GBI Investigates In-Custody Death in Barrow County

January 31, 2018

Winder, GA – On Saturday, January 27, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested by the Barrow County Sheriff to investigate the in-custody death of Charles Williams, age 30.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., the Auburn Police Department transported Williams to the Barrow County Detention Center after his arrest for battery and cruelty to children.  Williams was arrested after having a physical confrontation with another individual at 148 Greentree Drive in Auburn. 

Williams became combative as his transport vehicle arrived at the detention center.  Once in the sally port of the jail, he began kicking the interior of the patrol vehicle.  Williams managed to move his handcuffs from behind his back to his front.  Barrow County Sheriff’s Office personnel attempted to talk Williams out of the vehicle, but he continued to be belligerent. 

Williams fought with several Barrow County deputies while they tried to remove him from the vehicle.  A taser was deployed by one of the deputies to gain control of Williams.  He continued to be combative and fought with deputies after the taser was used. 

Once Williams was removed from the vehicle, he continued to resist the deputies.  After Williams was subdued, deputies reported he stopped breathing. Deputies began emergency medical treatment and continued to do so until EMS arrived. Williams was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur.  The final results are pending further testing.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation.  Once completed, the case will be turned over to the Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.


Jesse Maddox – Assistant Special Agent in Charge |Athens | jesse.maddox@gbi.ga.gov