Two African-American Women Die From Gunshots Over Memorial Day Weekend in Middle Georgia

By Dave Oedel

Memorial Day weekend this year in Middle Georgia will not only invite recall of the nation’s fallen veterans. Two fresh casualties of civilian gun violence in Middle Georgia are now associated with Memorial Day 2015 – two African-American women.

On Friday, May 22, 2015 at 316 West Thomas Street in Milledgeville, Jaquisha Smith and her mother were both shot.  Jaquisha Smith later died of multiple wounds to her chest and arm at Oconee Regional Medical Center.

Early the next morning in Macon, La’Smockie Fountain, 30, was found dead, with a gunshot wound to her head, behind the home of her grandmother at 3565 Case Street south of Mumford Road in Macon.  Fountain’s grandmother heard two gunshots about 5:30 in the morning of May 23, 2015, and soon after found Fountain’s body behind the home.

Derrick Booze, 38, who had … Continue Reading

Is Johntellis Mathis Suffering Retribution for Speaking Out?


From Macon Monitor Staff Reports, supervised by Dave Oedel

Both the Georgia and U.S. Constitutions in theory shield individuals from governmental retaliation against those who speak out against perceived governmental indiscretion.

Macon citizen Johntellis Mathis, along with another Macon citizen, G-Rell, spoke out against prosecutorial over-aggressiveness with respect to gang affiliation last week in the Macon Monitor. Among other things, both men suggested that gang affiliation is not a fair basis in local context for holding people to lengthy prison terms in addition to the terms imposed for whatever crimes that those individual defendants may have committed. Mathis’ picture appears with this post.

Mathis, who noted his own personal affiliations with the GD and Blacc Team gangs, suggested in his interview with the Macon Monitor that the police and gangs in Macon might get together to rid the community of guns held by people without a legal right to wield them.

That olive branch was not picked up. Instead, Mathis became … Continue Reading

“The Tipping Point”: How a 1981 Macon Trial Exonerating a Black Med Center Nurse Showed a Macon Jury Rising Above Race Bias

May 24, 2015 Articles, News 1 Comment


By Dr. Fred Howard

“Deliberate Killings Suspected in Several Medical Center Deaths.” Residents of Macon stared at this front page headline over their morning coffee on August 4, 1979. There was suspicion that someone was sabotaging the medical equipment in the intensive care unit at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in ways that caused the death of several patients. Suspense built in the community about the investigation of these deaths until October 31, 1979 when Barbara Jean Williams, a nurse and – by the way – an African American, was publicly identified as the defendant in the case. She faced an indictment for murder in connection with one of these deaths and aggravated assault in the case of several others. The story developed into the top news story of the year in the Macon Telegraph and Ms. Williams would go on to endure a public ordeal spanning nearly two years.

Ms. Williams’ troubles began … Continue Reading

Senator David Perdue Contradicts Himself — Again

By Dave Oedel

This could be an awkward six years as Georgia citizens figure out who it is they really elected to the U.S. Senate.

Freshman U.S. Senator David Perdue, R. Ga., in his first speech from the well of the Senate in Washington D.C. on April 27, 2015,  said that we’re in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Why? Because, Perdue said, we have “allowed this President to run the country without Congress for the past six years.” Perdue said that, to “create a new beginning, we must get back to our founding principles, articulated in our Constitution.”

That rhetoric matched Perdue’s campaign statements, after which he handily beat Michelle Nunn, 53-45 percent, on November 6, 2014. Nunn had offered a more solicitous view of presidential authority – a view that Georgia’s voters firmly rejected.

This past week, though, Perdue again acted in apparent contradiction to his own early rhetoric when he voted to cede “fast-track” trade authority to the president.

The Macon Monitor already noted in prior editions … Continue Reading

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