GBI completes Boynton investigation requested by GPD

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has completed its investigation into the April 15 incident in which Jessica Boynton, the wife of Griffin Police Department (GPD) Officer Matthew Boynton, allegedly attempted to commit suicide using her husband’s duty weapon.

GPD Chief Mike Yates immediately requested the GBI investigation, and agents arrived at the Boynton’s apartment – the location of the incident – at approximately 3 a.m., and received a briefing.

The GBI case file summary notes that present for the briefing were Yates, Capt. Donald Britt, Lt. Darrell Dix and Lt. Curtis Keys, all of the GPD, GBI Special Agent in Charge Chris DeMarco and Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam.

Yates reported that Matthew Boynton had been en route to the Waffle House at approximately 1 a.m., where he was to meet fellow GPD Officer Joshua Guthrie, when he received a text message suicide threat from his wife, Jessica. Matthew Boynton reportedly turned around and returned to the family’s 53 Ashford Place residence. Upon his arrival, he stated he heard two shots fired from inside their apartment. Matthew Boynton entered the apartment and after going into the master bedroom, he went to the kitchen, retrieved his police radio, exited the apartment where he called out for assistance.

“Shortly thereafter, Griffin police officers began arriving and cleared the apartment for officer safety. Griffin police officers also discovered the master bedroom closet door locked and forced their way into the closet where they discovered Jessica Boynton laying on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to her head,” the report read.

GPD officers then removed Jessica Boynton from the closet and rendered first aid pending the arrival of personnel from Spalding Regional Hospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Griffin Fire-Rescue and the Spalding County Fire Department.

Jessica Boynton was later transported by ambulance to the SCFD headquarters on Carver Road. From there, she was transported in critical condition by air ambulance to the Atlanta Medical Center Trauma Unit.

DeMarco was informed that the Boyntons’ two children were uninjured in the incident and were in the custody of Matthew Boynton’s parents, and that Matthew Boynton is the grandson of Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam.

Yates concluded his briefing by informing the GBI that Matthew Boynton and Guthrie remained at the scene to be interviewed by the GBI; the first responding officers body worn camera (BWC) recordings were being downloaded and would be provided to investigating agents; and the scene had been secured pending examination by the GBI.

For approximately one month, Jessica Boynton remained hospitalized in Atlanta Medical Center. She was then discharged home.

After being denied information pursuant to an Open Records request, The GRIP was June 13 informed that the GBI had “verbally cleared” Matthew Boynton to return to work in early June, but that the “investigative document” had not been completed, nor had any evidence related to the investigation been released.

“I last spoke to the agent handling the case approximately two weeks ago. I am anticipating the final document hopefully this week. Once completed and closed, I will be more than happy to provide you with any information, within law, that you request,” Dix stated, later adding, “Again, I expect to be contacted by the GBI with their final product any day.”

However, the GBI did not complete the final investigative acts until months later – Aug. 30 – and the completed case file was then turned over to local officials for review.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard on Sept. 2, released his official determination in a letter addressed to Special Agent in Charge Fred Wimberly, who heads the GBI Region 2 Office that conducted the Boynton investigation.

In his letter, Ballard wrote, “Thank you for your very thorough investigation into the circumstances of the April 15, 2016, shooting of Jessica Lester Boynton in Spalding County. We have reviewed your findings and concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to support any criminal proceeding and we are closing our file.”

GBI Director Vernan Keenon also issued a statement in the form of a letter written to Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith. It stated, “The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has completed its investigation into the shooting of Jessica Lester Boynton. It is the finding of this agency that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. The GBI will take no further action in this matter.”

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Comments

  1. Sandy Westmoreland says:

    Amazing that GBI determined gunshot was self-inflicted, as dr in Atlanta determined was not a gunshot wound!

  2. I would be interested to know if Jessica is talking? Has she said anything that would lead to incriminating Matthew?

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