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Chad Ray Thompson

The cousin of a man found slain on the banks of the Collins River in November has been charged with his murder.

The alleged killer, Chad Ray Thompson, 33, was picked up Monday morning by officers at his apartment on Red Road, a residence located directly across the street from McMinnville Police Department and the same road off which the body of the victim, Tracy A. Martin, 38, was found just before Thanksgiving last year.

Thompson, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1995, is being held under $5 million bond at Warren County Jail. He is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. It has not been announced whether the death penalty will be sought in the killing, although it is a prosecutorial option in cases of premeditated, first-degree murder.

His arrest came after the grand jury issued sealed indictments against him Friday. He had been a focus of the investigation since the body of his cousin was found along the banks of the Collins River by fishermen Nov. 20.

For a complete story, including comments from Sheriff Jackie Matheny and the alleged killer, see Wednesday's edition of the Southern Standard