UPDATE (8:44 p.m.): 

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A 41-year-old car salesman was charged Monday with the strangulation murder of a University of Georgia professor in Baldwin County, local and state authorities say.

The bizarre case involved two men, one a former doctor and a local businessman, who reportedly tried to revive the victim and later talked with authorities about what happened before walking into his home and shooting himself to death, according to authorities.

The other man, Marcus Lillard, a former area car salesman, is charged with one count of murder, one county aggravated assault, and one count of concealing the death of another, according to Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee.

The victim’s body was found near a hot tub at the residence.

Lillard, whose last known auto sales job was in the Albany, Ga. area, is accused of the strangulation death of 43-year-old Dr. Marianne Clopton Shockley, of Plantation Road, Madison, Massee said.

Shockley received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia College in Milledgeville in 1997, according to her academia page. She later received master’s and doctorate degrees from the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia in Athens and had worked at UGA since 2010. 

The sheriff said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Michael Maybin of the Region 6 Office in Milledgeville, took out three warrants for Lillard’s arrest.

“These warrants were signed by (Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court) Judge Brenda H. Trammell,” Massee told reporters at a press conference Monday. “Our defendant, Mr. Lillard has been advised by Reid White, one of our investigators, as well as Agent Maybin that he is being charged with these three offenses.”

The sheriff described the case as one of the strangest ever worked by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

“I don’t know how to explain this to people who are not in our business, but when we first arrived at the crime scene, there was just something about it not right, and it was sort of a bizarre, different kind of case,” Massee said. “We had that conversation privately and [in] our law enforcement circle.”

Lillard was arrested early Sunday morning on a state probation violation and was taken to the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center.

The suspect was still in the county jail Monday afternoon when he was informed that he was being charged with murder, Massee said.

The doctor, meanwhile, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was identified by Massee as 69-year-old Sydney Clark Heindel, of the 100 block of Watson Reynolds Road, Milledgeville.

Heindel was a former clinical psychologist and owner of Good Karma: Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts located on South Wayne Street in Milledgeville.

Massee said deputies received a telephone call about 1 a.m. Sunday to respond to Heindel’s residence on Watson Reynolds Road.

“The call had come in basically stating that a they had had a drowning on the scene,” Massee told reporters. “We had people in the water and one of them was deceased. Our people responded.”

The sheriff said when deputies and personnel from Grady Emergency Medical Services got the residence, “they determined that the scene looked a little inappropriate as far as just a pure drowning incident.”

Massee said blood was found at the scene, and based on LIllard’s and Heindel’s demeanor, deputies separated them for questioning. 

Massee said Lillard was later placed in the rear of a patrol car, while Heindel walked into the house.

“They were advised they were going to be separated and interviewed,” Massee said. “When Heindel went back into his house he was unattended and he did commit suicide. He utilized a weapon in his house and killed himself. He was not in custody at the time.”

The sheriff said authorities view what happened as “a terrible incident.”

“The GBI responded and helped us with the case around 3:15 a.m. (Sunday),” Massee said, noting it was raining heavily at the time. “It was very dark out there in a swimming pool area.”

The sheriff said investigating detectives, along with GBI agents, made a determination not to process the crime scene at the time, but instead wait until daylight.

“We didn’t think we could appropriately work the crime scene in that type weather, especially in the dark,” Massee said. “We probably spent close to 15 hours at the house and in interviews with Mr. Lillard.”

Autopsies were performed at the GBI Crime Laboratory in Macon on Monday. The preliminary reports revealed that Shockley died from strangulation and that Heindel’s death resulted from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Massee said Shockley’s body was found when law enforcement authorities and medical personnel got to the scene.

The sheriff said authorities were able to document that there was a period of more than two hours before 911 was called.

“The concealing charge of the death occurs from Mr. Lillard making calls two hours prior to the 911 call, requesting people to help her, [help] him … to get somebody back to life; how to help somebody do CPR, basically how to save a life,” Massee said.

Authorities could not provide an exact time of Shockley’s death.

“We can’t give an exact time on that for several reasons,” Massee said. “One, from reports from everyone there, they had been in a hot tub. The temperature that we’ve documented on the hot tub was 107 degrees. In the rain, and with us being there at night, you could literally see steam coming up from the hot tub. I’m going to tell you that had she been in the hot tub, which we can speculate, but we can’t truly prove that. The heat in the hot tub — the time she was out, I think it would be very hard to make a determination of time.”

The sheriff said the closest they could come to determining a time of death would probably be based on the telephone calls that authorities could document that were made to other people requesting help.

The calls for assistance started late Saturday night, Massee said.

“It was basically a group text, and then we’ve got a couple of other calls — probably around 11 or 11:30 Saturday night,” said GBI Assistant Agent In-Charge Mary Chandler. “911 was not called until 1:06 a.m. the following day.”

UPDATE: (6:15 p.m.):  

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A 41-year-old man has been charged in the death of a University of Georgia professor found in a hot tub at a Baldwin County home early Sunday morning. 

Click here to view Monday's press conference regarding the arrest and charges.

Marcus Lillard has been arrested and charged with murder, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another in the death of Marianne Clopton Shockley, 43, of Madison. 

Authorities with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 1:06 a.m. and were advised that someone at a home located at 115 Watson Reynolds Road, Milledgeville, was having difficulty breathing. 

Deputies arrived and found Shockley unresponsive. 

Lilliard and the homeowner, Sydney Clark Heindel, 69, were also at the scene. 

While authorities were at the residence, Lillard was placed in the back of a patrol car and Heindel made his way back into the home. While unattended, inside the house, Heindel took his own life, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office Monday afternoon.

Heindel owned Good Karma: Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts, located on South Wayne Street in downtown Milledgeville. 

Shockley was a professor of entomology at the University of Georgia in Athens. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgia College in Milledgeville in 1997 and later earned a master’s and a doctorate from UGA.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez said Shockley was pronounced dead at the scene 1:50 a.m. and Heindel was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. by Deputy Coroner Steve Chappel.

Final results of autopsies were pending at presstime Monday.

The investigation is being worked by detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 6 Office in Milledgeville.

Lillard is being held at the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. 

UPDATE (5:25 p.m.): 

 A 41-year-old man has been charged in the death of a woman found in a hot tub at a Baldwin County home early Sunday morning. 

Click here to view Monday's press conference regarding the arrest and charges.

Marcus Lillard has been arrested and charged with murder, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another in the death of Marianne Clopton Shockley, 43, of Madison. 

Authorities with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 1:06 a.m. and were advised that someone at a home located at 115 Watson Reynolds Road, Milledgeville, was having difficulty breathing. 

Deputies arrived and found Shockley unresponsive. 

Lilliard and the homeowner, Sydney Clark Heindel, 69, were also at the scene. 

While authorities were at the residence, Heindel made his way back into the home, and while unattended, he took his own life, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office. 

Heindel owned Good Karma: Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts, located on South Wayne Street in Milledgeville. 

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez said Shockley was pronounced dead at the scene 1:50 a.m. and Heindel was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. by Deputy Coroner Steve Chappel.

The investigation is being worked by detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 6 Office in Milledgeville.

Lillard is being held at the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. 

UPDATE (12:47 p.m.): 

Local and state law enforcement authorities are investigating the deaths of a woman found in a hot tub early Sunday morning, as well as the death of a man who reportedly shot himself at his residence on the eastside of Baldwin County.

The bodies of the woman and man were found between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. at 115 Watson Reynolds Road, which runs between Ga. Route 22 and Lake Laurel Road.

The victims were identified as Marianne Shockley, 43, of the 1100 block of Plantation Road, Madison, and Clark Heindel, 69, of 115 Watson Reynolds Road, Baldwin County, according to authorities.

Heindel owned Good Karma: Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts, located on South Wayne Street in Milledgeville.

According to the incident report, a third person was at the residence at the time and talked with authorities. He was identified as Marcus Lilliard, believed to be in his early 40s. Lilliard was later arrested on an outstanding state probation violation. He is being held at the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez told The Union-Recorder on Monday that autopsies were being performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Macon to determine the exact causes of death of both victims.

Gonzalez said Shockley was pronounced dead at the scene 1:50 a.m., and Heindel was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. by Deputy Coroner Steve Chappel.

The investigation is being worked by detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 6 Office in Milledgeville.

(10:10 a.m.): Local and state law enforcement authorities are investigating the deaths of a woman found in a hot tub early Sunday morning, as well as the death of a man who reportedly shot himself at his residence on the eastside of Baldwin County.

The bodies of the woman and man were found between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. at 115 Watson Reynolds Road, which runs between Ga. Route 22 and Lake Laurel Road.

The victims were identified as Marianne Shockley, 43, of the 1100 block of Plantation Road, Madison, and Clark Heindel, 69, of 115 Watson Reynolds Road, Baldwin County, according to authorities.

Heindel owned Good Karma: Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts, located on South Wayne Street in Milledgeville.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez told The Union-Recorder on Monday that autopsies were being performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Macon to determine the exact causes of death of both victims.

Gonzalez said Shockley was pronounced dead at the scene 1:50 a.m., and Heindel was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. by Deputy Coroner Steve Chappel.

The investigation is being worked by detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 6 Office in Milledgeville.

React to this story:

10
7
6
83
24

Trending Video

Recommended for you