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2016 James Henderson Award Winners Named

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
Contact Email:
August 9, 2017

2016 James Henderson Award Winners Named

Lyle Wilkes and Peter Morris recognized

FORSYTH, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) honored Special Agents Lyle Wilkes and Peter Morris as the James Henderson Award recipients at the 13th Annual GDC Awards ceremony on August 8 at GDC headquarters in Forsyth, Ga.

“Lyle and Peter consistently carry out assignments successfully, and are respected by both their peers and their supervisors,” said Assistant Commissioner Ricky Myrick. “Their heroic and selfless actions to aide a fellow comrade in the mi.”

“Lyle and Peter displayed an immeasurable level of heroism and selfless service when they attempted to render aide to their fellow comrade Patrick Thomas Carothers on that ill-fated day in Allenhurst, Ga. during the apprehension of fugitive Dontrell Montese Carter,” said Director of Professional Standards Clay Nix. “They both displayed tremendous bravery in the face of overwhelming danger in the attempt to get Carothers the necessary medical assistance he needed.”

The James Henderson Award was created to honor the memory of Correctional Officer James Henderson of Georgia State Prison for placing service above self and extraordinary bravery beyond the call of duty. Officer Henderson died on June 3, 2002 of injuries sustained in the line of duty. He was a valued officer at Georgia State Prison from 1994-2002. Henderson was an Army veteran who served in Korea, Germany and the United States.

Special Agents Wilkes and Morris were recognized last year at the 200 Valor Awards, along with eight other members of a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, for their role in an operation where one of their own, Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force Chief Inspector Patrick Carothers, lost his life.

The operation involved apprehending Dontrell Montese Carter, who was wanted by the Sumter County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina for multiple counts of Attempted Murder of Police Officers. After leads were developed, agents ascended on a trailer in Allenhurst, Ga., where it was believed that Carter was staying. When officers attempted to search the trailer on property, Carter opened fire and mortally wounded Deputy Commander Patrick Thomas Carothers. Both Wilkes and Morris, without hesitation, aided their team members in the rescue and treatment of Carothers.

Several key officials were on hand for the ceremony, which was attended by more than 250 guests.  Making the award presentation with Commissioner Greg Dozier were State Senator Tyler Harper, Board of Corrections member Christopher Clark, Chief of Staff Timothy C. Ward, Assistant Commissioners Ricky Myrick, Scott Poitevint, Jay Sanders, Randy Sauls, and Director of Professional Development Terry Edge and Director of Professional Standards Clay Nix.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit



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