2 teens arrested at Columbus apartment, charged in Rome student’s murder

Ricket Damon Carter III (L) and Troy Jamal Cokley (Source: Floyd County Police)

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Two teens were arrested at a Columbus apartment complex after police named them as suspects in a Rome, Georgia student’s murder.

A press release on the Floyd County Police Department Facebook page says 19-year-old Ricket Damon Carter III of Columbus and 19-year-old Troy Jamal Cokley of Riverdale face charges of murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of controlled substance.

Joseph McDaniel (Facebook/WGCL)

They are accused in the shooting death of 19-year-old Joseph McDaniel, who was also originally from Columbus.

The statement says Carter and Cokley went to Rome to meet with McDaniel some time before 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. An argument somehow started and then ended with McDaniel shot in the chest. His body will now be sent for an autopsy.

McDaniel was a third-year student at Berry College where he majored in business management.

The college has since released the following statement on McDaniel’s murder and the death of another student earlier this month:

Dear Berry students, faculty, and staff,

It has been a difficult semester.  With sorrow and regret, I share that Joseph McDaniel was shot and killed last night at an off-campus location on Old Summerville Road.  Joseph was a third-year student at Berry studying business management.

As a college community already mourning the loss of one of its students, this additional tragedy cuts deep.  We grieve with Joseph’s family and friends.  Students are encouraged to reach out to their Resident Advisors or Student Affairs staff members if they need assistance in connecting with a member of the Counseling Center or Chaplain’s staff.

The police are investigating all leads regarding the circumstances of the shooting and more information will be provided at a later time.

Our community has been remarkable in showing support and care for each other in tragic circumstances and it is heartbreaking to need to do so again.  Please be as supportive of each other as possible as we all seek to make sense of this tragedy.

Debbie E. Heida

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

News 3’s media partner The Ledger-Enquirer reports the victim and both of the suspects were reportedly all former students at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. McDaniel graduated from Pacelli in 2015, and both Carter and Cokley graduated in 2016.

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