Posted: Monday, October 15th 2012 at 11:58am
Rabun County murder victim identified; suspect held without bond
By Rob Moore Editor
CLAYTON – Rabun County officials have released the name of the man who died after being stabbed in eastern Rabun County Friday afternoon.
Rabun County Chief Investigator Gerald Johnson identified the victim as Alden Leeland Hass, 47, of South Carolina. Hass’ name was withheld initially pending notification of family members.
“On Oct. 13, the victim’s family was notified of the incident,” Johnson said.
Sources say Debra Baynard, also known as Debra Owen, had left the residence the day before, on Oct. 11. Upon her return on Oct. 12, she was accompanied by Hass.
An altercation between Hass and William Edward Owen, 51, of Clayton occurred inside the mobile home on Joe Speed Road off Warwoman Road several miles east of Clayton, sources say.
Upon arrival, deputies discovered that Hass had collapsed at a neighbor’s residence while asking the neighbor to summon help because he had been stabbed twice, Johnson has said.
Owen was arrested within 90 minutes of officers’ arrival, thanks to the assistance of Sally, a tracking dog from Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto.
Owen was taken to the Rabun County Detention Center, where he faces a murder charge, records show.
A first appearance hearing for Owen was held Saturday morning, and he remains jailed without bond, Johnson said.
Johnson praised the work of Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman and his office in assisting investigators following the death.
Friday’s death pushed to more than a half dozen the number of homicides in the three-county judicial circuit.
“We now have seven total [murders] pending in the Mountain Circuit, which includes Rabun, Habersham and Stephens,” said District Attorney Brian Rickman. “No. 7 was [Friday] night in Rabun County, where William Edward Owens, also known as Billy Owens, was charged with murder.”
“Seven total – which for us is kind of high,” Rickman said. “We’ll be trying cases for quite a while.”
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