Two of the three victims were known to suspect accused of shooting dead a golf pro at Georgia Country Club last week
Bryan Rhoden, 23, was charged last week after the bodies of three men were found at the Pinetree Country Club just outside Atlanta on July 3
Cops say rapper Bryan Rhoden, aka ‘B Rod’, knew his first two victims through the drug trade
Rhoden has been charged with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping
The bodies of two men – Paul Pierson, 76, of Topeka, Kansas; and Henry Valdez, 46, of California – were found bound, gagged and chained to to the back of a truck
Pro golfer Gene Siller, who was the 46-year-old director of golf at the club, was found shot dead on the course near his cart
A friend of one of the victims found in the back of the truck said Rhoden knew Pierson and Valdez via a cannabis drug trade
The friend said Valdez had no shame about working with drugs because he believed cannabis was medicine
Valdez once responded a landlord that he worked as a ‘drug dealer’
Pierson, the other man found in the back of the truck, was a longtime associate of Valdez but the exact nature of their relationship was unclear
Police had previously said Golf pro Gene Siller, a married father-of-two, was shot dead after witnessing a crime taking place
An aspiring rapper charged in the Georgia golf course triple-homicide knew the two men whose bodies were found bound and gagged in the back of an abandoned pick-up truck via a marijuana trade.
The two murdered men were found bound and gagged in a pickup truck after golf pro Gene Siller was gunned down on his Georgia club knew their suspected killer through a drug trade, according to a report.
Bryan Rhoden, aka “B. Rod”, a 23-year-old rapper is accused of shooting Siller once in the head after he “witnessed an active crime taking place” at the Atlanta-area Pinetree Country Club he ran.
Rhoden was charged last week after the bodies of three men were found on the golf course at the Pinetree Country Club just outside Atlanta on July 3.
Police said Siller, the director of golf at Pinetree Country Club near Kennesaw, was shot in the head when he approached a white Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck that had driven onto the course around the 10th hole. Police later found two more bodies in the truck.
The bodies of two men later identified as identified as 46-year-old Henry Valdez of Anaheim, California, and 76-year-old Paul Pierson of Topeka, Kansas, were found bound, gagged and shot in the back of a white Ram 3500 pickup truck that was abandoned in a sand trap near the 10th hole. Paul Pierson, was the owner of the pickup truck,
Pro golfer Gene Siller, who was the 46-year-old director of golf at the club, was found shot dead on the course near his cart.
A friend of one of the victims found in the back of the truck told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Rhoden knew Pierson and Valdez through the drug trade.
Alejandro Guerrero said his friend Valdez, who was a broker and ran a weed dispensary in California, was comfortable doing business with Rhoden and that he only ever worked with a ‘very small circle of people he trusted’.
Guerrero described the suspected murderer as a ‘nice guy’.
He added that Valdez had no shame about working with drugs and once responded that he worked as a ‘drug dealer’ when he was asked for his occupation by a landlord.
‘If anything, he was too open. Cannabis is medicine, that’s how he looked at it,’ Guerrero said.
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the state of Georgia but is decriminalized in several cities, including Atlanta.
Guerrero said Valdez ran a weed dispensary called Hope For Humanity in Orange County, California, where marijuana is legal for recreational use.
Publicly available documents reveal that Pierson spent much of his adult life in and around California’s Wine Country. He is listed as the director, president, treasurer and secretary of Eco Environmental Remediation Services, Inc., based in Nevada.
Valdez once served time after he was arrested in Illinois in 2004 for manufacturing and distributing 5,000 grams of marijuana.
Pierson, the other man found in the back of the truck, was a longtime associate of Valdez but the exact nature of their relationship was unclear, according to Guerrero.
Pierson, who was a civil engineer, ran the Nevada-based EcoServices Environmental Remediation Services. His family had previously said he was in Georgia for business but would not comment further.
Cannabis is also legal for recreational use in Nevada.
Police would not confirm the drug trade reports or the relationship between the two men and the suspect. Authorities have only said Pierson and Valdez were both from out-of-state and had no known links to the area or the country club.
As an 18-year-old Georgia State University student in 2016, Rhoden and another man were charged in a double shooting over an apparent drug deal, during which the rapper was hit in the chest, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was indicted, but it is not clear if the case went to court, the paper said
Rhoden was previously arrested in January 2020 while trying to board a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles after being intercepted by a K-9 unit.
Authorities seized $19,000 from him after the K-9 dog detected the smell of marijuana on the cash.
Rhoden, who was accused of punching an officer who tried to detain him, was charged with battery on a police officer. He was released on bond and the case is still pending.
After the golf course killings, he was taken into custody a week ago. He was picked up by police in nearby Chamblee, some 25 miles away from the course, in the hours after the shootings and charged with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping. He had gone there to retrieve a “significant amount of money” that was seized during a traffic stop the same day of the slayings.
He was booked only July 4 on misdemeanor charges of DUI, a headlight violation, fake ID, driving without insurance, driving an unregistered vehicle and using a license plate to conceal the identity of a vehicle.
Rhoden was released on bond two days later. He was then taken into custody again on July 6 and charged over the murders after going to the station to pick up the case.
Following his arrest, online records now show Rhoden was picked up by police in nearby Chamblee, some 25 miles away from the course, in the hours after the shootings.
Cobb Police Chief Tim Cox has acknowledged that Rhoden had previously been arrested but refused to provide details at the time. It is not yet clear if police knew he was the suspect in the homicides when he was picked up on the other charges hours after the shootings.
Cox said after his arrest that Rhoden was identified relatively early as the suspect.
Rhoden, who is originally from Florida, is an aspiring rapper who goes by the name B. ROD. He has recently released his first mixtape titled: ‘MADE IT OUT’.
His social media postings showed that he released a debut mixtape, “Made it Out,” just last month.
“I put a lot of work into making my first tape as diverse as possible to show you theres no limit to what I can do and appeal to everyone!” Rhoden wrote on Instagram. “Lets put it in they FACE ”
Introducing it on Instagram, he wrote: ‘I put a lot of work into making my first tape as diverse as possible to show you theres (sic) no limit to what I can do and appeal to everyone! Let’s put it in they FACE! Tellem yo favorite song off the tape.’
He had also been performing in clubs. Two days before the murders, he posted a video of himself performing that gained more than 10,000 views, writing alongside one video clip, “I’M WORKIN, I’M GRINDIN, I’M SHININ & ONLY GETTING BETTER!”
On the day of the killings, he tweeted : ‘built for ittt.’
On June 27 he tweeted: ‘why women start of nice *** then get comfortable with you and just talk s*** all day everyday!??? FALSE ADVERTISEMENT!????’
He then added: ‘If you not my b***h…why do we need to talk…EVERY DAYY.’
Police previously said Siller, a married father-of-two, was shot dead after witnessing a crime.
Police have not yet confirmed a motive for the shooting or elaborated on the crime Siller witnessed. It is still not clear if Siller was killed after spotting the bodies in the truck or if another crime was involved.
Warrants made public last week reveal Pierson and Valdez were shot to death in the back of the truck. They were found with their hands, legs and mouths bound with tape, according to the warrant.
Police believe the two men already were dead when Rhoden drove onto the green in a truck registered to Pierson, and became stuck in a sand trap.
Siller had only briefly dropped by the course on Saturday to remind staff that the driving range would be used to set off fireworks for July 4, instructor Corey Evans told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Siller apparently was shot the second he pulled up in a golf cart to investigate why the white pick-up was stranded.
Charlie Johnson said he understands Siller was driving a cart on the course at the Pinetree country club to ensure golfers were playing at the correct pace during the busy Saturday.
‘When you hear of a truck crashing on the course you’ve got to go in that direction,’ he said.
‘Before Gene even got out of the golf cart, he was shot. So he never made a foot out of the golf cart. The guy just opened fire.
‘Gene appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, there is no other way to explain it. Wrong place, wrong time and absolutely the most unlucky moment in somebody’s life.’
Evans said the club had been ‘thriving’ under Siller’s leadership and had ‘the most members the club has ever had.’
The Georgia State Golf Association paid tribute to Siller, saying: ‘All of us at the GSGA are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred earlier today at Pinetree CC. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene Siller’s family and friends.’
The Georgia PGA also issued a statement offering its condolences on Twitter: ‘Tragedy has stricken the Georgia Section PGA in the loss of our Member, Gene Siller. Thoughts and prayers for his family and the Pinetree Country Club family.’
Siller leaves behind his wife and their two young sons aged 6 and 7.
A GoFundMe set up to help support his family had already raised more than $729,553 so far. His funeral has been arranged for next Monday.