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June 28, 2007 Issue

Shotgun blasts rip into vehicle
Pine Valley manager shoots aggressor
Stars, stripes and flames

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Shotgun blasts rip into vehicle

By Billy Hobbs
Morris News Service

Multiple gunshots that rang out at a business near Wrens on Monday resulted in a woman driving an injured man to McDuffie Regional Medical Center in Thomson and a subsequent investigation being launched by three different law enforcement agencies.

Investigator Lt. Robert Chalker of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office identified the man wounded as 28- year-old Shaun Brassell, of Avera.



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Chalker said a pellet, believed to be fired from a shotgun blast, lodged in Brassell’s throat.

The injured man was taken by ambulance to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta following the shooting that occurred around noon at KK Auto Salvage, located on the 5000 block of Georgia Highway 17, a few miles north of Wrens, said Chalker.

When Brassell is able to talk, Chalker said, he plans to interview him again.

A woman, Jessica Stout, of Avera, reportedly Brassell’s ex-wife, was taken into custody by Chalker. She had not been formally charged with any crime as of Tuesday.

Instead, she was being held for investigative purposes at the Jefferson County Jail in Louisville.

Stout reportedly was attempting to drive Brassell to the emergency room of the hospital in Thomson when the right front passenger tire went flat, about a block away near Ware and Fluker streets in Thomson.

One of the pellets fired from shotgun blasts is believed to have punctured the tire.

The woman managed to escape injury.

After walking from there to the hospital, the woman reportedly told medical staff that the man she had brought in had been shot in Jefferson County. Subsequently, Deputy Mike Coke of the McDuffie County Sherirff’s Department was dispatched to the hospital. An initial investigative report was completed by him.

Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Region 7 Office, which also handles crime investigations in Jefferson County, later arrived at the hospital to begin their inquiry.

The car, meanwhile, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, later was processed by GBI Special Agent Steve Foster, who, along with Chalker, took several crime scene photographs.

Chalker said Kenneth Kitchens, owner of KK Auto Salvage, fired several shots at the car and its occupants, using a shotgun and a .22-caliber pistol.

The veteran lawman said Kitchens had been the victim of at least four thefts in recent weeks. He reportedly believed the persons at which he was shooting were engaged in stealing various items from his business.

Chalker said he spoke with the district attorney about the case on Monday afternoon and that no charges would be filed against Kitchens.

“At this point, it’s still under investigation by our office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office,” said Nicholson.



Pine Valley manager shoots aggressor

• Man with bullet wounds in both thighs later tased and charged after emergency room scuffle

By Parish Howard
Editor/Publisher

Apartments last week when he allegedly “came at” the complex’s manager after a gang-like fight in which a 16-year-old was injured and a 58-year-old woman was struck.

Wrens police officers responded to a fight in the parking lot a little after 10 p.m. Thursday, June 21.

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Police Chief David Hannah said that witnesses claim a group of around 10 young men arrived at the complex on Kings Mill Road and began physically assaulting another young man who was visiting a Pine Valley resident.

Chief Hannah said that one person attempted to break up the fight and at some point one older lady was shoved.

The apartment complex’s manager, Tomasenia Jackson, said that her 16- year-old son attempted to break up the fight and was then attacked.

She said he suffered a swollen jaw and a broken finger.

It was the boy’s grandmother, Jackson’s own mother, she said who then attempted to break up the fight, but was struck in the process.

Jackson said that is when she pulled her 9 mm handgun and fired two “warning shots” in the air.

“The aggressor then turned and came at the apartment manager,” said a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Jackson said she was just trying to break up the fight, protect her family and the tenants.

“After firing two warning shots I thought they would just go,” she said. “Most of them did. But there were two or three who didn’t and there was only one who started coming towards me.

“He had death all over his face and he kept saying things like, ‘I’m not afraid of no gun. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m not afraid of you.’

He put his hand in his pocket and someone shouted that he had a gun.”

That is when Jackson fired at the approaching man.

Chief Hannah said that those gathered then fled on foot through a nearby wooded area.

It was later determined that Thomas Hannah Jr., 23, of Wrens had been struck with bullets in both thighs. Investigators said they had not determined if the wounds were from two separate bullets or from a single round that could have passed through one leg before striking the other.

As of Tuesday, no one had been charged in the shooting itself, however Hannah, the shooting victim, was charged with simple battery and obstruction of an officer after an altercation at Jefferson Hospital where he was being treated for his bullet wounds.

Chief Hannah said the young man tried to leave the emergency room before he was treated and before the officers could interview him about the events that led to his wounds.

“At one point he shoved one of my officers hard in the chest and eventually the officer had to tase him to bring him under control,” Chief Hannah said.

According to a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who has control of the case, Thomas Hannah Jr.

was identified by witnesses as the aggressor in the Pine Valley parking lot incident earlier in the evening.

Pine Valley co-owner Billy Key said that he is supportive of Jackson and her actions. “She was coming to the aid of a tenant,” Key said Tuesday. “The guy was coming right at her, it was self defense.

Tomasenia sent out a very strong message that gang activity will not be tolerated at Pine Valley Apartments.”

“The apartments' owners have since sent out a letter to each of the tenants expressing their support of Jackson’s actions.

“We’re trying to build a better community here and it takes every bit of cooperation among our tenants,” Jackson said Tuesday.

“That gang came in here trying to take on the territory. They’re trying to put fear in people and we’re just not living like that here.”

Chief Hannah said that since the incident his officers have increased their patrols of the area. The GBI said the entire incident is still under investigation.



Stars, stripes and flames

Retirement with honor...

Members of American Legion Post 229 are shown properly disposing of old faded and tattered flags at the Retirement Ceremony held June 14 at Wrens Memorial Cemetery.

In compliance with the U.S. Flag Code, “The Flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way…preferably by burning.”

Legionnaires Billy Wren, Glen Bartell and Emmit Carroll inspect some 75 unserviceable American, sate and other flags as Clarence Holley laces flags in barrel to be consumed by the flaming fire.

It was the closing part of the Flag Day exercise.














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