2018-10-10 / Front Page

Pelham Store Owner Killed in Robbery

A second arrest was made Friday night in the murder of a Pelham grocery store owner who was shot during an armed robbery at his store Friday morning, October 5.

Reports say that Bob Bettison, owner of Bettison’s Grocery Store, was shot in the head around 11:00 a.m.

A customer came into the store and found Bettison lying on the floor and called law enforcement.

Bettison was transported to a Thomasville hospital where he died later that evening.

The last robbery at this store was a few years ago, during a gang initiation. The last shooting in Pelham happened in 2016, police say.

Jerrod Johnson, 19, and Hurbert Laster, 20, are being held in the Mitchell County jail on murder charges.

According to Pelham’s Police Chief, Nealie Mc- Cormick, Laster was questioned earlier in the day and was released and said he was just a witness. After the GBI investigated, they figured out he was in connection with the crime.

He was arrested around 6:30 Friday night. According to police, Jerrod Johnson pulled the trigger, and Hurbert was there while it happened.

Both men will be charged with murder. Johnson will have other charges as well. Those charges are still being processed.

A prayer vigil was held Friday night.

Several dozen people gathered to remember Bettison and pray for strength for his family in the midst of a tragedy.

Bettison is remembered as selfless, inclusive and loving, community members said at the vigil.

“If he had it and you needed it, the only thing you needed to do was just ask him,” said Ned Griffin, Pelham resident. “It’s just, today, it’s just another senseless killing.”

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