by: Richard Elliot Updated:BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. —
A Butts County teenager is in jail Wednesday charged with beating his grandmother to death with a baseball bat because, according to investigators, she refused to take him to the store to buy cigarettes.
JeNorman Bland, 18, is accused of murdering 61-year-old Glenda Woodard inside her home on Dub Walker Road near Jackson. Deputies found her body Tuesday night after someone else discovered her. They said they arrested Bland in a Griffin apartment a few hours later.
According to detectives, Bland lived with his mother directly next door to Woodard. Friends and family members said Woodard, a former Butts County jailer, helped raise him and his sister.
"I really don't understand what could've happened to make him do what he did," said family member Mozal Mayfield as she drove up to Bland's home to visit his mother. "I just don't believe he understands what's going on with himself right now. I believe he loved her. I really do. I know there's no reason for him not to love her."
GBI agents spent much of the day at Woodard's home and later removed a baseball bat from the garage.
Virginia Crutchfield said she's known Woodard for most of her life. She described her as a kind woman.
"She's a very good friend," said Crutchfield. "We went to school together. We raised our grandchildren together. She was just so sweet and loving to her grandchildren. She loved them all. It's very sad. It's just shaken the community because I've never known it would be like this on Dub Walker Road."
Bland is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday morning at the Butts County Jail.