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Bouler pleads guilty to 2006 murder

Just days before his trial was to begin in Linden, one of two suspects facing capital murder charges in the death of a Thomasville man pleaded guilty this week.

Tonny Bouler, 32, of Dixon’s Mill pleaded guilty to murder along with first-degree robbery for the killing of Bobby Darrin Hayes, 44, of Thomasville, in 2006.

Bouler is currently waiting to be sentenced, while his co-defendant, Quinton Young, 29, of Dixon’s Mill, prepares for his capital murder trial. A date for that trial has not been set.

According to public records, fire and rescue personnel discovered Hayes’ body on the night of Sept. 28, 2006, as they were extinguishing a car fire on Brown Hawk Road in Dixon’s Mill.

Hayes’ charred body was found lying on the ground next to his burning 1993 Ford Explorer. Because his body was burned beyond recognition, Hayes’ identity was established using dental records.

An autopsy revealed that Hayes’ death was the result of a homicide, a result of injuries to the neck.

He had been stabbed as Bouler and Young allegedly tried to rob him of a wallet containing $100.

According to Sheriff Jesse Langley at the time of the incident, a resident called 911 after seeing a car parked along the side of the road with smoke pouring out of it. He said the resident identified Bouler and Young standing on the roadside 30 minutes before she discovered Hayes’ burning Explorer.

In court records on file at the Marengo County Courthouse, Bouler gave a statement to investigators initially claiming he and Young had flagged Hayes down for a ride. He said Hayes had dropped him off at his brother’s house, but Young stayed in the car. Later, he admitted to robbing Hayes and being present when he was murdered.

The guilty plea places Young as the sole defendant left to face capital murder and arson charges, along with first-degree robbery. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.