Federal Prisoner Charged with Escape Pleads Not Guilty at Arraignment
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
MACON, Ga. – A recently convicted felon charged with escaping the Bibb County Jail on Oct. 16 pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle today during a brief arraignment at the U.S. Courthouse in Macon.
Johnifer Dernard Barnwell aka “Whoop” aka “Malixe,” 37, of Macon, is charged by indictment with one count of escape from custody. Co-defendant Janecia Green, 30, of Macon, is charged by indictment with one count of aiding and abetting Barnwell’s escape from custody and one count of assisting escape of a person committed to custody. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Barnwell remains in federal custody as ordered by the Court.
According to the indictment, Barnwell was being held in the Bibb County Jail on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) after he was convicted by a federal jury on Oct. 2 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin; and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and cocaine base for which Barnwell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been scheduled by the Court. In the indictment, Barnwell is alleged to have escaped the custody of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Green.
Green had her initial appearance in Macon on Nov. 15 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle of the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Georgia. On Nov. 21, Green had a detention hearing where she was ordered to remain in federal custody pending trial.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joy Odom is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated December 4, 2023