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Twin murder suspects have deep Gwinnett ties

Christopher Lynn Cormier

Christopher Lynn Cormier

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William Joseph Cormier III

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Twin brothers charged with murder in connection with a buried body found in Winder have deep ties in Gwinnett County, where their younger brother filed for a restraining order against them this past summer, court records show.

In petitions for temporary protective orders filed June 18, Greg Cormier, 27, wrote to Gwinnett Superior Court officials that his 31-year-old siblings blocked him from leaving the driveway of the Coronado Trail home in Lawrenceville that all three were renting.

Greg Cormier wrote that brother Christopher had also punched him in the chest, and William had threatened to "whip his (expletive)" over a debt, the petitions read.

A judge dismissed the petition against William the same day his brother had filed, citing no evidence of past violence. Ten days later, the order against Christopher was dismissed when Greg testified he had moved out and was no longer a threat, court records show.

Attempts to reach Greg Cormier at three phone numbers listed for him were not successful Thursday.

Other records show the brothers had migrated in the past decade between Gwinnett, Dahlonega, Pensacola, Fla., and ultimately to Winder, where police found the body Monday in the backyard of a home owned by the Cormiers' father.

Three days after a tip from Pensacola authorities led Winder police to the body, which was encased in concrete and plastic, there was no definitive answer as to who the dead man is. Police in both states have strong suspicions the victim is 30-year-old Sean Dugas, a former newspaper journalist in Pensacola and a known acquaintance of the Cormier brothers.

The body was too deteriorated to lift fingerprints. Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said medical and dental records were expected to arrive from Pensacola on Friday.

Police believe Christopher and William Cormier were with Dugas after he was reported missing by a friend on Sept. 13. The brothers moved to Winder about three weeks ago in a U-Haul, telling their father they had to bury Dugas' dog on the property. The story went that they had tired of caring for the dog and killed it, police said.

Arrests for various traffic citations show the Cormier twins had lived in Sugar Hill as early as 1999 and had worked at restaurants including Golden Corral and Waffle House. In his petitions, Greg Cormier wrote that his brothers worked at a Steak 'N Shake restaurant near the Mall of Georgia this past summer.

A manager at that Steak 'N Shake location declined to comment Thursday when asked about the twins.

Following a traffic stop in May 2009, Gwinnett police charged William Cormier with violating Georgia's controlled substances act when they found two medication bottles not prescribed to him in the vehicle. His brother Greg would write to a judge that those medication belonged to his father and aunt, who had shared the same car.

Lawrenceville attorney Lucas Harsh represented Cormier in the drug case, which was reduced from multiple felonies to a misdemeanor.

"I don't have any independent recollection of him or the case," Harsh said Thursday.

Cormier was sentenced under the First Offender Act to one year of probation. That marked the only conviction for either brother in Gwinnett.

The Pensacola News Journal reported that Dugas knew the Cormier brothers through a mutual interest in a popular fantasy card game. They had frequented the same comic book store. Dugas had worked for that newspaper covering police and entertainment news from 2005 to 2010. He was last heard from on Aug. 27.

The GBI autopsy showed the homicide victim died from a blow to the back of his head, sometime in early or mid-September.