published Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Aunt of man charged in Dalton double homicide arrested

A second arrest has been made in the case of a Georgia man accused of killing his brother and father and shooting his mother.

Police believe that, after the April 29 shooting deaths of his brother and father at their home on Dude Street, 27-year-old Emilio Canales Jr. called his aunt and asked her to pick him up at a Walgreen’s in Dalton.

Kathy Strickland, of Dalton, drove her nephew to a home on Sparks Lane, then went to her sister’s house on Dude Street, where she was met by investigators, Dalton Police spokesman Bruce Frazier said. Her sister, Deborah Canales, was wounded in the same shooting that killed Emilio Canales Sr. and Francisco Canales.

When Strickland was questioned about her nephew, she told investigators she didn’t know where he was and that she hadn’t seen him the day of the shooting, Frazier said.

Police believe she lied and she was arrested and charged with making false statements to police, hindering the apprehension of a criminal and obstruction, Frazier said. Police don’t believe she was an accomplice in the killings, he said.

Strickland has posted a $5,000 bond and has been released from jail, a Whitfield County employee said.

After being dropped off on Sparks Lane, Emilio Canales Jr. hid in the house for a while, but apparently got spooked when a police officer drove by, Frazier said. A Whitfield County deputy spotted him hiding outside and he was arrested.

Police have charged Canales Jr. with two counts of murder and aggravated assault in the deaths of his father and older brother and shooting injuries suffered by his mother. Deborah Canales — who was shot in the back — is still recovering at Hamilton Medical Center.

Canales Jr., who records show was affiliated with the Surenos gang, has a long criminal history, records show.

In March 2006, he fired into the ground in a group of people with three other gang members and was arrested on multiple charges, including aggravated assault, a police report showed. His older brother also was arrested in the same incident, but prosecutors dropped the charges after Canales Jr. was indicted.

He lived with his parents most of the time after he got out of prison in 2008 after serving two years for the shooting. But he went back to jail multiple times for violating probation and not paying child support for his 9-year-old daughter, court records show.

Canales Jr. remains in jail. His bond request was transferred to Whitfield County Superior Court and continued until June 6.

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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