Macon police said Thursday they have arrested a 19-year-old Smyrna high school student and charged him with felony murder in the death of a Macon man.
Police arrested Justin Miles Wingate on Wednesday night about 10 p.m. in DeKalb County while working in conjunction with DeKalb County police and Southwest DeKalb High School campus police. Officials said Wingate attends school there.
Wingate was arrested on charges of killing Michael Wilkins, 58, who was found dead by police Monday in his Springwood Drive home in east Macon.
Wingate was Wilkins’ godson, Police Chief Mike Burns said. Robbery was the apparent motive, Burns said. But citing the ongoing investigation, he wouldn’t specify if anything was stolen from the house.
A co-worker and a neighbor called police Monday after Wilkins failed to show up at his job at Bumper to Bumper, an auto-parts store on Whitfield Street. Wilkins had retired from Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. a few years ago, some former co-workers said.
Police entered the residence and found Wilkins at the foot of a staircase in a pool of blood, Burns said. Wilkins was shot once in the head with a 9 mm handgun. He became the city’s fourth homicide of the year.
Macon police Capt. Robert Grabowski said there were several guns found at Wilkins’ residence. They currently are being tested by the crime lab to see if one of them is the murder weapon.
Burns said evidence from the crime scene led investigators to Wingate.
Grabowski said Wingate didn’t have a criminal record as an adult but had one juvenile charge.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.