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Ex-Bibb County Schools official admits to concealing wife’s death, avoids murder trial

In World
July 11, 2024
Ex-Bibb County Schools official admits to concealing wife’s death, avoids murder trial

A former deputy superintendent of Bibb County schools charged with murdering his wife pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser offense, a few days after his murder trial was supposed to start.

Edward Judie Jr. was expected to go to trial on felony murder and cocaine possession charges Monday, but the trial was canceled as Judie and prosecutors reached a deal. Judie pleaded guilty to concealing the death of another, and his murder and cocaine charges were dismissed, according to court testimony Wednesday.

Judie was charged in the death of his wife, Joyce Fox Judie, in 2021. She died in 2019, and was found by investigators at the couple’s home with a lethal amount of cocaine in her system.

Edward Judie will be on probation for 10 years and ordered to enter and complete veterans court, Senior Superior Court Judge Howard Simms ruled.

Judie was the deputy superintendent of student affairs for Bibb County School District in 2011. He had previously worked for the Clover Park School District in Seattle as head of student services. He was also a consultant for Macon Charter Academy.

Why former Bibb school official got a plea deal

The prosecutor, Thomas Williams, said Wednesday afternoon that he uncovered “significant challenges” while researching Judie’s case. He said the evidence did not support Judie’s murder charge.

Williams said investigators weren’t able to find out if Judie’s wife took cocaine or if it was administered illegally. He also said there were questions about Joyce Fox Judie’s dementia diagnosis, because “that level of incapacity could not be verified by independent witnesses.”

‘There’s still no answers’

Ebonie Toye, Joyce Fox Judie’s first-born daughter, was present in the courtroom. Her husband, Arlan Anderson, read a statement on her behalf that criticized the outcome of the case.

“I’m writing this letter because my brother and I have been trying to ask the courts, the prosecutor’s office, lead investigating officers to take part for many years to no avail,” Anderson read in front of Simms. “It’s been almost five years since this happened, we still have no understanding why it’s happening.”

“It honestly felt like we were never going to get any answers,” said Anderson. “Here we are, five years later, and there’s still no answers.”

Judie’s attorney, Gregory Bushway, briefly spoke before accepting the plea on Judie’s behalf. Bushway said that on the night of the incident, Judie was taken to Atlanta to be treated for psychosis and depression over the death of his wife.

“This is a tragedy, there’s no question about that, judge,” said Bushway.

“Judie still grieves for Mrs. Judie. And this is certainly not how they thought they would be spending their golden years together.”

Simms recognized the tragedy during court proceedings Wednesday.

“I wish there was a magic word I could say to make things better,” Simms said.

When Judie was first charged with the murder, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said it responded to the couple’s home to find Joyce Fox Judie dead in a bedroom downstairs. Edward Judie told investigators he and his wife were drinking, and he thought she was asleep.

Investigators later confronted Judie when they discovered his wife had lethal amounts of cocaine in her system. According to the sheriff’s office, “Edward’s story continued to change every time he was presented with evidence that conflicted his prior statements.”

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