Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Tragic Incident at Smith State Prison Claims Life of Statesboro Woman

A tragic incident at Smith State Prison in Glennville has left the community reeling after a young Statesboro woman, Aureon Grace, was fatally shot by an inmate while on duty in the prison kitchen.
Aureon Shavea Grace

Father's Day morning was shattered by a devastating incident at Smith State Prison in Glennville, GA that left a Statesboro woman dead. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, a heartbreaking event unfolded around 4:30 a.m. when inmate Jaydrekus Hart fatally shot 24-year-old Aureon Shavea Grace, a young Aramark food service employee from Statesboro, while she was on duty in the prison kitchen.

The shooting claimed Grace's life, with Tattnall County Coroner Brad Anderson confirming her passing at the scene. In a tragic turn of events, Hart then turned the gun on himself and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Despite medical efforts, he succumbed to his injuries shortly after.

The Georgia Department of Corrections currently has custody of the weapon involved in the incident, and their specialized agents have initiated a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

Hart, who was serving a 20-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery convictions from Carroll County, had a maximum release date set for June 2043. As a precautionary measure, all Department of Corrections facilities across the region have been placed on lockdown, although visitation is only suspended at Smith State Prison.

Aramark, the company Grace worked for, expressed profound sorrow over the loss of their colleague in a released statement: "We are devastated by the tragic loss of our team member and extend our deepest condolences to her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. We are cooperating fully with the Georgia Department of Corrections as they conduct their investigation into this heartbreaking event."

The Statesboro community mourns the loss of Aureon Grace, a bright young woman whose life was cut short in a senseless act of violence.