Macon, GA – Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, also known as “Whoop” or “Malixe,” a recently convicted felon facing escape charges from the Bibb County Jail, entered a not guilty plea during an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle at the U.S. Courthouse in Macon.
Barnwell, 37, of Macon, is indicted on one count of escape from custody. His co-defendant, Janecia Green, 30, also of Macon, faces charges of aiding and abetting Barnwell’s escape and assisting the escape of a person committed to custody. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Barnwell remains in federal custody per the court order.
The indictment outlines that Barnwell, held in the Bibb County Jail on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), escaped with the alleged assistance of Green. Barnwell had been convicted on October 2 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, with a potential maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine. The escape incident occurred on October 16.
Green had her initial appearance on November 15 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle and was ordered to remain in federal custody pending trial during a detention hearing on November 21.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bibb County Sheriff’s Office are jointly investigating the case, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Joy Odom prosecuting. As with any legal proceeding, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.