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Man charged in Vidalia RJ Pope manager's murder
Suspect arrested Saturday following 'intense search'
Tyrone Burns
Tyrone Burns

Police arrested a suspect Saturday in the Friday murder and armed robbery of the manager of RJ Pope's Traditional Men's Wear in Vidalia.

Tyrone Burns, 29, of Vidalia, is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery, said Vidalia police Chief Frank Waites.

Burns is suspected in the death and armed robbery of Christian Brooke Joiner, 31, who was pronounced dead at a hospital Friday afternoon after having been shot in the head.

An employee of another store near RJ Pope's on Highway 280 in Vidalia reported hearing a gunshot around 1 p.m. Friday. A customer later entered the store and found Joiner, then went to another business and called 911, reports said.

RJ Pope's Traditional Men's Wear is based out of Statesboro, owned by Ronnie Pope.

Toombs County Coroner Ron Hall sent the victim's body to the state crime lab for an autopsy. Joiner was the mother of a 7-year-old son, according to reports.

Waits said his office, aided by the Georgia State Patrol, the Toombs County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, mounted an "intense search" Friday for the suspect, who had been captured on surveillance camera. He was apprehended around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Waits said.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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