GBI report on Boynton investigation leaves some questions unanswered


After thoroughly reviewing the GBI investigative case file on the April 15 Boynton incident, The GRIP conducted interviews with officials of the Griffin Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in an effort to clarify apparent inconsistencies.

Following the April 15 incident, Griffin Police Department Officer Matthew Boynton, with the assistance of Promise Place, in May obtained a temporary protective order against his wife, Jessica Boynton.

Seeking to extend that temporary protective order against his wife, Matthew Boynton on June 10 testified under oath before Judge Tommy Hankinson in Spalding County Superior Court. His sworn testimony gave the first public insight into his description of the sequence of events on April 15.

He first explained that he received a text message from his wife threatening suicide when he was on Poplar Street directly behind the Christian Women’s Center (Thrift Store). Asked by his attorney if he took that message seriously, Boynton replied, “I did.”

Matthew Boynton stated he turned into the shopping center, drove along the Christian Women’s Center (Thrift Store), turned onto Highway 16, turned left on Carver Road and continued on to the couple’s Ashford Place apartment.

He also testified that he contacted Spalding E911 dispatch and requested a response to their apartment.

“Okay. And can you tell the court what you discovered when you arrived at the residence?” Owen asked.

According to the official Spalding County Superior Court transcript, Matthew Boynton responded, “As I was actually – approximately halfway up the stairs, I heard one of my children whine once, like a waah (phonetic). I hear two shots. I duck and run to the door. As I advised the GBI, I could not recall if the door was unlocked, or if I had locked it.

I run inside to the first left, which is known as our master bedroom. I checked for my – my youngest child, Tyler Boynton, for the last known place I seen him. I did not see him in the bed where he would normally be. I did not see him in the floor where he would be playing.

Upon exiting the room, just before the exit from the master bedroom, to the left is a closet where we both share clothes. I – I checked the handle. The handle is locked; from my understanding, can only be locked from the inside.

Ran to the kitchen, grabbed my radio where I normally keep my – my work-issued radio. I turned it on as I was running outside. Once I got out the door – or got out of the door, I notified 3015, which is Lt. Curtis Keys of the Griffin Police Department, there were two shots fired and I smelled gunpowder. I was not sure of the well-being of my children, due to a non-response of me calling her name in the apartment.”

Owen then asked, “Okay. And were you able to confirm the children were okay before law enforcement arrived?”
Matthew Boynton responded, “I – with the closet door being locked, I was not sure – I mean, I figured she was in the closet, but I didn’t know for certain whether or not she could be at the other end of the apartment.

For my safety, I did not – you know, with also my service weapon inside the home, I did not want to further go into the other bedrooms and bathroom, and also what is the living room. I ran straight for the kitchen, got the portable hand-held radio and then went outside and notified the – the supervisor.”

Upon cross examination by Bree Lowry, Jessica Boynton’s attorney, Matthew Boynton was asked specifically about his children’s well being on April 15.

Lowry’s question – And you say you’re concerned about the safety of your children?

Matthew Boynton’s answer – Yes.

Question – And you’re a police officer?

Answer – Yes.

Question – You waited outside of your apartment for patrol cars to arrive?

Answer – Yeah. Because my service weapon is inside with somebody who’s already fired two shots , not knowing if they’re at me or my kids – with a crying baby, so I would say that I was concerned for – for pretty much everybody inside the apartment.

Question – You stayed outside, even though you knew your wife and kids were inside the apartment?

Answer – At this point in time, I didn’t know whether or not she shot herself and the kids or what the case was.

Included in the GBI case file is an extraction report that in part detailed that night’s activities on Matthew Boynton’s phone. During a seven minute window – beginning at 12:54:30 a.m. when he received his wife’s text message through 01:01:30 – numerous phone calls and text messages were made involving Matthew Boynton, Jessica Boynton, GPD Officer Joshua Guthrie and Cortney Calloway, a Spalding E911 dispatcher with whom Matthew Boynton acknowledged he was having an intimate relationship. According to his GBI interview, Matthew Boynton was distraught during this period of time, at one point reaching a speed of 90 miles per hour on Carver Road as he was en route back to his apartment.

The following quotes and information on times and the length of phone calls was copied verbatim from that GBI extraction report.

12:54:30 a.m. – Received text message from Jessica Boynton:

“I can’t do this anymore. Take care of Tollin and Tyler. Please tell them I love them everyday. I have been suffering for a while now and no one has noticed. Here lately I have not been able to recognize the person I see in the mirror. This is not the first time I have had suicide thoughts. I love you and the boys.”

12:55:02 a.m. – Received text message from Cortney Calloway:

“Hahaha you about have me a heart attack freak!!!”

12:55:02 a.m. Matthew Boynton called Jessica Boynton. The call was unanswered.

12:52:42 a.m. Matthew Boynton sent text message to Cortney Calloway:

“Haha I’m sorry I didn’t think about that lol”

12:55:53 a.m. Matthew Boynton called Joshua Guthrie. The call was unanswered.

12:56:50 a.m. Matthew Boynton called the non-emergency dispatch number at Spalding E911. The call lasted one minute and 27 seconds.

12:57:57 a.m. Received text message from Cortney Calloway:

“Yeah yeah…”

12:58:33 a.m. Matthew Boynton called Joshua Guthrie. The call lasted 37 seconds.

12:59:56 a.m. Joshua Guthrie called Matthew Boynton. The call lasted 10 seconds.

01:00:00 a.m. Matthew Boynton sent a text message to Cortney Calloway:

“Give me a few. To text back long story I’ll tell you later”

01:01:06 a.m. Matthew Boynton calls out on his work-issued radio and his first radio communication is documented by the dispatcher in the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) history:

01:01:30 a.m. Received a text message from Cortney Calloway:

“Okay……….goodnight.” (According to the GBI extraction report, this last text message from Cortney Calloway was read.)

Based on his sworn June 10 testimony as well as statements made to GBI ASAC Chris DeMarco during an April 15 investigative interview regarding this incident, Matthew Boynton has on multiple occasions stated he did not check on his children, but rather retrieved his work-issued radio from the kitchen and immediately left the apartment, reporting having heard the shots fired only after he was outside. He has also stated once he left the apartment, he remained outside and did not re-enter.

The GRIP then evaluated the activities on Matthew Boynton’s cell phone and noted that one text message sent to Cortney Calloway – “Give me a few. To text back long story I’ll tell you later” – was sent at 01:00:00, which was after the Spalding E911 CAD report indicates Matthew Boynton said he heard the two shots fired and entered the apartment. Furthermore, Cortney Calloway’s reply text message – “Okay………goodnight.” – was received at 01:01:30, and the extraction report indicated it was read.

In addition, the 12:59:56 phone call Matthew Boynton received from Guthrie appears to have also taken place after he would have heard the two shots fired and entered the apartment.

In his April 15 interview with GBI SA Daniella Stuart, Guthrie made no mention of Matthew Boynton having said anything regarding shots having been fired.

The only reference to that specific phone call in the GBI summary of Guthrie’s interview states, “At approximately 12:59 a.m., while Officer Guthrie was on the way to assist, he called Officer Boynton because he could not remember the exact address. Officer Boynton answered and confirmed the street name.”

Upon further review of the GBI case file, The GRIP also noted a photograph entered as evidence by Special Agent Jeremy Dockin, a crime scene investigator, that shows Matthew Boynton’s phone laying on the kitchen counter in front of the microwave, the location from which his work-issued radio was retrieved.

The GRIP then interviewed GPD Chief Mike Yates about these discrepancies.

Initially, Yates alleged the phone recovered from the kitchen counter belonged to Jessica Boynton.

After being shown the GBI evidence report identifying that phone as belonging to Matthew Boynton, he was asked if this information indicates inconsistencies in Matthew Boynton’s statements regarding his actions inside his apartment, and if it calls into question his state of mind that night.

Chief said, “The GBI doesn’t seem to think that.”

Soon after, Yates said he would respond to questions emailed to him. However, upon receipt of The GRIP’s follow up questions, he referred all further inquiries to the GBI.

When The GRIP contacted GBI Region 2 Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chris DeMarco and presented this information, and noted Matthew Boynton’s cell phone had been left laying on the kitchen counter in front of the microwave, DeMarco responded, “No, it wasn’t. It was actually from him. We put it (his cell phone) on the kitchen counter to take a picture of it.”

The GRIP responded by stating there was no documentation of that, and instead, the GBI evidence report signed by Dockin and a sworn affidavit for a warrant to search the couple’s cell phones that was later submitted to Muskegee County Superior Court by SA Jared Coleman – the case’s lead agent – indicated Matthew Boynton’s cell phone was seized from the kitchen counter.

“No, I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s right. I think he had his phone with him. I think the picture of the phone…I’d have to look at the stuff. I’d have to look back at the case file,” DeMarco responded.

He later stated, “You’re trying to match up times of where he is getting these text messages or how he’s responding to them, that he’s in the kitchen – you can’t prove that.”

When asked how else Matthew Boynton’s cell phone could have been left in the kitchen after being in use during the same time frame he testified he was outside the apartment, DeMarco said, “I mean, I don’t know. It could have been simply that he left his stuff there. That his phone was given to someone else at the Griffin PD, they put the phone in the thing because they knew the GBI wanted it and that’s where we were gonna be while he was taken to the Police Department. I mean, I’m sure there’s a plausible explanation to it without trying to come up with some sort of, you know, theory that oh, he had to be in the kitchen answering these text messages. Right? Couldn’t that be plausible? Like someone from his supervisor, who’s Lt. Keys, or someone like that saying hey, leave all your stuff here because the GBI’s gonna want it, there in the apartment?”

It was pointed out that there is no documentation in the GBI report of anyone outside the GBI having physical possession of Matthew Boynton’s cell phone. DeMarco again stated he would need to review the case file regarding these specific points, and he requested that The GRIP submit further questions in writing via email.

In part, The GRIP’s later email stated that upon review of evidence contained within the case file, Matthew Boynton’s cell phone was visible in former GPD Cpl. Bryan Jones’ body worn camera video recording from April 15, and that it was laying on the kitchen counter upon officers’ initial entry to clear the apartment, which would indicate it had not been taken by a supervisor and placed there later.

DeMarco responded by stating all further questions should be directed to the GBI Public Information Officer, Scott Dutton.

For more than a week’s time, The GRIP made numerous attempts to contact Dutton by phone and email, but received no response.

Publisher’s note: This is the first in a series of articles detailing the GBI’s investigation of this incident, as well as other related matters.


  1. Ncky Brckrt says:

    Hi there,
    writing from France.
    Came across your work, like many others, via the New Yorker but had to let you know that this kind of investigation represents the true spirit of journalism.
    Thank you.

  2. Agnes Dorey says:

    Sheila Mathews – I come to this story late, having read about it in The New Yorker first and now your writing – excellent job – I commend you on your work and investigative spirit.
    Jessica is a very strong woman. I hope she knows that.
    These cops in this town and county are unAmerican.

  3. I’m sure Sheila will investigate better than the GBI and Griffin pd.
    Oh wait… she has no training and has never been involved with police work

    • Shelly Ingram says:

      Hopefully she (Sheila> has learned her lesson, not to report things w/out the full truth. Even though I adore both Mathew and Jessica, I still pray to our heavenly to make it right for everyone involed.

    • Concerned citizen says:

      She certainly seems to be doing a better job so far! Can’t wait to see the report on Channel 11 and read the rest of Sheila’s articles. BTW Jenny, I know you are Matthew’s mom, are you also Sheriff Beam’s daughter?

  4. Cannot wait for justice to be served to Jessica and her boys! This makes my blood boil. Just another dirty cop getting away with something.

    **yes, I know not all cops are bad, not what I’m saying**

  5. Very interesting read, thank you.

  6. Andy Pryor says:

    Good job

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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