Crime

‘Acting like a lunatic took my brother’s life,’ sister says at Macon woman’s sentencing

A Macon woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in the death last year of Precell Brooks Jr., who was killed when a man she was chasing in her car while firing a gun smashed into Brooks’ Ford Explorer at a southwest Macon intersection.

Kristy N. Buckner, 25, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of first-degree vehicular homicide and aggravated assault.

Brooks was killed the evening of Feb. 10, 2018, at the intersection of Williamson Road and Bloomfield Drive.

Buckner was driving in her Honda Accord, chasing a man she knew, an ex-boyfriend named Edwin Jamaal Williams, who she claimed had choked her moments earlier at an apartment along Williamson Road.

Williams called 911 while he was racing away from Buckner, who was in pursuit and firing a handgun. One bullet tore through the roof of her car. Buckner said she was just shooting in the air.

Security cameras at a store at the corner of Williamson and Bloomfield captured footage of Williams’ vehicle streaking into the intersection and slamming into Brooks’ Ford Explorer.

“She’s shooting at me right now,” Williams told a 911 operator as he raced toward the intersection. “I’m on Williamson Road. She’s shooting at me right now.”

Twelve seconds later, Williams blew through the intersection and hit Brooks broadside, flipping his Explorer.

Buckner, who could have been sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the felony murder charge she faced, was set to go on trial Tuesday. She agreed to a plea offer while jurors were on their way to the courtroom for jury selection.

During her sentencing hearing, Brooks’ sister, Latesha Jones, told Judge Howard Z. Simms that her brother had died while “minding his own business,” driving toward home a few blocks away.

Jones called Brooks “the best uncle ... a big teddy bear,” one who looked after her children and on occasion made sure they were fed. She said an overflow crowd of more than 900 attended his funeral at the Community Church of God on Bethesda Avenue.

“That’s how much he was loved,” Jones said. “It’s not fair because somebody acting like a lunatic took my brother’s life from us.”

Buckner later stood before the judge and apologized for Brooks’ death.

“I am very sorry about what happened,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting any of this to happen.”

“Let me stop you,” Judge Simms said. “I want to ask you something. What did you expect to happen when you follow somebody down the road and are shooting at them with a pistol?”

Buckner said she hadn’t been aiming to shoot anyone.

“Everything happened fast,” she said, later adding, “I just want to apologize to the family because an innocent person lost their life.”

Buckner, who once worked at an auto parts store, again said she “wasn’t expecting any of this to happen.”

“That’s a large part of the problem,” the judge said. “You weren’t expecting anything to happen because you didn’t give it any thought whatsoever. ... You could have left a trail of dead bodies down Williamson Road because you didn’t think.”

Joe Kovac Jr. covers crime and courts for The Telegraph with an eye for human-interest stories. A Warner Robins native, he joined the paper in 1991 after graduating from the University of Georgia.
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