Second suspect arrested for 2017 murder of Effingham County woman

Courtney Wells (Source: Facebook)
Courtney Wells (Source: Facebook)

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Officers arrested a second suspect Monday in connection with the 2017 murder of an Effingham County woman.

A grand jury indicted Tony Arnsdorff, and U.S. Marshals arrested him Monday. He's facing 11 charges in connection with Courtney Wells' Jan. 2017 shooting death.

Arnsdorff's charges include three charges of murder, two charges of aggravated assault charges and one charge of tampering with evidence. He and Scott Pinholster, 42, share 10 of the same charges in connection with Wells' murder.

The 27-year-old's body was found on a dirt road near Riverside Drive just outside of the Guyton city limits on Jan. 15, 2017.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said Pinholster likely pulled the trigger, and Arnsdorff was there when it happened.

"Seven deadly sins," McDuffie said. "Once you're involved in it, you're actually charged with the crime. Tony will be charged just like Scott was."

Pinholster pleaded not guilty in April 2017 to his 10 charges, which include murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during a felony and concealing the death of another. Arnsdorff faces those and an additional felony charge for tampering with evidence.

The sheriff said Pinholster, Arnsdorff and Wells knew each other before her murder.

"They were all friends," he said. "I think at one time Scott and the victim had actually dated, possibly girlfriend-boyfriend type situation, and Tony was just a friend of theirs that was along for the ride."

McDuffie didn't discuss a motive for the murder.

McDuffie said this second arrest is a step toward closure for the case and for Wells family.

"We still have to have the trial, and that's never easy for any family," he said. "It's going to be difficult for the Pinholster family. It's going to be difficult for the Arnsdorff family, and of course for the victim's family. In a case like this when you see these things going on, it's not just the victim and the offender that's affected by this. A lot of their families are, too."

He said he expects this case to head to trial in the next few months. Arnsdorff is in the Effingham County Jail.

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