Man charged with murder 11 months after burned body found near Fulton airport

Arrest warrants indicate suspected gang member had multiple accomplices
Nicholas Williams, 32, was found dead in December 2022, his body burned beyond recognition, Atlanta police said. Investigators later determined his cause of death was a gunshot wound.

Credit: Family Photo

Credit: Family Photo

Nicholas Williams, 32, was found dead in December 2022, his body burned beyond recognition, Atlanta police said. Investigators later determined his cause of death was a gunshot wound.

An Atlanta man was charged with murder Tuesday after a wide-ranging, 11-month investigation led police to accuse him of killing another man for his truck, then burning his body beyond recognition near the Fulton County Airport.

Carl Jones, 21, was booked into the Fulton jail on several felony counts, including murder, tampering with evidence and theft by taking, jail records show. According to his arrest warrants, Jones is accused of shooting 32-year-old Nicholas Williams, whose burned body was discovered Dec. 13, 2022, in the woods off Old Gordon Road in northwest Atlanta.

The investigation began when a man who regularly walks through the woods near the airport discovered Williams’ body and called 911, the warrants said. Officers found the body so severely burned that Williams not identified until after the autopsy.

He had been reported as missing in Cobb County and his truck, a 2022 Dodge Ram TRX, was later located in DeKalb County by Chamblee police. After interviewing the man who bought the truck, homicide investigators were able to trace the truck’s sale history back to Jones.

Detectives linked Jones to the OTR street gang and executed a search warrant in April at a home in southwest Atlanta known as a hangout for the group, the warrants said. Jones tried to escape through the back door and threw away a gun as he ran from police, according to detectives. He was caught and taken into custody, and a DVR full of security video footage was confiscated from the house.

Jones was booked into jail April 27 on eight felony charges, including drug, gun and gang counts, jail records show. In an interview, Jones admitted to taking the truck from a man he knew and said he later sold it for $3,000, according to his warrants. However, Jones could not name the person from whom he stole the truck, which police valued at about $25,000.

At the time, there was no probable cause to charge Jones with Williams’ killing. He was released less than two weeks later on $48,000 bond.

Homicide detectives said they reviewed security footage from the home where Jones was arrested and saw the truck in the driveway on the same day Williams was killed. Three men wearing hoodies and gloves, including one who was identified as Jones by multiple family members, could be seen getting into the truck and leaving the house, according to the warrants. One of the men took two gas cans.

Investigators secured new arrest warrants for Jones on June 18, but it was not until Tuesday that he was booked back into the Fulton jail. He will remain there after his bond was denied at his first appearance hearing Wednesday.

Police have not said if anyone else will be charged in Williams’ killing.

Williams, a Michigan native, was buried in his hometown of Niles, just over the border from South Bend, Indiana, in February, according to his obituary. He was an aspiring recording artist and music producer who moved to Atlanta in 2009 to pursue a music degree at American Intercontinental University.

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