Thursday March 21st, 2019 10:15AM

Gainesville man indicted in hotel murder

By Alyson Shields Reporter
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GAINESVILLE - A Superior Court Jury in Hall County has indicted a Gainesville man accused of murdering an associate at the Gainesville Sun Suites Hotel earlier this year.<br /> <br /> According to the indictment, 29-year-old Jose Antonio Garcia-Flores has been charged with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.<br /> <br /> The indictment states, in its fourth count, that Garcia-Flores is accused of maliciously causing bodily harm to the victim, Harmon Vonzell Lavender, "by depriving him of members of his body, by rendering useless members of his body and by seriously disfiguring his body, including his head, legs, hands, fingers, genitals and internal organs...."<br /> <br /> Garcia-Flores was arrested for the death of Lavender, a 52-year-old man from Augusta, who was found dismembered in a Gainesville extended-stay hotel on January 10, 2015. Investigators said previously they are unsure of when the actual incident occurred, however, the indictment lists January 7, 2015 as the day of the incident.<br /> <br /> During the investigation, Garcia-Flores was sought out by authorities as a missing person in the case, not as a suspect. Garcia-Flores was located somewhere in New York City and arrested on an unrelated parole warrant on January 15, 2015.<br /> <br /> Gainesville Police Corporal Kevin Holbrook said previously that "...this was a very violent, vicious, brutal death. This was one of the most gruesome crime scenes that we at the Gainesville Police Department and veteran members of the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) have investigated in our careers."<br /> <br /> Previous stories about the murder are linked below.<br />
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