Rome man indicted in murder of recent BYU graduate

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023–10:35 p.m.

-John Bailey, Rome News-Tribune-

Brandon Christopher Risner

 21-year-old East Rome man has been indicted on accusations that he brutally stabbed and dismembered a Cumming man, who was at one point his friend, at a home on Collinwood Road in November.

The indictment filed in Floyd County Superior Court against Brandon Christopher Risner this past week details many of the events surrounding the grisly killing and mutilation of 21-year-old Aaron William Davis of Cumming.

The two men had a long history together and Davis, a recent Brigham Young University-Idaho graduate, was a close friend of Risner. They went to high school together and attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cumming. Together they published a number of short films titled “Brandon Rising” on YouTube.

On that Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, Davis had come to Rome to see Risner on his way to visit other friends in Alabama. When he didn’t arrive at his destination, the Davis family began to get concerned.
Then at 10:41 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, Rome police discovered Davis’s vehicle abandoned in a ditch behind the levee at Heritage Park but were not able to locate the driver.

“They contacted his family, who said he was overdue in meeting friends in Alabama,” a Rome Police Department release at the time stated. “Signs of foul play were discovered at the location he was last known to have been.”

Those signs included blood on a mattress, carpet, and rug as well as on the ceiling of an upstairs bedroom at the home at 1002 Collinwood Road.

Police began searching the area near Risner’s Collinwood address and found Davis’s body in the woods off Tumlin Drive. It was in a 6- to 8-foot hole left by a large uprooted oak tree and concealed under 6 to 12 inches of dirt, police reports stated.

Criminal investigators arrived and collected crime scene evidence, and witnesses on the scene provided information that led them to identify Risner as the suspect. When approached by police Risner fled, but later turned himself in.

The indictment, and previous police reports, describe a gory scene where Davis had been stabbed over 20 times, disfigured, and disemboweled with an unknown sharp object.

Risner was indicted on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, concealing the death of another, abandonment of a dead body, and theft by taking, as well as misdemeanor removal of body parts from the scene of a death, tampering with evidence and obstruction of an officer. He continues to be held without bond at the Floyd County Jail.

Local Weather