Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

March 19, 2012

Suspect in custody in Montezuma death

MONTEZUMA — A man is in police custody in connection with the death of a Montezuma man, John Thomas Hubbard, 56, of 849 Lot 10 Spring St. Mortez Javar Mckenzie, 26, of 811 Lewis St., Montezuma is the man in custody.

 According to a press release from Montezuma Police Chief Eric Finch, officers and the Macon County Emergency Service were dispatched at 10:38 a.m. to Hubbard’s in Allen’s Trailer Park in reference to a black male not breathing and being cold to the touch.

Hubbard was found lying face down by Sgt. Amber Odom and Officer Josh Harris. The officers also spoke with the brother of the victim, who stated that he went to check on Hubbard when he failed to meet him and found his brother inside the trailer and immediately contacted E-911.

The crime scene was roped off and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 3 Americus Office was notified. A search warrant was written by Capt. Charley Cannon of the Montezuma Police Department.

Chief Finch commented, “The officers did a great job of preserving the crime scene. We were treating this case as a suspicious death until we were able to determine if foul play was involved.” 

Police officers and the GBI canvassed the neighborhood, talked with witnesses as to the last time they had seen Hubbard alive, and learned that Hubbard had visited with his mother a little after 11 p.m. Saturday.

“The conditions we had to work in were very tough. We decided to make a tent around the trailer to give us more working room so that we could continue to preserve any evidence as well as giving us more room to determine what had taken place,” Finch said.

Officers learned that McKenzie had possibly assaulted Hubbard in the past.

“At this point in the investigation, I contacted Lt. Cedric Duncan and called in additional officers because we needed to interview some witnesses and possibly write and execute an additional search warrant,” Finch said.

A search warrant was written for 811 Lewis St., Montezuma and officers obtained some evidence from the residence that linked to the victim’s adddress. McKenzie was arrested without incident and was transported  to the Montezuma Police Department where he was interviewed and later aken to the Macon County Sheriff’s Office where he is being held on a state probation warrant pending further charges.

The victim’s  body was transported to the State Crime Lab in Macon where an autopsy was scheduled to be performed.

“This is a sad situation. My prayers goes out to the Hubbard family during this time. I had promised the Hubbard family that we would get to the bottom of this incident for the family to have closure,” Finch said in the press release. 

According to Finch, McKenzie has had several run-ins with the Montezuma Police Department ranging from theft by taking to a recent charge of armed robbery of another elderly citizen in 2009. For that crime he is currently out on bond, awaiting trial.

“I would like to thank God for giving us knowledge, the GBI, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Oglethorpe Police Department, the Southwestern District Attorney’s Office, Montezuma Fire Department  Macon County Medical Service and the staff of the Montezuma Police Department. With this unified assistance, we were able to put Mr. McKenzie in jail and hopefully he will never harm another elderly citizen,” Finch concluded.


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