|Birth: ||Dec. 15, 1956|
|Death: ||Jan. 6, 2011|
Slaying of Rozier Construction owner stuns Wilkinson residents
Ronnie Willis Rozier, Sr. age 54 passed away Thursday, January 6, 2011. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday at the chapel of
Mr. Rozier was a native and resident of Wilkinson County. He was retired from Rozier Construction Company. He was preceded in death by his parents Willis and Ailene McCoy Rozier. He was loved and will be missed by all.
Survivors include his wife Tracey Butler Rozier of McIntyre, two sons, Ronnie Rozier, Jr. (Lindsey) and Scott Rozier, a daughter Kim Rozier McLaulin (Robb) all of Milledgeville, a sister Tammy Rozier Harris of McIntyre, two grandchildren, Will Rozier and Brooklyn McLaulin.
A well-known Wilkinson County construction company owner was shot and killed at his home Thursday, and authorities say the suspect is a Gordon man, an acquaintance, who apparently paid the victim a visit and robbed him.
Ronnie W. Rozier Sr.'s wife found him lifeless, sprawled on their couch, when she returned to their house north of McIntyre about 8 p.m. Thursday, Wilkinson Sheriff Richard Chatman said Friday.
Investigators believe Rozier, 54, the co-owner of Rozier Construction, a McIntyre-based general contracting outfit founded by his late father, was slain -- "shot multiple times," the sheriff said -- sometime around 4 p.m. Thursday.
Early Friday, authorities in Savannah arrested 22-year-old Zachary "Zac" Beck of Gordon and later charged him in Rozier's death, Chatman said.
The sheriff said a car matching the description of Beck's was seen at the house Thursday afternoon by "three or four different people." Investigators then tracked Beck to Savannah, where he was "visiting with some friends," Chatman said.
The sheriff declined to say how Beck knew Rozier, just that they were acquaintances in their community 25 miles east of Macon.
"We surmised when we got there, that (because) there was no forced entry, that (the assailant) knew him and he knew them," Chatman said, adding that robbery appears to have been the motive because some of Rozier's cash was said to be missing.
The sheriff said he coached Beck a decade or so ago when Beck played center for his youth league football team. According to Beck's Facebook page, he was a 2006 graduate of Wilkinson County High. Chatman gave Beck's address as 344 Milledgeville Highway in Gordon, roughly 10 miles west of Rozier's house, which sits east of U.S. 441 about 10 miles south of Milledgeville. The sheriff said Beck had recently worked at the BASF plant in McIntyre.
Chatman said he had known Rozier for about 30 years. "A family man," he said. "A lot of people liked him."
The sheriff said that initially Rozier's wife apparently thought he was ill. Chatman said she called family members and a friend at first before someone dialed 911.
"I guess she took it that something else was wrong with him," Chatman said. He said it wasn't until McIntyre Police Chief Wayne Amerson, who lives nearby, arrived at the scene sometime before 9 p.m. that it was evident Rozier had been shot.
"He responded to see if he could be of some assistance, and when he got there he realized this was not a medical call, this is a homicide," Chatman said.
The sheriff said that for him, being familiar with Rozier from the community, the contractor's death hit home.
Chatman said, "When you go into a house and you see a scene like that where there's a victim shot multiple times and then you look on the walls above where they were found and you see pictures of family gatherings and pictures with grandkids and pictures at weddings, it gives you kind of a personal feeling toward it, like, ‘Hey, we've got to close this thing out.'"
Wilkinson Coroner Billy Matthews runs a McIntyre convenience mart that bears his name -- Billy Matthews Grocery -- and is situated just up the street from Rozier's business office.
"It's just kind of a bizarre incident for around here," Matthews said Friday, adding that Rozier "was well-liked."
Mike Thompson, a customer at Matthews' store who used to drive dump trucks for Rozier's company, remembered him as "a great fellow, an excellent boss. He was always joking, always talkative and just an all-around great guy. ... I hate it for the family."
Willis Wiltz Rozier (1933 - 2000)
Allene McCoy Rozier (1936 - 1992)
Baldwin Memorial Gardens
Created by: Jack Johnson
Record added: Jan 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63892481