Daily Reports




Bloods Gang Member Travis Mcfarland Found Guilty Of February 2019 Murder Of James “Jake” Ponder, Sentenced To Serve Life Followed By 75 Years

On October 1, 2022, after a weeklong trial, a Troup County jury found Travis McFarland, a/k/a: “Slime Hext,” now 21 years old, of LaGrange, guilty of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery, Possession of Firearm during Commission of a Felony, and two violations of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. On October 5, 2022, Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Markette Baker sentenced McFarland to serve life in prison with the possibility of parole, followed by 75 years in prison.

Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jack Winne prosecuted the case. LaGrange Police Department Sergeant Ley Wynne and LPD Gang Detective Jarrod Anderson were the lead investigators.

At trial, the evidence showed that James Jake Ponder, 24, while sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, was the victim of an armed robbery attempt gone bad. Ponder was shot in the back, hands, and leg. Ponder succumbed to his injuries that night. The evidence demonstrated that McFarland was one of two perpetrators who got into Ponder’s backseat under false pretenses with the plan to rob him at gunpoint. McFarland went by an alias of “Slime Hext”; in Bloods gang lingo, to “slime” someone commonly means to rob. The investigation also demonstrated that McFarland was a member of the “Bounty Hunter” set of the Bloods criminal street gang, and that the commission of these offenses were motivated by his participation in the violent gang’s activities, and that he committed these crimes to maintain and increase his status in the gang.

Another individual remains under indictment and awaiting trial for charges related to Ponder’s murder. Additionally, the LaGrange Police Department continues to investigate the possibility that other parties were criminally involved in this incident.

This case is another tragic example of lives being ruined and families being destroyed by criminal street gangs. Mr. Ponder, the victim, has lost his life and his family will never be the same-all because the defendant chose to commit a robbery and was willing to kill for it. As an appropriate and just consequence, he will spend a substantial portion, if not the remainder of his life in prison. Case after case shows that criminal street gang activity leads to death or substantial incarceration.

The Coweta Judicial Circuit DA’s Office wrote and provided this media release


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