Family in your thoughts, prayers and give them the respect that they deserve as they grieve the death of their loved one," Smith said. "Our agency through coordination with our district attorney's office will be pursuing the prosecution of those responsible for this heinous crime to the fullest extent of the law."
No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.