Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Criminal Law News March 2018

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

March was a busy month for law enforcement officials. Large amounts of drugs were seized with the cooperation of multiple agencies, and an illegal dogfighting ring was also busted. Criminal law encompasses a substantial number of crimes. If you have been charged with a crime, contact the Office of Lawson and Berry today. 

Some of the noteworthy incidents that occurred this month include: 

A Georgia State University employee was fired on March 5th after being charged with child molestation in Georgia. Zacchaeus Tillman was the bookstore supervisor. Although the alleged molestation occurred in May 2016, the warrants were not taken out until a year late. During the investigation, Tilman also admitted to stealing $40,000 worth of merchandise from the bookstore during his employment. 

On March 11th, Lt. Joe Froover and Deputy Corey Gillelando of Hall County Sheriff's Office got into an altercation at a restaurant. The two officers were at a conference in South Georgia when they got into an argument, and one of them threw a punch. Even though they were both off duty, they have been demoted as a result of the fistfight. They both could be charged with Affray.

A father shot and killed an intruder to protect his two children on March 15th. Early in the morning, a couple of masked men entered a home. The father grabbed his firearm and began shooting. As the firefight continued, they moved outside where the father shot and killed one of the intruders. The other two escaped. 

A total of 76 people were arrested on March 16th as part of a multi-state child exploitation operation. In Georgia, 34 people were arrested, and 13 children were rescued. The project was called Operation Southern Impact II, and it targeted people who sought out or distributed violent child pornography. Arrests occurred in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 22 law enforcement agencies assisted in the operation. The ages of the people arrested ranged from seventeen to seventy-two.  

In October 2016, Daveon Coates, 15, and his 11-year-old sister, Tatiyana, were tragically shot and killed in their beds. Officers suspected it was gang-related gunfire but did not have any evidence or leads to back it up. However, after 17 months and more than 50 interviews 11 people have been arrested. One of the first people charged was Michael White, who was discovered to be a member of the Crips gang. White taught 5th grade at Toney Elementary School in DeKalb County. 

As of March 29th, a total of 11 people were arrested for the 2016 killing. The 54-count indictment consists of the following charges: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to children, burglary, and more. Based on the evidence found, officers believe the gang was looking for a 15-year-old named DeAndre Mitchell when they entered the house. 

On March 17th, Georgia State Troopers pulled over some vehicles and found a pit bull covered in blood in one of the cars. The driver admitted to attending a dogfight in Dodge County. Federal Agents went to the scene and found 63 pit bulls staked to the ground with heavy chains and with no access to food. Six Georgia men and one South Carolina men have been arrested and charged with dog fighting related crimes. 

One big win for the Chatham-Savannah Narcotics Team was a drug bust that resulted in four million dollars of cocaine being seized on March 22nd. The investigation was named Operation Snow Plow and while an extraordinary amount of cocaine was seized, there were other items as well: forty pounds of marijuana, five ounces of ecstasy, seventeen bottles of codeine, $430,000 in cash, and twenty-one firearms. 

Police are still looking for the suspects in a serial robbery crew. The crew is suspected to have hit eighteen Georgia businesses including six Waffle House restaurants. The robberies began in February 2018 with the most recent one occurring on March 29th. The police have noted that guns were used in all of the robberies except for in banks, where a demand note was used instead. Businesses have been hit in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale counties. Once found, the suspects will be charged with Armed Robbery.

A woman from Stone Mountain was shot in her vehicle on March 30. 35-year-old Sharika Bowman was a nurse and the mother of five children. Bowman was on her way home from work to take her son to school. Officers found her inside her GMC Denali that was riddled with bullets. There were at least five bullet holes in the driver's side alone. No other information has been released about the identity of the shooter or if there is any speculation as to the reason for the shooting. 

Contact Us:

No matter the crime the Law Office of Lawson and Berry can help. A motto is “an arrest is not the same as a conviction.” You always have options for your case so call us now and receive a free case evaluation. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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