Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Coweta County Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Jonathan Willis, a man from Coweta County, pleaded guilty to various charges including stalking and aggravated assault in Georgia. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. 

The incident that Willis pleaded guilty to was an incident in 2017. According to reports, Willis and his wife, Terri, separated that year, and Terri went to stay with some family friends. Willis showed up to the home several times, but on this night in particular, he was accused of knocking on the door of the family's home demanding to see his wife. When the family friend refused him, he took out his 9mm handgun and started firing. 

The reports show that he shot the father five times, the wife once, and narrowly missed their daughter. 

In today's post, I will outline the offense of stalking in today's post. 

Stalking in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines stalking in Georgia as:

When a person follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. O.C.G.A. §16-5-90.

By law, harassing and intimidating is defined as knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose. 

If convicted of stalking, the crime is considered a misdemeanor for a first-time conviction. If it's a subsequent conviction, the stalking charge will be considered as a felony. If convicted of felony stalking, then the penalty can increase up to 10 years in prison.

Practice Note

There are situations in which there are wrongful accusations. In these situations, there are different Georgia Criminal Defenses that can apply. These defenses include but are not limited to:

  • Mistaken identity or wrongful identification 
  • Consent to the treatment 
  • Lack of intent to harass 
  • No pattern of harassment 

As I mentioned above, this list is not complete. Every case consists of very different scenarios and relationships. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help with you with your case. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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