TURNER COUNTY -- GBI officials said Tuesday that a man arrested in Savannah has not been charged in connection with an unsolved South Georgia triple homicide.
Jason M. Walker was arrested in Garden City, a suburb of Savannah, on Aug. 14 and charged with rape, battery (family violence) and kidnapping. The next day a judge deferred bond to the Superior Court, effectively denying him bond.
Since Walker's arrest, rumors have swarmed the area saying that he was in some way connected to the Wideman murders and arson, a charge that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation emphatically denies.
In March 2002, the bodies of Turner County Tax Assessor Tommy Joe Wideman, 51; his wife, Deborah Wheeler Wideman, 48; and their pregnant daughter, Melissa Wideman, 20, were found in their burned-out home. The fire was ruled arson but officials have said the three adults died of gunshot wounds.
"Right now, we don't think this Walker guy has anything to do with the Wideman case," GBI Special Agent in Charge Gary Rothwell said in a phone interview Tuesday. "He has not been charged in the case, but believe me, when we arrest someone everybody is going to know."
Citing an ongoing investigation, Rothwell wouldn't comment on any details of the investigation, including whether or not he or any agents had spoken with Walker.
Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick and his staff; District Attorney Paul Bowden and his staff and GBI agents out of the Perry office met last year in Perry to discuss the case. Also present were GBI Director Vernon Kennon, GBI Deputy Director Kent Wilson and GBI Assistant Director Chris Ash.
Authorities have not said whether any leads came from that meeting, but the case remains unsolved.
React to this story:
This Week's Circulars
- Mayor reviews Tifton child deaths
- Gatehouse luxury apartments open downtown
- Tift reports 46 new COVID-19 cases in three-day period
- Rashod Bateman opts out again at Minnesota
- GBI: Nashville shooting victim's fatal wound self-inflicted
- ABAC prepares for Giving Tuesday
- Devils finish football season at Grayson
- Georgia Museum of Agriculture copes with COVID
- Lady Devils roll past Bainbridge
- Blue Devils fall to Bainbridge
Joseph "Scott" Lindsey, 56, of the West Berrien Community passed away Saturday, November 21, 2020, at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.