MADISON, Ga. — A Morgan County grand jury indicted Tommy Joe Byrd of Monroe for murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in relation to the stabbing death of Jerome Bowden.
Bowden, 58, was killed, reports state, sometime around 1:30 a.m. on May 4 on Sandy Creek Road near the Country Store Convenience Store.
Authorities alleged at the time of the death that Bowden and Byrd were part of a six-person group that had traveled from Walton County to Madison in a Honda to pick up a rental truck from a Madison motel.
During the return visit to Walton County, authorities alleged at the time of the death, the Honda lost control while attempting to turn from Bostwick Highway onto Sandy Creek Road and slammed into a grassy area near the convenience store. Both vehicles then traveled about 1 mile on Sandy Creek Road and then stopped, when an argument between Byrd and Bowden commenced.
Chief Deputy Keith Howard of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said at the time of the incident that an autopsy showed that Bowden had died from a knife wound in the upper back. Bowden’s body, Howard said, was discovered later that morning in the driveway of his Walton County residence.
However, Howard said, investigators consulted with Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen Bradley and Assistant District Attorney Jeff Burkes to determine venue.
“It was determined that he (Bowden) would have only lived up to 30 minutes after receiving this injury.”
Howard said a knife had been found near the scene of the killing but that authorities had not confirmed the knife found was used in Bowden’s death.
Howard said investigators believe the men argued over damages the Honda sustained in the wreck.
Byrd, 56, remains incarcerated at the Morgan County Detention Center. According to jail staff, no bail has been set.