Macon man sentenced to life for fatal carjacking

hgoodridge@macon.comMay 13, 2013 

A Macon man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for his role in a carjacking that resulted in the death of a Centerville woman.

Prosecutors originally planned to seek the death penalty against 23-year-old Justin Terrell Grable, but his “diminished mental capacity” would make him ineligible for that punishment, said Burt Baker, Grable’s attorney.

Grable also agreed to testify against his co-defendant, Alexandria Renee Scott, who allegedly fired the shot that killed 38-year-old Kimberly McKenzie, prosecutor Sandra Matson told Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms.

McKenzie was driving near the intersection of Camellia Circle and Ignico Drive in Warner Robins on Jan. 26, 2011, when Grable and Scott, armed with a handgun, forced their way into her car.

Grable drove McKenzie and Scott on Ga. 247 through Houston County into Bibb County, pulling the vehicle into a pecan orchard off Feagin Road.

Scott told investigators that Grable forced her to shoot McKenzie. Grable said he didn’t make her do it.

McKenzie was struck by a single shot in her upper right leg. The bullet hit her femoral artery, and she bled to death.

McKenzie’s mother filed a missing-persons report for her daughter, who worked at Houston Medical Center and was a hairstylist on her days off.

She went missing on one of her days off. McKenzie was supposed to do someone’s hair, but she never made the appointment.

McKenzie called her sister, and her sister could hear a male voice saying, “Get in the back seat,” before the phone went dead, Matson said. Her sister called back and could her McKenzie say, “Just take my car. You don’t have to do this,” before the call went dead again.

Grable and Scott held onto the car, driving it for a day or two before ditching it.

Several tips led police to Grable and Scott, who was found hiding in a friend’s closet.

“Given all the circumstances and things in my life, this has been the most traumatic,” said Betsy McKenzie, the victim’s mother, as she addressed the court. “It’s needless, senseless.”

Betsy McKenzie then asked the judge if she could address Grable.

“Young man, you have no idea what you took away,” she said. “You still have your life. Thank God.”

Grable apologized to his family and McKenzie’s family when he addressed the court.

“I’m not the person they make me out to be,” Grable said to Betsy McKenzie. “Based on the circumstances, they made me take this beef.”

“I don’t want to hear that,” Betsy McKenzie responded.

Simms then ordered Grable to only address him.

“Mr. Grable, none of this had to happen,” Simms said.

Information from Telegraph archives was used for this report.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service