Richmond County, Augusta, GA – A twenty year US Marine Corps Veteran and Code Enforcement Officer, Charles Case, was ambushed and murdered on a “routine” call August 20. Suspect Smitty Oliver Melton is in custody after a short manhunt. (Augusta Chronicle)
Charles Case, known as “Chip” to his friends, went to a residence to post a “condemned” sign on Thursday. The sign was to let other officials know that no one should be living at the house and warn that it was unsafe. The routine assignment did not seem controversial or dangerous, otherwise, police personnel would have acompanied him. After posting it, Case returned to his vehicle, where Melton allegedly came from behind the truck and opened fire. There were holes in his truck and casings on the ground, grim reminders of the murder of a well-loved city employee.
Authorities had responded to the residence days prior to the murder for junk cars that were in violation of local ordinances.
The office says Officer Case posted a sign on Melton’s home Tuesday, which said it was unsafe to go inside. When he came back on Thursday, he reportedly noticed the sign had been taken down, so he put up a new one, then walked back to his truck to to call the Richmond County Marshal’s Office. He was on the phone with them when the fatal shots were fired.
Charles Case previously worked for the August Animal Control Department before transferring to Code Enforcement. They released a statement about him to WFXG:
“Officer Case was a man of integrity, morals, and principles. You could always count on Officer Case to do things by the book even if it meant making his job a little bit more difficult. He was always proactive in looking for ways to do things in a more efficient and effective manner which is something that his co-workers loved about him. Fittingly, it didn’t take long upon my arrival as the new Director to realize that Officer Case possessed strong leadership qualities. His fellow officers would often seek him out for guidance because of these qualities. In fact, even after he transferred to Code Enforcement his fellow officers would reach out to him for advice on their difficult cases.
The bond he made with the staff here will never be broken and for that we are grateful. Augusta Animal Services will truly miss Officer Charles Case and want to extend our deepest condolences to his family. We understand that the road ahead will be difficult and want the family to know that we are here for their support. We’ve all lost a great man!”
Rest in peace, Charles Case.
Featured photo: Augusta Code Enforcement