Kennesaw country club killings: 2 indicted on murder charges

An 8-page indictment handed down late last week is shedding new light on the murder of three people found on the tenth hole of Pinetree Country Club’s golf course during the Fourth of July holiday weekend last year.

Golf pro Gene Siller was found shot to death on the green and two others, 46-year-old Henry Valdez, of California, and 76-year-old Paul Pierson, of Kansas, were found dead in the bed of a white Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck teetering on the bank of a sand trap on the afternoon of July 3, Cobb County police said. Police identified Pierson as the owner of the truck.

Police believe Siller was not targeted by the suspect but witnessed an active crime leading to his death.


A memorial for golf pro Gene Siller has been set up on the tenth hole of the Pinetree Country Club’s golf course on July 5, 2021. (FOX 5 / GoFundMe)

Suspect Bryan Anthony Rhoden arrested for DUI in Chamblee

Chamblee police would arrest 23-year-old Atlanta resident Bryan Anthony Rhoden on DUI charges later that night, but investigators had not yet tied him to the deadly golf course crime. According to the police report, Rhoden was driving a black 2017 Maserati ​Ghibli bearing a Georgia temporary tag heading northbound on Peachtree Road. An officer driving in the other direction noticed the vehicle did not have its tail lights on and turned around, pulling the car over along Peachtree Blvd. near Johnson Ferry Road.

The report identifies the driver as Rhoden who the officer said "appeared to be very nervous and could not provide me with his GA Driver’s License." The report states Rhoden told the officer he left it at home.

When the officer ran the temporary tag, the report states he found the VIN associated with the tag came back to a different 2017 Maserati Ghibli.

Bryan Rhoden (Cobb County Sheriff's Office)

After conducting a series of field sobriety tests, Rhoden was taken into custody. The report states Rhoden would later "provided a breath sample of 0.051 BrAC" when he was processed at Chamblee Police headquarters.

Jewelry, $11,762 in cash, and several debit and credit cards were also found in the book bag inside the luxury car, the report states. The car was impounded and the jewelry, cash, and IDs were entered into evidence. 

Rhoden was charged with headlights required, DUI less safe alcohol, driving use of license plate for concealing identity of a vehicle, driving a vehicle without a current license plate and was booked into DeKalb County jail during the early morning hour of July 4. 

He would be released from jail two days later but called back to the Chamblee Police Department headquarters after police told him he could pick up the items found in his car. Instead, the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force picked him up and initially charged him with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of kidnapping.

The murders of Eugene Siller, Paul Pierson, and Henry Valdez

A warrant for Justin Caleb Pruitt was issued later that in the year. That warrant stated Pruitt was a "co-conspirator and accomplice" of Rhoden.

According to the indictment handed down late last week, Pruitt and Rhoden abducted Valdez and Pierson by binding them "with duct tape" and drove them "in the bed of a pickup truck to the Pinetree Country Club" where Rhoden then shot them. The indictment states Valdez was shot to the head and Pierson was shot in the back, buttock, leg, and arms. 

Siller was also shot by Rhoden, the indictment states.

A witness shared this photo of a white pickup truck on the tenth hole at Pinetree Country Club’s golf course in Kennesaw, Georgia on July 3, 2021.

Before fleeing the scene, the indictment outlines how Rhoden "did conceal the murder weapon" and asked Taylor Nicole Cameron "to pick up the firearm so as to avoid apprehension and otherwise obstruct the prosecution of himself."

Rhoden was indicted on three counts of malice murder and seven counts of felony murder. He also faces two counts of kidnapping with bodily injury, three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and tampering with evidence.

Pruitt was charged with two counts each of felony murder and kidnapping with bodily injury.

Cameron faces the single charge of criminal attempt to commit tampering with evidence.

The indictment and previously issued warrants did not shed light on the motive behind the deadly crime.