NATIONAL NEWS

Georgia inmate had ‘personal relationship’ with worker he shot and killed, prison official says

Jun 17, 2024, 1:04 PM

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An inmate who shot and killed a kitchen worker at a Georgia prison before fatally shooting himself had a personal relationship with the woman, a prison official said Monday.

Georgia Department of Corrections spokesperson Lori Benoit said in an email statement the shooting early Sunday at Smith State Prison was an isolated incident and the investigation was ongoing. The statement did not say how inmate Jaydrekus Hart obtained a firearm.

The agency previously said Hart shot the worker in the prison’s kitchen at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, then killed himself. Hart appears to have left a suicide note, Benoit said.

Smith State Prison, which has capacity for 1,500 inmates, is a close-security prison that houses offenders considered violent or an escape risk.

Hart had been imprisoned since 2015 after being convicted in Carroll County of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, according to online prison records. His earliest potential release date would have been in 2043.

The slain kitchen worker, 24-year-old Aureon Shavea Grace of Statesboro, had worked at the prison since January, according to the corrections department. She was employed by Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that provides food service for prisons in Georgia, among other states.

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Georgia inmate had ‘personal relationship’ with worker he shot and killed, prison official says