An arrest warrant provides news details in the demeanor of man accused of killing his mother and a man over the weekend.
Justin Hess, 31, had his first court appearance Monday morning for the murder of his mother in her east Cobb County home over the weekend. Hess is also a suspect in the stabbing death of a man in Sandy Springs.
Hess was taken into custody Sunday afternoon after a Cobb Police SWAT team surrounded a home in the 400 block of Bridle Path in the Mulberry Farms subdivision.
Cobb Police Sergeant Dana Pierce said officers initially responded Saturday night to a shots fired report at the home. When they arrived, officers discovered the body of 61-year-old Carol Hess inside the residence.
Officers canvassed the community overnight Saturday and evacuated a number of homes in the community while searching for a suspect in the slaying. Authorities later identified her son, Justin, as a suspect.
According to the arrest warrant, neighbors heard gunshots at the residence and called 911. Hess reportedly left the home with a gun on his hip, and "mumbling" while using a "fake accent". Neighbors called Carol Hess's cell phone. They said Justin answered and said his mother had an accident and possibly fell.
Hess then drove off in a Mazda car with the headlines off, according to the arrest warrant.
Sandy Springs Police said Hess then went to a storage facility off of Roswell Road, where he stabbed 53-year-old William E. Haynes to death and drove off in his vehicle.
Police said it appears that Haynes and Hess did not know each other beforehand. Records show Haynes had a storage unit there, and was apparently simply checking his storage unit when he was attacked.
"It appears, at this particular time, that the main motive was that Mr. Hess wanted the victim's vehicle," Lindstrom said. "You hate to think that is what it is about, but it is a shiny red car. A shiny red car gets anyone's attention. It could be as simple as that, but we don't really know."
Records do not indicate Hess had any storage unit at the facility.
Police found the Mazda vehicle at the storage facility, and noted that it was same as the car Cobb Police included in its alert Saturday night. Then, they received word Haynes' missing red Audi was located outside the east Cobb County homicide location.
He was taken into custody early Sunday afternoon and has been charged with one count each of aggravated assault and murder.
“We were using a lot of caution in this case,” Pierce said. “The nature of their homicide and the nature of this one caused us to bring out our full resources to take this suspect into custody.”
Investigators from Sandy Springs and Cobb County have been working side-by-side, interviewing Hess, and walking through a complete timeline of events.
Sandy Springs Police said there will be a murder warrant for Hess in Fulton County, plus additional charges.
In Monday's court hearing, Hess stood in an orange jumpsuit on a video monitor, while facing Judge Timothy Wolf.
"Do you understand the charges against you?" Wolf asked.
"Yes, sir, you have made yourself perfectly clear," Hess said, though he indicated he had not yet received a signed copy of the charges. The judge said he would provide those to Hess.
Hess remains in custody in Cobb County, pending a bond hearing, which has been set for January 10 at 1 p.m.