Sheriff: Suspect in 1998 Douglas County murder arrested

- Deputies in Douglas County said they have made an arrest in a cold case nearly 2 decades old.

Jody Wilder, 46 at the time, was gunned down August 7, 1998, but it was a tip from 2015 which helped investigators made an arrest just last week.

Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies said 18 years ago, on an August night, there was heavy traffic on Interstate 20 after a Braves game let out. It was in the emergency lane that Wilder was found inside his car, shot numerous times with a .45 caliber weapon.

Douglasville County Sheriff Phil Miller was at the scene the night Wilder, a family man working in the contracting business, was found murdered.

Witnesses the night of the murder told investigators they saw the shooting happen and the suspect leave the scene in a blue pickup truck, but each lead led to a dead end until last year, when investigators reopened the case.

New information fit together all the pieces of information, which had been floating around unconnected. Through information from an acquaintance of Charles Richard Kilpatrick, investigators said they were able to prove Kilpatrick had a vehicle at the time of the murder matching the description of the car witnesses saw at the scene.

“And as a result we were able to arrest him and charge him with aggravated assault and felony murder,” said Sheriff Miller.

Kilpatrick was arrested in Carrollton. Sheriff Miller said Kilpatrick knew they were looking for him and already had a lawyer retained.

“It means a lot to me that we were able to solve the case and bring closure to the family,” said Sheriff Miller.

Sheriff Miller said Wilder and Kilpatrick both frequented the same bar around the time of the murder, and he believes a fight likely began between the two men that night at the bar and ultimately ended on Interstate 20.

Kilpatrick was denied bond at his first appearance.

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