Family of Statesboro murder victim says accused murderer was a friend

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STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – An accused murderer is behind bars Friday two weeks after police say he committed the crime at Blakewood Apartments in Statesboro.

The family of the victim, 32-year-old John “Cherryhead” Howard, pled with the public last week for information. Police say tips and surveillance video led them to their first arrest in the case.

Two days ago, detectives were issued a warrant for the arrest of 32-year-old Eliza Boyd. They worked together with United States Marshals to bring him into custody.

“There’s peace now knowing that they got him and he’s off the streets,” said Jessica Howard, the cousin of the victim.

Mirroring her niece, Sherman Lewis, Howard’s mother, says the arrest “really gave me peace, gave me and my family peace. The only thing is that we can’t see him anymore, we can’t hug him anymore, we can’t talk to him, but you gave my grandbabies closure, as well.”

Lewis says Howard was very involved in his two sons’ lives before he died.

But, as if the murder of her son wasn’t enough, Lewis says another piece of information weighs heavy on her heart. She says she knows Boyd and that he was a friend of Howard’s.

She says the two “hung out together” and that Boyd appeared in several Facebook posts of Howard’s.

“This is somebody who called my son his friend and you took his life,” said Lewis. “And to this day, we don’t know why he took his life, but to see he was taken off the streets was a big relief.”

Detectives say they are still working the case and that more arrests may follow. Lewis hopes people turn themselves in or that anyone with information comes forward.

Tips helped lead detectives to the first arrest and she hopes they can lead them to a second, or more.

“If you were involved, turn yourself in. Don’t run, don’t hide,” said Lewis.

Anyone with information on this case should contact Det. Winskey or Det. Reese at 912-764-9911 or submit an anonymous tip to tips@statesboroga.gov.

Howard’s letter to her cousin’s accused murderer

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