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Teacher placed on leave following arrest | #teacher | #children | #kids

Aug. 2—Following her arrest last week on charges of harboring a murder suspect, a special education teacher at St. Simons Elementary School has been placed on administrative leave.

Brunswick police arrested Jennifer Higginbotham, 47, on Thursday and charged her with hindering the apprehension and punishment of a criminal. On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service located fugitive Antonio LaFrancis Duncan at Higginbotham’s residence at 1900 Townsend Street.

Duncan, 28, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with malice murder in connection with the death of another man in January during a shootout at the Bamboo Lounge in Brunswick. Duncan remained Monday in the Glynn County Detention Center on charges that also include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and willful obstruction of the law.

Higginbotham was released from the county jail later Thursday after posting $2,154 bond, jail records show. The felony charge of hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal carries a possible sentence of one to five years in prison, according to Georgia state statutes.

Higginbotham was placed Friday on unpaid administrative leave, said Brittany Tate, spokeswoman for the Glynn County School District. Higginbotham holds a bachelor’s degree in special education, elementary education and social work and a master’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), records show.

Police say an argument between Duncan and Brandon Capers escalated into a gunfight after midnight on Jan. 15 inside the Bamboo Lounge. Capers, 32, suffered a fatal gunshot wound. Four women and one man were caught in the crossfire inside the bar and suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, police said.

Police issued arrest warrants the next day for Duncan and Darren Devario Cowart Jr., who allegedly accompanied Duncan to the Bamboo Lounge and drove him from the scene following the shootout. Police warned the public at the time that Duncan was to be considered armed and dangerous.

Glynn County Sheriff Office deputies arrested Cowart after a traffic stop June 14 in the 2100 block of Barton Street in Brunswick. Cowart, 27, remains in the county jail on charges that include malice murder, fleeing and attempting elude the law and willful obstruction of the law.

A member of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force apprehended Duncan on Wednesday at the Townsend Street residence of Higginbotham, police said.

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