Vidalia suspect accused of armed robbery, homicide appears in court

Vidalia armed robbery, fatal shooting suspect makes first court appearance

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - The suspect believed to be responsible for a fatal shooting in Vidalia appeared in court for the first time on Monday.

29-year-old Tyrone Burns is accused of walking into R.J. Pope Traditional Menswear around 1:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon and robbing the store.

During the robbery, he allegedly shot and killed the store manager.

Burns sat in silence in the courtroom as Judge Kathy Palmer read out the charges of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and more in the shooting death of RJ Pope store manager Brooke Joiner. Burns showed little emotion as the judge explained the court process. Then prosecutors informed the court Burns had a criminal record 40 pages long from Florida and still faced charges there.

“He is out now on a release for those felony charges in Florida,” said Assisstant District Attorney Jessica Wilson. “He has one arrest cycle here in Georgia from a criminal trespass in September of this year.”

Local police, sheriff’s deputies, GBI and others searched the area Friday night into Saturday morning. Toombs County Sheriff Alvie Kight with spotted Burns walking down the street.

“I started talking to him and asked him his name,” said Sherrif Knight. “He gave me a name, then he hesitated like he had to come up with a last name.”

He handcuffed Burns and called for backup. Prosecutors said they would consider the possiblity of seeking the death penalty for this case, news which drew Burns' only show of emotion.

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