Daniel Paul Jones, 19, and Sarah Haslam, 20, both of Longview, were arraigned by 115th District Judge Lauren Parish in the Dec. 5 death of 27-year-old Ronnie Joe Gammage. The suspects remained in Upshur County Jail at Gilmer Friday, nine days after Gammage’s body was found, and are charged with aggravated kidnapping of him in Gregg County.
The third suspect in the slaying, 21-year-old Andrew Conrad Norwine, of Arlington, was being held under $1 million bond in Vernon Parish, La., awaiting transfer to Gilmer, said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd’s office.
Byrd said he could not discuss how Gammage was killed or the motive. The district attorney said the body was sent to the Southwestern Institute for Forensic Science in Dallas for autopsy, and that he is awaiting results.
Byrd said he hoped Norwine would be transferred to Upshur County within a week or two. The district attorney also told reporters after Friday’s arraignments it was “too early to make” the decision whether he will seek the death penalty in the case.
Gammage was abducted in Longview Dec. 5, and Longview police arrested Jones and Haslam Dec. 19 on the aggravated kidnapping charges, Byrd said. On the day of the arrests, Gammage’s body was found in a pasture on Martin Road near Diana, he said.
Jones and Haslam were additionally charged with capital murder in Upshur County Dec. 20, said Byrd. Each defendant’s bond was set at $300,000 each in Gregg County on the kidnapping charges, he said.
Norwine, who has not been charged with kidnapping at this point, was arrested Monday shortly before midnight by Fort Polk, La., military police at that base, said Byrd. The suspect is in the U.S. Army, but was absent without leave when Gammage was slain and is in the process of being dishonorably discharged, the district attorney said.
Jones appeared with his court-appointed attorney, Longview lawyer Kevin Settle, while Haslam appeared with her court-appointed lawyer, Mount Pleasant attorney Charles Mac Cobb.
Cobb said his client was exercising her rights to remain silent, and to have an attorney present during all questioning.