Federal Charges Filed in Bibb County Jailbreak Case: Accused Felon Appears in Court

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Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, also known as “Whoop” and “Malixe,” faced his initial appearance today at the U.S. Courthouse in Macon, following a federal charge alleging his involvement in a Bibb County jailbreak on October 16.

The 37-year-old resident of Macon appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle for the Middle District of Georgia. Barnwell had a previous initial appearance in the Southern District of Georgia on November 13 after being apprehended in Augusta on November 12. Today, he was ordered to remain in federal custody without bond, with his arraignment expected later this week.

Barnwell is indicted on one count of escape from custody, while his co-defendant, 30-year-old Janecia Green of Macon, faces charges of aiding and abetting Barnwell’s escape and assisting in the escape of a person committed to custody. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to the indictment, Barnwell was held in Bibb County Jail on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) following his federal jury conviction on October 2 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, as well as possession with intent to distribute various drugs. These convictions could lead to a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine. A sentencing date is yet to be scheduled.

The indictment alleges that Barnwell escaped the custody of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Green.

Green had her initial appearance in Macon on November 15 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle. Following a detention hearing on November 21, she was ordered to remain in federal custody pending trial.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bibb County Sheriff’s Office are jointly investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joy Odom is prosecuting, with Deputy Criminal Chief Will Keyes representing the Government at today’s initial appearance.