The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of a Jackson man, after he was tasered during the execution of a search warrant by the Butts County Sheriff’s Office.  Early Friday morning, officials executed the search due to a violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act.  Officials say that a physical altercation ensued with one of the residents of 231 Keys Ferry Road, Douglas Roger Tanner, Sr., age 53.  In the process of the altercation, Tanner was tasered by an officer.  Shortly thereafter, the GBI says Tanner was taken to Sylvan Grove Hospital due to signs of physical distress, where he later died.  Another resident, identifi ed as Chad Hoek, age 39, was arrested and charged with two counts of sale of methamphetamines. 

WKEUs Ted Taylor was in the area of a hoiuse fire around 3:30 Saturday afternoon as units from the Griffin Fire and Rescue, and Griffin Police Department, along with an ambulance from Wellstar Spalding Hospital responded to 1101 Dairy Lane to a structure fire. Upon arrival units discovered the fire was contained to the back porch, screened walk area between the home and the garage. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished by Griffin Fire and Rescue personnel. Two individuals were at home at the time of the fire, and were able to get out of the residence without injury.  The hoem is th first on the right close to the gates at Male Drive. 

On February 23, 2017 at approximately 0944 hours, Deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office received a request for a welfare check at lot 104 Pine Glen Mobile Home Park located at 1795 N. McDonough Road in Griffin. Co-workers of 50 year old Sandy Cherry, had requested the check of the residence due to Mrs. Cherry’s absence from work and failure to pick up another employee that she car pooled with.


When Deputies arrived at the location they made contact with Cherry’s husband, 50 year old Earl Cherry. The deputies explained why they were at the residence and asked to speak to his wife. Earl Cherry refused to allow the deputies to speak with her or enter the residence or check on her. At one point even claiming that she was not home and had left after an argument. Based on their observations at the scene and conflicting stories by Earl Cherry, deputies decided to initiate a search of the residence to check Mrs. Cherry’s welfare.

As soon as they entered the residence, deputies observed a large crime scene and eventually Ms. Cherry who was deceased. Earl Cherry was immediately taken into custody without incident.

Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster and his staff, Spalding Regional EMS, Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder also responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.

Earl Cherry has been charged with 1 count each of:
Felony Murder
Malice Murder
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Battery
Concealing the Death of Another
Tampering With Evidence
Our thoughts and prayer go out to these families. We ask the community to keep them in their thoughts and prayers as well as they deal with this tragedy.

Sheriff Darrell Dix has advised WKEU news  that on February 19th, 2017, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division with the assistance of the Uniform Patrol Division conducted an investigation that lead to the arrest of two individuals for several narcotic and weapon related offenses.

As a result of the operation, agents seized one and half pounds of Marijuana, 18.24 grams of Cocaine, 23.76 grams of Methamphetamine, and quantities of Ecstasy, Hydrocodone, and Xanax pills. THC oil and THC “shatter” which is a marijuana extract were also recovered. An assault rifle, two handguns, $15,000.00 in United States currency, a truck, trailer and two four wheelers were also seized during the operation. The narcotics had a combined estimated street value of approximately $12,000.00.












Those arrested were Rafael Felipe Rivera and Alicia Lynn Lanier both of 1756 Pine View Dr. Griffin, Ga. They were each charged with:

Possession of Marijuana more than 1oz

Possession of Marijuana with the intent to distribute

Possession of Cocaine

Possession of Cocaine with the intent to distribute

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Possession of a schedule II narcotic (Hydrocodone)

Possession of a Schedule IV narcotic (Alprazolam)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (THC oil)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (Ecstasy)

Possession of a schedule I narcotic (THC Shatter)

9 counts of Possession of drug related objects

3 counts of Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime

Theft by receiving a stolen firearm

3 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Rivera was also charged with tail light requirement, driving while license suspended and tag light requirement.

Rivera and Lanier are currently being held at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Detention facility awaiting their first appearance hearing.

According to Sheriff Dix “This is a great example of the hard work that our agents and deputies put in to make Spalding County safer. We are proud of and appreciate these deputies and all the members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.” As a reminder, anyone who wishes to report illegal activity can contact the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division at 770-467-4210 callers can remain anonymous.


The Spalding County Commissioners met Monday night.  The first order of business the
Commissioners recognized  John Carlisle with “The Honor Our KIA group” who presented a framed certificate of appreciation to each of the commissioners and thanked them for the support they have given to make the project successful. 
Chairman Bart Miller presented an award to Ms Gina Garrison for her 20 years of Management service in the finance department of Spalding County. 
The commissioners:
Approved:     on second reading an Ordinance amending Licensing and Regulation section,  to correct an oversight in the wording of the code for Retail Package Dealers. The wording was changed from  “offer for sale or distribution any LIQUOR ” to read “Offer for sale or distribution any ALCOHOL BEVERAGE”. 
Approved:  a request from Cindy Alexander, Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer in Spalding County to utilize the veranda at the courthouse on May 4, 2017 in observance of the National Day of Prayer. This is an annual event and notice has been sent to Sheriff Dix, for security, and all the offices in the courthouse. There were no objections.
After lengthy discussion the commissioners by a 3/2 vote:
Approved:  change order #3,  in the amount of $31,000, for the Pickleball Facility at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park. This was requested by Commissioner Hawbaker for adding the deco-turf to the 8 additional courts at the facility.  This type of turf has already been approved for 4 of the courts that will be covered. He is asking that all 12 courts be covered with this turf. Funding for this project is to come from the Pre-GSBTA Hotel/Motel Tax Fund. 
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Spalding County is slated to hold Regional and National Tournaments.
The commissioners:
Approved:     a contract with the City of Griffin, Sheriff Darrell Dix, and Spalding County for the housing of detention of persons arrested in the city for violating its municipal ordinances and certain state laws while those offenders await trial. Maximum 40 inmates at a cost of $40 per day.  This is a trial period from February 2017 thru June 30, 2017. The city has been housing the inmates in another county.
Sheriff Dix and staff estimates that this contract will generate approximately $250,000 per year for the county  with a minimum of 20 COG inmates per day housed at the jail.
Approved:   a Memorandum of Agreement with Hope Diamond Services Inc. for the purpose of serving after school snacks and supper meals to children enrolled in the Fairmont Community Center After School Program. This was requested by the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Department.
     Hope Diamond Services Inc. is a 501(C)3 non profit organization who Sponsors meals in high risk communities.  There will be no cost to the County for the program operations during the 2017/2018 school year.
Approved:   a Resolution to enact a moratorium on the approval of construction plans for improvements and the issuance of any permits or licenses for equestrian and rodeo facilities on certain real property within Spalding County. The moratorium period shall commence on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. and shall terminate on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 11:59 p.m., unless extended by the Board of Commissioners of Spalding County.
Approved:  a Resolution authorizing issuance of Bonds by the City of Griffin Housing
Authority. These bonds are for the Harmony Senior Living project at the Corner of SR92 and Cowan Road that has been in the planning stage for several years.
At the February 14th City Commissioners meeting the Commissioners:
Approved:  a Resolution for The Housing Authority of The City of Griffin, to issue Revenue Bonds in an amount not to exceed $62.0 million dollars to Regional Housing & Community Services Corporation, a California nonprofit corporation, or a designated subsidiary thereof, for the purpose of financing the acquisition, construction, furnishing and equipping of a senior living community.
This facility will be located at the NW intersection of Ga. Hwy 92 and Cowan Road, across from the First Assembly of God Church. The local subsidiary is Harmony Village Landowner, LLC. This facility provides various levels of care and particularly care for residents with dementia and related diseases. 
The type of facility is in high demand in Georgia, particularly in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The nonprofit  will own and operate the facility has an established record of operating similar facilities around the country. 
These bonds impose no obligation on the City of Griffin, however, The Griffin Housing Authority is deemed a “dependent” authority of the City of Griffin. 
The commissioners:
Went into a closed Executive Session for discussion on future acquisition of real estate.  



The Barnesville Police Department has advised WKEU news that On the evening of February 20th and early morning hours of February 21st the city of Barnesville had a rash of entering automobile reports. The locations of the incidents were on B Street, Atlanta Street, Carleeta Street, Forsyth Street, and Collier Road.

If anyone has any information regarding these incidents or saw any suspicious person(s) in these areas please contact the City of Barnesville Police Department at 770-358-1244 or e-mail

The Barnesville Police Department urges all citizens to take their valuables out of their vehicles and locked their vehicles.

Officials indicated these are crimes of opportunity.

The subjects are checking to see if vehicles are unlocked and then making entry. There have been no reports of smashing windows or prying into the doors.

All citizens are urged to call 911 if you observe any suspicious person(s) in their neighborhood, especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance with this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette online at .

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that on Sunday February 19th at 9:32 a.m. Spalding

County deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at 505 Barnesville Road.Upon their arrival,  they were informed that Kimberly Tullock had assaulted her husband and was barricaded inside the residence with a possible firearm. Her husband was located outside the residence.

Spalding deputies secured the area and called for assistance from the SpecialOperations Unit (SOU). SOU members arrived and, along with investigators of the Criminal Investigations Division, attempted to establish communications withTullock. After several hours, SOU members with the assistance of the Griffin Police Department Special Response Team made entry into the home. Kimberly Tullock was located and offered resistance. Team members were able to take her into custody without further incident. No injuries were reported. Ms. Tullock was transported by deputies to WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital for an evaluation.

Sheriff Dix would like to thank the Griffin Police Department’s Special InvestigativeUnit and their Special Response Team for their assistance. Additional thanks goes to members of the Spalding County Fire Department and to EMS personnel from WellStar Spalding Regional.

Michael Bowman, who this week was found guilty but mentally ill for murder charges, accepted a sentence of life in prison without parole, plus 30 years on Friday in Troup County Superior Court.  The jury handed out it’s guilty but mentally ill verdict late Thursday on the count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, and felony obstruction of a police officer.  The trial, which was moved from Griffin to LaGrange, lasted about two weeks.  The charges stemmed from a 2014 incident in which Bowman shot Griffin Police Officer Kevin Jordan five times in the back at the Waffle House on the North Expressway.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office is seeking motivated men and women who want to make a positive impact on our community by serving in the Sheriff’s Office.

The county is accepting applications for the following positions:

Non-Certified Detention Openings-Starting salary $28,858.00

Certified Uniform Patrol Division-Starting salary $30,877.00

Certified School Resource Officers-Starting salary $30,877.00

Pay incentives may be available based on experience.

Benefit package may include:

Take home vehicle for certain assignments

Opportunity for promotion and transfers

Education opportunities

You can obtain additional information and apply online by going to Once on the site go to Departments and select the Human Resources tab. You will then select Careers with Spalding County

On February 13th, 2017 the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division conducted an investigation that lead to the arrest of two individual’s for methamphetamine.
Christopher Riordan of 112 Forrestwood Drive, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and driving without a license. He is being held at the Spalding County Jail with bond set at $3,507.

Christy McClure of 35 Briarcliff Road, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and littering. She is awaiting a bond hearing and is being held at the county jail.