Update: Two brothers charged after altercation leaves Walton County man, 58, dead


Tommy Roger Byrd. Photo credit: Walton County Sheriff’s Office

Morgan County, GA (May 4, 2020) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released a statement on the preliminary results of the investigation surrounding the body found on the side of Blasingame Road in Walton County early Monday morning, May 4, 2020. The deceased man has been identified as Jerald Jerome Bowden, 58, of Walton County. At this time brothers Tommy Joe Byrd, 55, and Tommy Roger Byrd, 56, both of Walton County, have been arrested by GBI agents and charged with tampering with evidence. Additional charges are pending. Both are being held at the Walton County Jail.  Editor’s Note: An arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction. 

Tommy Joe Byrd. Photo credit: Walton County Sheriff’s Office

In the early morning hours of May 4, 2020, Morgan County 911 received a call stating that several individuals had been in an altercation resulting in at least one individual being stabbed. Deputies immediately responded to the area of Sandy Creek Road in Madison, Morgan County, GA, but all parties involved were no longer present. A couple of hours later, Walton County 911 received a call of an unresponsive male located off a roadway outside of Monroe, Walton County, GA. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to find Jerald Jerome Bowden, 58, of Walton County, GA, deceased from what appeared to be stab wounds. GBI Region Eleven Office agents responded to assist Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Through numerous investigative acts, it was determined that Bowden was one of the individuals involved in the altercation in Morgan County, GA.

Bowden’s body was transported to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur, GA where an autopsy will be performed on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this murder investigation is asked to call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 706-342-1200 or the GBI Region 6 Office at 478-445-4173.


The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has announced the circumstances surrounding the joint murder investigation it is conducting with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Region 11 Athens and Region 6 Milledgeville Offices.

“On Monday, May 4th between 1 am and 1:30 am, two vehicles speeding north on GA HWY 83 through Morgan County attempted to navigate a turn onto Sandy Creek Road. The first vehicle ran off the road into the Country Store parking lot damaging the vehicle. Approximately a mile later, both vehicles stopped on Sandy Creek Road to observe the damage. While in the roadway, two males got into a physical altercation both stabbing one another. A female witness states that a male driving a red truck stopped to help them put one of the victims into one of the two vehicles. The victim was later found at his residence in Walton County deceased,” MCSO wrote on its Facebook page. “We consider the male driver of the red truck a Good Samaritan and need to interview him as a witness.”

Anyone having information as to the identity of the male in the red truck they are asked to call MCSO LT Sellers at 706-818-2008.

Initial story

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office are investigating after a body was found this morning laying off the side of the road near 1171 Blasingame Road, according to WCSO.

“The male person was determined to be deceased,” WCSO public information officer Maj. Scott Whisnant said. “GBI is the lead and will have to release any further (information). Foul play is suspected.”

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