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Bethel murder suspect surrenders

Joseph Desmonde Baughns

By Joe Johnson

A man accused of murdering someone Monday at Bethel Midtown Village surrendered Wednesday morning to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

Joseph Desmonde Baughns, 35, of Athens was wanted for malice murder for allegedly fatally shooting 34-year-old Jarred Lamar Sanders in the breezeway of a building at the gated complex off College Avenue, according to police.

Although police said that Sanders was from Gainesville, court records indicate that he formerly had an Athens address.

Jarred Lamar Sanders

A motive for the shooting remained under investigation as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We are pleased that Mr. Baughns decided to do the right thing and turn himself in,” Police Chief Cleveland Spruill said. “Otherwise, we would have spent whatever time necessary to find him. Keeping the community safe is the number one priority of all law enforcement in the Athens-Clarke County area.”

Baughns was being held without bail at the county jail.

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