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Murder suspect arrested

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By Cheri Harris

A Gadsden County murder suspect is in custody thanks to a Tallahassee tipster.

The North Florida U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force arrested Willie Gene Westberry III, 25, on Sept. 18 in connection with an April 27 homicide outside a club in Chattahoochee.

Capt. Jim Corder, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said Westberry was arrested on a homicide charge in the death of Sterling S. Johnson,  28.

Westberry is accused of shooting Johnson at least four times, including once in the face execution-style, outside C.J.’s Sports Bar and Grille. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Westberry, a Tallahassee resident, came to Chattahoochee for a party at the club and reportedly left the scene after the shooting in a car someone else was driving and he was considered an armed and dangerous fugitive.

The tipster notified authorities that Westberry was living in a Tallahassee apartment complex. Corder said Westberry was a cautious fugitive — traveling in and out of the area, altering his appearance, limiting cell phone calls and the number of people who had his cell phone number and letting other people drive him. 

But once authorities knew where he was, Corder said task force members were able to surround Westberry’s apartment and take him custody without incident. He is in the Gadsden County Jail. No bond has been set.

“Thank goodness for honest citizens who made the phone call and provided good information,” Corder said. “Our community is a safer place today because he’s in 

custody.”