published Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Roommate faces charges in Harrison killing

by Andrew Pantazi
  • photo
    The body of David L. Murray, 46, was discovered Tuesday at 6422 Ware Branch Drive.

A 19-year-old facing charges in the slaying of a 46-year-old Harrison man recently wrote on Facebook that: "I think I'm too nice of a person to everybody."

Joshua Stoltz, of Red Bank, now is awaiting extradition from South Georgia to Hamilton County, where authorities say he will be arrested on charges of criminal homicide and theft over $10,000 in connection with David L. Murray's killing.

Stoltz was pulled over Monday in Murray's maroon Ford F-150 pickup after police in Valdosta, Ga., saw him driving "well below speed limit" and swerving, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. After being stopped, the truck was searched and he was arrested on drug and theft charges.

Murray was found dead Tuesday, lying in a pool of blood in the basement of a home at 6422 Ware Branch Cove Drive. Murray's sister had called authorities Tuesday and said she hadn't heard from him in several days.

On his regularly updated Facebook page, Stoltz made his last post on Nov. 30, talking about getting something to drink after a long day at work. In the days prior, Stoltz had posted updates about dinner with his family and video games, but had also written about dealing with insomnia.

In a Nov. 28 update he said, "I'm about to start being a complete [expletive] to everybody but my close friends, sometimes I think I'm too nice of a person to everybody."

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said Stoltz had been living with Murray in the large house on Ware Branch Cove for several months.

"When we found Stoltz was missing and [Murray's] vehicle was missing, he was immediately a person of interest," Hammond said.

Hammond said it is unclear when Murray was killed, saying the man was last seen Saturday. Officials have not yet released Murray's cause of death.

According to a statement issued by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, a deputy pulled over the truck Monday as it was traveling north on Interstate 75. The deputy noticed Stoltz was "extremely nervous" and asked permission to search the truck. In the cab, she found oxycodone and other drugs not prescribed to Stoltz, and several guns listed as stolen by police in Ringgold, Ga.

Marijuana and meth were also found on Stoltz, records show.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has charged Stoltz with two counts of theft, possession of tools for commission of a crime, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and failure to maintain lane.

On Tuesday, after Murray's body was found, Hamilton County investigators issued a nationwide BOLO -- "be on the lookout" -- for Murray's stolen truck, which was quickly matched to the vehicle impounded in Lowndes County.

Sheriff's officials have already traveled to Valdosta, Hammond said.

The sheriff declined to comment further on how Murray and Stoltz knew each other.

Neighbors said Murray was in the construction business and, on his Facebook, Stoltz recently posted that he was working with a contractor.

Lucy Smith, a 67-year-old neighbor who played with Murray's chocolate Labrador McClain, said she had gotten to know Murray, but had spoken very little with Stoltz.

"Josh seemed nice and cordial when I met him, but I didn't really know him," Smith said. "For this to happen to [Murray], it just breaks my heart."

Robert Kozloski, president of Evergreen Consulting, which owns the house Murray and Stoltz were staying in, said he could not comment about the circumstances until speaking with his attorney.

According to his Facebook page, Stoltz attended Red Bank High School. He joined the U.S. Army National Guard in Chattanooga in March 2010 and was discharged May 23, according to Maj. Randy Harris, director of joint public affairs for the Tennessee Military Department.

Harris said he could not release the circumstances under which Stoltz was discharged without a Freedom of Information Act request, which the Times Free Press has submitted.

about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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rolando said...

Let us not be too hard on the poor lad, Stolz. He is, after all, merely being an Occupier -- in spirit if not the flesh. Occupiers, as a breed, tend to think that they freely deserve that for which others have labored.

Murray had a nice truck and money; Stolz wanted he practiced a little "wealth re-distribution" at the cost of a bit of blood --- the blood of someone else.

Again, he merely practiced what has been broadly reported, even advertised and glorified in the "news" media.

You reap what you sow.

December 8, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
rolando said...

Good luck on the FOIA request, Mr. Pantazi. The news media generally doesn't do well on that since it takes forever and a day to receive a response...the news is old news by that time.

My guess why Stolz was discharged would be either sloth [and its relatives] or perhaps flagrant homosexual acts [since DADT was in effect at that time].

December 8, 2011 at 9:26 a.m.
skyboxer said...

At first glance this does appear to have all the makings of a "May-December" homosexual liaison which "went bad."

I don't think we should also be surprised to learn that copious amounts of illegal drugs were being used at the residence given what Stoltz had in his possession when he was arrested in Georgia. The insomnia he references on his FaceBook page is likely related to meth binging. It's a well known fact that meth is widely used within the gay community for drug fueled "sex-a-thons."

Mr. Stoltz also has a very curious "favorite" quote on his FaceBook Wall which he cites:

"Throgh (sic) chaos and confusion come order, through order comes rebellion, through rebellion comes violence, through violence comes chaos and confusion, although through all of this, technology is born, ideas are spread and the common man come together to do things that are otherwise impossible. Thus is the viscous (sic) circle of life we live."

It appears Mr. Stoltz is about to experience the "technology of prison incarceration" -- along with the associated violence that permeates our correctional institutions. As Rolando (above) notes "You reap what you sow."

December 8, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.
kgb said...

personally i knew josh stolts he was a very kinde hearted person who wouldnt hurt a fly he was not homosexual he did smoke and drink occasionally but what teenager hasnt hes been nothing but a friend and he talked to me about his boss personally i think his boss was scum a drug addict who didnt want to pay his employees and josh worked hard for that man and he did make a mistake the man deserved to get beaten up but not death he was a manipulator who took advantage of my friend and he will reap what he sows i am just shocked at the whole situation because that was not the josh me or any of his friends know

December 9, 2011 at 1:32 a.m.
macropetala8 said...

kgb said... personally i knew josh stolts he was a very kinde hearted person who wouldnt hurt a fly he was not homosexual

One doesn't have to be considered homosexual to get involved in a same liasion. It happens in group sex where there are married couples too. It's been known for quite sometime now that suburbanite teens have often experimented in group and same sex activities.

December 9, 2011 at 10:09 a.m.
rolando said...

Thanks, kgb. You just pretty well confirmed it.

19-20 year old guys do not "experiment", macro; they are past that stage. They might swing, but it isn't experimentation at that is personal preference. It really doesn't matter one way or the other...except in how they react under certain circumstances.

December 10, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
ntbk said...

everybody that has posted a comment is so correct,lots of people knew david and all you have to do is google him to find that he operated his sex life like he operated his business..this lifestyle is dangerous and maybe this can help others to see the light.we have to be role models and people will finally give our gay community the respect we deserve.sadly this is what alot of people think we all live like.

December 11, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.
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