Blandburg charged in Peachtree City murder, 3 others charged as accessories

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Thomas J. Blandburg, Jr. faces murder charges. Photo/Fayette County Jail.
Thomas J. Blandburg, Jr. faces murder charges. Photo/Fayette County Jail.

Additionally, 3 women, including the victim’s mother, are also charged with false statements, hindering investigation — 

The man initially charged with firing a gun in two locations in Peachtree City on Aug. 2, one day before the body of 34-year-old Michael Tolbert was found behind the Wisdom Pointe shopping center, has been charged with Tolbert’s murder. Multiple others, including various relatives, are facing charges related to the murder and for hindering the investigation.

Peachtree City Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said detectives investigating the death have determined that Tolbert died as a result of a gunshot wound that he received at the Woodsmill Apartments in the early morning hours of Aug. 2. Thomas J. Blandburg, Jr., 26, of Jonesboro, was previously arrested for reckless conduct in relation to discharging a firearm at that location. Blandburg has now additionally been charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, in relation to the incident, Myers said.

Myers said Tolbert’s body was found on Aug. 3 behind the Wisdom Pointe shopping center, where he had travelled after being shot at the nearby Woodsmill Apartments.

Myers said Blandburg was also previously charged with aggravated assault in relation to a shooting incident in the Wynnmeade neighborhood on the same date as the murder. Another victim of that same incident has been discovered, and an additional aggravated assault charge has been issued for Blandburg in regards to that incident accordingly, said Myers.

Myers said an extensive investigation into the murder revealed reason to believe several other people were present for the shooting, and aided or abetted in the crime. Detectives have issued the following charges accordingly:

Donnell Huggins (Blandburg’s half-brother), 20, of Wynnmeade Parkway, Peachtree City, is charged with murder (party to the crime), aggravated assault (party to the crime), and false statements and concealment of facts in matters within jurisdiction of the state.

Jose Redden, 24, of Wynnmeade Parkway, Peachtree City, is charged with murder (party to the crime), aggravated assault (party to the crime), and false statements and concealment of facts in matters within jurisdiction of the state.

Keila Brooks (Blandburg’s mother), 43, of Wynnmeade Parkway, Peachtree City, is charged with murder (party to the crime) and aggravated assault (party to the crime).

Huggins and Redden are currently incarcerated at the Fayette County Jail. Warrants have been issued for Brooks, and her arrest is pending her release from receiving medical treatment, said Myers.

Myers said during the investigation, detectives questioned numerous potential witnesses and were provided with false information. The following individuals, who were not directly involved with the shooting, were arrested and charged for interfering with the investigation:

Barbara Johnson, 57, of West Manor, Peachtree City, was arrested on Aug. 13 and charged with false statements and concealment of facts in matters within jurisdiction of the state.

Cassandra Garcia (Blandburg’s wife), 28, of Jonesboro, was arrested on Aug. 13 and charged with false statements and concealment of facts in matters within jurisdiction of the state.

Wanda Barber (Tolbert’s mother), 58, of Wynnmeade Parkway, Peachtree City, was arrested on Aug. 11 and charged with false statements and concealment of facts in matters within jurisdiction of the state.

Relating the flow of events in the cases, Myers said around 1 a.m. on Aug. 2, Blandburg, Huggins, Redden and Brooks got into a car and drove to the Woodsmill Apartments. While there Blandburg fired several shots from a 9mm pistol, with one of those shots hitting Tolbert, who was outside at the time. Tolbert apparently moved away from the area, with his body found on Aug. 3 in a brush area behind a building at the adjacent Wisdom Pointe shopping center, Myers said.

Myers said the reason why Blandburg shot and hit Tolbert is still under investigation.

After the shots were fired at Woodsmill, Blandburg and the others left the area and arrived at a Wynnmeade Parkway home, where Blandburg’s grandmother resides.

Continuing with the flow of events, Myers said approximately three hours after the shooting incident at Woodsmill, a vehicle pulled up and dropped off Johnson, in the area where Blandburg and several others were hanging out in his grandmother’s yard. Blandburg fired several shots at the vehicle as it was leaving. No one in the vehicle was injured, said Myers.

Myers said it is believed that Blandburg shot at the vehicle because he had a prior disagreement with the driver.

As for Blandburg’s grandmother’s residence on Wynnmeade Parkway, Myers said Tolbert, his mother Wanda Barber and Blandburg’s half-brother Donnell Huggins were all residing there.