A Macon family’s struggle to get help for a troubled man ended with him in custody, accused of killing his father.
Jessie James Jr., 76, was pronounced dead at The Medical Center of Central Georgia just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones.
His son, Jessie James III, 29, originally left the house after a 6 a.m. fight with his father but was arrested after he returned while crime scene investigators were gathering evidence, according to a news release from the Macon Police Department.
James died when his neck was slit in the family home at 3943 Gadson Drive, which runs between Log Cabin Drive and Bloomfield Road, Jones said.
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“They’ve been trying to get this kid some help. That’s what his mama said,” Jones said. “This is sure enough sad.”
Dasie James, 62, James’ mother, told police she was asleep when she heard Jessie James Jr. calling for her. She left a rear bedroom and saw her son on top of the elder James, stabbing him with a knife, according to a police report.
The mother yelled at her son to stop and tried to get the knife, but she was cut on her right hand. Her son left, and she called 911, according to the report.
Neighbor Richard Bowman, 43, said he first learned of the killing when he got home from work shortly after 7:30 a.m.
“The dad was a real good guy, as far as I know,” Bowman said. “He will really be missed.”
Bowman said he thinks the elder James was retired from the military and drove a tour bus on occasion. James and his wife were often seen working in their well-manicured yard. Bowman grew up across the street from the James family in a close-knit community where street football was once a common activity.
A few years ago, the father asked Bowman to talk to his son when the younger men lived in the same apartment complex near Macon State College.
“I don’t want to bad-mouth anybody. We all have our share of problems,” Bowman said. “I’d see him out from time to time, but I didn’t think it would come to this.”
Bowman said he never learned the nature of the elder James’ concerns about his son, but the violent killing came as a shock.
“It just does something to me,” he said. “You read about things happening and you go on, but you never think it can happen close to home.”
Telegraph writer Amy Leigh Womack contributed to this report.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.