Murder of Candiace Person by Willie Lee Bryant investigated on Atlanta Justice

Mugshot of Willie Lee Bryant
Willie Lee Bryant was found guilty of raping, robbing, and murdering Candiace Person. Pic credit: Georgia Dept. of Corrections

Atlanta Justice returns this week for another case that involves the rape and murder of Candiace Person by her daughter’s former boyfriend, Willie Lee Bryant.

On November 26, 2005, the remains of 53-year-old Candiace were discovered by her daughter, Tisha Person, lying on her bedroom floor in her Atlanta home.

She had died from suffocation, and the extensive bruising on her neck indicated that she’d been violently strangled. Candiace had also been raped, and her credit cards were stolen.

The phone lines to the house had been cut, which indicated a targeted attack and suggested the victim was known or had been stalked by her killer.

DNA evidence pointed to Willie Bryant as the killer

The investigators performed a DNA test on the semen they had recovered from Candiace’s remains. They found it was a probable match to Willie Bryant.

The police learned that Tisha’s boyfriend Bryant regularly visited the home and was even known to have visited when Tisha was not at home.

When the cops confronted Bryant with the DNA evidence, he claimed he’d been having a consensual sexual relationship with Candiace, but he denied murdering her.

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A further piece of evidence emerged when the police learned that Candiace’s credit card had been used at a gas station a mere hundred yards from a hotel that Bryant frequented regularly.

Bryant had a dark history of sexual violence. He had previously been charged with the rape of a former girlfriend. And that case showed remarkable similarities to the Candiace murder.

On that occasion, he had been accused of cutting the women’s phone lines before entering her home and raping and choking her.

The police decided they had enough evidence to prosecute, so they arrested Bryant and charged him with murder, rape, and burglary.

In August 2012, a Fulton County jury found Bryant guilty of murder, felony murder, rape, aggravated assault, and burglary. As punishment, he received a life sentence plus twenty years in prison.

More from Atlanta Justice

Follow the links to read about more murders investigated on the streets of Atlanta.

Previously on Atlanta Justice, Annaijh Rolax and Shawn Powe were two children murdered in different circumstances. Their deaths left the APD determined to bring Jason Ardis and Quentin Cooks to justice.

Orlando Smith shot dead his wife, Demetria Smith, execution-style in their apartment. He then left for his daughter’s home, where he persuaded her to help him cover up the crime.

Atlanta Justice airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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