Clayton County Police Arrest Four in Briana Winston Murder Case

Clayton County police arrested four individuals, including the victim's boyfriend and his family members, in connection with the death of 23-year-old Briana Winston. Investigators allege that the boyfriend choked Winston to death, burned her body, and scattered her remains along a highway and behind a church with the help of others.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Clayton County Police Arrest Four in Briana Winston Murder Case

Clayton County Police Arrest Four in Briana Winston Murder Case

Clayton County police have arrested four individuals, including the victim's boyfriend and his family members, in connection with the death, body of 23-year-old Briana Winston. Winston was found dead in Tennessee after an argument with her boyfriend, Michale Edwards, on March 17, 2024. Investigators allege that Edwards choked Winston to death, burned her body, and scattered her remains along a highway and behind a church with the help of others.

Why this matters: This case highlights the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of holding perpetrators accountable. It also underscores the need for increased awareness and support for victims of domestic abuse, as well as the crucial role of law enforcement in bringing criminals to justice.

According to Lt. Ashanti Marbury of the Clayton County Police Department, "It was not a crime that was committed in the heat of passion, there was malice... There was some intent there." The investigation, which took over 1,100 man-hours, 20 search warrants, and K-9 cadaver dogs, led authorities to Tennessee, where Winston's remains were discovered.

Michale Edwards, who shared a 4-year-old son with Winston, has been charged with murder, aggravated stalking, and other crimes. His wife, Brieanna Phillips-Edwards, whom he secretly married in January, is facing charges of party to commission of a crime-murder, providing false statements to police, and providing Edwards with a vehicle to transport Winston's death, press, conference to Tennessee. Edwards' mother, Ebony Anderson, and his brother, Keilan Wright, have also been charged with helping destroy evidence.

Investigators pieced together the events leading to Winston's murder, revealing that she and Edwards got into an argument on March 17 over his alleged infidelity. Lt. Marbury stated, "Together, the two men placed a suitcase inside of a burned barrel located behind the home, they doused it with accelerant, lit a fire, and they kept their fire burning from the early afternoon until nightfall." Winston's remains were later scattered in two different areas: behind a church in Ripley, Tennessee, and along Interstate 40.

Winston was reported missing on April 1 after her family learned her apartment had been cleared out. Investigators found evidence suggesting she was murdered, including a bleach-smelling apartment and a jail call where Edwards asked his wife to burn a pair of shoes and gloves. "It turned into a family affair... He definitely looped everyone into this crime," Lt. Marbury commented on the involvement of Edwards' family members.

Michale Edwards is currently being held without bond and faces an aggravated stalking charge in addition to the murder charges. Edwards and his wife, Brieanna Phillips-Edwards, have an upcoming court date on June 5, 2024. The arrests in this case bring some closure to Winston's family, who were informed of her death on April 26. As Major Frank Thomas of the Clayton County Police stated, "In closing, I do want to say we are surrounded with family members here only because without them we wouldn't have gotten to where we were in some parts of this investigation."

Key Takeaways

  • 4 arrested, including victim's boyfriend & family, in connection with 23-year-old Briana Winston's murder.
  • Winston was choked to death, burned, and scattered along a highway and behind a church in Tennessee.
  • Boyfriend Michale Edwards charged with murder, aggravated stalking, and other crimes.
  • Edwards' family members, including wife and mother, charged with helping destroy evidence and providing false statements.
  • Investigation took over 1,100 man-hours, 20 search warrants, and K-9 cadaver dogs to solve the case.