Juror charged with perjury

Tambrest Keys-Jones, 26, left, was charged Feb. 20 with perjury in connection with her selection for the jury on a Colquitt County murder trial in 2017. Jaquan Willis, right, was accused of killing Fatisha Clark the year before, but the jury, including Keys-Jones, deadlocked 11-1 and a mistrial was declared.

MOULTRIE, Ga. — A Colquitt County grand jury has indicted a juror in a 2017 murder trial on two counts of perjury, alleging she withheld information during jury selection.

Tambrest Keys-Jones, who was 26 at the time of her arrest in February of this year, was a juror in the trial of Jaquan Willis in June 2017.

Willis was accused of firing a shot in March 2016 that struck and killed Fatisha Clark, who was playing with two of her children in the park next to the Ryce Community Center on Seventh Street Northwest. Willis was 16 years old at the time.

Willis’s trial ended in a mistrial because the jury was split 11-1 in favor of conviction on a count of murder; jurors must agree unanimously to convict or acquit a defendant. The jurors did agree unanimously on less-serious charges but those decisions were thrown out by the mistrial. It is not known whether Keys-Jones was the holdout juror.

District Attorney Brad Shealy said after the mistrial and again when Keys-Jones was arrested that he planned to retry Willis. As of Monday, no trial has been scheduled in the case.

According to the indictment released on Friday, Keys-Jones failed to answer when the potential jurors were asked if they knew Willis or a member of his family and again when the potential jurors were asked if they knew Jared Taylor, another individual expected to play a role in the case.

The indictment claims Keys-Jones worked with a relative of Willis and was herself related to Taylor.

An arraignment has been scheduled for her at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 30. At an arraignment, the defendant hears the exact charges against them and has a chance to enter a plea.

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