Report: Punches preceded deaths

ALBANY, Ga. -- It started with men exchanging words. It ended with two bodies on the grassy ground behind a bar with their lifeblood flowing through the grass into the dirt.

The Albany Police Department released an investigation narrative Friday about the homicides of 23-year-old Jerro Toye and 22-year-old Joshua O'Neal Walls at the rear of Applejax Sports Bar & Lounge about 2:40 a.m. Thursday.

Calling Willie Frank Lowe a "person of interest" in the homicides, police placed him in the Dougherty County Jail on outstanding probation warrants from Randolph County, where the last name he used was Berry. As of Friday evening Lowe had not been charged in connection with the slayings.

The investigation report states the police are continuing to investigate the murders and are looking for another man to link with Lowe in the slayings.

Kyonta Byrd, who was with the deceased men when they left Applejax, said he saw two men running "east down the alley behind Applejax" after the stabbings.

The owner of Applejax, Mun Patel, said her bartenders knew the slain men as regular patrons. They left the bar with Byrd after 2 a.m.

According to the investigation narrative, after leaving the bar, the three men got into a car. "Two black males approached the car from the rear," the report says. "Byrd stated he was inside the car."

Toye and Walls left the car. The four men exchanged words. Punches were thrown.

"Byrd stated that he noticed Toye fall to the ground and start shaking, and Walls then fell to the ground, also shaking," the report states.

Byrd left the car and tried to help, but Walls said, "I'm good," stumbled and fell to the ground. Walls suffered a stab wound from a kitchen knife to the right side of his chest. Toye suffered knife wounds to his throat and chest, police said.

Police arrived at 2:44 a.m. to find Joshua Walls lying in the grass behind the bar. Byrd sat on the ground with his hand over Walls' chest wound.

About four feet away, Toye lay face up on the ground with his arms stretched out and "a large amount of blood on the white shirt" he was wearing. "Toye appeared to be breathing faintly, but his eyes were open and he was unresponsive." The officer "tried to rouse him, but he would not respond," the report says.

Seeing Toye, the officer said, "I could see at least one hole in his shirt and a large amount of blood on him and the grass below him."

The reports stated that officers found a handgun clip at the scene Thursday. There was no gun and the clip could have been dropped there at another time. An undisclosed amount of cash was also found on the ground.

Anyone with additional information should call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477) or investigations at (229) 431-3288. The Spanish speaking APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.

Crime Stoppers is an anonymous tip line. People with information could become eligible for cash rewards.