Man found guilty in carjacking death of Thomasville woman

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 26, 2019

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- A jury has found Lavontay Jones guilty of felony murder and felony theft by taking in the June 2018 death of Yolanda Bradshaw.

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 26, 2019

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Thomasville murder trial of a Cairo man accused of carjacking a vehicle before running over Yolanda Bradshaw in June 2018 started Wednesday morning.

Lavontay Jones is charged with felony murder, theft by taking, and driving under the influence.

Witnesses from the scene at Southern Pines Senior Assisted Living say Jones tried to carjack the vehicle of Bradshaw's son, Willie III, while he was trying to pick up his mom from her work shift.

In Jones attempt to leave with the car, he ran over Bradshaw. She died from being crushed and trapped underneath, before first responders could get to the scene.

Wednesday, Prosecutor Ray Altman and Public Defender Don Lyles made their opening statements to a Thomas County jury.

Prosecution walked the jury through what happened following Bradshaw's 16-hour work day.

He stated they will bring in several witnesses who saw the the carjacking before and after she was murdered that night.

The public defender told the jury that Jones was not trying to steal the vehicle and never intended to run Bradshaw over.

By noon, prosecution brought in a total of six witnesses, including the man who drove Jones to Southern Pines that night and Willie Bradshaw III.

The first three witnesses were responding officers from the Thomasville Police Department.

Bodycam video from two of the TPD officers were played before the jury.

The third state witness was the GBI forensic pathologist who conducted Bradshaw's autopsy.

The expert explained her injuries to show Bradshaw died from blunt force trauma and the crushing impact of the vehicle on top of her. She told the jury the manner of death was ruled a homicide.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee who gave Jones a ride from Cairo that night gave his testimony. He testified seeing Jones fight with Willie, get in his car, and drive over Bradshaw.

The final witness to testify was Willie III, Bradshaw's son.

He explained what led up to his mother's murder and how it happened. He told the jury that Jones yelled he would run over his mom, moments before going through with the act.

Judge James Hardy called for a lunch break at noon, and trial with reconvene at 1:15 p.m.

Our Noelani Mathews is inside the courtroom and will continue to update WCTV with details.