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[UPDATE] Gadsden County Murder

By: Candace Riley; Jill Chandler, La'Tasha Givens Email
By: Candace Riley; Jill Chandler, La'Tasha Givens Email

Updated by La'Tasha Givens 12/30 at 6:15 pm

He (Marvin Cannon) went through some swampy areas, he went through some clear areas," says Lt. Jim Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office.

At the crack of dawn Thursday, Gadsden County investigators and six other agencies spent hours scouring the woods looking for any evidence Marvin Cannon may have left behind.

"The terrain here in this part of our county is a little hilly and he did traveled a good distance," says Corder.

Deputies say Cannon fled on foot about ten miles from the murder scene after he and Antone McMillan brutally stabbed Zach Morgan to death on Christmas Eve. Investigators also say they stabbed Morgan's friend Sean Neel but Neel survived the attack.

INV Robbie Maxwell also with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "We're trying to build a time-line from the crime scene and after the crime and just put all the pieces of the puzzle together."

Agents say Cannon was finally captured after a 72 hour man hunt on the ground and in the air.

"We have located some physical evidence that we feel is going to help us in our case," says Corder.

"This suspect wound up at this store up the road here and I just collected the video from that store when he was there that night," says, Maxwell.

Both McMillan and Cannon are being held without bond.

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[UPDATE] 12-30 Noon --

Gadsden County investigators are searching for more clues in a Christmas Eve murder case.

Eyewitness News was at the investigation scene; a wooded area between Flat Creek Road and Cochran Road, which is in the southern part of Gadsden County.

Authorities say on Christmas Eve Antone McMillan and Marvin Cannon brutally stabbed Marianna businessman Zack Morgan 35 times, killing him and severely injured Morgan's friend Sean Neel.
Deputies say McMillan was arrested when they arrived on scene, but Cannon ran into the woods.

Investigators tell Eyewitness News that they believe Cannon left evidence behind as he fled for about ten miles. It took a two day search to capture him.

Deputies won't say exactly what they're looking for, but they believe finding more physical evidence would lead to more answers in the case.

There are about seven different agencies, ranging from North Florida all the way to Houston, Alabama, volunteering personnel and resources. Investigators say the area is thick with vegetation and this will be a slow process. They've been searching since 7AM and plan to continue for the next few hours.

Both suspects are being held in jail with no bond.

We'll have a full report coming up this evening on Eyewitness News.

Pictures of evidence search area are attached

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Updated by La'Tasha Givens 12/29 6:15PM

"Antone McMillan is like a child, he has the mentality of an 8-year old even though he's 27 years old. He just plays his video games, likes animals and just rides his bike," says Ricky Williams, McMillan's brother-in-law.

The family of Antone McMillan is speaking out exclusively to WCTV about the murder charges he's facing. McMillan is charged in the death of Marianna businessman Zechariah Morgan.

Gadsden County Investigators say McMillan and Marvin Cannon brutally stabbed Morgan to death and severely injured Sean Neel on Christmas Eve during a robbery attempt.

His family says they don't believe it happened the way police believed it did. His sister April Brown says he was missing that day. "So I went looking for him where I knew he was supposed to be and he had been missing all day and we hadn't seen him".

They say he has a mental illness and is rarely by himself. "Antone, he's a man, but he's still a boy in his mind. Antone wouldn't hurt a bird, let alone a human being," says Bobby Riggins his neighbor.

They say he never gets in the car with people he doesn't know. "He wouldn't get in the car with a stranger," said Brown. When asked, How do you think he got into this situation? Brown replies, "He had to be forced in that car."

"The only way he went in that truck is by force. Cause we've been walking before and tried to catch a ride out here and he always says, "I'm not getting in the car, I don't know those people," says Williams.

LT Jim Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "We stand behind the merits of our investigation. So far we believe this young man was an active and willing participant. We don't have any information that he was kidnapped or that he was made to do anything other than what he did. It will be up to the state attorney's office and the courts to determine exactly what his mental disabilities are."

Brown says she believes her brother was set up, but at the same time, she also feels awful about Morgan's death. "I'm just here to say I apologize for all the tragedy to the Morgan family and the Neel family."

In response to the claims of McMillan's mental illness, the Morgan family released this statement:

"Zack Morgan was brutally murdered by two men that were competent enough to formulate, then carry out an armed robbery, attempted murder, murder, and arson involving two innocent victims. McMillan was a voluntary participant, and at no time was remorseful. Furthermore, he [McMillan] alone, pursued the wounded survivor in an attempt to catch and kill him. Even if the family's claims of McMillan having the mental capacity of an 8 year old child is accurate, we don't know of any 8 year old child that believes it's okay to commit armed robbery, murder, or arson. Also, if McMillan requires 24 hour supervision, where was his supervisor on 12/24/10? In that case, his supervisor should be prosecuted, as well, for neglect. Nothing can bring back our loved one, but we want justice served and the maximum penalty allowed by law for ALL parties involved. McMillan is no exception."

-The Morgan Family-

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Updated 6:31pm by Jennifer Milton

"We had a lot in common, and we'd talk for hours and we loved to share our children's success, he was so proud," said Mary Brown.

64-year-old Mary Brown remembers her dear friend Zack Morgan, a man she grew up with in Marianna, Florida and a man, she says could light up a room with his smile.

Brown and Morgan's family members had a rude awakening this Christmas Eve, when they found out Morgan was stabbed to death in near-by Gadsden County.

"I talked to him at 12:22, he had to run to Chattahoochee, that was his last words to me 'I gotta go', so, I didn't realize that would be the last time I talked to my brother," said Isaiah (ih-zay-yuh) Morgan.

Isayah Morgan is one of Zack's 17 siblings and has lived next door to Zach for over thirty years. He says the family was always tight knit, but the two brothers had a special bond.

"We had always been close, we never argued, we'd never fight. We had been taught to respect each other, love and help each other. We were very saddened when we heard what had happened to him."

Relatives and friends say Zack was an exquisite painter and not only painted several homes in Jackson County, but also was a painter at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

Zack leaves behind a wife and four children, but the man had certainly made his mark in the hearts of Marianna residents, who are mourning the tragic loss.

Marvin Cannon and Antone McMillan are charged with Morgan's murder. They're both being held behind bars without bond.

Morgan's family is accepting flower arrangements which can be sent to Vann Funeral Home of Marianna. They are also accepting monetary contributions toward a scholarship fund in honor of Zack. To make a donation call First Capital Bank at 850-526-7144.
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Update by La'Tasha Givens

"This was absolutely a very tragic incident. There were multiple stab wounds on both Mr. Morgan and Mr. Neel and this was a very violent crime." Lt Jim Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office is describing how 58 year old businessman Zechariah Morgan was murdered.

Investigators say two suspects lured Morgan and his friend, the other victim Sean Neel, into this area to buy deer corn. "There was an argument and the suspects pulled out knives and began stabbing both Mr. Morgan and Mr. Neel," says Corder.

Investigators say Morgan was stabbed at least 35 times and was dead when they arrived. Deputies say Neel made his way to a nearby residence and called for help.

Antone McMillan was arrested shortly after and officers say he cooperated with right away. But that was not the case for 31 year old Marvin Cannon, a massive man hunt on the ground an in the air went on for two days until he was finally captured at a Quincy motel.

"Mr. Morgan was a very well respected member of the Jackson County community. He was very well liked. He owned property in Gadsden County. I think that he worked for many years with the State of Florida and had retired," says, Corder.

Bond was denied for both McMillan and Cannon.

Investigators tell me Cannon is currently serving a five year probation for carjacking with a deadly weapon. They did not find a criminal history for McMillan. Lt. Corder says tomorrow they will meet with the state attorney's office to determine if more charges will be filed.
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UPDATE 12-27 1:00 p.m. (as seen at noon)

Investigators say Marvin Cannon killed a man and injured another during a robbery gone wrong Friday evening. And (12-27) today, at his first appearance in court, he was denied bond.

31-year old Cannon appeared before Judge Judith Hawkins this morning (12/27) by video link from the Gadsden County Jail. He is facing first degree murder and armed robbery charges.

Gadsden County investigators say they found a man dead in a home on Flat Creek Road around 2:50 p-m Friday (12/24). They arrested suspect Anton "D'Angelo" McMillan hours later, but the hunt for Cannon took nearly two days.

Investigators say they searched for him on the ground and by air. In court today (12-27). Cannon was issued a public defender who advised him not to speak about the case to anyone.

The man who was killed has been identified as Zechariah Morgan of Marianna. We are told the other victim, Seam Neel has been released from the hospital.

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UPDATE 12-27 at 9:34 a.m.

In his first court appearance this morning, Marvin Cannon was denied bond. We'll have more on this story coming up on Eyewitness News at Noon.

UPDATE 12-26 at 6:07 p.m.

Deputies in Gadsden County have found Marvin Cannon, one of two suspects for the murder of Zechariah Morgan a 58-year-old Marianna man. The second victim Sean Neel was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

Gadsden County deputies have been searching for 31-year-old Marvin Cannon since Friday afternoon when they found Zechariah Morgan stabbed to death in his home in Gadsden County. Deputies now say that the murder resulted from a robbery gone bad. They arrested one suspect on Friday but Cannon was on the lam until Sunday.

Deputies worked around the clock since Friday, looking for the second murder suspect Marvin Cannon.

Gadsden County Sheriffs office spent their holidays searching for Cannon. Lt. Jim Corder said, "It was a major manhunt for us. We had to call out additional canine units from the Department of Corrections which we use very frequently. We use Leon County air support. They brought their helicopter over."

The manhunt stretched into the woods, where deputies say he ran for about 10 miles. Deputies asked the people of Gadsden County to call in if they had any tips.

A call came in on Sunday morning alerting deputies that Marvin Cannon was hiding out at the Quincy Inn Motel. That phone call lead to the arrest of Cannon who is now in custody at the Gadsden County Jail. Deputies could not be more thankful.

"Our community really came together. They're our eyes and our ears. Law enforcement can't be everywhere," said Lt. Corder.

As Cannon was escorted out the Sheriffs office, he appeared relaxed and unaffected by the seriousness of his murder and other charges.

Cannon is being charged with first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and armed robbery.

Cannon and the other suspect Antone McMillan are now in custody. Cannon's first appearance will be Monday morning.

UPDATE 12-26 at: 11:15 a.m.

Lt. Jim Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says they arrested Marvin Cannon around 10:30 Sunday morning.

He was found alone at the Clary Hotel in Downtown Quincy and will be booked at the Gadsden County Jail.

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UPDATE 12-25 9:15PM
A no bond warrant has now been issued for 31-year-old Marvin Cannon of Quincy.

UPDATE 12-25 5:04PM

Leon County Sheriffs Office Dive Team were on site in Gadsden County on Christmas day looking for evidence. The lake they were searching is near Flat Creek Road and Cochran Road.

According to FHP, the suspect, 31-year-old Marvin Cannon of Quincy was seen there recently.

As of now, they have not found any evidence.

UPDATE 12-24 10:26 PM

Law Enforcement is still on the scene of a murder that happened just hours ago in Gadsden County and are gathering more clues as to what happened.

Deputies were called to Flat Creek Road around 2:50 this afternoon.
Authorities found one man dead, while another person was sent to a local hospital with injuries and later release.
Officials are looking for 31-year old Marvin Cannon of Quincy in relation to the incident.

K-9 units are on the ground and a helicopter is air-bound.
Major Shawn Wood says residents in the area should be on alert and call law enforcement immediately if they see any suspicious activity.

Major Shawn Wood of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, An individual, someone had attacked him. The individual who did this is on foot, they are somewhere on I-10 toward the Bonnie Hill area of Gadsden County right now. That's what our K-9 unit is telling us."

Marvin Cannon, the person of interest in the incident, is considered armed and dangerous.
Major Wood says they have solid evidence and good leads in the case. Authorities are not giving specifics as to how the victim was murdered.

The deceased name has not been released at this time.
However, Officials say the wife and daughter have been notified.

If you have any information please call the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office at 850-875-8825.

UPDATE 12-24 7:20 PM

WCTV Reporter, Candace Riley, has spoken with Major Shawn Wood, who says K-9 units are on the ground and a helicopter is air-bound, searching for one suspect who is on the run. Wood says residents in the area should be alert and call law enforcement if they see any suspicious activity. GCSO is working closely with other law enforcement agencies in the area to capture the suspect.

UPDATE 12-24 6:55 pm

Details remain scarce at this point, but Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young tells WCTV reporter Candace Riley that authorities have found one man dead, while another person was sent to a local hospital with injuries.

Sheriff Young also told WCTV that they have one person in custody, but another person remains at large.

No other details have been released at this time.

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UPDATE 12-24 6:45pm

FDLE continues to gather forensics evidence after setting up a perimeter at a residence on Flat Creek Road in Quincy. Florida.

No other details have been released at this time.

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Quincy, FL - Gadsden County authorities along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are at the scene of a murder in Quincy, Florida.

Details are scarce at this point in time, but we know law enforcement officials were investigating a scene on Flat Creek Road in Quincy.

We will try to update this story as we get more information, plus we will have more on at Eyewitness News at 11.


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