ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Police are making progress tracking down suspects believed to have been involved in a gruesome home invasion in June.
Friday morning, police had one suspect in custody, charged in connection with shooting Francis, who goes by Putt, Wetherbee, 49, and leaving him for dead at his Gravel Hill Road home.
This is obviously a step in the right direction for investigators who have been working tirelessly with limited information on this case.
And while they have one suspect in custody, there's still much more work to be done.
John Devon Mincey, 24, is in custody facing several charges in connection with a brutal home invasion on Gravel Hill Road.
Kareem Williams, 20, is on the run.
"We haven't had a whole lot of information coming in from the public," said DCP Lt. Steve Mitchum. "That's basically what has complicated this case."
Lt. Mitchum said the recent arrest is a major break in this case for investigators.
It's been more than two months since Putt Wetherbee was shot, stabbed, and left for dead in his Gravel Hill Road home.
During that time, rarely any tips from the community came in.
"It was surprising because the family has put up a $70,000 reward on the arrest and conviction," said Lt. Mitchum. "Since I've been working here, that's more reward money on a case that I've ever worked."
He said they've executed multiple search warrants and have been networking with agencies both local and across the nation to track down the four or five suspects involved.
Thursday night, Mincey was taken into custody in California.
"The Fairfield Police Department and the OSI out at Travis Airforce Base apprehended him last night, so basically they'll coordinate with our Sheriff's Department to get him extradited back to Albany," said Lt. Mitchum.
Mincey is now charged with home invasion, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, burglary, and five counts of theft.
Lt. Mitchum said investigators have recovered some of the items stolen from Wetherbee during the home invasion.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Kareem Williams, or if you have any information on the home invasion, call Crime Stoppers at 436-TIPS.
DCP has warrants out for those same charges for Kareem Williams who is on the run right now.
Police say that Williams, 19, was taken to the hospital late Tuesday night, June 27, after being shot in the abdomen, in the 600 block of Tulsa Lane
Family Reacts to Arrests
Lieutenant Mitchum said Mincey actually worked for Wetherbee.
That's a sore subject for Wetherbee's father, Frank Wetherbee.
He said his son gave Mincey a job, and is sickened to hear he's now suspected of being involved.
But Frank said he's overwhelmingly impressed at the job DCP has done to track down the suspects involved.
He said he's thankful for the outpouring of support from the community and is proud at his son's continued strength and positivity since the brutal incident.
"What he's been through, I don't know how I would have taken it. They beat him with a baseball bat. They shot him twice. They left him for dead. I don't know how I would have handled it, or how anybody else would have. He's a tough little booger," said Frank.
Putt Wetherbee is now paralyzed from the waist down.
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