published Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Three face charges in Calhoun, Ga., slaying

by Naomi Jagoda

Three men are in jail in the death of a Calhoun, Ga., man who was shot to death at his home Saturday.

Deunta Curtis, 22, surrendered to officers Monday night after Chattanooga police and U.S. marshals surrounded a house at 4014 Fagan St., said Chattanooga police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary.

Curtis, who is from Calhoun, faces charges of murder and armed robbery, said Gordon County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Robert Paris. Curtis was being taken to the Hamilton County Jail on Monday night and faces extradition, Weary said.

Brent Carey, 28, and Claude "Man" Simpson, 33, were arrested Saturday by Gordon County deputies and charged with murder and armed robbery.

Witnesses first told authorities that three men had barged into a home off Union Grove Church Road, demanding money and then shooting Jason Hammond, 41.

But authorities say the shooting was drug-related.

"It was not random," Paris said. "They didn't just pick a house at random."

Preliminary autopsy results show Hammond was shot once in the chest and also suffered multiple bruises to his head that appeared to be from a fight, Deputy Coroner Heath Derryberry said.

Deputies were called to Hammond's home about 2 a.m. Saturday for a reported homicide, an earlier news release said. Witnesses told authorities all three men had fled.

One man was arrested shortly afterward, Sheriff Mitch Ralston said in a news release. Several hours later a second man was arrested.

Hammond's death is the first homicide reported in Gordon County since July 2010, Paris said.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at 423-757-6659 or

Contact staff writer Naomi Jagoda at or 423-757-6476.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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