Cairo, GA (January 18, 2023) – Ashton Taylor Martin, age 20, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, felony murder, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Morgan Brenne McRae, age 22, has been arrested and charged with concealing the death of another.

On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, the GBI was requested to investigate the death of William Jonas Johns, age 39. Johns’ body was found near the intersection of Midway Road and Nicholas Lane in Grady County, Georgia. Information developed during the investigation revealed that Martin and McRae were present when Johns’ death occurred.

Martin and McRae were located by Thomas County law enforcement. After a short chase, the vehicle the two were in wrecked in a ditch in Thomas County. They were arrested and taken to the Grady County Jail.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Thomasville Office at 229-225-4090, or Grady County Sheriff’s Office 229-377-5200.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Contact SAC Jamy Steinberg


Contact Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Michael Callahan