November 14-- One of the two men arrested in the shooting death of a Toombs County man will spend at least the next 30 years in prison.
Twenty-four-year old Hollis Bryant of Toombs County pleaded guilty to felony murder in the death of 26-year-old Brandon Colson of Lyons and was sentenced to life with a chance for parole by Superior Court Judge Bobby Reeves.
Colson had been reporting missing October 4th. His body was found weeks later in a makeshift grave in a wooded area near Bryant's residence at 148 Ponderosa Road. A GBI agent said Bryant and his accomplice, 19-year-old Israel Williams, burned the body and buried it after the shooting.
According to Agent Craig Pittman, Colson had borrowed money from Williams to rent an U-Haul and to get his lights turned on and the two claim efforts to collect the debt led to the shooting.
District Attorney Hayward Altman said, "It was about money, about money owed and money taken, basically it's greed that happens in these kind of cases," and the DA said authorities aren't sure who did the actual shooting, "According to the testimony of the agent, we don't know exactly which one pulled the trigger."
Regardless of who pulled the trigger, Williams is also being charged with felony murder, "He's been indicted and if he doesn't plead guilty or take other avenues, he'll go to trial," Altman said.
Colson's mother and brother made statements before Judge Reeves passed sentence. His mother, Beverly Powell, said she hopes her son's killers "find God" and that she is praying for their families.
The District Attorney consulted with the family before recommending life with parole for Bryant,"I explained to them to celebrate their son's life and to let us deal with that hour or two hours of that life and let them celebrate the joys and memories of their son. It takes a while for family members to get to that point n time, but I always tell people, forgiveness is for the people doing the forgiving. The defendants in this case may never accept their forgiveness, but it allows them to move on."