Update: Walton County man pleads guilty to murdering his younger brother

Defendant was sentenced to life in prison

Update: Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley reported that on Friday morning, May 10, 2024, James Lewis McDougal pleaded guilty to Malice Murder and Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony for the murder of his brother, Henry Thomas McDougal.

Victim: James Lewis McDougal

“The Defendant was sentenced to Life in prison. The Defendant had previously waived his right to a jury trial and bench trial (trial without a jury) was scheduled for next week,” McGinley said.

McDougal was scheduled to appear in front of Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Layla Zon on Thursday, May 16.

“On October 16, 2020, the victim returned home from work. The Defendant was sitting on the front
porch of that residence as the victim exited his work vehicle. The Defendant approached the victim and shot him. He continued to shoot him as the victim ran away,” McGinley said.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Fletcher, Chief Investigator Josh Chambers, Senior Victim Advocate Donna Brandenburg, and Legal Assistant Heather Johnson. The investigation and arrest was handled by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the GBI.

Initial story

Alleged murder happened in October 2020

MONROE, GA (May 9, 2024) –  A Monroe, Ga. man will go in front of Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Layla Zon on May 16, 2024 in a bench trial for the alleged murder of his brother.

James Lewis McDougal, of Monroe, is charged with one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He previously served six months in state prison on a 2011 Walton County burglary charge

According to the Alcovy Circuit Walton County Superior court calendar for Zon, the bench trial for McDougal will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 16.

According to a 2020 press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, at about 4:35 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, Walton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call of a person being shot at an address off Jack Glass Road in the Gratis area of Monroe. When deputies arrived, immediate assistance was provided to the gunshot victim, Henry Thomas McDougal, 27, of Monroe. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. He was the brother of James McDougal who surrendered to deputies a short time later and has remained incarcerated in the Walton County Detention Center ever since.

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