Police charge 3 Fayetteville men with murder of Peachtree City girl, 15

Top, Jacobean Brown; bottom left, Yeshua Mathis; bottom right, Justus Smith. Photos/Fayette County Jail.
Top, Jacobean Brown; bottom left, Yeshua Mathis; bottom right, Justus Smith. Photos/Fayette County Jail.

Three men, all 18, all from Fayetteville, are in custody and charged with the murder of Madison Gesswein, 15, of Peachtree City, according to Assistant Chief Matt Myers.

The girl is believed to have died from a gunshot wound to the head late Monday or early Tuesday, Myers said. She was found dead in her bed by her mother in the basement apartment at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Behind bars and charged with murder are the following: Justus Smith, Jacobean Brown and Yeshua Mathis, all 18, all with Fayetteville addresses, Myers said.

The motive for the killing is still being investigated, Myers said.

“They were all acquaintances, and this was not a random occurrence,” Myers said.

The mother and the girls’s brother were also present in the apartment that night, but did not not hear a gunshot, Myers said. The mother discovered the girl’s body Tuesday at 6 a.m. and called police. The victim was last seen alive by her mother the previous evening, Myers said.

The three suspects also were present at the apartment for a time Monday evening, and Myers said police began looking for them within a short time after the crime was reported. There are no other suspects being sought, Myers said.

The department posted this on its Facebook page:

At approximately 6:00 am on February 21st, Peachtree City Police Department responded to an apartment at The Greens at Braelinn regarding a medical call.

This photo of Madison Gesswein, age 15, was provided by the family to police "for media use," police said.
This photo of Madison Gesswein, age 15, was provided by the family to police “for media use,” police said.

The victim was a 15-year-old female, identified as Madison Gesswein, who was found deceased by her mother. A final cause of death is pending determination by the medical examiner, but an injury to Madison’s head appears consistent with a gunshot wound. 

Detectives quickly identified three suspects, all of whom were the victim’s acquaintances.

Yesterday afternoon, one of the suspects was arrested by Fayette County Sheriff’s Office after fleeing a residence in Fayetteville. Another suspect was located and detained at the same residence, and a search warrant was issued for the home. Peachtree City detectives obtained an arrest warrant for the third suspect and continued working through the night to locate him. By early this morning, the third suspect’s vehicle was seized from a residence in Gainesville, GA, and he was arrested at home in Fayetteville.

All three suspects are now in custody at the Fayette County jail and charged with Murder; additional charges may be issued as the investigation continues.

The suspects are as follows:

Justus Smith, 18, of Chandler Way, Fayetteville, GA is charged with Murder

Jacobean Brown, 18, of Marion Blvd, Fayetteville, GA is charged with Murder

Yeshua Mathis, 18, of Hope Way, Fayetteville, GA is charged with Murder

Peachtree City Police would like to thank the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for supplying assistance and tactical support in execution of arrest and search warrants related to this case, as well as Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Sheriff’s Office for similar support in the execution of a search warrant in their jurisdiction. We would also like to thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for supplying crime scene resources and the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office for legal support.

CORRECTION: This story initially misspelled the name of Peachtree City Assistant Police Chief Matt Myers. The spelling has been corrected.


  1. So sad that a beautiful young lady was killed in our town. And hard to believe that it happened in PTC.

    While we pray for her and her family, let’s also pause to think about what we need to do to maintain our city as a safe community for all.

    FUND the police. Thank them for being between us and those who would harm us, our family or neighbors.

    Ensure that prosecutors and the justice system deliver severe consequences to those who did this. No liberal coddling of criminals.

    Protect the family, and especially the importance of fathers in the home. Boys raised in a fatherless home are three times more likely to be in prison by age 30, girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.

    Planning and zoning in our city makes a difference. With 20 years in Fulton County behind me, I will work with others to keep PTC from going down that path.

    Strong schools are a blessing. Let’s make sure teachers focus on educating the fundamentals and creating strong citizens, and keep the divisive woke stuff and Critical Race Theory out.

    Support gun rights. You may decide not to own a gun, but advocate for the Constitutional right of your neighbors to defend themselves and their family in their home.

    Know your neighbors and make this a true community. We need to have each others’ back.

    Most of all, elect politicians committed to keeping PTC and Fayette a special place for all of us. I wish I had confidence in the Mayor and some members of Council and staff to recognize the trust we’ve placed in them to do just that.

  2. You need to do better and wise up. Kaya did not use any racial terms but you assumed she was speaking race. From personal experience I can tell you that Clayton County is HORRIBLE to live in now. I was born there and lived there till way past adult hood. It is very important to me that counties like Fayette, Coweta, Pike, etc., try hard not to become HIGH CRIME cesspools like Clayton County. There is no quality of life in Clayton County. You assume the problem is about race, but maybe it is about the fact that Clayton County is ran by all democrats. There are no conservative politicians in elected office in Clayton County. Maybe Clayton County should give conservatism a try. And you talk about Fayette County saying “plenty of crime has been happening here for plenty of time.” I guarantee you the crime in Fayette County is NOTHING compared to the crime in Clayton County. You ain’t seen nothing yet. People in Fayette County still use public parks without fear. We can go shopping without worrying about seeing a robbery, drug deal, somebody getting shot. No, people in Fayette County must work HARD at keeping liberal policies on crime away or you will be no better than Clayton County soon. You have no idea the stress of living in a high crime area. I did not leave Clayton County due to it being majority black/minority, I left due to the high crime and it being all Democrat ran and unfortunately all Democrat voters. When Fayette County loses all its good restaurants and businesses and stores due to the high crime than you can talk to me about “plenty of crime”. Police in Fayette County do have their hands full trying to stop the spread of Clayton County ways into Fayette County life.

    • And that my friends is how you gaslight. You flip the script, tell someone they are wrong and say they couldn’t possibly understand, in this case, what life is like on the streets. You argue only you can understand and defend it with your story. Classic conservative modus operandi. Kathleen, we all live in this world. We have all been through stuff. The solution is not what the politics of the leaders are. The solution is people taking personal responsibility to be a good citizen. And the best way to get good citizens is to raise good citizens. Politicians cannot fix the family. Families fix families. And race has nothing to do with it. Kaya’s statement was racist and elitist and you can’t convince me otherwise.

      • Here are the facts of life:
        I lived in a nice place called Riverdale in the early 1980’s till 1990 and also had rental property which I sold by 2002. When the 1996 Olympics came to ATL they dumped public housing from ATL into Clayton Co. It was all done by Democrats and then the zoning went to hell. My good renters became renters that destroyed property rather than respected property. I’m looking at living 70 years on the southside from East Point, South Fulton Co. and Riverdale…been in PTC 33 years and the writing is on the wall…it will take a massive effort and the will of politicians (zoning), law enforcement and schools to stand up to what is coming…thank God we don’t have an interstate Hwy, 285 or MARTA entering Fayette co., Fayette Co. is the only ATL Metro county still a decent place to live. Raise your hand if you are willing to relocate to Clayton, Fulton, Douglas, DeKalb, or Henry Co.
        If you call me out on this, you better have your fact straight.

        • 81 Morrow High School graduate here. Lived there, McDonough, then Stockbridge. I unfortunately still have a rental in Ellenwood.

          Been in PTC right at 20 years, still really enjoy it, but as you say, we can’t let our guard down. No more apartments are needed here, period.

          Your point about lack of interstates rings true with me for sure.

      • Ms Logic: You talk the big talk but I bet like most upper class Democrats you would have left Clayton County right when it started becoming more minority. You would not have stuck around no matter what race you are. I had a black hairdresser tell me one time that when Clayton County got the bus line is when she decided to move out because she knew what was coming, Clayton County was going to be like south Atlanta. I remember when Democrats took over Clayton County and won all or most of the elections one year how they celebrated and bragged. I never knew how bad politicians could make a community until I experienced first hand. And you are a hypocrite for talking about how we all have been through stuff. If you have not lived in a HIGH CRIME area you do NOT know what it is like. Have you seen a gunshot victim laying in a parking lot? Have you seen a lady walk up to a vehicle and shoot another lady for no good reason? Have you been walking down the street you live in and encounter a man who not long after was arrested for being a serial rapist? Have you been in a store when it was robbed? Do you see drug deals going down in the Kroger parking lot? Have you had a group of teenage boys surround your car and harass you for no reason? Have you had stores, restaurants, and other businesses leave due to the high crime? Have the shoplifting and robberies gotten so bad that stores had to close in Fayette County? No, you think you know what it is like but you do not. I can tell by what you write. You have no clue. But when it comes to Fayette County and you see what it is like, you will be one of the first ones to move. I guarantee you that.

        • There you go with that gaslighting again. The way I write tells you everything about me. Clearly you know my story by the way I write. Clearly you are the only victim here. You know better than me. Thank you for proving my point. Best of luck to you.

          • @ Ms Logic- Not knowing your age or where you grew up I have to wonder why you think the other bloggers are “gas-lighting.” What an over-used term, right? I have actually seen the movie. Anyway, I lived in CC from 1983-1987 and moved to FC due to bad things that were happening in my area. I later went back and taught school for four years in 1995. The comment about the Olympics moving the Tech Wood folks to CC is all true. I could write a book about what all I experienced while teaching there in the mid to late 90s. It wasn’t good. I have a book, Crack Affected Children- A Teacher’s Guide by Mary Bellis Waller. That was my classroom. Those poor, poor children. Families were just dumped in CC and CC had no resources to help. It was a really bad situation. And everything went downhill from there. I don’t know what your situation is but I suspect that you did not live in CC before, during or after it turned. Nobody wants to see that happen to FC.