Bond set for Forrest County homicide suspect

Bond set for Forrest County homicide suspect
William Gillum. Source: HPD

FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) - The suspect charged in a Forrest County homicide in the Carnes community made his initial appearance in court Monday.

William Gillum, 51, was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, possession of a stolen firearm by a convicted felon and rape. A fifth charge was added during his initial appearance, and the charge was for sexual battery. Gillum's bond was set at $4 million.

He received the following bond amounts for each charge:

  • $1 million for first-degree murder
  • $1 million for rape
  • $1 million for kidnapping
  • $500,000 for possession of a stolen firearm by a convicted felon
  • $500,000 for sexual battery

The homicide victim has been identified as Clayton Bexley, 22 of Perry County.

His body was sent to Jackson for an autopsy.

The scene:

Deputies received the call just before 10:45 a.m. Friday in reference to a woman being held against her will and possibly raped, according to Forrest County Sheriff's Department Investigator Nick Calico.

"The woman said her boyfriend was missing and believed that something happened to him," said Calico.  "She fled from that residence from the suspect."

Calico added that after that deputies responded to a residence in the 1100 block of Carnes Road.

"When deputies arrived at the scene where the incident took place, in the 1100 block of Carnes Road, deputies observed a deceased white male in the yard," Calico said.

According to Forrest County Deputy Coroner Lisa Klem, Bexley died from what appeared to be at least one gunshot wound.

"The body will be sent to the State Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death," Klem said.

Around 2 p.m. Calico said that the alleged suspect was taken into custody, and that the suspect apparently arrived at the scene.

Hattiesburg Police Department Crime Scene Unit was also called to the scene to assist in the investigation.

If you have any information regarding the case, contact the Forrest County Sheriff's Department at 601-544-7800 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP.