Murder suspect surrenders

Murder suspect Asa Terrell Wilbanks, 27, is under arrest at the Stephens County Jail after voluntarily surrendering himself to authorities Thursday evening, Dec. 26.

Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, in a statement made to ConnectLocal.News this evening at approximately 11 p.m., said that Wilbanks - who was wanted in connection with a fatal shooting Sunday in Eastanollee that ended in the death of Brian Shirley – was arrested at his mother’s home without incident.

“Yesterday afternoon, Asa Wilbanks' father called and said that his son wanted to voluntarily give himself up,” Shirley said. “Last night (Thursday, Dec. 26), about 9:30 pm, we were called to the home of his mother, where we arrested Asa Wilbanks without incident.”

Wilbanks was booked on a felony murder charge, and the investigation of the shooting is still ongoing, Shirley said.

“We are thankful that he finally voluntarily gave himself up. He was taken to the Stephens County jail and booked in for felony murder. We would like to thank all of the folks that called in tips on this while we were trying to locate Mr. Wilbanks."

In addition to Stephens County Sheriff's Office personnel, officials from nearby counties and the Carolinas, as well as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, have assisted in the investigation.

"We would also like to thank our partners in the Carolinas, as well as Franklin and Hart Counties, who have been working closely with my deputies, investigators and the Bureau of Investigation in concluding this part of the investigation," Shirley said. "The investigation is continuing as witnesses are still to be interviewed and we await the autopsy results from the crime lab to further the investigation. This was a tragedy that occurred right before Christmas and our prayers go out to Brian Shirley’s family of Hart County."


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