On April 12, 2017, three men allegedly approached Daniel Lee Gilliam outside a Simon Drive mobile home, with the intention of robbing him.
Events took a fatal turn and one of the men allegedly shot Gilliam, 30, who died from his injuries after being transported to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital for treatment.
Today the trial begins of Don Earl Johnson Jr., accused of pulling the trigger of the .22-caliber pistol that ended Gilliam’s life.
Information was slow in coming regarding the crime, until investigators with the Glynn County Police Department began receiving information more than a year later that opened some paths and let to the arrest of Johnson, Rahad Quayshawn Muhammad and Rashad Wright. Authorities didn’t have to go far to find Johnson, who was serving time in state prison for failure to register as a sex offender.
A Glynn County grand jury indicted Johnson in May 2019, charging him with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, three counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and one count each of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to court documents, Johnson had his probation revoked on June 14, 2017 — just two months after the homicide — and he was sentenced to five years in state prison.
Jury selection Monday went along without many problems — out of the original 50 or so jurors, Superior Court Judge Roger Lane excused five, three of which were for medical issues that would have posed a problem for the prospective jurors if they made the final cut. The jury, with two alternates, is composed of nine white women, three white men, one black man and one black woman.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin today shortly after 9 a.m.