PERRY -- Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig said he filed Wednesday a notice to seek the death penalty for the accused shooter in an alleged murder-for-hire case.
Richard Grant Sybert, 30, of Warner Robins, is accused of shooting to death Joni Clements on Feb. 8, 2011, for the promise of $1,000 from the victim’s husband, a car and a date with a stripper in exchange for her death.
“I very thoroughly considered all the facts, thought about it and prayed about it, and felt like it was warranted,” Hartwig said.
Rabb Wilkerson, a Warner Robins attorney representing Sybert, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Clements, a clinical nurse for the 78th Medical Operations Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, was shot multiple times in the upper torso in the master bedroom of her 309 Westwood Drive home in Warner Robins.
Her husband, James “Eddy” Clements, 55, a sheet metal mechanic for the 559th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at the base, is accused of hiring Sybert to kill his wife.
Robert Sybert, 53, who cleaned the family pool for the Clements family, is accused of being his son’s getaway driver and providing the gun used in the slaying.
May 31, 2011, a Houston County grand jury indicted all three men on 14 counts -- plus seven aggravating circumstances that allowed Hartwig to seek the death penalty if he chose. Hartwig also said Wednesday he would not seek the death penalty for Clements or Robert Sybert.
In addition to the original charges of felony murder and burglary, the grand jury also indicted the three on charges of malice murder, possession of a firearm during a crime, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, kidnapping with bodily injury, use of a sawed-off rifle to commit murder and use of a firearm with a silencer to commit murder, according to the indictment.
Aggravating circumstances include that the murder was committed for money and that it was committed at the direction of another. Other aggravating circumstances relate to the act of murder during the commission of other crimes, as well as the murder being “outrageously inhumane in that it involved torture and/or depravity of the mind.”
Warner Robins police Detective Mark Wright previously testified during a court hearing that Clements begged for her life before she was shot four to five times in the upper torso with a .22-caliber sawed-off rifle.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.