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Murder suspect found hiding in trash can behind church after shooting driver of vehicle that crashed into house

Dimitrious Dantoni Conley (Valdosta Police Dept.)

Dimitrious Dantoni Conley (Valdosta Police Dept.)

Authorities in Georgia arrested a 39-year-old man hiding in a trash can behind a church after he allegedly caused a car to crash into a house by shooting and killing the driver.

Dimitrious Dantoni Conley was taken into custody Monday evening and charged with multiple felonies, including one count each of murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of certain felonies in connection with the slaying of 39-year-old Travis Denson, jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a news release from the Valdosta Police Department, officers responded to multiple 911 calls on Sunday night about a possible shooting outside of a home in Valdosta, about 75 miles northeast of Jacksonville, Fla. Police say 911 callers advised the dispatcher that a vehicle had “wrecked into a house,” and a man had walked away from the crash while another was lying on the ground next to the vehicle.

Denson was found on the ground suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He died at a hospital.

Using police dogs, officers searched for the suspect.

The police dog tracked behind a church in the area and alerted police to a trashcan, officials said.

Officers found Dimitrious Conley, 43, hiding inside.

Based on witness statements and other evidence, investigators say they determined that Conley was a passenger in the crashed vehicle, which was being driven by Denson.

Conley allegedly shot Denson while driving, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

Conley was being held at the Lowndes County Jail without bond. Conley also faces one count each of probation violation and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

“Our condolences go out to Mr. Denson’s family and friends after this tragic event,” Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said in a statement.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.