THOMASVILLE — The man sought in a double homicide was convicted seven years ago of cruelty involving the stepson he is accused of killing Monday.

Family members said Timothy Lamar James, 35, shot his wife, Tammy James, 35, and his stepson, Jamayias Wyche, 16, at the James home, 152 Glem Drive, about 5 p.m. Monday.

“It started inside,” said Capt. John Richards, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office chief of operations.

It appears the boy, a Thomas County Central High School ninth-grader, was shot multiple times inside the mobile home.

“He shot her multiple times, fatally wounding her in the yard,” Richards said.

James, who fled after the killings, was sought throughout the night Monday. His Ford F-150 pickup was found about 10 a.m. Tuesday on the Reichertville Road farm where he was employed.

A Georgia State Patrol helicopter made the find. A pellet gun was found in the vehicle.

Richards said a small-caliber firearm was used in the murders. The weapon has not been recovered.

The teen’s five siblings witnessed the shooting deaths of their mother and brother. “All her children were in the house when it happened,” Richards said.

The James home remained surrounded by yellow crime scene tape Tuesday morning. A search warrant was secured for the residence Monday night.

“We processed the inside until wee hours of the morning. With the search warrant, we had custody of the residence all night.” Richards explained.

Crime scene personnel returned at daylight Tuesday.

“They were moving slowly and methodically,” Richards said.

In addition to state troopers and the sheriff’s office, other agencies involved in the case are the U.S. Marshals Service, Lowndes County canine unit, Thomasville Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” Richards said about James.

The suspect was convicted in 2000 of cruelty to children in a case involving the teen he is charged with killing. He was sentenced to five years probation, a fine and treatment for anger.

In 1998, James was convicted of battery involving his wife and sentenced to probation and a fine. He was ordered to stay away from his spouse.

He was convicted of simple battery involving his wife in 1999, and sentenced to the same punishment as in the 1998 case.

According to Thomas County clerk of court records, James’ criminal record also includes the following convictions:

• 1992 — Battery.

• 1994 — Criminal damage to property.

• 1994 — Criminal trespass, battery.

Charges of battery, aggravated assault, criminal trespass and reckless conduct against James were dismissed in 1994.

“One of these kids was the victim last night,” Lt. Tim Watkins, sheriff’s office chief investigator, said Tuesday.

Lawmen concentrated on looking for James in Grady County Monday night. “We learned he has relatives over there, in Valdosta and in Jacksonville, (Fla.),” Richards explained.

The search by law enforcement agencies continued Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the boy’s ninth-grade counselor described the young murder victim as someone who had a lot friends.

“Jamayias was a well-mannered young man,” said counselor Jamie Thompson.

Thompson never had a discipline problem with the teen.

“He was just coming into his own,” Thompson said. “He would have been a fine man.”

The counselor, who saw the boy at school Monday, was not aware of problems at home with his stepfather.

Ms. James previously worked at O’Reilly Auto Parts. She left the East Jackson Street store to go to the O’Reilly store in Cairo, but later left there.

Brian Doering, who worked with her in Thomasville, said Ms. James regularly came by the Thomasville store to say hello. He saw her last about two weeks ago.

“She was a very nice person,” Doering said. “... She was fun to work with. She had an upbeat attitude.”

“She never let on there were ever any problems at home, not to me,” he added.

Deputies were called to the couple’s home Friday night. “She (Ms. James) wanted us to stand by while she got some clothes, and we did,” Richards said.

Ms. James had returned home Monday to retrieve more of her personal belongings when she and the boy were killed.

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