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Friday, February 23, 2024

3rd of 4 men who escaped Georgia jail last month is captured; murder suspect still at large

The third of four men who escaped from a Georgia jaillast month was captured Sunday morning at a home in Augusta, local and federal authorities said.

Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, 37, was captured in a home where police also found large quantities of drugs, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

Barnwell was being held on drug charges when he and three other inmates escaped through a damaged window and a cut fence at the jail early Oct. 16.

Authorities continue to search for 52-year-old Joey Fournier.

Georgia news outlets reported that Fournier was being held on a murder charge in connection with the 2022 death of his ex-girlfriend when he and the others escaped.

Chavis Demaryo Stokes, 29, was caught on Oct. 26; Marc Kerry Anderson, 25, was captured Nov. 3.

Video footage from the day of the escape showed that a blue Dodge Challenger had been just outside the jail hours before the escape. Video also appeared to show someone tampering with the fence. That individual then brought some items into the enclosed area, and the sheriff said investigators believe the items were used to help the men escape.

Authorities later found the Dodge Challenger in the parking lot of a Biomat USA — a blood and plasma donation center — in Macon, a city about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta where the jail is located.

Authorities at the time said a combined reward of $73,000 was offered for information leading to the arrests of the four men.

The search took a strange turn last month when a man fatally shot himself when police officers appeared at his door to question him about the four fugitives. Bibb County deputies said the man, identified as 33-year-old Christian Demond Williams, 23, had been missing since March 5, the night before he was supposed to be tried for murder in the 2021 shooting death of a man at a Macon convenience store.

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