MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Milledgeville man is $3,000 richer for a good deed that happened three years ago. When Juandrigues Williams stopped to help a burning car on the side of the road, he had no idea he would become a key witness in an arson case. In 2009, on his way home from work, Williams literally took the shirt off his back to help 52-year-old Mary Jane Juniper, who was engulfed in flames.
"He got out, took his shirt off, patted the woman down, put the flames out and stayed with her," said Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Keagan Waystack Goodrich.
But there was a catch to this slightly bizarre car burning. The spark wasn't an accident. Juniper and her daughter Waliesah Wilson set the fire in an attempt to get insurance money. As a result, Wilson was arrested. Juniper died a few days later.
"When she told me she had passed, it touched my heart," Williams said.
Wilson told investigators her mother was kidnapped and set on fire. But it was Williams actions and initial statement that refuted those claims and lead to Wilson's arrest and conviction. Randy Bishop with the Georgia Arson Control Board is encouraging people like Williams to speak up.
"Anyway we can deter someone from committing the crime of arson, lowers insurance rates," Bishop said.