The second suspect in the death of a Seale, Ala., Chattahoochee Valley Community College student was taken into custody Saturday afternoon at the Greyhound bus station in Columbus, authorities said.
Jeramiah Levi Sokolgz, 24, was arrested around 4 p.m. by Russell County sheriff’s deputies, Columbus police and the U.S. Marshals Service as his bus arrived from Atlanta at 818 Veterans Parkway. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said the marshals and his office had been tracking Sokolgz over the last two days.
“We got a call from the manager who said he is walking around the bus station in Columbus,” Taylor said. “I don’t know if he was just coming back to get something. I don’t know. He didn’t have a chance.”
Sokolgz of Fort Mitchell, Ala., faces one count of capital murder in the death of Eric Tunnell Anderson, who was found slain Tuesday at his mobile home on Avalon Circle in Seale.
The suspect will be extradited back to Russell County in a couple of days.
An alleged accomplice, Anthony Lavell Carter, 18, was arrested around 1 a.m. Friday at a Seminole Trail home in Fort Mitchell, Ala. He is charged with one count of murder in the death of Anderson.
During a news conference late Saturday, Taylor said robbery was the motive in the death of Anderson, who has been in the area about a year and attended Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City.
Taylor said items missing from Anderson’s mobile home were recovered during a search at Carter’s Seminole Trail home. Those items included a plasma television, an X-Box, a Wii, speakers, video games and a PC gaming computer.
Investigators believe the suspects were using a stolen credit card that belonged to Anderson. They also pawned some items together before Sokolgz took off to Atlanta.
“We believe the evidence will show that Mr. Sokolgz intended to rob the victim, burglarize the home and rob him personally if he was there,” the sheriff said. “Something went very wrong at the robbery inside the home. Mr. Anderson was struck several times in head and the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.”
Investigators believe the death occurred late on April 18. Carter dropped Sokolgz off at the home and when he didn’t return minutes later, Carter left. Sokolgz came to Carter’s home about 2 a.m. the following morning with items taken from the victim’s mobile home. The sheriff said there is no connection between Carter and the victim, but Sokolgz was acquainted with him from playing video games online.
“They were both gamers,” Taylor said. “They would get online and play video computer games with each other. That was the biggest connection.”
Sokolgz has been living in Russell County off and on over the last year.
“We believe he came back here about a month ago from California,” he said. “He went to California after losing his job at Mead. He left and came back here. We don’t have a whole lot of details about him.”
Sokolgz also would drop by the victim’s home from time to time and play video games, Taylor said.
Investigators believe the two suspects were the main people involved in the death of Anderson.