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No bond given to murder suspect

COVINGTON - The man who authorities say shot and killed 38-year-old Dennis Rogers earlier this month was denied bond at a hearing held Tuesday in Newton County Superior Court.

The defendant, Courtney Thornton, 25, is facing numerous charges in connection with the shooting, including murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to The Georgia Department of Corrections' Web site, Thornton was previously convicted for sale of marijuana in Rockdale County.

Thornton allegedly shot Rogers in the back of the head during an apparent armed robbery attempt in the early morning hours on New Year's Day.

Deputy Larry Wigington was in his patrol car at a shopping center on Salem Road that morning when he was approached by a man who said that he had just been robbed and that a passenger in his car had been shot on Gum Tree Trail.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies discovered a green luxury sedan with a bullet hole in the passenger's side window and saw Rogers sitting in the seat slumped over.

The man who summoned deputies said he had been in the car with the two other men when Thornton, who was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, shot Rogers with a handgun. He said the shooting was unprovoked.

Rogers died of complications resulting from the gun shot wound several days later on Jan. 4.

The following morning, authorities discovered Thornton staying at a home on Hooper Street in Atlanta and took him into custody.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.