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Inmate who escaped Georgia jail and woman who allegedly helped him face federal charges

An inmate who escaped a Georgia jail last month and the woman who allegedly helped him face federal charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced in a news release on Thursday. 

Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, 37, faces one count of escape from custody, and Janecia Green, 30, faces one count of assisting escape of a person committed to custody. Both Barnwell and Green are from Macon, Georgia. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

 Authorities did not provide details about how Green assisted the escape.

Johnifer Dernard Barnwell,37, was arrested on Sunday for escaping a Georgia jail and faces federal charges. Bibb County Sheriff

Barnwell was arrested Sunday morning after being on the lam for almost a month, the Bibb County Sheriff said in a news release. The sheriff's office's gang unit, the FBI, and their SWAT team found Barnwell in a house in Augusta, Georgia, with "large amounts of drugs of trafficking quantity."

Barnwell was being held at Bibbs County Jail awaiting his sentence after a federal narcotics conviction for which he was expected to receive a significant prison sentence, the sheriff's office said. 

On Oct. 16, along with three other male inmates, authorities say he climbed out of a damaged window in a day room and then fled through a cut fence.  

Video footage of the escape that day showed a blue Dodge Challenger just outside the jail at 3 a.m. local time. The video also showed an individual tinkering with the fence and bringing some items into the area. 

The following day, authorities found the blue Dodge Challenger in Macon, a city about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta. The car was parked in the lot of Biotmat USA, a blood and plasma donation center.

Bibb County Sheriff said that three of the four escapees have been caught. In addition to Barnwell, Chavis Demaryo Stokes, 29, who was detained for possession of a firearm and drug trafficking, was caught on Oct. 26; Marc Kerry Anderson, 25, who was in jail for aggravated assault was captured Nov. 3.

Joey Fournier, Marc Kerry Anderson, Johnifer Dernard Barnwell and Chavis Demaryo Stokes escaped from a Georgia jail. Three of the four inmates have been captured. Bibb County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Authorities are still on the hunt for Joey Fournier, who was being held on a murder charge in connection with the 2022 death of his ex-girlfriend.

Barnwell had his initial appearance in Augusta, Georgia, on Nov. 13, and was remanded to custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, the news release said. The USMS will transport Barnwell back to the Middle District of Georgia for further court proceedings.

Green had her initial appearance in Macon on Nov. 15, and was held without bond. She is scheduled to have a detention hearing on Nov. 21 to determine future bond status.

Reporting contributed by Emily Mae Czachor

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