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Man dies after apprehension of murder suspect
Told police he ingested quantity of cocaine
Williams Tony Lanard-1
Tony Lanard Williams

A man died Tuesday after he ingested cocaine during a traffic stop at which authorities captured another man suspected of murder, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Tony Lanard Williams of Swainsboro was wanted in the July 2016 murder of Angela Gillis in Swainsboro. He was in the vehicle that was stopped by Bulloch County sheriff’s deputies and Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agents on Veterans Memorial Parkway near Country Club Road on Tuesday, said Jamie Jones, spokesman with the GBI Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Metter.

A passenger, Walford McKinney of Vidalia, told deputies that he had “swallowed an unknown amount of cocaine” during the stop, Jones said.

McKinney, 46, was taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center by Bulloch County EMS, where he later died, said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.

Williams, 41, is suspected of being involved in the murder of Angela Gillis and the shooting of her husband, Kenneth Gillis, who is a co-defendant in a federal drug case in which Williams is also reportedly involved.

Williams had eluded capture by the GBI and Drug Enforcement Administration for almost a year, Jones said.

He was allegedly on the run when Angela Gillis, 40, of King Circle Drive in Swainsboro, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Kenneth Gillis was wounded but airlifted to an Augusta hospital, where he was listed in unstable condition at the time, according to Emanuel County Sheriff Tyson Stephens in a statement released shortly after the incident in 2016.

Two teens — Talik Williams and a 16-year-old juvenile — were previously arrested in the case. It is unclear whether Talik Williams and Tony Lanard Williams are related.

On Tuesday, Bulloch County sheriff’s investigators learned that Williams was at a Woodrum Place apartment and, along with GBI agents, placed the apartment under surveillance, Brown said. In addition to the murder charge, Williams was wanted on federal drug-trafficking charges.

After the traffic stop, Williams was handcuffed and taken to the Bulloch County Jail. Also arrested was Virginia Lafaye Brayboy, 26, of Swainsboro, charged with hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Williams was transported to the Emanuel County Jail, while Brayboy was taken to the Bulloch County Jail.

Because McKinney was in custody of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office when he died, allegedly from the cocaine ingestion, his death is being investigated, as is policy, by the GBI Region 7 Office in Thomson. His body was sent to the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah for an autopsy, Jones said.

Sheriff’s investigators and GBI special agents executed a search warrant at the Woodrum Place apartment and seized $4,900 in cash, as well as undisclosed amounts of crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana, he said.

Upon completion of the investigation, the case file will be turned over to the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, he said.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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