UPDATE: Dalton homicide victim killed walking home from church - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Arrest made in Dalton 2014 murder case

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE:  Dalton Police have made an arrest in a murder case from December 2014.

Aaron Howell, 26, was arrested Wednesday without incident at an abandoned house behind the Walmart on East Avenue. 

The evening of December 22, 2014, Paul Guerrant was found lying in the middle of Dozier Street barely alive after being severely beaten. He was taken to Hamilton Medical Center and then transferred to Erlanger in Chattanooga where he was pronounced dead. 

The coroner's office determined that the cause of Guerrant's death was blunt force trauma from multiple blows to the head. Guerrant had been walking home from a meeting at St. Mark's Episcopal Church when he was attacked.

Dalton detectives received a tip in January of Howell's alleged involvement.  Evidence from the scene pointed toward Howell and he was taken into custody Wednesday morning. 



UPDATE: A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the murder of a Dalton man. Forty-three-year-old Paul Guerrant was found beaten to death on Dozier Street just three days before Christmas. Investigators believe this was no random attack.

"This is guy who was probably trying to do some good in his life and didn't deserve to have it cut short on a cold December night," says Bruce Frazier, with the Dalton Police Department.

Forty-three-year-old Paul Guerrant was walking home from an A.A. meeting at a Dalton church on the night of December 22nd when someone ended his two and half mile journey home.

"He was hit multiple times with some sort of blunt force object, like a hammer or some other object," says Frazier.

Police narrowed the time of his murder to a small nine minute window. Guerrant was talking to a friend on his cell phone right before the attack.

"That conversation ended at 9:28. And at 9:37 we got a 911 call from a passerby that saw him lying in the street."

"I heard a car horn honk and I came out to see who it was and a guy let me know there was somebody laying in the street," says Tim Corn, who lives on Dozier Street.

When Corn ran outside, he immediately recognized Guerrant, who moved to the street a few months before.

"Once or twice I saw him walking up and down the road. He kept to himself. He never did speak. He'd just throw his hand up," says Corn.

Corn called 911. Guerrant was transported to a Chattanooga hospital where he died.

"When an attack is this brutal it is not typically something done by a stranger," says Frazier.

The Dalton Police Department is pulling $10,000 out of its 'buy information' fund, offering a reward to help solve the case.

"We believe that somebody out there knows something about this case and so far they haven't come forward for whatever reason," says Frazier.

"It will all come out in the wash, I believe," says Corn.

Anyone with information is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and then enter extension 189.


UPDATE: Dalton police investigators say that Paul Guerrant attended an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Emery Street on the evening he was killed. He was attacked while walking home from the meeting.  

Police say the attack took place between 9:28 pm and 9:37 pm.

Guerrant was talking on the phone with a friend until 9:28 pm, and the 911 call reporting his body being found came in at 9:37 pm.

"One thing they've been able to do is piece together some of his path on foot from a meeting at church that night on his way home," said Bruce Frazier, Dalton Police Department, "And they've been able to recover some surveillance video from businesses along his path."

Surveillance video from various businesses along Guerrant's walking route shows he was walking home alone.

The roughly two mile walk home was almost over for Guerrant, just two houses away from his home on Dozier Street neighbors found his body lying in the road.

"I was just trying to figure out where he came from, who he was, what happened, just get him to say a name or something," said neighbor Tanya Christian, "But he wouldn't say anything just heavy breathing."

When neighbors found him it was obvious something had hit him in the head several times. Police have no prime suspects but say they do not think this was a random attack.

"We know it was a violent attack. We know that the victim died by multiple blunt force hits to his head," Frazier said, "Certainly when you're dealing with this kind of violence it's much more common for the victim and the attacker to know each other."

Dalton police are asking for anyone who knows Guerrant or has seen him during the past few weeks to tell investigators, it might be the piece of information they need to solve this case.

"If somebody's out there with something they think is insignificant, that could be what ultimately helps us bring his attacker to justice," Frazier said, "So we're really hoping that somebody will reach out to our investigators."

Police ask anyone with information on this crime contact Detective Chris Tucker at (706) 278-9085, extension 165. 




PREVIOUS STORY: Dalton police are investigating a homicide that occurred Monday night on Dozier Street.

Police say that 43-year-old Paul Guerrant of Dalton was found on Dozier Street after police received calls from residents in the area.

Guerrant was transported to Erlanger Hospital and was pronounced deceased after arrival.

DPD detectives are actively working on this case and are seeking assistance from citizens who may have information about the death.

If anyone has any information on the homicide or witnessed the victim around the time of the occurrence, please contact Detective Chris Tucker at (706) 278-9085, extension 165. 
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