Prosecutor alleges pastor accused in fiancee's murder led a "double life"
Fellow pastors described William Pounds on Tuesday as a man of good character, someone with integrity.
Pounds, who leads Perry’s Kings Chapel Memorial CME Church, is a bi-vocational minister who also works as a senior master sergeant assigned to the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base.
He holds top secret military security clearance and had just passed a renewal investigation by the U.S. Air Force in May, about a month before his fiancee’s June 12 shooting death, said Franklin J. Hogue, a lawyer representing Pounds.
About 70 people packed a Bibb County courtroom Tuesday for a bond hearing for Pounds, who is accused of murder in 46-year-old Kendra Jackson’s death at his townhouse off Macon’s Stinsonville Road.
Jackson’s death initially was ruled a suicide but was subjected to additional scrutiny after deputies later deemed it suspicious.
Pounds was arrested at the base Aug. 14 and has remained in jail without bond.
Hogue said his client has maintained Jackson’s death was a suicide.
In arguing against bond being set for Pounds, Bibb County prosecutor Jonathan Adams alleged the pastor has been living a “double life.”
In questioning character witnesses whom Pounds’ lawyers called to testify, Adams asked if they were aware that Pounds was engaged to two women at one time.
The witnesses, including a supervisor of area CME church pastors, responded that they weren’t aware of the allegation.
Adams also asked if the witnesses had knowledge of Pounds’ convictions for forgery and obstruction. They said they didn’t.
The supervisor said Pounds would be allowed to return to lead his congregation if he’s released on bond.
CONGREGATION ‘TRULY BELIEVES HE IS INNOCENT’
Adams alleged Pounds has told multiple versions of what happened on the night Jackson died.
Early on, Pounds told deputies the couple had argued about separating before Jackson placed a .40-caliber handgun belonging to Pounds to her head, according to an initial incident report.
Pounds tried to take the gun away but was too late, he told deputies. When authorities arrived, Jackson was lying on her back in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to her head, according to the report.
Adams said Pounds told authorities he only heard one gunshot, but holes were found in the wall and a mattress. A crime lab technician reported finding signs that someone tried to remove a bullet from the wall.
Pounds also said he wasn’t wearing certain clothing, but “high velocity blood spatter” was found on the clothes, Adams said.
He has said the incident occurred upstairs, but he also said the argument occurred downstairs and that Jackson ran upstairs before he could get to her, Adams said.
Pounds has said he tried to perform CPR on Jackson, but emergency personnel have said someone trained in CPR wouldn’t have tried to resuscitate Jackson based on her injuries and because she appeared to have been dead “quite some time,” Adams said.
Training in CPR and teaching the skill to 257 churches in Georgia and Haiti were included in a list of Pounds’ accomplishments that Hogue conveyed as evidence supporting his argument for bond.
A Macon native, Pounds graduated from Central High School and later obtained a college degree. He completed a master’s degree in divinity last year, Hogue said.
Pounds has been in the Air Force for 29 years and saw combat while deployed to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, Hogue said.
Active in church and his college fraternity, Pounds has made strides to help his community through programs for underprivileged youth, young men and others, Hogue said.
About 55 of the people attending Tuesday’s hearing were there to support Pounds.
Hogue argued Pounds has strong community ties and isn’t a significant flight risk, a danger to others or someone who will intimidate witnesses or obstruct justice.
Adams said Pounds’ military background has given him training to “operate in austere, difficult and dangerous environments” and “escape and evade law enforcement efforts to bring him” to court.
The group gathered supporting Pounds in the courtroom Tuesday also is evidence that “he’s got the support in the community that would allow him to have the ability to move about the state if not further,” Adams said.
Jackson’s sister, Rashida Brown, testified that her family is concerned Pounds may not return to court if he’s given a bond.
“Our concern is that he does have more influence in the community than the typical citizen,” she said.
The hearing ended without the judge announcing a decision.
A group of 47 church and family members gathered at the Bibb County jail last week for the hearing that was postponed until Tuesday because of the crowd.
Pounds’ sister, Jamie Thomas, said her brother’s congregation, of which she’s a member, “truly believes he is innocent.”
She described Pounds, the youngest of four siblings, as a “great father” to his six children. He’s been a minister for 13 years, two of them at King’s Chapel.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.