SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just a day after Savannah-Chatha Metro Police charged Shan Demetrius Cheley with the death of Amber Deloach, Chief Willie Lovett said they long suspected him in the case.
"Knowing something and being able to prove it are two different things. Lets just say we have a lot of surveillance video," Lovett told WTOC.
Lovett said Cheley is a dangerous criminal with an extensive history.
He has been convicted of aggravated assault, cruelty to children, and burglary. Chief Lovett says Cheley never should have been allowed to leave prison.
"You know what these kind of people are capable of, and everyone does. Why not just keep them in jail?" Lovett said.
Lovett wouldn't elaborate on why Deloach and the suspect were together, but he said they met in downtown Savannah.
"He actually met her the night before the murder at a downtown location in passing. He befriended her and it went from there," Lovett said.
Lovett wouldn't say whether drugs were involved, but he did say Cheley was arrested with cocaine on him.
WTOC spoke with a member of Cheley's family who didn't want to be identified.
"Everytime something happens, they go after a black man. Just because he has a history doesn't mean anything. I don't know him to be mean, violent, or a bad person," the family member said.
But Lovett insists Cheley is responsible.
"At some point, we have to realize that there are some people that just belong in jail. You can't put them back on the street because if you do, you are going to have the same problem over and over again," Lovett said.
Lovett said his investigators have communicated with the suspect, but he has not admitted to being responsible for Deloach's death.