October 28, 2009 9:45:00 AM
Jason Browne - firstname.lastname@example.org
The men charged with the murder of a Lowndes County club owner called a friend to brag about the killing afterward, a family member of the victim has said.
Wade Woods, 23, found his cousin, Clarence "Big C" Trimble''s, body at Big C''s Game Room Saturday morning after he was told about the crime by a relative who, along with a family friend, had been with the suspected killers, at Trimble''s club earlier Friday evening.
Cedrick Whitley, 23, of 20393 Egypt Road in Aberdeen, and Sylvester Johnson, 22, of 1407 Cloverdale Place in Aberdeen are being held at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center on capital murder charges for the killing and robbery. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the club''s register.
The family friend -- also a former relative by marriage -- is friends with Whitley and Johnson and received a phone call from one of them after the crime in which the suspect bragged they had just "sprayed Big C," Woods said.
Woods said his relative, who is also a cousin of Trimble''s, and the family friend left Whitley and Johnson at the club Friday evening to drive to the store. When they returned to the club, the two suspects were gone, so the relative and the family friend drove to Woods'' home.
The relative later borrowed Woods'' car around 1 a.m. Saturday morning to drive the family friend home. During the ride, said Woods, the friend received the call from one of the suspects.
After dropping the friend off, Woods'' relative called Woods to explain what had happened. The relative returned to Woods'' home, and he and Woods left immediately for Trimble''s club.
Upon arriving at the club, Woods noticed the sign in the front of the business was still on. Woods told his relative to wait in the car while he went inside.
"I called Clarence''s name about four times and got no response. I noticed his keys and his cell phone on the bar. I walked back to the bathroom and when I went by the bar, that''s where I found him at," said Woods.
Trimble had been shot multiple times in the back of the head. Investigators with the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office later found .22 shell casings at the scene. A .22 automatic pistol was one of two guns the LCSO recovered upon arresting Whitley and Johnson.
After finding Trimble, Woods called 911 and sheriff''s deputies were dispatched to the scene.
Deputies questioned Woods and his relative before questioning the family friend, who Woods said declined to cooperate with investigators.
Woods told the investigators what he could about Whitley and Johnson, but he wasn''t familiar enough to know them by name. Without the cooperation of the family friend, Woods isn''t sure how investigators made the connection to Whitley and Johnson.
Woods knew the suspects as the family friend''s associates from Aberdeen.
"They swing in whenever they''re in town. This is the first I know of (the friend) and them being (at Big C''s) together," said Woods. "I met (the suspects) before when they started hanging out.
They didn''t seem like the type to do (something) like that. I would have never suspected them from the jump. When (the relative) told me about the phone call, I didn''t want to believe it."
Clarence Trimble''s brother, Johnny Trimble, said Clarence Trimble never kept more than $100 in his cash register. But Woods said he understands how someone would mistakenly believe Trimble had a lot of money.
"He has his own tire service, owns a club and all the up-to-date vehicles in his yard," said Woods.
Johnny Trimble believes there may have been others involved in his brother''s death.
The sheriff''s department isn''t looking for other suspects.
LCSO Investigator Lt. Tony Perkins said there are no other suspects in Trimble''s murder and no further leads on the case.