Teenagers, including two minors, charged with murder in slaying of Dodge County couple

Jain and Wendell Williams, who were found slain Tuesday morning, are pictured here in this undated family photograph.
Jain and Wendell Williams, who were found slain Tuesday morning, are pictured here in this undated family photograph. breaking@macon.com

Four teenagers have been charged with murder in the slaying of a Dodge County couple in their home in Chester, and a fifth teenager with theft by receiving stolen property.

Wendell and Jain Williams were found dead Wednesday morning each with gunshot wounds by a Dodge County deputy asked to do a welfare check. A neighbor had called 911 after she had not seen the couple since Sunday.

Gary Pennamon, 17, Kojak Thomas Jr., 19, and a 16-year-old male, all of Eastman, as well as a 16-year-old male from Chester, were arrested on murder charges with additional charges expected, according to a GBI news release.

Scott Whitley, special agent in charge of the GBI office in Eastman, said he expects the minors will be prosecuted as adults.

Alijah Shamir Pennamon, 19, of Eastman, was the teen charged with one count of theft by receiving stolen property, the release said.

When the couple was discovered, authorities also determined that property was missing from their home on the Chester-Alamo Highway, the release said.

Autopsies are expected at a GBI Crime Lab in Macon.

Wendell Williams, 65, was retired from Frito Lay, and his 60-year-old wife was a homemaker, said nephew Dennis Williams, of Gulf Port, Mississippi. Wendell Williams was a graduate of Northside High School in Warner Robins.

“They were both gentle people who lived out in the country and enjoyed going fishing,” Williams said.

Williams' late father was Wendell Williams' brother.

Sandra Williams of Twiggs County, whose husband is Wendell Williams' first cousin, said the family doesn't understand why this happened.

"They were kind," Williams texted The Telegraph. "They would never hurt anyone. Both would give you the shirt off their back."

The couple often talked about their church and the Bible, Sandra Williams said.

When Sandra Williams' sister was murdered in 2013, they visited her.

"Wendell would always check on me to see how I was," she said.

Wendell Williams apparently also worked as a lead fabrication operator at Lithonia Lighting before he fully retired, according to his Facebook page. Jain Williams did not list any information about herself on her Facebook page.

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office asked the GBI to investigate.

The Eastman Police Department, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Oconee Drug Task Force, Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia State Patrol also assisted in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the GBI office in Eastman at 478-374-6988 or via email at Tips@gbi.ga.gov.