Milledgeville homicide victim, suspect identified


Pictured above is a booking photo of Rodracius Demaris Stephens in 2018.

Rodracius Demaris Stephens, 39, is now behind bars and charged with murder, accused of shooting and killing a 10-year-old boy while the boy was in his bed.

Stephens hid out for much of the morning at the Heritage Inn beside Burger King before law enforcement converged on the parking lot and arrested him without incident.

The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. Monday in the 200 block of Harrisburg Road. Two people were inside of the mobile home at the time of the incident – the 10-year-old and his father. Stephens is accused of firing into the mobile home at least 17 times from the woodline behind the home. 

The shooting reportedly followed some sort of dispute or disagreement between Stephens and the boy's father, who was not struck.

The boy, meanwhile, has been identified as Damarion Byrd, a fifth-grade student at Midway Hills Academy.

Sheriff Bill Massee said during a Monday afternoon press conference that Byrd is the youngest homicide victim that he can remember in Baldwin County during his 35 years as sheriff.

"It's bad when we have anything happen to anyone in our community, but I don't have tell ya'll that when If a 10-year-old child is killed in his bed while sleeping, that's a terrible crime," Massee said. 

The incident early this morning follows the murder of Syee Havior, the Baldwin High student who was fatally shot last month after coming home from work. Five males barged into the home at 145 Black Springs Road across the river in a "targeted home invasion." Two men and three juveniles ultimately were arrested.

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