UPSON COUNTY, Ga. -- A 27-year-old woman is being charged with murder in the death of a paraplegic Georgia man who investigators say she left in the woods to die.
Ruby Kate Coursey is charged with felony murder in the death of Troymaine Johnson after his body was found in a hunting camp on March 17 – 4 days after he was last seen.
Coursey was first taken into custody on a probation violation pending a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy into the cause of death.
It later came back to show the cause of death was homicide due to hypothermia. Investigators believe Coursey picked him up one night and rammed a borrowed vehicle through the gates of a hunting club where Johnson's body was later found. Johnson was unable to use his legs and one arm.
“They had been in a romantic relationship for a while but they had not been together for a little while,” Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore said. “She had gone back down to visit and picked him up and he was never heard from again.”
Kilgore said witnesses had previously come forward saying Coursey was capable of killing Johnson on her own.
“She never took his wheelchair with her when she picked him up so he had no way to move,” Kilgore said.
Johnson was laid to rest in late March and remembered by locals in the Fort Valley community – many of whom knew him well.
"I mean, walking down the street he didn't even have to know you he would just say something stupid to just it was just always fun because we knew what kind of person he was,” his cousin, Sade' Owens said. “You didn't even have to know him, but you just loved him because he was himself and that's probably what we're going to miss the most."
Johnson, who also went by his nickname ’80 Baby’ was also known for his freestyle rap prowess.
"Just rapped whenever he got a chance - he didn't even know, he could just see somebody and start rapping about them right off the top,” Owens said. “Everybody loved ‘80 Baby’ - everybody loved him.”
Family said that despite being wheelchair-bound, he was never too busy to help someone in need.