Murder suspect arrested in Georgia

Murder suspect arrested in Georgia

A woman being sought in connection with the November 2007 death of her estranged husband in Fulton has been apprehended in Georgia. Juana Courtney, 37, was taken into custody following a traffic stop Tuesday about 11:30 p.m. in Cobb County, Ga., according to Fulton Assistant Police Chief and public information officer Jere Hughes. She had been entered into the National Crime Information Center system based on a warrant issued for her arrest for murder, stemming from the Nov. 10, 2007, death of James L. Courtney Jr., 39, of Fulton. The warrant was issued following investigation by the Fulton Police Department. Police were initially dispatched to a traffic accident on North College Street in Fulton. Police and the Twin City Ambulance Service responded to the scene and discovered that the driver of the vehicle — identified as James Courtney Jr. — was actually a gunshot victim. Police secured the scene while ambulance personnel treated the driver and transported him to Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton. Police also initiated collecting witness statements and processing the scene, soon discovering that the initial incident scene included residences on both North College Street and Second Street in Fulton. The crime scene was expanded to include the two homes, as well as the crash scene, according to a press release from the police department. Evidence was discovered at both James Courtney Jr.’s home on North College Street and Juana Courtney’s home on Second Street, as well as inside the vehicle, police reported. Investigators located several witnesses and conducted field interviews — which provided additional information that indicated to police that the initial conflict between the two parties involved apparently began in the garage at Juana Courtney’s home on Second Street and carried over into the driveway of James Courtney Jr.’s home on North College Street. Police investigators believe that the victim, James Courtney Jr., and the suspect, Juana Courtney, were involved in a verbal argument that resulted in the victim’s sustaining one gunshot wound to the upper chest area of his body. After being wounded, he apparently attempted to leave the scene, but succumbed to his injuries and lost control of his vehicle, striking a telephone pole on North College Street. The suspect fled the scene. Tuesday, an officer with the Cobb County (Ga.) Police Department made the traffic stop involving Ms. Courtney after he observed a vehicle with drive-out tags making a traffic violation. The woman operating the vehicle told the officer that her name was Cristal Gonzales Rivera but could not provide an operator’s license upon request, according to a press release from Hughes. The officer placed the driver under arrest for traffic violations and transported her to the Cobb County Jail. There, jail personnel processed the woman, which included fingerprinting her. Upon checking the prints, it was discovered that the prints of the woman calling herself Cristal Gonzales Rivera matched Juana Courtney’s prints. The Fulton Police Department’s dispatch center received a confirmation request from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department to verify the warrant status on Ms. Courtney. The dispatch center, in turn, verified the active status of the murder warrant. Ms. Courtney was scheduled to appear in court to answer the traffic charges and to advise the court if she wishes to waive her extradition rights and return to Kentucky. The results of her decisions are not yet available. Hughes said detectives in the homicide division of the Cobb County Police Department are assisting Fulton police by following up on several investigative requests. “Our department is appreciative of the efforts of the Cobb County Police Department and the Cobb County Sheriff’s & Detention Department in assisting our ongoing investigation,” he said. Published in The Messenger 6.5.08

, ,

Leave a Comment