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2 charged in Muscogee deputy's slaying

Two men suspected in the June 17 shooting death of Muscogee County Deputy Sheriff Meredith Rhodes were arrested Tuesday, one in Atlanta and one in Columbus.

Columbus Police Lt. Mark D. Starling said Tremaine Pyatt, 24, and Joseph H. Taylor, 21, both of Columbus, face charges of murder and giving false statements to the police.

He said both had been "persons of interest" from the beginning.

"We just needed to find them," he said.

Columbus police got federal assistance with the capture of Pyatt.

It was members of the U.S. Marshal's Service Southeast Regional Task Force that arrested Pyatt. He was found at an apartment complex in southwest Atlanta.

After the shooting, authorities learned that Pyatt had fled to Atlanta. Task force supervisor James Ergas said investigators immediately set up surveillance in the area where he was caught.

After indentifying the apartment he was in, investigators entered the apartment around 9:30 p.m. and arrested Pyatt after a brief struggle.

Pyatt has a criminal record that includes convictions for robbery, battery and obstruction of police according to Ergas.

In Columbus, Taylor came to the police department and was interviewed during the day by Columbus officers and was charged Tuesday night. Starling said it was "talk on the street" that first led Columbus police to suspect Pyatt and Taylor.

No possible motive has been given.

Rhodes , who had joined the force as a corrections officer in June 2003, was driving along Steam Mill Road around 2 a.m. Sunday when he was shot. No weapon was recovered.

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