Warner Robins Murder Solved After 25 Years

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Updated: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:49:02 EST

36-year-old James Runyon and 37-year-old Daniel Easler were found dead on March 26, 1989 in a wood shop behind a home in the 200 block of Sunset Drive in Warner Robins. They'd been shot a number of times.

Now, 25 years after those shootings, the suspected killer has now been indicted.

"The case was presented to a Houston County Grand Jury and they did return an indictment on James Milton Happoldt," Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig told WGXA.

Happoldt, now 60-years-old was living in middle Georgia at the time of the shootings. He is now an inmate with the Georgia Department of Corrections serving time for the 1994 shooting death of his ex-wife in Monroe County.

Happoldt now faces two counts each of Malice Murder and Felony Murder in the deaths of Runyon and Easler.

Hartwig didn't elaborate on the evidence of the case saying only that the majority of the evidence was gathered during the initial investigation. When asked why an indictment hadn't been carried out before, Hartwig refused to speculate.

"You know...I don't want to look back to previous D.A. administrations," Hartwig said. "As the Chief said, this was a fairly thorough investigation back when these crimes occurred. And why the case wasn't indicted earlier, I really don't know that."

Happoldt will be transferred from the Coffee County Prison to Houston County for his arraignment and trial.

The Warner Robins Police Department has 13 cold case homicides since 1969, one of which dates back to 1975.

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