MACON, Ga. (WGXA) — "No one's paying attention. I didn't pay attention either until this happened to my brother," Marli Williams said.
Williams' youngest brother was killed inside a Georgia state prison.
"He had one year left until he would've been able to come home," she said.
Charles Tristen McKee, who went by Tristen, was convicted of 2nd-degree arson and theft by taking. At 17 years old he would enter the Georgia Department of Corrections.
"For a 17-year-old boy to be placed with child molesters and murderers who were doing life, he was a very easy target," his sister said.
McKee was at the Hancock State Prison in May 2022. Another inmate who was 10 years his senior is charged with his murder. Despite her devastation, Marli says she doesn't blame her brother's killer.
"I feel like the inmates are a product of their environment. And it could have just as easily been my brother on the other side."
The older sister says her brother wasn't the first person murdered in one of Georgia's prisons and she doesn't believe he'll be the last.
"This happens every week to a different inmate and no one's paying attention," he said.
One week ago, WGXA requested the name, date, and manner of death of every inmate homicide in the Georgia Department of Corrections. That list still hasn't been provided to us yet.
But in September 2021, the U.S. Dept of Justice launched a civil rights investigation into conditions in Georgia prisons.
The DOJ is looking into whether the state of Georgia adequately protects its prisoners.
The department reported 26 confirmed or suspected homicides in GA prisons in 2020 and by the start of the investigation in 2021-- 18 were reported.
Marli says these deaths are alarming and she's begging for change before someone else loses a loved one.
"Until it happens to your family member you really don't know how bad it is. I wish I had paid more attention."
We're still waiting for our request to be completed for the total number of homicides in Georgia prisons.
As soon as those numbers are given to us, we'll continue to explore this investigation.