Who is James Bonner, accused of fatally stabbing his close friend?


While the Marcus Lillard murder trial was in full swing last Thursday, detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office were sent scrambling out to Browns Crossing Road, where a man was found deceased in the woods, with multiple stab wounds.

Arrested the same day was James Porter Bonner, 23, who was pulled over in the victim’s car in Bibb County and arrested without incident. Bonner is charged with murder, aggravated assault, theft by taking, concealing a death and probation violation.

The victim was identified as Brandon Harris, 24. Bonner and Harris were close friends, according to investigators.

Two different addresses are listed on Bonner’s jail history, one on Browns Crossing Road and one on nearby Lawrence Road. Harris’ body was discovered in a wooded area behind the Browns Crossing Road address, which is Bonner’s mother’s house, according to investigators.

Although only 23, Bonner has now been arrested five different times since turning 17. He was arrested for battery and theft by taking in July 2018 and once again arrested on similar charges 11 months later. Following the second arrest, he spent 52 days behind bars.

Then, in April 2020, Bonner was arrested for battery/family violence and spent another 93 days in the county jail. Several months after being released, in December of 2020, he was arrested for felony theft and first degree burglary, for which he spent 98 days behind bars.

Harris, meanwhile, will be laid to rest tomorrow afternoon following a service at the Chapel of All Faiths.

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