Grubhub order, cellphone texts lead deputies to 4 escaped Ga. jail inmates
“Police at da door baby I’m goin back to jail,” one of the escaped inmates said in a text following a Grubhub order
By Micah Johnston
The Macon Telegraph
MACON, Ga. — The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office revealed new details on how authorities used a Grubhub order and other cell phone data to track down the four inmates who escaped last month from the Bibb County Jail .
Flanked by investigators on both sides at a Monday afternoon press conference, Sheriff David Davis described how the inmates’ accomplices and their phones led investigators to the escapees.
“It was a chain,” Davis told the Macon Telegraph after the conference. “You find one thing, and then another thing, and another. We were able to find these people connected to it, and it started going.”
The four inmates — Chavis Stokes , 29, Marc Kerry Anderson , 24, Johnifer Barnwell , 37, and Joey Fournier , 52 — escaped from the county jail at about 3 a.m. Oct. 16 after they pried open a window and escaped through a hole cut in the fence.
Stokes was the first to be found when deputies and U.S. marshals captured him Oct. 26 . His arrest came after the Sheriff’s Office arrested a man for helping with the escape with the blue Dodge Challenger that can be seen in the video of the jailbreak.
From there, Bibb County investigators and several other agencies unraveled evidence and arrested more accomplices, including Tymesha Timley , 32, who was arrested for aiding in the escape.
Once Timley was in custody, Davis said, investigators had access to her phone.
“Timley was having food delivered to Anderson up there in his high-rise place that he was staying at in Atlanta,” Davis said. “If you notice, the Grubhub folks take a picture of where they deliver it ... so we had an apartment number.”
The late-night eats, shown to have been delivered to an apartment on Park Avenue in the Buckhead area of Atlanta , led authorities right to Anderson, Davis said. When police arrived, Anderson texted Timley, unaware that investigators had already seized her phone, according to Davis.
“Police at da door baby I’m goin back to jail,” Anderson said in a text.
Deputies and U.S. marshals arrested Anderson the afternoon of Nov. 3 at the north Atlanta apartment they found via the Grubhub order.
“At that point, he knew it was over,” Davis said.
An earlier quote from Davis when he was asked about why the inmates might have broken out Oct. 16 proved prescient after the Grubhub line of investigation led to Anderson’s arrest.
“Maybe they just got tired of eating NutriLoaf,” Davis quipped last month.
The investigation continued to unwind as Bibb deputies arrested more accomplices, including the two women — Janecia Green, 30, and Jacorshia Smith, 30 — who allegedly helped Barnwell escape.
Police tracked two cars via license plate cameras that Green and Smith swapped out with Barnwell to keep him hidden in South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, Davis said Monday. Barnwell was arrested Nov. 12 at an Augusta home.
That left just Fournier as the final inmate on the lam. Fournier went “off the grid” after he escaped by not using a cell phone, Davis said Monday, but investigators were able to track him down with the help of his family.
“We were in contact with his family to the point where he finally decided he would give it up Saturday morning,” Davis said. “He had been living in a homeless camp up near Stockbridge ever since the escape.”
Authorities arrested Fournier Saturday afternoon in Clayton County, ending the pursuit of the four inmates. He gave himself up after investigators found some of his belongings there, according to Davis.
Five direct accomplices in total were arrested, not including suspected accomplice Christian Williams, who shot himself during a police confrontation early in the investigation.
Bibb deputies made a number of other arrests in the case after they linked several known Macon gang members to the escapees, Davis said Monday. An additional six gang members with links to the inmates were arrested, although Davis said they were not directly involved with the jailbreak.
The Sheriff’s Office also seized the cars used to transport and hide Barnwell, as well as the truck Jeffrey Fournier drove after his escape, Davis said.
The agencies that helped track and arrest the escapees included the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force , FBI, GBI, Georgia State Patrol and the sheriff’s offices from Henry , Clayton , Butts , Richmond and Fulton counties. Police departments from Henry and Clayton counties also helped arrest the inmates.
(c)2023 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)
Visit The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.) at www.macon.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.