Baxley Man Denied Bond, Accused of Wife's Murder - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Man Accused of Murdering Wife, Lying About Crime, Asks for Bond

Jonathan Courson Jonathan Courson

The man accused of killing his wife and then faking a break in to cover up her death had his day in court Friday, asking for bond.  More than 100 people packed the Appling county courtroom as defense attorneys for Jonathan Courson asked a judge to grant him bond.  "You can put whatever restrictions you want, such as having him wear an ankle bracelet," said Deen Strickland, defense attorney.

Strickland told the judge that 26 year old Courson and his family had strong roots in the community.  "He is not a flight risk, he is not a threat," he said.

Courson is facing eight charges in the the death of his wife, 28 year old Mandy Courson, including Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Making False Statements, Tampering with Evidence, Reckless Conduct, Insurance Fraud and Committing Theft by Deception.

Mrs. Courson was found dead inside her home January 4. Jonathan Courson told police two "black" men had entered the couple's home, tied him up, and then while ransacking the home, killed Mandy. But he said they left he and his two year old daughter unharmed.

After the investigation turned toward Courson himself, he turned himself in on January 8 and has been in custody ever since.

Defense attorneys called nine character witnesses, including Jonathan Courson's Pastor, his brother and Courson's parents who both promised that Johnathan could stay with them and that they would do everything possible to ensure his court appearances.  His brother Rocky said that Jonathan could work on his farm.  

But the State presented a different picture of Courson.  Several women who worked at local banks in the Baxley area testified that Courson had reportedly taken out loans using several cars for collateral that he did not own.  It turned out that one of the vehicles was actually owned by the car dealership where Courson worked.  An insurance agent testified that on January 7, just three days after Mandy Courson's death, that he received a call from Jonathan Courson regarding starting the procedure to cash in on a life insurance policy that Courson had taken out on his wife.  The defense attorney pointed out that Courson had signed no paperwork regarding trying to cash in on the policy however.

A woman from a bank also testified that on that same Monday, that Courson closed all joint accounts he had had with his wife and then opened new accounts in his name and in his brothers' name.

The State contended that Courson had shown through his actions after the crime (before he was arrested) that he had the means to try and gather money.  The judge agreed Courson may be a flight risk.

When the hearing was over, Stricklan told us he was "disappointed and felt a case for bond had been made."

Family members and friends of Mandy Coursing burst into applause in the courtroom when the bond was denied.  Outside, Mandy's mother told me she was not up to giving a statement.  One woman I spoke with in the courtroom told me that Many Courson had been her hairdresser for the past eight years or so.  She said everyone in the small community is "torn up" about the murder.  She says both families are well thought of in the community and that many in Baxley are trying to figure out how to support Mandy's family and also Courson's familly at the same time.

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