Jay Towns, 28, was arrested in connection with a missing Marietta couple. (Photo: Telfair County Sheriff’s Office)

Suspect indicted in deaths of Marietta’s Bud and June Runion seeks bond

The Telfair County man indicted in the robbery and deaths of a Cobb County couple is seeking bond, his attorney said Tuesday.

Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28, of McRae, was indicted on two counts of malice murder, four counts of felony murder and two counts of armed robbery, Belinda Thomas, the Telfair clerk of court, said Tuesday. Towns is accused of killing Elrey “Bud” and June Runion, of Marietta, in January.

Towns’ attorney, Franklin Hogue, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he has filed a motion for a bond hearing, but it has not yet been scheduled.

The Runions — Bud, 69, and June, 66 — thought they were meeting a man selling a Ford Mustang when they made the 200-mile drive to McRae in southeast Georgia. It was a dream car the Runions were excited to see and hoped to buy, according to the couple’s family.

The Runions made it to Telfair County, but there was no car. Instead, investigators believe they were victims of a scheme to rob the couple, the sheriff said. The couple was reported missing, and four days later, the Runions’ bodies were found. The two had been shot in the head, according to police.

Towns, who is married and has a 2-year-old daughter, was arrested and charged with killing the Runions. He has remained in jail without bond since his arrest.

Hogue said that his client has not confessed to anything, and that he has spoken with Towns several times at the Dodge County jail in Eastman, where Towns is being held.

“I’m beginning to get to know him and his family and they seem to me to be very nice, good people,” Hogue said. “They have a good reputation as a good family.”

Towns’ arraignment is scheduled for June.

The Runions had lived for more than three decades in their Marietta home, where they raised their children and more recently welcomed their grandchildren. June was a longtime second-grade teacher in Cobb County and was working as a preschool instructor at Johnson Ferry Baptist, a daughter said. Bud, retired from AT&T, used to collect old bicycle parts, restore them and build new bikes that he would deliver to underprivileged children at Christmas.

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