Man indicted in cellmate's death

Police said man was beaten

By Kathy Jefcoats


JONESBORO — A Clayton County Jail inmate has been indicted in the facility's first alleged murder, according to Superior Court records.

William Alexander Brooks, 21, of Locust Grove allegedly punched cellmate Kenneth Robert Grochowski, 57, in the throat, fracturing his hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage and held his head under water. Brooks also allegedly kicked Grochowski in the ribs, fracturing several bones, according to the indictment.

At the time of Grochowski's Aug. 14 death, Lt. Brian Crisp said the two argued over a store item.

“Investigators developed significant criminal evidence which indicated that Brooks had intentionally assaulted Grochowski in their shared cell, with the intent of causing his death,” said Crisp at the time of the arrest.

Grochowski was found unresponsive in the cell he shared with Brooks when deputies did a midnight roll call. Paramedics responded and tried CPR while taking Grochowski to Southern Regional Medical Center, said Crisp. Deputies first suspected a heart attack because of his age and past medical problems but an autopsy led to Brooks’ arrest on murder charges, he said.

Crisp said Brooks admitted to the killing, smiling as he did so.

Brooks was first arrested Aug. 1 by Forest Park police officers and charged with theft by receiving stolen property, giving a false name, driving on a suspended license and failure to wear a seat belt. Crisp said at the time of his arrest, Brooks was driving a 2002 Nissan Quest that had been reported stolen in Locust Grove. Brooks also allegedly gave a false name, “Hasuse MaCavelle.”

Crisp said Brooks is also wanted in Florida for violation of probation from a burglary conviction.

Grochowski was being held as a fugitive pending extradition to Illinois. He’d been arrested Aug. 8 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after arriving on an international flight from South America. Police said he fled the country to avoid prosecution on weapons violations, aggravated DUI and eluding officers in a 2007 case.

Crisp said Grochowski returned to the United States because he wrongly believed the statute of limitations had expired on the Illinois case.

Demario Askew, 35, of Jonesboro and Tracey H. Strozier, 42, were indicted in the Oct. 13 shooting death of Christopher Montanna Wilson, 23. The pair face multiple murder and firearms charges.

Police said Wilson was shot inside a room at Magnolia Bay Motel on Southside Commercial Parkway in Jonesboro. Both suspects were also shot and discovered by police at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Ellis Ray Saggus Jr., 43, and Heather Danielle Bignault, 28, both of the same Ellenwood address were indicted on murder charges in the Aug. 1 shooting death of Stewart Carrow

Police said Carrow was shot to death in the parking lot of Taco Bell on Ga. 138 in Stockbridge.

In addition to murder and firearms charges, Bignault has been indicted for hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Saggus has a history of seven state prison stays dating to 1996 and ending in 2011.

All defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty.