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Bond denied for suspect charged with murder after Ga. state trooper dies during chase

ATLANTA– A judge denied bond Sunday for a man charged with murder in the death of a Georgia State Trooper during a vehicle chase.

Trooper Jimmy Cenescar died after his cruiser left Interstate 85 and struck an embankment in the north Atlanta suburb of Suwanee on Jan. 28. The Georgia Department of Public Safety said Cenescar attempted to stop a motorcycle for a traffic violation before it fled, prompting the officer to give chase.

The department announced Friday that authorities arrested Gerson Ayala Rodriguez and charged him with murder, first-degree murder, hit-and-run and attempted eluding and reckless driving.

It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had retained an attorney. A call to the Atlanta Office of the Public Defender was not immediately returned Sunday.

According to a crash report reviewed by WXIA-TV, a motorcycle driven by Rodriguez “split” two lanes to get away, and Cenescar swerved to avoid other cars during the chase. He veered off the roadway and onto an embankment, where his vehicle struck trees and drainage rocks. Cenescar was taken to a suburban hospital, where he died.

In a statement on social media, Gov. Brian Kemp called the arrest a “step toward justice for one of Georgia’s fallen heroes.”

In October 2021, Cenescar was credited with saving a man’s life after the man drove off a bridge in Atlanta and fell onto a train track about 50 feet below. Cenescar drove his car through a closed gate to reach the man and provide first aid.

Cenescar had worked for the Department of Public Safety since January 2023 and graduated from trooper school in September.