Two Liberty County resident are suspects in Bulloch County for separate crimes late last year.
Joshua Matthew Washington, 25, of Midway, is one of four suspects in a home invasion shooting and burglary on Dec. 29.
Zachary Smith, 20, of Liberty County is one of two people arrested for alleged vandalism at a popular Christmas display on a farm near Statesboro.
Statesboro police community information specialist Madison Warren, said warrants were issued last week for Washington, who was located by U.S. marshals, but whose arrest was deferred because of medical issues and who was expected to turn himself in.
The other suspects, Derick Tyler Burchell, 21, and Xeric Deiondre’ Hills, 22, both of Statesboro, and Marquise Javon Wells, 21, of Portal, were in custody. They face felony burglary, theft and weapons charges.
The suspects are believed to have entered a Knight Drive apartment around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, where a man was shot in the head. The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Warren said.
One of the suspects had been allowed inside and was speaking to the victim when the other three, wearing masks, entered and held the victim at gunpoint, she said.
The suspects apparently left after the victim was shot and are believed to have burglarized another residence an hour later. Statesboro police, responding to a witness report of seeing a possible burglary in progress with people using flashlights, apprehended Hills at the scene and located Wells a short time later.
Smith and another suspect, Autumn Marie Evans, 17, of Savannah, face charges of second-degree criminal damage to property in connection with the vandalism.
Evans was arrested Tuesday and Smith was taken into custody Thursday in Savannah, Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown said. Smith was expected to be booked into the Bulloch County Jail Thursday evening.
Bulloch County Commission Chairman Roy Thompson, whose family owns TMT Farms, filed a complaint with the sheriff on Dec. 26, days after vandals destroyed mannequins and an inflatable reindeer at his expansive holiday display.
The month-long annual attraction draws visitors from all across the region. Acres of lights, inflatables, antiques and curiosities surround the homes of Thompson and his adult children. The public is welcome to drive through, asking no fee but accepting donations of food and toys that benefit hundreds of less fortunate people.
The names of several suspects were given to Thompson and deputies, but investigation revealed the others were not directly involved, Brown said.
Damages were estimated at $2,500.
“Our biggest question is, ‘Why?’” Thompson said Thursday. “(Thousands) of people drive through, get out and walk around each year and enjoy this. Why would (the suspects) destroy something like that?”
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Bulloch County sheriff’s Investigator William Sims at 912-764-1767.