Jeannie “Willene” Bryant has dedicated the last 17 years to keeping her brother’s memory alive, while seeking justice for his homicide. Willene admits, with frustration, that she does not know what transpired the evening her little brother, Terry Rewis, was killed.

Bubba, as he was lovingly called, was the victim of a reported hit-and-run on April 21, 2002.

“There are just so many questions. All these years, I’ve just had so many questions and it’s like my little brother has been forgotten about,” Willene shared in 2016 interview with Dateline.

The surviving sibling reflects on her late brother’s personality, describing him as both silly and serious. Bubba put great effort into changing his life for the better, but he never got to see his labors appreciated or reap the benefits.

“Terry’s life was hard. It started off hard and it seemed to get harder,” Willene stated. “But he was trying to put it back together and put things on track.”

According to Willene, her brother’s body was found on the side Highway 56 in Swainsboro, Georgia, by a group of hunters. The lack of evidence or clues at the scene challenged the investigators from the start. Subsequent investigations revealed that Rewis had been picked up by an acquaintance driving a truck earlier that day. Rewis then attended the Ogeechee River Redbreast Festival in the neighboring city of Midville.

Rewis reportedly left the festival alone on foot that night. Swainsboro was roughly 6 miles away, and he decided to make the trek back on foot.

Terry “Bubba” Rewis – Photo from the Is there NO Justice for Terry Brooks “Bubba” Rewis Facebook page.

Questions are abundant regarding that night, but so are the theories.

Willene shares her numerous speculations, ranging from a local dispatcher inadvertently striking Bubba, to him being thrown out of a truck following a heated exchange with the other occupants, resulting in his death.

Although both the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol worked toward solving this case, no follow-up leads or tips have been fruitful in identifying what happened to Bubba Rewis on April 21, 2002.

While Willene waits for answers, she continues to advocate. She devotes her time to honoring her brother’s memory, with the intent of finding him justice. She hosts events in surrounding cities aimed at grabbing attention and producing answers in her brother’s death. At the very least, she hopes the events raise some awareness for Bubba and other victims.

Willene is firmly set in her beliefs that the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t devoted all the resources needed to solve Bubba’s case. She implies that her family’s socioeconomic status is partially to blame.

In her interview with Dateline, Willene explains, “We are a poor family, and sometimes it seems like people just don’t care. But we aren’t going to give up looking for justice for my baby brother. Never.”

Terry’s family has their own suspicions. Rumors over the years have persisted and whispers that Terry was either hit by someone who knew he would be walking along that highway, or wasn’t even hit at all. One story is he was in the back of a pick-up truck and an altercation ensued between him and another man he was traveling with, ending with him being thrown onto the roadway.

Either way, Willlene simply wants answers. Terry’s family held a small rally on Saturday, hoping to raise greater awareness about his case. There is also a Facebook page titled ‘Is there NO Justice for Terry Brooks “Bubba” Rewis’ where Willene posts frequent pleas for anyone with information to come forward.

She believes there is more than one person who knows the truth.

If you have any information on the death of Terry Rewis, please call the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Department at 478-237-7526.


Research and Impact

Advocacy and research into areas of racial disparities and socioeconomic factors impacting the solvability of a case is a growing concern for academia. The number of cleared or solved murders depend on deciphering nuisance complexities within the clearance rate.

Retired NYPD detective sergeant Joe Giacalone discussed the issue in a 2014 NPR interview. “Any loss of life is a problem as far as I’m concerned,” Giacalone said. “But one thing I can say about myself and anybody in the New York City Police Department, we treated every homicide the same way – doesn’t matter a race, color, creed, religion. It didn’t matter. We put the same effort into solving those cases as we would anybody else.”

Combating this perception issue is often a theme within victim services community. Project: Cold Case hears all too often the perceptions left upon a family when a loved one is murdered, mirroring concerns that their loved one wasn’t “worth” the resources to investigate.

April 21, 2002, was the annual Ogeechee River Redbreast Festival in Midville, a town twenty-five miles north of Nunez. Rewis attended the festival with a friend named James Kirby and a few others. At some point, a fight broke out, and the police were called in to break it up. At this point in the narrative, the reports begin to vary. Some people say, Terry Rewis was asked to leave, so he took off walking towards home. This might be feasible if he lived in town. To make it back to Nunez, Terry would have to walk 25.7 miles south along HWY 56 in the dark. If you race down this highway on Google Earth, you will see there isn’t one street light to be found until you get down to Swainsboro.
Another witness claims, Terry and a group of people piled into a pickup truck and headed south. Terry and a few others were riding in the back. This witness also claims a fight broke out while the vehicle sped down the highway towards Swainsboro. During the scuffle, Terry Rewis was thrown from the moving vehicle and subsequently ran over. This was the story that circulated around the small town of Nunez according to the woman.
Whatever the case, two hunters would find the mutilated remains of Terry Rewis the next morning. It appeared his body had been drug several yards down the highway at a high rate of speed.
Of course, the rumor mill kicked into high gear feeding information to the family and friends, but no physical evidence could be found to help them get justice for their beloved Terry. To make matters worse, it seemed as if the investigation wasn’t high on the priority list. A lot of times during investigations, the police are working quietly behind the scenes, and the family becomes frustrated because they don’t see any results. We may never know if this was the case because, in 2017, the new investigator informed the family that the original files on the case had been lost.
If this were the end of the story, I would tend to believe that this might just be a terrible accident, and the crime was abandoning the scene of a crash. Basically, the case seems to scream vehicular manslaughter, but some unusual things have come out in the 17-year fight for justice.
Four months later another young man was found dead beside the road only a few streets over from HWY 56. His name was James Felton Williams. He was only 19, and it isn’t clear if he had any ties to Terry Rewis. The location, the timing, and some of the accident details seem to parallel Terry’s case.
In 2016, NBC did a write up about Terry’s case, and in 2017, Terry’s sister hosted a “Keeping Memories Alive” event in Swainsboro. Shortly beforehand, James Kirby had spoken with Terry’s sister for over an hour. He didn’t offer any details about that fateful night, but repeatedly expressed his condolences and told her how much he cared for Terry. Several days after the event, Kirby was dead. Investigators are torn on the cause of death. Some say it was an overdose others say it was a brain aneurism. We may never know what happened on that night in 2002 between these two best friends. If you happen to have information on this case, please come forward. You can contact the Emanuel County Sherrif’s Department at (478) 237-7526.

April 21, 2002, was the annual Ogeechee River Redbreast Festival in Midville, a town twenty-five miles north of Nunez. Rewis attended the festival with a friend named James Kirby and a few others. At some point, a fight broke out, and the police were called in to break it up. At this point in the narrative, the reports begin to vary. Some people say, Terry Rewis was asked to leave, so he took off walking towards home. This might be feasible if he lived in town. To make it back to Nunez, Terry would have to walk 25.7 miles south along HWY 56 in the dark. If you race down this highway on Google Earth, you will see there isn’t one street light to be found until you get down to Swainsboro.
Another witness claims, Terry and a group of people piled into a pickup truck and headed south. Terry and a few others were riding in the back. This witness also claims a fight broke out while the vehicle sped down the highway towards Swainsboro. During the scuffle, Terry Rewis was thrown from the moving vehicle and subsequently ran over. This was the story that circulated around the small town of Nunez according to the woman.
Whatever the case, two hunters would find the mutilated remains of Terry Rewis the next morning. It appeared his body had been drug several yards down the highway at a high rate of speed.
Of course, the rumor mill kicked into high gear feeding information to the family and friends, but no physical evidence could be found to help them get justice for their beloved Terry. To make matters worse, it seemed as if the investigation wasn’t high on the priority list. A lot of times during investigations, the police are working quietly behind the scenes, and the family becomes frustrated because they don’t see any results. We may never know if this was the case because, in 2017, the new investigator informed the family that the original files on the case had been lost.
If this were the end of the story, I would tend to believe that this might just be a terrible accident, and the crime was abandoning the scene of a crash. Basically, the case seems to scream vehicular manslaughter, but some unusual things have come out in the 17-year fight for justice.
Four months later another young man was found dead beside the road only a few streets over from HWY 56. His name was James Felton Williams. He was only 19, and it isn’t clear if he had any ties to Terry Rewis. The location, the timing, and some of the accident details seem to parallel Terry’s case.
In 2016, NBC did a write up about Terry’s case, and in 2017, Terry’s sister hosted a “Keeping Memories Alive” event in Swainsboro. Shortly beforehand, James Kirby had spoken with Terry’s sister for over an hour. He didn’t offer any details about that fateful night, but repeatedly expressed his condolences and told her how much he cared for Terry. Several days after the event, Kirby was dead. Investigators are torn on the cause of death. Some say it was an overdose others say it was a brain aneurism. We may never know what happened on that night in 2002 between these two best friends. If you happen to have information on this case, please come forward. You can contact the Emanuel County Sherrif’s Department at (478) 237-7526.

James Felton Williams, 19,
of Kite, Ga., was found just
after midnight Saturday (August 24 2002) on
the edge of Georgia Highway 57.
He had an injury to the back
of the head and several cuts.
He might have been thrown from
the back of a truck or struck
in the head with an object.
It does not appear he was hit by a car.

We were told by someone
that his death was a hit and run
(Like Terry’s death)
but this says different.
The day of Terry’s birthday celebration
We were told that a deputy killed this boy. With
Terry’s death the dispatcher
was said to have ran over my
brother after he was down
and her name and car
information was given in the
original accident report but
there was no blood or
anything on her car. We believe
she was used as a decoy of
sorts, someone to help throw off the truth.

Both Terry and James “hit and run” story
is very similar and a few months apart.
James death August 24 2002
and Terrys was April 21 2002.

Someone has to investigate
these cases and the way
they were handled.

When my Terry was found dead his scalp was gone and his stomach was cut and so was his right leg. Found out later a little over a year ago that the main artery to his heart was severed.

https://www.facebook.com/189027544874460/posts/james-felton-williams-19-of-kite-ga-was-found-just-after-midnight-saturday-augus/189405054836709/
https://www.facebook.com/justiceforbubbarewis/
Terry Bubba Rewis
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One thought on “Terry Bubba Rewis

  • November 1, 2020 at 8:46 am
    Permalink

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise info… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    Reply

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