Bainbridge Man Sentenced to Life for Murder

Leroy Wimberly

By: Lanetra Bennett

September 15, 2015

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. -- Leroy Wimberly was sentenced Tuesday morning to life in prison.

He was arrested in July of last year for shooting 31-year-old Chris Strickland.

It happened at a mobile home on old Whigham Road in Bainbridge. Witnesses said there was a fight among three men before Wimberly shot Strickland in the chest.

Strickland's father, Larry Strickland, says, "That's just somebody that's heartless that don't care to take another person's life. I pray that he asks God to forgive him. I forgave him. I don't hate him. I hate what he done."

Wimberly's wife, Tammy Wimberly, says, "He did not do this on purpose. Leroy would never have done that on purpose. His granddaughter was in the house. But, there's, only one side was told."

Wimberly won't be eligible for parole for 30 years.

By: Lanetra Bennett
August 7, 2014

Bainbridge, GA - Family members of the Bainbridge man accused in a deadly shooting say he fired in self-defense. Leroy Wimberly's father and a passerby who heard cries for help, say they were held at gunpoint that night, too.

William Wimberly finally got to speak to his son now that his son is out of the hospital and in jail. "He said, daddy, I ain't deliberately killed nobody."

48-year-old Leroy Wimberly was arrested for killing Chris Strickland. It happened at a home on Old Whigham Road in Bainbridge last Tuesday night.

The Decatur County sheriff says Wimberly shot Strickland and then Strickland's brother, Josh, took the gun and shot Wimberly.

Wimberly's dad says he heard screams for help and ran over to see what was wrong. That's when he says Josh pulled a gun on him.

He says, "He said raise your hands, Junior. I raised my hands. He said now walk on over here. He said get down on your knees. I got on my knees. He said, now lay down on your belly. So, I laid down on my belly."

Geoffrey Hill says he happened to hear someone yelling from the store across the street and he stopped to help. He says Josh pulled the gun on him, too.

He says, "He made me walk over there to him, get down on my knees and everything. Still had the gun right in my face. I could see Leroy and Chris laying there on the ground. It was one of the most scariest things I've ever had to deal with, just knowing that he could pull that trigger any second and I'm gone."

Originally, it was believed that Leroy Wimberly's five-year-old granddaughter was in a back bedroom hiding throughout the whole ordeal. But, Hill says after Josh pulled the gun on him, he looked up and saw the child looking right at him, through the same window that's believed that a bullet went through.

Wimberly's aunt, Patricia Gadd, says, the child told her, "They were beating my Pawpaw and then they shot him."

Josh Strickland has not been charged with a crime. Leroy Wimberly is in the Leon County Jail right now awaiting extradition to Georgia to face murder charges.

The lead detective says both sides are claiming self defense.

By: Lanetra Bennett
August 6, 2014

Willie Leroy Wimberly has been released from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He was taken to the Leon County Jail. He will be extradited to Decatur County. No word yet on when he will be taken back to face the murder charge in Georgia.

By: Lanetra Bennett
July 30, 2014

Bainbridge, GA - One man is dead and the man charged with shooting him is in the hospital.

Deputies took a third man into custody, but, he has been released.

"Everything happened right there." John Coxe says as he points to the front yard of the mobile home that he leased to his step-brother, Leroy Wimberly.

Coxe says the fight between three men started inside of the Decatur County home.

"That's a bullet hole right there." Says, Coxe.

48-year-old Leroy Wimberly is charged with shooting and killing 31-year-old Chris Strickland.

Coxe says, "I tried to give him a second chance at life. It didn't work out that way."

The sheriff says they were called to the mobile home on Old Whigham Road around 11:00 Tuesday night.

Deputies say Wimberly shot Strickland in the chest with a small caliber revolver. Strickland's brother -- Josh Strickland -- managed to grab the gun from Wimberly and shoot Wimberly under the right arm.

Strickland died on the scene. Wimberly was taken to the hospital.

Wimberly's step-sister, Samantha Brackin, says, "I cannot say how grieved I am for the Strickland family. It's very devastating and it's hard."

Coxe says there was a five-year-old child hiding in a back room during the whole ordeal.

When asked if she was surprised that Wimberly would shoot someone, Brackin says, "No. He's got some serious issues with alcohol and drugs. I'm not feeling sorry for him whatsoever. Hopefully now, he'll get the help he needs. He can't get that stuff where he's going."

Wimberly is still in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He is charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Josh Strickland, 25, has not been charged for shooting Wimberly. The investigation is still open.

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