Dejad Williams of Fort Valley is now charged with murder in the 2nd degree with child cruelty.
Jai’mel Anderson, 8, was fatally shot Jan. 6, while inside an Indian Oaks apartment, in Fort Valley. Anderson was shot twice in the upper torso and was taken to Peach County Medical Center, where he died.
Williams has been identified as boy’s mother’s boyfriend. The eight-year-old was in William’s care when he was shot to death.
He was initially only charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and probation violation.
“After consulting with the district attorney’s office it is our belief that Dejad Williams did commit the offense of murder in the 2nd degree while in the commission of cruelty to children in the second degree by causing the death of Jai’mel Anderson when he acted with criminal negligence and reckless disregard for the safety of Jai’mel Anderson,” said Fort Valley Public Safety Director Lawrence Z. Spurgeon, in a written statement.
Anderson was shot twice in the upper torso. He was taken to Peach County Medical Center, where died, according to Spurgeon.
“Dejad Williams engaged in and encouraged threats and aggravated assaults involving a firearm, by text messages to another person. Not only did Williams reveal his address but he invited the assailants to come to this address to engage in armed violence and mutual combat, he also armed himself with a handgun in anticipation of this confrontation,” added Spurgeon.
Spurgeon explained all of William’s actions demonstrated willful, and reckless disregard for the safety of the youngster.
“Williams engaged in this conduct while knowing Jai’mel Anderson was at this location and under his direct supervision. This invitation for armed violence created a foreseeable risk of danger to Jai’mel Anderson and Williams took no action to protect Anderson from this imminent threat of danger and the actual aggravated assaults that occurred.”
Five other men have been arrested in this case. Jeremy Jackson, 24; Kristian Wipfel, 22; Antonio Garvin, 20; and Tevin Sams, 21, are all charged with murder.
They had their first appearance Monday morning in Fort Valley Magistrate Court Judge. Each were denied bond.
Dennis Eason, 25, was arrested last week in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also facing murder charges. Fort Valley is awaiting extradition.