Macon – Bibb County jurors deliberated for about an hour before finding a 23-year-old Macon man guilty of murder in the 2016 fatal shooting of his childhood friend, 23-year-old Javontae Passard.
Hymetheus Malik Johnson also was convicted of theft following a three-day trial in Bibb County Superior Court. A judge sentenced him to life in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Cara Fiore and Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor presented evidence during the trial showing:
Johnson went with two friends to a local barbershop on July 15, 2015, where they saw Passard. When Johnson and his friends left the barbershop, Passard rode along in their car. Passard and Johnson had been friends since they were children.
The group stopped at Johnson’s mother’s house on Trade Wind Road just before 7 p.m. Johnson’s three friends waited outside as he went in, unaware that Johnson had minutes earlier sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend threatening to kill her and commit suicide. Johnson and his girlfriend had recently ended their relationship.
After Johnson had been inside for a few minutes, Passard went to the door and met Johnson’s mother as she quickly headed to a neighbor’s home carrying two young children. Johnson’s mother told a responding deputy she’d feared for her life as her son yelled at her inside the house.
Witnesses say Passard stood up for Johnson’s mother, telling Johnson “not to talk to his mother like that” and the two argued. In her closing argument, Malcor likened Johnson to a “powder keg,” saying he was in a “murderous rage.” Passard standing up to him was the “match,” she said.
Johnson shot Passard twice and then, while still holding the gun, took the car that belonged to his other two friends. The car was found the next day in Crisp County. Passard was arrested about a month later.
Speaking after the trial, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “In a moment of anger, Mr. Johnson committed an act of senseless violence. Now he’ll have a lifetime of regret to think about his actions.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack