wjxt logo

Timeline traces days leading up to Georgia double murder-suicide

I-TEAM: Documents paint picture of troubled man upset about recent separation

Photo does not have a caption

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Documents released by the District Attorney's Office in Brunswick detail the days leading up to the June murders of a former Glynn County police lieutenant's estranged wife and her friend.

The documents, obtained Friday by the News4Jax I-TEAM, paint a picture of a troubled man who was upset about a recent divorce and his rage about the separation that investigators said led him to kill.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, former Glynn County Police Lt. Robert "Cory" Sasser, 41, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a SWAT standoff outside his home, hours after his estranged wife, 34-year-old Katie Kettles, and her friend, 39-year-old Johnny Edward Hall Jr., were shot and killed June 28 at Hall's Tolomato Island home in neighboring McIntosh County.

Body camera video recorded nearly two months before the murders show Sasser in a white shirt, trying to enter Kettle's home the night of May 13 while surrounded by officers who responded to a 911 call.

WATCH: Bodycam video shows tense moments between ex-officer, estranged wife

In the footage, Sasser can be heard saying, "You know what’s going to happen."

It was an apparent threat that no one knew at the time hinted at a double murder-suicide.

According to documents released by the Brunswick District Attorney's Office, on Tuesday, June 26, after a divorce proceeding, Sasser saw the mother of his child, Kettles, and her friend, Hall, at a local restaurant. Later in the night, Sasser began texting about Tolomato Island, where Hall lives.

The following day, July 27, documents show, Sasser traded in his white Ford F-150 for a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. He was seen transferring firearms described as an AR-15, a hunting rifle and a glock, into the new vehicle.

The same night, Sasser called the McIntosh County 911 director to search for Hall’s address, but she refused. According to documents, he then Google searched on his phone “husband kills man who wife cheats with” and spent the night with his sister.

The next day -- Thursday, June 28 -- Sasser called the Brunswick Memorial Park Cemetery and Funeral Home and paid for his cremation and funeral, stating that he would be taking a job overseas.

Sasser spoke with his mother and family at length that day.

Later that afternoon, documents show, he purchased a shotgun at a Valdosta gun shop.

AUDIO: 911 calls released in Georgia double murder-suicide

At 9:39 p.m., according to documents, a Tolomato Island resident called 911, reporting shots fired. The neighbor said a man exited a house holding a gun and stated, "This is what happens when you sleep with another man's wife.” 

911 Operator: "Um, the girl told me immediately she heard six shots. The guy's down in his driveway. They don’t think he’s breathing. He’s not moving.” 

911 Operator: "Upon them going to respond, they told me that think the suspect is Corey Sasser.” 

At 9:44 p.m., documents show, Sasser called his son and said, “I killed them both.” He also spoke with his sister, who urged him not to harm himself.

At 10:11 p.m., Sasser called the McIntosh 911 director back, saying he’s turning himself in at the jail.

But he did not. Prior to him reaching his home in the Hunter's Point neighborhood of Brunswick, investigators said, Sasser shot himself in the chest with a .40-caliber handgun in his own driveway. 

After the murders, the I-TEAM received a statement from Sasser's lawyer, which reads in part:

"This is a defense attorneys nightmare. I never saw it coming, I am shock, I have cried for 3 days, and there is not a damn thing I can do to fix it because a selfish, prideful, impatient, idiot made a decision out of anger and pit that it can never be reversed."

The statement goes on to say, "I don’t give a damn about Cory Sasser. It’s his children that I care about."


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.