The Murder of Dorothy Dow

Dorothy Dow

Dorothy “Dot” Dow, 83, was severely beaten, and set on fire in her home in the early morning hours of August 4, 2016. She survived for three weeks before succumbing to her injuries. A group of 5 people were responsible for the attack.

Dorothy Dow was an 83-year-old grandmother who lived at her blueberry farm on the 7000 block of Forest Road in Grantville, Georgia. People who knew Dorothy knew her as a kind woman who would hire local people to come and pick blueberries during harvest season. She was also known for inviting workers to her home for dinner after a long day’s work.

The Night That Dorothy Dow was Attacked

On August 4, 2016, at 11:00 p.m., someone kicking woke Dow up in her backdoor and entering her home. Four people demanded cash, and when she told them she didn’t have any money, they began attacking her to gain information regarding her son. Dow’s son also lived at the residence and was known to have a large amount of cash, which is what the group was after.

The attack lasted for approximately one hour. During this time, the group broke both of Dow’s arms, both of her hands, several broken fingers, pistol-whipped her, leaving lacerations on her face. As the group was leaving, one of them ripped her medical alert device from Dow. The group covered Dow with lighter fluid and then lit her on fire.

Once the perpetrators left, Dow removed the cap from her sleep apnea machine and poured about one gallon of water on her head and down her back, which extinguished the fire. It was later determined that the fire had caused third-degree burns on the back of her head, extending down her back. She made it to her landline phone but discovered the intruders had ripped it from the wall. Dow could use her cell phone and call 911 for assistance. Investigators would later discover that the group took no money or items from Dow’s home during this assault.

EMTs expedited Dow to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, 50 miles northeast of Grantville. Over twenty-three days, she underwent several surgeries, but died on August 27, 2016, because of her injuries.

Dorothy Dow

The Investigation into Dorothy Dow’s Murder

As detectives began their investigation into the series of events that had taken place at the Dow residence, they learned some interesting information. Two days prior, there had been a break-in at Dow’s home. The subjects had taken Dow’s purse. An ATM security video captured their identities as they used Dow’s bank debit card. Investigators could identify them as Cortavious Heard, Angela Harmon, and Mina Ellery. The group could complete two separate transactions of $600 each. Sanquavious Cameron was also identified as participating in the robbery, but the ATM video did not capture him.

Dorothy Dow was in critical condition because of her injuries, but she could assist detectives with the identities of the group who had committed the assault. They also learned that this had been the group of individuals who had robbed her two days prior.

The Arrest and Conviction for Dorothy Dow’s Murder

Authorities arrested Justin Grady, Cortavious Heard, Mina Ellery, and Angela Harmon. All the suspects were found guilty of their part in Dorothy Dow’s death. Sanquavious Cameron was found guilty of burglary.

In December 2017, a jury convicted Justin Grady of the following charges: Malice Murder—(life without parole); armed robbery (life); home invasion (20 years); aggravated battery (20 years).

Justin Grady
Cortavious Heard
Sanquavious Cameron

In December 2017, a jury convicted Cortavious Heard of the following charges: malice murder (life without parole); armed robbery—(life without parole); home invasion (20 years); Aggravated Battery—(20 Years).

In December 2017, a jury convicted Angela Harmon of the following charges: first degree burglary (20 years); felony murder—(life without parole); aggravated assault—(5 years); home invasion—(20 years).

Harmon chose to avoid going to trial and instead pleaded guilty. She accepted her sentences but continued to state that she was innocent. In September 2018, Mina Ellery also avoided trial by pleading guilty of burglary and murder charges. A judge gave her a life sentence with the stipulation of serving at least a minimum of 30 years of her sentence.

Mina Ellery
Angela Harmon

Sanquavious Cameron pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, identity theft, and financial transaction card theft. A judge sentenced him to 15 years, with the requirement to serve at least seven years in prison, followed by spending the remaining eight years on probation.

The Aftermath

Chuck Smith, Sheriff for Meriwether County, GA, stated, “I am pleased with the outcome of the sentences related to these case investigations and that the victim’s family was satisfied with justice being served. Although these sentences will never replace their loved one, Mrs. “Dot” Dow, who was lost in this senseless horrific crime.”

Herb Cranford, the Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney, stated, “With a heavy heart for the Dow family, the District Attorney’s Office is thankful that justice has been served for the four defendants responsible for the heinous murder of Dorothy Dow. Words do not adequately describe what Mrs. Dow experienced and what her family has gone through. The District Attorney’s Office hopes that closing this criminal case with life sentences for all four defendants will give the family some solace.”

Dorothy “Dot” Reed Dow was laid to rest at the Allen Lee Memorial UMC Cemetery in Lone Oak, Meriwether County, Georgia.

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