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Former Bibb County school official pleads after wife’s death

Former Bibb County school official pleads after wife’s death

Senior Superior Court Judge Howard Simms listens to a witness statement from Arlan Anderson during the plea hearing for Edward Judie Jr. on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at the Bibb County Superior Courthouse in Macon, Ga. Judie pleaded guilty to one count of concealing the death of another person after his wife died in November 2019.

A former Bibb County deputy superintendent of schools charged with murdering his wife pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser charge, days after his murder trial was scheduled to begin.

Edward Judie Jr. was scheduled to go on trial Monday on murder and cocaine possession charges, but the trial was canceled because Judie and prosecutors reached a deal. Judie pleaded guilty to concealing the death of another person, and his murder and cocaine possession charges were dropped, 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 in the couple’s home with a lethal amount of cocaine in her system.

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

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

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Prosecutor Thomas Williams said Wednesday afternoon that he had uncovered “significant difficulties” in his research into Judie’s case. He said the evidence did not support the murder charge against Judie.

Williams said investigators could not determine whether Judie’s wife had used cocaine or whether it had been illegally administered to her. He also said questions were being raised about Joyce Fox Judie’s diagnosis of dementia because “that level of incapacity could not be verified by independent witnesses.”

“There are still no answers”

Joyce Fox Judie’s eldest daughter, Ebonie Toye, was in court. Her husband, Arlan Anderson, read a statement on her behalf criticizing the outcome of the case.

“I am writing this letter because my brother and I have been trying for years to get the courts, the district attorney’s office and investigators to get involved in the investigation, but to no avail,” Anderson read to Simms. “It’s been almost five years since this happened, and we still don’t understand why this is happening.”

“We really felt like we were never going to have any answers,” Anderson said. “Five years later, we still don’t have any answers.”

Judie’s attorney, Gregory Bushway, spoke briefly before granting the motion on Judie’s behalf. Bushway said that on the night of the incident, Judie had been taken to Atlanta to be treated for psychosis and depression following the death of his wife.

“It’s a tragedy, there’s no doubt about it, Judge,” Bushway said.

“Judie is still mourning Mrs. Judie. And this is certainly not how they thought they would spend their golden years together.”

Simms acknowledged the tragedy during the trial Wednesday.

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

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

Investigators then 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 each time he was presented with evidence that contradicted his previous statements.”

Alba Rosa, originally from Puerto Rico, is a local crime reporter for The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia. She studied journalism at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2023. In addition to journalism, she enjoys making art, writing and producing music, and diving into the world of fashion.