Appling Co. Sheriff: Husband acted alone in wife's murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Husband charged with wife's slaying attends her visitation

Mandy Courson, Jonathan Courson Mandy Courson, Jonathan Courson
Jonathon Courson (Source: Appling Co. Sheriff's Office) Jonathon Courson (Source: Appling Co. Sheriff's Office)

The same day the sheriff told WTOC that he believed a Baxley man acted alone his wife's slaying, that suspect may be allowed to attend her funeral.

Wednesday night, Swain's Funeral Home confirmed for WTOC, along with several visitation attendees, Jonathan Courson, 26, was in attendance at an evening visitation escorted by Appling County Sheriff Benny DeLoach. 

The Appling County Sheriff's Office told WTOC the sheriff was considering allowing Courson to attend his slain wife's funeral, a crime he is accused of committing. DeLoach's secretary told WTOC he hadn't made up his mind, but he told Z-94 radio host Wild Bill on Wednesday he would allow Courson to go to the funeral.

"If it's at all possible, I try to make that happen," DeLoach said. "This is just something I do to try to accommodate. It's his choice. I like to try to help inmates attend a loved one's funeral."

Last Friday morning, DeLoach's deputies were called to a home on Corey Street and found Jonathan and Mandy Courson tied up, with signs of what looked like a home invasion. 

Jonathan Courson suffered minor cuts and scratches. Mandy Courson had been tied up in another room in the house and was dead. 

Courson told deputies two black males broke into the home, tied them up, ransacked the house. He added that the suspects allowed him to feed his 2-year-old daughter, who was asleep upstairs and had woken up. Hours later, Courson told investigators he was able to reach a security alarm, which was not activated, to alert law enforcement and EMS.

The story from the beginning has raised several questions and doubts. 

Five days later, Courson turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued. He's charged with his wife's death. 

Questions still remain. How did Courson get tied up? Did he have an accomplice in this crime? It's one question the sheriff will answer without hesitation.

"From evidence and everything and everything we have, I believe he acted alone," DeLoach said.

DeLoach is keeping details under wraps on how Georgia Bureau of Investigators believe Courson staged a home invasion and killed his wife. He said Baxley is such a small community,  everyone knows everyone, and the more the public knows, the harder it will be to pick a jury if a trial is held in Appling County. 

The couple's daughter is now in the custody of family members. She is without a mother and her father is behind bars. 

When asked about a possible motive, and why Jonathan Courson would kill Mandy Courson, the sheriff said they think they know.

"But I can't tell you. We do have evidence of information which possibly could be motive, but I wouldn't want to say what they are," he said.

How authorities believe Jonathan Courson killed Mandy Courson has not yet been released as they wait for autopsy and test results from the GBI crime lab. The sheriff told WTOC that once those results are in, he may still not make it public. 

The funeral for Mandy Courson will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Baxley Church of God. Courson will also likely be at his wife's funeral, with the sheriff at his side. 

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