Bibb County, GA – On the morning his murder trial was to begin, 58-year-old Kenny Obryan Whitehead plead Guilty to all charges in lieu of trial related to the murder of Teresa Ponder, 49 years old. Whitehead was charged with Malice Murder, Rape and Necrophilia.
The murder occurred at the Daybreak Ministry on Walnut Street in Macon, Georgia. Ponder was an unhoused person, frequently living in the streets. She felt safer by sleeping on the steps of the Daybreak Ministry where there were security cameras that monitored the area. On the evening of May 17, 2020, Ponder walked up the front steps of the Daybreak and took her usual place to sleep for the night.
Video surveillance showed that Whitehead followed her to that location and initiated an assault on her. Ponder struggled with Whitehead, resisting the sexual attack. During the struggle, Ponder was asphyxiated. She was sexually assaulted by Whitehead both before and after her death. Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene where Whitehead was caught actively sexually assaulting the body of Ponder. He was immediately taken into custody.
DNA evidence recovered from Ponder’s body definitively identified Whitehead as the sexual assailant. Whitehead was sentenced to Life for Malice Murder, Life on the Rape and 10 years concurrently on the Necrophilia charge. Whitehead will not be eligible for parole consideration until he has served 30 years in prison.
“This is a tragic case, illuminating the risks of people who are unhoused,” said Anita Howard, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney. “Thanks to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputies and the prosecution team on this case, Mr. Whitehead won’t be on the streets hurting anyone again.”