Georgia man killed himself as officers sought to ask him about escapees, authorities say

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man has died after he wounded himself when police officers appeared at his door to question him about four escaped inmates, authorities said.

Bibb County deputies said Christian Demond Williams, 23, died Tuesday morning at a Macon hospital. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found Williams at a Macon apartment after investigators got a tip that he might have information about four men who escaped Oct. 16 from the Bibb County jail.

Bibb County deputies said another man has been arrested in a car theft believed to be connected to the jailbreak.

When task force agents arrived Monday, a bullet was fired through the door of the apartment, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis has told reporters.

After a SWAT team was called, a woman inside the apartment led officers to Williams, who was lying wounded. She said Williams had shot himself, deputies said. He was taken to a Macon hospital in critical condition. Davis said no officers fired their guns.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said Tuesday that Williams died from a single gunshot wound and that he had ruled Williams' death a suicide. Jones said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an inquiry because police officers were involved and performing an autopsy on Williams’ body on Wednesday.

Williams had been missing since March 5, the night before he was supposed to be tried on a murder charge in the 2021 shooting death of a man at a Macon convenience store. A security camera showed Williams being attacked by two other men on the front porch of his home. Davis and District Attorney Anita Howard both expressed doubt that Williams had truly been kidnapped.

Bibb County deputies on Tuesday arrested Jakaylen Billy Ray Williams, charging him with auto theft, saying he stole a Dodge Challenger on from a rental car agency on Oct. 9.

Video showed the Challenger just outside the jail on the night of the escape and appeared to show someone tampering with the fence. That person then brought some items into the enclosed area, and Davis has said investigators believe the items were used to help the men escape.

Joey Fournier, Marc Kerry Anderson, Johnifer Dernard Barnwell and Chavis Demaryo Stokes escaped out a jail window and through the fence.

Deputies found the Challenger abandoned Friday in the parking lot of a Macon supermarket. Jakaylen Williams is listed as living in an apartment two blocks away.

Jakaylen Williams is also charged with aiding the escape, although The Telegraph of Macon said warrants didn't outline Williams' role. Williams is also charged with violating probation, criminal trespass, battery and aggravated assault. Some of those charges stem from a March assault against a woman by Jakaylen Williams, investigators said.

Jakaylen Williams was originally arrested Saturday in neighboring Monroe County and held there without charges, online jail records in that county show.

Jakaylen Williams was released on a $22,000 bail. A lawyer who has represented him in the past did not immediately respond Tuesday to an email seeking comment.

Officers on Monday arrested the woman at the apartment, Mykia Mynesha Williams, and charged her with aiding an escape, jail records show. She remained jailed Tuesday without bail. No lawyer is listed for her in online court records.

It’s unclear whether Jakaylen Williams, Mykia Williams and Christian Williams are related.

A combined $73,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the inmates.

Fournier, 52, is charged with murder after he was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in February 2022. Anderson, 24, is charged with aggravated assault. Barnwell, 37, faces federal drug charges. Stokes, 29, is charged with possession of a firearm and drug trafficking.

Fournier and Anderson did not have attorneys listed in online court records. An attorney listed for Stokes did not respond last week to an email seeking comment about the charges against him and the escape. An attorney for Barnwell said he didn’t have any comment.