SAVANNAH, GA – During the height of a police search for a murder suspect in the Savannah Gardens killing of 19 year old Johnee Williams one man’s home was suspected as the killers hiding place. It turned out 20 year old Malique Francis was not in that home, but next door, dead from an apparent suicide according to final police reports.
The homeowner of the residence is speaking to News 3 in the wake of officers combing through his home in search of the murderer.
First and foremost, retired Vietnam vet Levi Jones says he does not criticize the police for doing their jobs. however, hours following the ordeal, Jones took a step back and assessed damage done to his home, damage he feels is unruly of law enforcement officers.
“You don’t treat any citizen that way especially a senior citizen, you don’t do things like that,” says Jones fumbling through a file of pictures he and a friend took of his home following the SWAT search.
Jones has called his east Savannah residence home for more than two decades. On the morning of December 3rd he answered a knock at his door to find armed SWAT officers.
“He said ‘you sure nobody is in here’ I said no sir, ‘you stay here alone?’ I said yes sir and that’s when the guys say ‘Let’s go’,” says Jones recounting the morning.
Metro police information officials confirmed to News 3 that in their search for murder suspect Malique Francis they entered Jones’ home believing Francis was possibly inside.
Jones, a retired vet and government employee of more than 30 years, still feels his private property was handled poorly.
“All my rooms and stuff was turned upside down, it looked like a war zone. And I said if you’re looking for a guy why is all of my stuff turned upside down? I couldn’t understand that.”
Jones at first was apprehensive to file a complaint out of his respect to the police department. In the end he says besides the hundreds of costs in damage done to items in his home, he says his character was damaged as well.
“When they took me out of the house I had no clothes on just my night night clothes and slippers on my feet. I felt embarrassed.”
News 3 reached out to SCMPD for comment and they state that several detectives and officers have been in touch with Jones over the past week. Jones as well had a case report number in hand for reimbursement of damage to his property that was given to him from a Metro officer.
Jones is certain he will remain in contact with the city who now takes over in reimbursing him for the damaged property, but he hopes more importantly the situation can be an example for law enforcement and city officials to take note of and prevent in the future.
“They’re going to happen again and I don’t want to see it happen to you or to anybody else.”