ATLANTA (CBS46) – A man is now behind bars, charged in a triple homicide that shook a community and garnered nationwide attention.
Cobb County’s police chief Tim Cox said 23-year-old Bryan Anthony Rhoden is the lone killer in Saturday’s triple murder at the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw. Investigators believe Rhoden kidnapped two men and killed them on the golf course, and that he then killed the club’s golf course manager, Gene Siller, because he witnessed a crime in progress.
Rhoden is charged with three counts of felony murder in the deaths of Siller, 46, Henry Valdez of California, also 46, and Paul Pierson, 76, of Kansas. In addition, he faces three counts of aggravated assault with the intent to murder and two counts of kidnapping, according to an arrest warrant obtained by CBS46 on Friday. The full warrant can be viewed at the end of this article.
Cobb County police responded to a "person shot" call July 3rd around 2:30 p.m. at the country club at 3400 McCollum Parkway. On arrival, they found Siller dead on the green of the 10th hole with a gunshot wound to the head. Pierson and Valdez were both found dead in the back of a white Dodge Ram 3500 pick-up truck that was also found on the green near a sand trap. Police said both men had been shot and their hands, legs and mouths were bound with tape.
Hours after the murders, Rhoden was arrested by Chamblee police for DUI, providing false identification, and having a fake license plate. Those warrants can also be viewed at the end of this article. But days would go by before investigators could link him to the murders. On Thursday evening, police announced Rhoden as the suspect and charged him in the triple killing.
Past felonies later sealed and an interview with CBS46
Now, we’re learning more about the man's checkered past. Rhoden graduated from Campbell High School in 2015 where he played varsity football and ran track, according to his Facebook page. From there, he attended Georgia State University and that's where he ran into trouble. In 2016, he was accused of trying to sell marijuana to two teenagers and then getting into a shootout with them.
WATCH: Rhoden faced several felonies in 2016 shooting at GSU
Rhoden was shot in the chest during the incident. He faced several felonies afterward and court records show he was released on a signature bond. There's no record of a conviction. A Fulton County Court spokesperson said the case was sealed by a judge in April 2017 but could not say why. We do know that Georgia's first offender act gives defendants with no criminal history a second chance.
Rhoden appeared on CBS46 in December 2019 in an interview about last minute Christmas shopping at Lenox Square. Not knowing about his GSU case, a CBS46 reporter asked him about the crowded mall. Rhoden told her he came to the mall to shop because there was no time for shipping.
WATCH: Bryan Rhoden interviewed on CBS46
Previous trouble with the law
We've since learned that Rhoden had a few more run-ins with the law. In May 2020, he was driving a maroon Chevy Silverado when Atlanta police pulled him over for allegedly driving with a cell phone in his hand. Police said they smelled marijuana coming from the car and placed him under arrest. A search of his vehicle revealed 44 "individually rolled and packaged marijuana cigarettes," police said, and $3,000 in cash. He was cited for distracted driving and possession of marijuana. During that arrest, police learned that Rhoden had a warrant out of East Point. CBS46 is working to get more information on that case.
In August 2020, Rhoden was arrested in Indiana after a high-speed chase, according to a report by the Pharos Tribune in Logansport. A state trooper reportedly attempted to pull Rhoden over for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour when he allegedly fled the scene. After a three-mile chase at speeds up to 150 miles per hour, police say, he was arrested and charged with resisting law enforcement, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving. He was released on a $5,000 bond.
In April of this year, an Uber driver called Atlanta police claiming that Rhoden and his group got into an argument with him so he decided to pull over and kick them out. According to a report, the Uber driver told police that Rhoden threatened him with a gun. Police said Rhoden admitted having a gun but denied using it to threaten the driver. Police couldn't determine which party was telling the truth, so they let them go their separate ways.
His last Instagram post was 2 days before the murders
Rhoden also appears to be a music artist. He has nearly 19,000 followers on Instagram. A June post on his page features his music album called 'Made It Out.'
His page also shows some of his live performances. The latest was posted just two days before the murders.
Rhoden made his first court appearance at the Cobb County Jail on Friday where a judge denied bond. A separate bond hearing is set for July 27th.
Arrest warrants for felony murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping:
Arrest warrants for DUI, providing false identification, and having a fake license plate: