EXCLUSIVE: Family of Columbus' third homicide victim speaks, stepfather accused of murder

(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "This is a very sad thing that has happened. It's devastating."

Hazel Wadsworth says her 67-year-old cousin Nancy Green was the rock of the family and was loved by many across the Chattahoochee Valley.

"When you got there, there was Nancy," says Wadsworth.

Wadsworth says Green was well known in the Smiths Station, Alabama area. Green's previous husband was the founder of Green's Propane Gas Co.

"She worked hard," says Wadsworth.

An evening shooting on Jan. 9, 2018 has now left the family devastated with unanswered questions. According to Columbus police, 88-year-old James Byrd shot Green, resulting in her death.

"[Green's] mother had passed and her mother was married to James," explains Wadsworth. "Then she just kept in contact and if she needed anything she would go over there and do it for him. Caring for this man... she didn't have to do that."

Green became Byrd's caretaker in the years after her mother's passing. Wadsworth says that was a striking quality of her cousin's personality; caring.

"I just cannot believe that he would do this," says Wadsworth.

During Byrd's Recorder's Court appearance, detective testimony says Byrd called a family member after shooting Green and said quote "I just shot my caretaker, come get you some."

"We are going to miss her really bad," says Wadsworth. "She was loved by many."

Byrd pleaded not guilty in Recorder's Court to charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The case has been bound over to Superior Court.

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