Boyfriend arrested in strangling, bludgeoning death at Macon boarding house

A man accused of strangling and bludgeoning his girlfriend to death in a Macon boarding house Thursday morning was arrested Friday night.

Jesse Gray, 49, was arrested on Boulevard just before 8 p.m., Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Clay Williams said.

Brenda Gail Faulkner died from “asphyxiation due to strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head,” Macon-Bibb County Chief Coroner Leon Jones said.

According to a deputy sheriff’s report, Faulkner’s 58-year-old roommate, Charles Barnette Jr., was cleaning his car in the backyard of the Pleasant Hill home when another man, Deandre Gay, came outside and told him, “she is dead.”

Barnette said he immediately called 911.

When police arrived, he told them he believed Gray was the killer.

Gray, of a Mary Drive address, has a criminal history that includes violent crimes ranging from armed robbery in Illinois to family violence in Macon.

On Jan. 31, 2013, a 40-year-old woman fearing for her safety filed a protection order against Gray after he allegedly choked her, Bibb County Superior Court records show.

The woman reported Gray threw a metal plant stand at her, threw her to the ground and began choking her, according to the protection order.

Then, “he told her, ‘I’m going to kill you bitch.’ ”

In December, a Telegraph reporter interviewed Gray on video after a fire at Faulkner’s ocean blue house on First Avenue.

Gray, wearing black glasses at the time, told the reporter he was inside the house when it became smokey, and crawled out of a window.

For a few hours after Faulkner’s body was found, her 2002 white Ford mustang was missing. It was found about three miles away from her house, parked in the 4200 block Robinson Circle, just west of the Napier Avenue and Mumford Road intersection.

Barnette told police he last saw Faulkner about 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the deputy sheriff’s report.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor

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