Officials in Georgia have now arrested three of the four inmates who escaped from the Bibb County Jail, but the one of the quartet facing the most serious charges – murder – remains at large.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office in Macon said his gang unit was arrested along with the FBI SWAT team Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, shortly after 8 a.m., at a home in Augusta, more than 120 miles northeast of where they fled. Officers said they seized “large quantities of drugs in the drug trade” at the home where Barnwell, 37, lived. His original charge was related to a federal drug trafficking case.
Joey Fournier, 52, has yet to be captured. Accordingly CBS affiliate WMAZ, Fournier is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Cynthia Berry in February 2022, who had moved into a house to escape Fournier. Around 3 a.m. on October 16, Fournier and Barnwell, along with Chavis Demaryo Stokes, 29, and Marc Kerry Anderson, 25-year-old allegedly escaped from the prison through a damaged lounge window, cut through a fence and in a blue Dodge, according to authorities Challenger, which had driven up to drive away the refugees. Deputies describe Fournier as white, with blue eyes and gray hair. He weighs 140 pounds and is 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a tattoo that reads “I one.”
Ten days after the escape, the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force captured Stokes at a home in Montezuma, about 50 miles southwest of the prison. Then on November 3, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol SWAT and U.S. Marshals took Anderson into custody in Atlanta. Stokes was originally charged with weapons possession and drug trafficking, while Anderson is charged with aggravated assault. Further charges against the escaped inmates are pending.
The manhunt for the four fugitives captured another wanted murderer, who died by suicide as marshals closed in on October 23. As Law&Crime previously reported, 23-year-old Christian Williams died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after U.S. Marshals arrived at an apartment complex, The Pines on Vineville.
Authorities said federal agents knocked on an apartment door. A man spoke to them behind the closed door, and shots came from his side as the marshals announced themselves. Authorities called the sheriff’s office SWAT team for help.
“When the SWAT team arrived on scene, they were met by an individual who was in the residence at the time of the shooting,” authorities wrote. “The subject advised that a male subject was on the ground due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Authorities identified the fatally wounded man as Williams. He initially survived in critical condition, but soon died.
Williams disappeared late on the evening of March 5, just hours before he was to go on trial for allegedly shooting and killing Greg Lamar Watkins Jr., 27, in a Chevron.
The footage allegedly shows at least two men kidnapping him. Bibb County Sheriff David Davis and Macon District Attorney Anita Reynolds Howard said at the time they were unsure whether Williams staged his disappearance WMAZ.
Bibb County officials told Law&Crime that Williams’ disappearance was staged.
Davis was vague about Williams’ alleged connection to the refugees.
“Let me be clear – he is not one of our refugees,” Davis said in an Oct. 23 report when Christian Williams was still alive, according to WMAZ. “But he is a person who we believe knows where they might be, knows about the escape and has a connection to at least one or two of the people we’re looking for.”
Anyone with information regarding Fournier’s whereabouts should call the FBI hotline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) and the USMS at 1-877-WANTED2. Tips can also be submitted online at Tips.fbi.gov or through the USMS Tips app.
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report
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