A Floyd County grand jury has indicted the former roommate of a slain Berry College student on a tampering charge.
The indictment against Andrew David Horton was handed down about 17 months after Joseph McDaniel was gunned down in their off-campus apartment Oct. 28, 2017.
Horton is accused of removing marijuana and other evidence and hiding it in a neighbor's apartment before he called police to report his roommate had been shot, according to the Rome News-Tribune.
McDaniel, 19, of Columbus, and two other men — Ricket Carter III, 19, of Columbus, and Troy Cokley, 19, of Riverdale — were arguing over a marijuana deal when McDaniel was killed at the Summerstone Apartments in Rome, police said. Carter and Cokley were arrested on murder and other charges in connection with the shooting and held without bond.
As a witness during their trial, Horton admitted to moving evidence from the scene before calling police. Both Cokley and Carter were eventually found not guilty of all charges by a Floyd County jury in October, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
According to Horton’s testimony, Carter and Cokley visited the Rome apartment to buy marijuana from McDaniel, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. Carter left the apartment before the shooting, leaving Horton, McDaniel and Cokley inside. Security video of the parking lot outside the apartment showed as much, authorities told the newspaper.
The men negotiated a deal in the kitchen. When he heard an argument and saw a bag of marijuana being tossed around, Horton went and got the gun he had hidden under the living room sofa, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. Horton went into the kitchen, where Cokley was aiming a gun at McDaniel, according to the newspaper.
The two men were briefly in a standoff before Horton moved toward the door. McDaniel and Cokley wrestled over the other gun, and Horton ran out when he heard the gunshot, the newspaper reported.
Horton said that he went to the home of a neighbor and did not go back to the apartment for 20 minutes, when he started moving evidence out of the apartment, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. No one called police until nearly an hour after the shooting, and the gun that was used to shoot McDaniel was never found.
Asia Simone Burns is a watchdog reporter for the AJC. Burns was formerly an intern in AJC’s newsroom and now writes about crime. She is a graduate of Samford University and has previously reported for NPR and WABE, Atlanta’s NPR member station.