Man indicted in Valdosta State Prison death

Joseph Hightower III

VALDOSTA — A former Valdosta State Prison inmate has been indicted in the 2018 death of another inmate, according to Lowndes County Grand Jury records.

Joseph Hightower III, a.k.a. "Possum," was indicted Sept. 27 of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Benjamin Snyder, according to the indictment.

Georgia Department of Corrections officials said Snyder is believed to have died March 16 at Valdosta State Prison in an altercation with another inmate.

The indictment states Snyder was strangled.

Hightower is serving 30 years for an attempted armed robbery in Glynn County, according to the corrections department's website. He is also serving 15 years for aggravated assault and five years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He is now imprisoned in the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Butts County, corrections records show. Previous incarcerations were for cocaine and theft charges out of Glynn County, according to the records.

Snyder was sentenced in 2013, in Richmond County, for terroristic threats.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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