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Man accused in country club triple murder plans to plead not guilty in death penalty case, attorney says

Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Prosecutors announced Wednesday they have formally filed for the intent to seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing three people at a Cobb County country club last year.

During Bryan Rhoden's hearing Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said they intend to pursue the case as a death penalty trial. His legal team said Rhoden intends to plead not guilty and lay out his case.

Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady previously said he intended to seek the death penalty against Rhoden for the murders of Gene Siller, Henry Valdez and Paul Pierson. The three were found dead on Pinetree Country Club's golf course in Kennesaw in July 2021. Family members of the victims were present for Wednesday's hearing, either virtually or in the courtroom.

Siller was shot to death near the 10th hole when Cobb County Police said he stumbled upon the crime. Investigators said he was not targeted, but was shot because he was witnessing the crime. Authorities later found Valdez and Pierson tied up and shot to death in the bed of a pickup truck on the green. 

Rhoden is facing three counts of malice murder, five counts of felony murder, two counts of kidnapping with bodily injury, three counts of aggravated assaults among other charges, according to a grand jury indictment.

11Alive's Joe Henke is covering new developments in this case. Follow him on Twitter.

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