Wright Found Guilty In Double Murder
District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that Gerald Jermain Wright, 43, of Waycross, was convicted Jan. 26 of party to the crime of malice murder and party to the crime of felony murder (two counts), following a three-day jury trial.
The charges stem from the May 15, 2014, deaths of Javonnie Mondrea Chambers, 35, and his mother, Mary Lee Chambers, 64, who were shot to death in their home in Hazlehurst. Eyewitness testimony at the time revealed that two individuals shot the victims, and another individual drove the vehicle, a silver Dodge Charger, from which they fled the scene. Also present in the home at the time of the shooting was Mary Lee Chambers’ granddaughter and two minor children, ages 2 and 4.
The case was investigated by both the Hazlehurst Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). In late 2017, GBI Agent Jason Nipper was assigned the case. Following countless leads and witness interviews, Agent Nipper discovered evidence that Wright, along with two co-defendants, Robert Benjamin Brown, then 30, and Brandon Dante Hardaman, then 26, both of Jacksonville, Fla., traveled to Jeff Davis County May 15, 2014, in a silver Dodge Charger just prior to the murders. Wright also drove two co-defendants from the scene following the shootings, wherein Mondrea Chambers was shot with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and his mother, Mary Lee, was killed by a .308 rifle round after the home was sprayed with .308 rounds by one of the co-defendants.
The trial, presided over by Superior Court Judge Roger B. Lane, began Jan. 24. Members of the Jeff Davis County jury quickly returned their guilty verdicts on all three counts. Chief Assistant District Attorney Ian Heap, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the State, praised the jury for their verdict. “This was a very difficult case and we are grateful that justice was done.”
Judge Lane sentenced Wright to life without pParole for one count of party to the crime of malice murder for the death of Mondrea Chambers. Wright was also found guilty of one count of party to the crime of felony murder for the death of Mary Lee Chambers, and sentenced to life without parole to run consecutively with the life sentence on the malice murder charge. Wright was also found guilty of party to the crime of felony murder for the death of Mondrea Chambers; however, he did not receive a sentence for that crime as he was already sentenced in the malice murder charge for the death of Mondrea Chambers.
The two co-defendants are expected to be on a trial calendar set for the week of May 9.