6 deputies indicted on murder charges following death of inmate at Fulton Jail

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Six Fulton County sheriff’s deputies are facing murder charges in the death of a man in custody of the Fulton County Jail three years ago.

A grand jury indicted those deputies Tuesday on a long list of charges.

Antonio May was booked on a misdemeanor charge Sept. 11, 2018.

An investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found he was dealing with mental health and substance abuse problems when he was shocked with a stun gun and pepper sprayed. May died at the jail.

Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis took the evidence about the six deputies before the grand jury on Tuesday. The jury came back with murder indictments.

May’s grandmother, April Myrick, told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that the indictment shows that her grandson mattered.

May’s family has pushed for criminal charges in his death for the past three years.

“Thank God this is being done,” Myrick said. “Thank God. He mattered. Everybody mattered.”

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Three current and three former sheriff’s deputies facing felony murder charges are: Aaron Cook, Guito Dela Cruz, Omar Jackson, Jason Roache, Kenesia Strowder and William Whitaker.

Gray looked into the POST certification records for the deputies and found that while Jackson is listed as actively employed by the Fulton County Sheriff, his jailer certification is listed as suspended because of a POST sanction.

He also learned that Strowder resigned in lieu of termination on Nov. 1 after only one month on the job as peace officer with Atlanta Public Schools.

“This is not an anti-police moment,” said the attorney for May’s family. This is an accountability moment. This is holding people responsible for taking a man’s life in cold blood—that’s what this is about.”

Gray contacted the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for comment. One of the former deputies now works for the city of South Fulton Police Department, another for DeKalb police.

Willis responded with a statement:

“As I promised the people of Fulton County, my staff and I are working through the backlog of cases left by my predecessor involving use of force by law enforcement officers. We presented the results of our investigation of the 2018 death of Antonio May to a Fulton County grand jury today, and the grand jury returned an indictment against three current and three former sheriff’s deputies for felony murder, aggravated assault, battery and violation of oath of office.

“It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury at trial. My staff and I will continue to work to ensure that justice is done in this case.”