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Reported 2019 suicide results in Athens woman's arrest for murder

Anna Gatlin Petree

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County police detectives proved to be dogged in the pursuit of truth with the recent murder arrest for a 2019 death that was initially reported as a suicide.

Anna Gatlin Petree, 32, of Crows Nest Court was arrested on warrants Friday charging her with the murder of her boyfriend, 43-year-old Justin David "Jud" Beebe on Sept. 18, 2019.

When arrested, Petree still lived in the same home where she allegedly shot Beebe in the head nearly two years ago.

A photo used for the obituary of Justin Beebe, described as an avid deejay

The initial police report indicates that officers responded to the residence on a report of a suicide that had just occurred, but that the incident remained under investigation.

Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD’s public information officer, said detectives painstakingly examined all evidence prior to taking out the murder warrants.

“I'm not able to get into specifics,” he said, “but in the almost two years since this incident, detectives thoroughly looked into every aspect of the investigation such as the scene itself, the autopsy, medical records, and countless other pieces of pertinent evidence.”

Barnett added, “To receive, and comprehensively analyze all of the evidence required additional time. Obviously, this death was reported to ACCPD as a suicide; however, the totality of the evidence suggests that the victim was intentionally shot by Ms. Petree.”

Police did not release a motive.

Petree was being held at the county jail without bail being set.

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