45 minute delay due to weather delay (lightning)
SPALDING JAGUARS 7
HOUSTON COUNTY 27
GRIFFIN BEARS 16
WHITE WATER 40
45 minute delay due to weather delay (lightning)
SPALDING JAGUARS 7
HOUSTON COUNTY 27
GRIFFIN BEARS 16
WHITE WATER 40
The Griffin+Spalding Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that the Southside Riders Association has assumed the responsibility for the Annual Christmas Parade, formerly coordinated through the Chamber. The 55th Annual Christmas Parade will be held THURSDAY, December 7th at 7:00 p.m.
The Southside Riders Association is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization that raises funds for multiple charities for children in our community and surrounding counties. The Association with over 100 members plan to kick off the Holiday Season continuing the tradition of a parade held in the evening.
Registration will begin in November for groups wishing to participate in the parade. Individuals on the planning team are: Becki Mccarty: (678) 588-1971 Mona Castile: (678) 849-0533 Brenda Whitley: (678) 572-3468 Kim Beavers: (678) 572-0534
There will be a drive thru flu shot clinic September 26th and 27th, 7;30 am until 7PM while supplies last. It will be at the Spalding county Health Department, 1007 Memorial Drive, across from the WKEU Studios. You may call 770-467-4740 for additional information. You may enter from Harlow Avenue, and Exit on Memorial Drive for a right turn. Vaccines are supplied by the Griffin – Spalding County Hospital Authority.
Witnesses to the incident told Deputies that the motorcycle had been traveling at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles just before the collision occurred. The investigation is on going and any necessary charges will be made at a later date.
On September 19, 2017 at approximately 12:19am. Officers of the Griffin Police Department were dispatched to 1321 Lyndon Avenue, Griffin, Georgia, in reference to a report of a person being shot. Officers had contact with the victim who is now identified as Rual Mendez. Rual Mendez had what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. Rual Mendez was transported to the hospital for further treatment.
The investigation of the incident lead investigators to arresting five people. The charges for each suspect are as follows:
Crystal Chambers, a white female age 18 was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Aggravated Assault (Party to Crime) and Armed Robbery (Party to a Crime).
China Chandler, a black female, age 27 was charged with Aggravated Assault (Party to Crime) and Armed Robbery (Party to a Crime).
Lizbeth Amador, a Hispanic female age 18 was charged with Aggravated Assault (Party to Crime) and Armed Robbery (Party to a Crime).
Darius Allen, a black male age 23 was charged with Aggravated Assault (Party to Crime) and Armed Robbery (Party to a Crime).
Jody Evans, a black male age 23 was charged with Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.
The investigation is still on going and the Griffin Police Department urges anyone with further information in this case to please contact Investigator Dexter McCune at 770-229-6452 extension 544. Investigator McCune will also be pursuing Gang Charges on each of the involved parties.
Nearly 1 million customers reconnected ahead of schedule; company concluding work in severely damaged areas
Georgia Power has restored power to 99 percent of customers, or 990,000 customers, impacted by Hurricane Irma. More than 8,000 personnel were mobilized as part of the company’s restoration effort, including all of Georgia Power’s resources, as well as assistance from other Southern Company operating companies and dozens of other companies and assisting utilities. While work is nearly complete and ahead of schedule, all personnel in the field remain focused on reconnecting the limited number of customers who remain without power in the state due to the hurricane.
“The destruction from Hurricane Irma was unprecedented across Georgia, and throughout the Southeast, and I’m extremely proud of and thankful for the work and dedication of our teams to restore service to nearly all impacted customers ahead of schedule,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Our job is not finished until every customer is reconnected and we want to thank the millions of customers who depend on us for electric service every day for their patience during restoration. I also want to personally thank our sister operating companies, as well as all utility, public safety and governmental partners who worked together over the past weeks to prepare for and recover from Hurricane Irma.”
GRIFFIN BEARS 21
BALDWIN BRAVES 16
The Vernay Manufacturing plant will remain closed until 7:00 am on Monday September 18, 2017.
In addition we have been advised that,
Employees on Crew A and C are to report to work on Saturday Sept 16 at 7:00 am for your regular shift.
All other employees are to report on Monday morning Sept 18 at 7:00 am.
On Thursday WKEU news was notified of a Executive Order being singed by Governor Nathan Deal. The executive order followed a request from District Attorney Benjamin Coker, Josh W. Thacker Judge of Spalidng State Court, and the Spalding County Commissioners in relation to their requests for a investigation into Criminal Charges, alleged misconduct in Office, or alleged incapacity of the Clerk of Spalding Superior Court Marcia Norris.
Governor Deal’s Executive Order appointed The State Attorney General Chris Car, Tina Blankenship Clerk of Webster County, and Greg Allen Clerk of Forsyth County as the committee to investigate “Criminal Chargers”, Alleged misconduct in Office, or alleged incapacity as it relates to Mrs. Norris Clerk of Spalding County.
Governor Deal Signed the Executive Order on August 30th. The appointed committee has 30 days in which to investigate and make recommendations to the Governor.
Spalding County Senior Center is excited to announce their first annual Costume Party! on:
Friday, October 13, 2017 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Senior Citizen’s Center Banquet Hall
885 Memorial Drive Griffin, Georgia
Come join us for a wicked good time, if you dare, and watch world-renowned Prince Impersonator, Bobby Miller, put on a thrilling, must see performance!
This event is open to adults age 50 and over. Registration fee for Senior Center Members is $5.00 and for non-members registration will be$10.00. Refreshments and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Whether you’re ghoulish, glam or wear a mask, dress up and join our party, that’s all we ask. Ribbons will be awarded for the “Best Costume”, the “Scariest Costume” and the “Funniest Costume.”
To register for this exciting event, please visit www.spaldingparks.com or the Spalding County Senior Center located at 885 Memorial Drive, Griffin, Georgia.
For information, call the Spalding County Senior Center at 770-467-4384.
A Spalding County family is dealing with tragedy this week after an accidental drowning at a Birdie Road residence. Units of the Spalding Sheriffs Department, Spalding Fire Rescue, Spalding Regional EMS, and Spalding Coroner Sonny Foster resounded to a residence on Birdie Road in relation to a missing child. Four year old Leilani Kai Jackson had been reported missing for an hour and a half Monday, and was subsequently located in an above-ground pool behind the residence. Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster pronounced the young girl deceased shortly before 8 pm Tuesday, and had the body transported to the State Crime Lab for a determination as to the exact cause of death. . He advised that no foul play is suspected in the case. Officials say there was debris in the pool and had not been used in more than a year.
Lieutenant General Retired Bill Caldwell President of Georgia Military College (GMC) in Milledgeville
has announced that Pike County and Zebulon have been approved for an extension of the GMC campus in Fayetteville. Pike county was selected due to its unique location, community, and welcoming from the City and County Commissioners from the very beginning of negotiations.
Lieutenant General (R) Caldwell will be at the WKEU studios for an interview on Wednesday.
WKEU’s Bill Taylor made the initial contact with
GMC vice president Brigadier General retired Curt Rauhut who was originally from Fayetteville and was well aware of the Pike and Zebulon areas. The work with Taylor and the GMC officials began in 2014. Taylor indicated that GMC officials are extremely excited for the support they received in Pike County and the facility.
Most instrumental for this area acquiring the college was
State Representative Johnnie Caldwell, who has been a huge supporter of GMC over the years and saw the future of the district with the location in Zebulon for GMC. We talked with State Representative Caldwell who stated this is a huge move for the entire district and beyond. Caldwell said that GMC is a very unique college, one of only 5 in the entire nation, that was founded in 1879 and they are not only a junior college with 11 campuses, but they are, like the other four in the nation, a prep school for the service academies allowing those young individuals desiring a military career to attend the “corps of cadets” in Milledgeville for two years. Upon graduation students are commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and then completing the last two years at any service academy they desire. 80 percent of the GMC students are not members of the Military Corps of Cadets and the military programs are only offered in Milledgeville. Students may attend one of the more than 40 universities or colleges which GMC has articulation agreements.
The Zebulon GMC campus will be in the same complex with the City Offices on South 19, which was a school that was renovated in 2007. Representatives of GMC visited the location about 3 weeks ago indicating that the facility is one of the best ever for an extension campus. Wiring for computers and all necessary furnishings will be accomplished by GMC and the facility is expected to be ready by the first of the year.
Brigadier General Rock Donahue, Director of the Fayetteville Campus, has indicated that the opening for students will be in early 2018, possibly as early as March.
All Zebulon commissioners and Pike Commissioners have given their total support to GMC and stated they are very proud and excited to have this great academy in Zebulon to serve students in the district. GMC officials said this was one of the main factors in their choosing Zebulon and Pike County for their new extension campus.
The Zebulon Commissioners will be voting on the final approval on Tuesday, August 8th.
Work on the facility is expected to begin in the next few days or weeks.
Five teenagers were rescued overnight Saturday after calling 911 and reporting that they had overturned a boat on the Flint River. The caller stated that they did not know the exact location they were at , and only knew that they were between Flat Shoals Road and Highway 18. Sheriff’s Deputies made an initial check of the area and requested additional resources to further check the large area.
Department of Natural Resources, Pike County Fire and EMA and Upson County EMA responded and after several hours located the teenagers. All of the victims were returned safely with no injuries.
On 07/28/2017, City of Griffin Police Officer Mathew Boynton was arrested without incident and taken to the Spalding County Jail. He was charged with one felony count of False Statements and Writings, and one felony count of Violation of Oath of Office. This arrest was the result of a Griffin Police Department criminal investigation stemming from an incident report filed by his ex-wife Jessica Lester (Boynton), alleging that Mathew Boynton illegally deprived her of some of her personal items. During the conduct of this exhaustive investigation facts and circumstances ultimately led to the arrest of Mathew Boynton as it was determined that he knowingly provided a false statement relating to the property in question and his possession of same. While his actions were unfortunate and disappointing, tarnishing our badge, the Griffin Police Department remains dedicated to providing the best possible police service to our citizens. Now, and in the future the department will strive to maintain the highest professional and ethical behavior. In spite of the actions of this individual Chief Yates remains steadfast in his dedication to insuring that the Griffin Police Department will not stand for unethical, illegal or immoral behavior from its’ officers.
On 07/26/2017, Trooper T. Flournoy with the Georgia State Patrol stopped a white Mercedes for speeding in the area of N. 9th St. and West Ave. The trooper smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, and asked the Griffin Police Department for assistance. Members of the Uniformed Patrol Division and Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement Unit (C.A.G.E.) arrived on scene. The driver of the vehicle had cocaine, pills, and marijuana in his possession. Upon further investigation, a stolen firearm was found inside the vehicle.
The driver was identified as Andre Noble. Noble (DOB 5-8-84), also known as “5 Stakks”, who is the leader of the notorious Rollin 20’s Neighborhood Blood Gang. The case was turned over to the Griffin Police Department’s C.A.G.E. Unit. Noble faces charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Theft by Receiving Stolen Firearm, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Schedule 4 Narcotic, Possession of Marijuana Less than 1 OZ, Pills Not in Original Container, and several counts Criminal Street Gang Activity.
At approximately 9:00 AM on Friday , Lamar County Deputies attempted to serve a Houston County warrant on Tony Abernathy of Barnesville at 272 Aldora Street. Mr. Abernathy barricaded himself inside the residence along with his wife Amy Abernathy for approximately 45 minutes before exiting through the front door of the residence. After clearing the interior of the residence, Deputies determined it was being used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine. Lamar County Deputies and Lamar County Fire and Rescue completed a decontamination process of the residence and one Deputy was treated and released by Upson Regional Medical Center for breathing issues. Both suspects have been taken into custody and are pending additional warrants at this time.
WKEU offers our sincere thanks to Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their coverage of this breaking story and assistance to WKEU News. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesville.com.
Lance Kershaw, age 60, of 1041 Hwy. 41 South appeared before Judge Bill Fears seeking a reduction in his bond which was previously set at $75,000.
Kershaw is charged with first degree cruelty to children, two counts invasion of privacy, criminal trespass, disrupting a public school and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
According to testimony at the hearing, Kershaw concealed a camera in a shower at his home to gather nude photos of his granddaughter. After some sort of conflict with the girl, Kershaw allegedly went to the high school on Oct. 17, 2016, entering at about 6:30 a.m.
He allegedly posted printouts of the nude photos in restrooms using zip ties. At the time, sheriff Brad White said Kershaw was spotted by a janitor and sent to the office but passed himself off as an employee of an outside company working on maintenance at the school.
Several male students, removed the photos and took them to the office. A review of surveillance video led to Kershaw’s arrest, according to Sheriff White.
At the hearing earlier, attorney Selwin Patterson argued for a bond reduction, noting Kershaw was not a flight risk. Kershaw testified he had a home here, operated a local business and his wife wanted him back in the home. He said he could also live in a motel or camp out.
The prosecution countered that the wife had contacted Kershaw only for certain passwords she needed. The wife did not appear in court and Kershaw expressed surprise that she was
Sgt. Stephanie Melton testified Kershaw had been ordered not to contact the granddaughter but was somehow getting letters to her despite jail personnel monitoring his mail.
That testimony seemed to make up Judge Fears’ mind and he denied the bond reduction motion. Kershaw went back to the Lamar jail in chains.
The Griffin Commissioners will met Tuesday July 25, 2017 at the City Offices at 1000 South HIll Street at 6:00 PM
During the meeting the Comm9issioners will:
Recognize Jennifer Freeman, Associate Planner with Planning & Development Department, as the June 2017 “Strongest Link” award recipient. Toussaint Kirk, Director of Planning & Development, will address.
Receive comments regarding a request to rezone the property located at 866 E. Solomon Street consisting of 0.3 +/- acres from Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Planned Industrial Development (PID), submitted by Newton Crouch, Inc. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Receive comments regarding a request to rezone approximately 0.79 +/- acres located at 1663 W. McIntosh Rd. from High Density Residential-B (HDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD) submitted by Pilkenton-Murray, LLC. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Receive comments regarding a variance request to subdivide property located at 527 S. Hill
Receive comments regarding a request to rezone approximately 0.33 +/- acres located along S. 8th Street from Low Density Residential-B (LDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD). Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider Minutes of the following: June 13, 2017 Workshop and Regular Meeting, June 19, 2017 Joint Meeting with Spalding County, June 20, 2017 Special Called Meeting.
Consider approval of Task Order Form for the Pre Engineering of Community Development Block Grant Application 2018 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $8,300.00 for the City of Griffin. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval of Task Order Form for Engineering and Design of Lift Station #5 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $25,000.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Work and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval of Task Order Form for the Engineering and Design of Lift Station #7 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $25,000.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval of a Task Order Form for the Bidding and Construction Management for the Downtown LCI Project to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $241,235.00 for the Public Works Department.Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval to purchase Aluminum 18N Culvert from Contech Engineering Solutions for the 12th Street Culvert in the amount of $29,500.00 for the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Pubic Works and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval of the Bid and Work Contract for the 12th Street Culvert to Crawford Grading & Pipeline, Inc., in the amount of $178,959.99 for the Public Works Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval of the purchase of a R-900 V4 Gateway Collector from Delta Municipal Supply Company in the amount of $19,750.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider agreement with United States Geological Survey for Stream Gauge Montioring Stations in the amount of $60,499.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.
Consider approval to award the purchase of seven (7) Ford F150s in the amount of $170,476.00 to Speedway Ford and declare certain listed vehicles as surplus. The vehicles will be assigned to the following departments:
General Fund: Public Works/Streets ($23,248.00) and declare surplus unit 427, a 1999 Ford F150 with 227,201 miles (VIN# 1FT2F1824XNA48681);
Stormwater ($25,960.00) and declare surplus unit 1108, a 1994 Ford F150 with a defective odometer (VIN# 2FTDF15Y7RCA79550);
Electric Utility Fund – Technical Services (2) units totaling $46,638.00.
First vehicle ($23,319.00), and declare surplus unit 3875, a 2008 Dodge 1500 with 168,886 miles (VIN# 1D7HA16K38J179886);
Second vehicle ($23,319.00) and declare surplus unit 3811, a 2008 Dodge 1500 with 148,047 miles (VIN# 1D7HA16K58J179887).
Solid Waste director ($25,794.00), transferring unit 928, a 2011 Ford F-250 (VIN# 1FT7W2B64BEC16630) to Landfill and declare surplus unit 958, a 1996 Ford F150 with 211,034 miles (VIN# 1FTFEF15N4LB48511).
Water-Distribution Division ($26,898.00) and declare surplus unit 803, a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 with 210,981 miles (VIN# 3D7MR46C95G863422).
Water-Meter Division ($21,938.00) is a new unit needed for the Meter Division.
Director of Central Services Phill Francis will address.
Consider approval to award the purchase of one (1) Ford F350 from Speedway Ford in the amount of $36,566.00 for Public Works, Streets division and declare surplus unit 445, a 2002 Ford F350 with 162,000 miles (VIN# 1FDWW36F62EB53036). Director of Central Services Phill Francis and Director of Public Works Brant Keller will address.
Consider the purchase of eleven (11) Dodge Chargers from Akins Ford Dodge Government Sales in the amount of $264,481.25 ($24,043.75 per vehicle); approve additional equipment/installation by Dana Safety Supply in the amount of $119,482.99 ($10,862.09 per vehicle) and declare identified vehicles surplus. Police Chief Mike Yates will address.
Consider purchase of a 53′ bucket truck for the Electric Department in the amount of $159,674 from Altec under the NJPA (National Joint Purchasing Alliance) purchasing program. Electric Director Dan Thompson will address.
Consider renewal of Standard Office Lease between the City of Griffin and Tru Check, Inc. for Suite 114 of One Griffin Center in the amount of $6,837.48 for a one-year term. City Staff Attorney, Jessica Whatley O’Connor, will address.
The Regular Agenda includes items on which the Commission will individually consider and possibly take action.
Consider approval of a request to rezone the property located at 866 E. Solomon Street consisting of 0.3 +/- acres from Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Planned Industrial Development (PID), submitted by Newton Crouch, Inc. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider approval of a request to rezone approximately 0.79 +/- acres located at 1663 W. McIntosh Rd. from High Density Residential-B (HDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD) submitted by Pilkenton-Murray, LLC. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider a variance request to subdivide property located at 527 S. Hill Street. Director of Planning & Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider approval of a request to rezone approximately 0.33 +/- acres located along S. 8th Street from Low Density Residential-B (LDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD), submitted by John T. Newton, Jr. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider execution of agreement with Allen-Smith Consulting to prepare the City of Griffin’s FY2018 Community Development Block Grant application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in the amount of $10,000. Planning and Development Director Toussaint Kirk will address.
Consider Resolution determining the necessity for acquisition of two temporary construction easements for the 2017 Dewey Street Sewer Lift Station Replacement Project; determining a public use for said easements; establishing an initial offer for the easements; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to negotiate with land owners; and for other purposes. City Attorney Drew Whalen will address.
Consider approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with Spalding County to provide for reimbursement for the housing of City of Griffin pre-trial detainees and inmates at the Spalding County Detention Facility. Staff Attorney Jessica O’Connor will address.
Consider approval of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between Atlantic Fiber Networks, Inc. (AFN) and the City of Griffin, Georgia, for acquisition of the fiber network owned by AFN in Spalding County to provide services to the Griffin-Spalding County School District; and a Data Transport Service Agreement with Education Networks of America, Inc. (ENA) for information services (data) though the above-described network to the School System and a resolution amending the FY 17-18 Budget accordingly to create the Telecommunications Fund and reflect the AFN-ENA transaction. Jack Poland, IT Director, Finance Director Markus Schwab, and City Attorney Drew Whalen will address.
On Thursday night about 7:35 pm Spalding 911 dispatch called Griffin Police to 434 North 5 th Street to the report of a individual laying in the yard with gun shots. The initial call indicated the man was not conscious. Upon arrival by emergency res-ponders there was no patient at the scene. 911 received another call indicating that family members had moved the man to Spalding High School parking lot. Griffin Police investigators indicated the man was shot twice in the back with what was believed to be small caliber automatic pistol.
Emory Air Flight based at the Griffin Spalding Airport responded to a landing zone that was established at the Spalding High Parking lot. The patient was transported to the Atlanta Medical Center for treatment.
Griffin Police Lieutenant and Pubic Information Officer Mike Natel advised WKEU news that the suspect in the shooting is being sought and the incidents remains under investigation.
More information is expected to be released as the investigation continues.
The course will be on the basics of beekeeping. The date is Saturday, August 26, Beginning at 8:00 a.m. at The University of Georgia Extension office at 835 Memorial Drive in Griffin.
The event is sponsored by Potato Creek Beekeepers. The course will cover the basics necessary to begin this fascinating hobby. Agenda topics include: honey bee colony biology, equipment, getting bees, working the hive, honey extraction and more.
Registration is $25 due by August 18th. Early registration is encouraged.
For more information or to register contact the UGA Extension Spalding County at 770-467-4225.
The business fire on highway 19/41 th north expressway has initially been ruled a unspecified ark from an electrical source by the Spalding Fire Department and Spalding Fire Marshall. The Fire occurred on Sunday nigh about 7:45 when 911 received a call of heavy smoke and fire being seen at the Andrews Auto Salvage. Units from the Spalding County Fire Department, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Spalding EMS, and Griffin Fire Rescue, responded to the scene. Upon arrival firefighters discovered a working fire. Assistant Chief Jamie Clark told WKEU NEWS, several vehicles were in the area of the fire, and there were at several acetylene bottles that started exploding. The Chief moved firefighters into a defense mode and called in ladder trucks from the City and County departments as the fire was quickly spreading. Additional units of the Spalding County Fire Department responded with a ladder truck along with the City of Griffin ladder truck. The ladder trucks were able reach the flames of the building. Spalding County Fire Department Ladder truck was set up in the south bound lanes of 19/41. Due to the intense fire both north and south bound lanes were closed and traffic was diverted onto Old Atlanta Road. Captain Williams Spalding Fire Marshal said that the fire was still being investigated but preliminary evidence shows a possible electrical fire.
The former Jackson police officer accused of lying about being shot while on patrol last September has been indicted by a Butts County grand jury on 11 charges.
Sherry Hall, 42, was indicted July 11 on four counts of making a false statement, four counts of violation of oath by a public officer, two counts of interference with government property and one count of tampering with evidence.
Warrants for Hall’s arrest were initially filed Sept. 23 after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation alleged that she was not shot by an assailant while on patrol on Camellia Court around midnight as she claimed Sept. 13.
She was fired from the department following her arrest.
Authorities accuse Hall of planting a shell casing at the scene fired from a department-issued pistol she lied to investigators about having. Investigators said she claimed to have been shot by a black man in a green shirt standing near the wood line.
In a statement, the GBI said when Hall viewed footage from her patrol car camera obtained from its hard drive with the help of a digital forensic investigator and the camera’s manufacturer, she stopped cooperating with the investigation.
According to a search warrant application filed in the case, when investigators reviewed the camera’s footage, only two shots could be heard, though three shell cases were found at the scene.
The indictments charging Hall with interference with government property stem from accusations she defaced the Glock 27 she claimed not to have and damaged a department-issued vest.
Authorities have not said what they believe Hall’s motivation may have been for allegedly weaving a tale about being shot during an encounter that didn’t happen.
The incident sparked what appeared initially to be a manhunt focused on finding the shooter but the focus of the investigation turned to Hall herself when “it was revealed that inconsistencies existed with regard to Hall’s statements, witness statements, physical evidence and later examination of forensic evidence,” the GBI said in the statement.
“After following the leads and evidence, the investigation has now revealed that there is no, and never was, a suspect shooter at large in Jackson, Georgia,” the GBI said.
Hall was denied bond during a court appearance in October, but according to court documents was granted $35,000 bond Dec. 1.
In a letter to an Atlanta TV station, Hall purportedly wrote that she was innocent and her arrest was the result of a “cover up.”
“First and foremost, I am innocent of all charges and allegations,” Hall wrote, according to WSB-TV. “This is nothing more than a cover up in a small town.”
Attorneys Kimberly A. Berry and Christina Champagne, who according to court records began representing Hall June 28, could not immediately be reached for comment T
On July 11th, 2017 at approximately 10:45 am deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 253 Liberty Hill Rd. in an attempt to locate:
Robert Pugh who had an outstanding warrant for Violation of Probation from Henry County. When Fugitive Apprehension deputies arrived, Pugh refused to exit the residence and surrender. The deputies entered and located Pugh taking him into custody without further incident. He is being held in the Spalding County Jail.
While still on scene Fugitive Apprehension Unit deputies made contact with another person who identified himself as Michael Wilson. According to Sheriff Darrell Dix “When the deputies were speaking with him they noticed multiple inconsistencies in his story about who he was and how he got there. When they confronted him about the inconsistent statements he admitted that he had given them a false name and that his true identity was:
Christopher Thompson.” He admitted to the deputies that had an active Violation of Probation warrant from Pickens County from an original charge of kidnapping. Thompson was taken in to custody and is being held for Pickens County.
During their investigation Fugitive Apprehension deputies obtained information that Thompson had been seen earlier in a 2002 Burgundy Chevrolet Blazer. Deputies located the vehicle in a wooded area near the residence and learned that the vehicle had been reported as stolen from Lamar County.
Based on evidence obtained from the crime scene video in Barnesville, it was determined that Thompson fit the description of the vehicle theft suspect and he will be facing those charges in Lamar County.
Sheriff Darrel Dix said: “The Fugitive Apprehension Unit did an outstanding job in this instance. By being persistent, noting the signs of deception they saw, and following up, they were able to locate two wanted suspects from other jurisdictions, recover a stolen vehicle, and gather enough information to aid in charging one of the suspects with the theft of the vehicle. The Sheriff also said: “I’m proud of those guys, and all the other Sheriff’s Office employees for the hard work they do every day.”
Final Holiday Traffic Count for July Fourth Travel Period, July 5, 2017.
Traffic crashes across Georgia during the July Fourth holiday travel period resulted in 17 traffic deaths. This year, the holiday travel period was 102 hours long. It began at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 30, and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4.
Statewide, Georgia State Troopers investigated 620 traffic crashes that resulted in 260 injuries, and 11 fatalities. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, 294 people were arrested for driving under the influence, while 9,945 citations and 14,767 warnings were issued.
Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the holiday period were: Richmond Co. S/O, Cherokee Co. S/O, Gwinnett PD, Columbus PD, and Atlanta PD.
In 2016, the July Fourth travel period was 78 hours long.
Independence Day Holiday Traffic Count 6 p.m. Friday, June 30 – 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4 esd , 102 Hour Holiday Period
Total Fatalities Reported in Georgia
Fatalities Investigated by GSP Troopers 11
Fatalities Investigated by Local Agencies 6
Total Fatalities Statewide for Holiday Period 17
WKEU would like to thank our troopers from Post 1, the Griffin Police Department, and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts in keeping our county roads safer over the highly-traveled holiday weekend.
Don’t forget your garbage and recycling pick up schedule has been altered in the City of Griffin for the week. Due to office closings on Monday and Tuesday, the normal schedule has been pushed back two days. Those customers with a regular pick up on Tuesday will have their pickup today. Wednesday’s regular pickup has been moved to Friday. And, Thursday’s normal pick up will take place on Saturday.
A motor cycle accident close to Newnan Sunday night took the life of Roy Bishop of Newnan. Traffic Investigators said that the heavy at the time of the accident may have been a contributing factor.
The accident occurred about 11:30 p.m., when Bishop was traveling north on Posey Road and was approaching an intersection of Baker Road Bishop was believed to have lost control and drove off the roadway. GSP Trooper Lindsey Barber is the investigating officer. Barber indicated that the motorcycle traveled of the west shoulder of the roadway into a wooded area where he struck a tree head on and was killed on impact.
Barber said that the heavy rain may have led to a visibility issue which caused Mr. Bishop to miss the intersection of Baker Road, he would have been turning to the left on Baker to his home.
Barber also indicated that it is not believed that Drugs or alcohol was a factor in the accident.
In Lamar County Superior Court Judge Bill Fears recused himself from presiding over the upcoming trail of Bobbie Jo Sumner. Sumner allegedly ran down Gordon State College student Alexandra Noelle Desir on Rose Avenue in Barnesville and fled the scene 4 years ago..
The judge’s recusal came the morning after Sumner’s attorney Bubba Head filed for the recusal and a change of venue.
Sumner is charged with first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements. Her case has languished in the court system for an extended period of time.
In his motion for a change of venue, Attorney Head cited the ongoing coverage of the case by the media. A hearing on the change of venue has been set July 6 in Butts County Superior Court in Jackson.
District attorney Jonathan Adams said Thursday his office plans to proceed with the trial of Sumner beginning July 24. Judge Tommy Wilson will take over the case. Adams expects it will be tried in Butts County.
WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this new story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at Barnesville.com
Convicted serial arsonist Travis Ball, suspected of setting multiple arson fires in Lamar and surrounding counties, was convicted of mailing hoax anthax threats from state prison to the State Bar of Georgia, Church of Latter Day Saints and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April, 2016.
He is also the prime suspect in mailing a hoax anthrax threat to The Barnesville Herald Gazette.
Ball was convicted of three arsons in Upson County and was housed in Coffee State Prison when he mailed the hoax letters.
Ball had admitt4ed the mailings and pleaded guilty in federal court March 7 and was sentenced to two years in prison and three years federally-supervised probation on top of his current term.
Investigators said that Ball mailed the letters using the return address of Upson County sheriff Dan Kilgore.
The Griffin Police Department in conjunction with the Griffin-Spalding County School System received information regarding inappropriate actions by a teacher with students. The Griffin-Spalding County school system cooperated fully with The Griffin Police Department which subsequently resulted in an investigation. The investigation is ongoing at this time but has resulted in the arrest of a Brandy L. Nickels of Williamson Georgia. Ms. Nickels is initially charged with one count each of Child Molestation, Sodomy, Enticing a Child, Statutory Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Battery. She is currently held at the Spalding County Jail. According to the lead Investigator, Dexter McCune the investigation is evolving and there is a possibility of future charges and or victims. The Griffin Police Department would like for anyone having information regarding this case to please call the Investigative Services Department at 770-229-6452.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GRIFFIN SPALDING SCHOOL SYSTEM.
The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) received information regarding possible inappropriate actions by a teacher with students. An internal investigation was opened immediately to determine the basis of the information. Quickly, a cooperative arrangement between Griffin-Spalding County School System personnel and members of the City of Griffin Police Department was established for purposes of expediting the investigation.
Ms. Brandy Nickles, a ninth grade teacher at Griffin High School, was placed on administrative leave and not allowed to return to the classroom while the investigation proceeded. As the process continued, Ms. Nickles resigned her position with the school and is no longer employed by the Griffin-Spalding County School System. The City of Griffin Police Department continued their work which led ultimately to charges being filed against Ms. Nickles for various offenses against children.
Ms. Nickles, age 41, is in her first year as a teacher in the Griffin-Spalding County School System but has experience as an educator in other Georgia counties.
Superintendent Jim Smith said, “This is a sad event for our school district and the students and families involved. Our highest priority is the safety and welfare of our students. We are thankful that information was given to us that allowed a swift resolution to a bad situation. In truth, it takes a person who notices something that doesn’t seem right to bring that information and suspicion to someone who can act on it. We have to be a community that doesn’t turn a blind eye to situations that appear suspicious. That’s how we protect our children. Also, I want to thank the City of Griffin Police Department and Chief Mike Yates for their complete cooperation in the investigation.”