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September 5, 2013 Issue

Defendants in gang killing bound over
Telling their stories
Qualifying closes, few races contested

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Defendants in gang killing bound over

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Law enforcement officers from several agencies, many wearing bulletproof vests, sat or stood throughout a courtroom packed with defendants, lawyers and observers Friday, Aug. 30.

Superior Court Judge Bobby Reeves presided over preliminary hearings for 12 defendants and later bond hearings for those same individuals at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Louisville.

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All defendants were facing charges for the same incident.

The charges resulted from investigations into the death of Kenneth Quarterman Jr., 23, of Augusta and the shooting of 25-year-old Charles Lewis Brown III of Wrens, both of which occurred Sunday, June 16, around midnight at the 500 block of East 5th Street in Louisville.

The incident has been described by District Attorney Hayward Altman and by Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins as a gang-related drive-by shooting.

Not only were Hutchins and Jefferson County deputies present, but so were Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller, Wrens Police Chief Garry McCord, agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Washington County deputies, probation officers and state troopers.

Everyone who wanted to enter the courtroom underwent scrutiny by deputies, including passing through a metal detector.

The defendants, whom Hutchins said previously had been kept in separate jails for security purposes, entered the courtroom in handcuffs and jumpsuits in red, orange or black and white stripes.

The defendants initially were each charged with malice murder. Additional charges were added prior to the hearings.

Those charges are one count of racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of participating in criminal gang activity, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and one count of felony murder.

Each of the defendants has been in custody since their arrests, a spokesman with the JCSO stated Friday.

Reeves listened to testimony from Special Agent Sara Lue, a GBI agent involved in the investigation of the case. Defense attorneys questioned Lue about the evidence against their clients and then Reeves listened to arguments, reviewed his notes and made his decisions.

One by one, each defendant was bound over to the Grand Jury.

Information provided by Lue during her testimony included the caliber of the weapon used, .40 caliber; the fact that shots were fired from at least two directions; neither weapon has been recovered and that law enforcement believes neither victim was the target.

Lue also testified threats have been made against witnesses and defendants.

Reeves also denied bond for each but one defendant. The judge gave Dontavius Tramez Meadows, aka “T,” a cash bond of $100,000 or a $200,000 property bond.

The other defendants are Barrington Jermaine Allen aka “AJ” or “Rude boi,” Ivey Lamar Elam, Shinique L. FLuernoy aka “Nek,” Octavius Desmond Hickson aka “Tay Tay,” Darius Sergio Jackson aka “Sergio,” Rajonte Romelle McGruder aka “RO,” Damien V. Simpkins aka “Bam,” Dalonte Jerrod Tarver aka “Blac [sic] Boss” or “Big J,” Jason Robert Williams aka “J-Will,” Jayrin Anthony Williams aka “Webbie” and Lafayell Deshon Williams aka “Smooch.”




Telling their stories

By Bonnie Sargent
Correspondent

Several weeks ago a man showed up in downtown Louisville with a camera crew and started knocking on doors at random.

It may seem a little odd to most people, but for Todd Hansen, president of TKH Productions, it is the norm.

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Hansen is in charge of producing a show called The Story Trek. Hansen himself is from Salt Lake City, Utah, but he travels all over the United States for his show, interviewing random people.

“The show in general is just stories about everyday people and proof that every one of us, no matter who we are, has a great and compelling story that is worthy of being on network television and being broadcast across the nation,” said Hansen. “Nobody thinks they have a story worth telling, but everybody does. That is why we go about it the way we do.”

To select what town the show moves to next, Hansen said they basically close their eyes and point to a map, then show up at whatever city that is and start knocking on doors.

“That’s how we ended up there, in Louisville,” he said.

Hansen and his team of cameramen ended up interviewing Eve Perdue, who lives here in town.

“I don’t know what the perception is about Eve in the community. It may just be that everyone thinks she is just a lady who owns two old houses that she tries to take care of, but there is so much more there. She is an amazing, compassionate, caring woman,” Hansen said. “It goes beyond just a lady who likes old homes, it’s a lot to do with her mom and what her mom wanted her to do before she died...and that’s what I hope people get from watching the show, that everyone has something going on in their lives and we just need to cut them some slack and get to know them.”

Hansen takes great pride in his work and hopes that it will really make an impact on people.

Hansen started out several years ago as a news reporter at a TV station in Salt Lake City.

“TV news is difficult, at least it was for me, because it was all doom and gloom and death and destruction, and just bad, bad news about bad people doing bad things to other people and I got really tired of it,” he said. “It just wasn’t interesting enough for me anymore and quite frankly it got boring, it wasn’t challenging for me anymore.”

So when they offered to renew his contract, Hansen said he just could not imaging doing what he was doing for the rest of his life. So he got out of the news business.

“The last year I worked there, though, I offered an idea to my boss. I asked her, ‘what if I just do stories on just anybody?’ and fortunately, she said okay. They turned out to be great stories and we aired them every Sunday, but it still wasn’t enough for me because I still had to tell the doom and gloom stories the rest of them time,” Hansen said. “I thought if I could just do that, just do the stories on people, then I would have been able to stay there for the rest of my life.”

Hansen thought he would never be on television again, but seven years after he quit work as a news anchor, he heard that Brigham Young University TV network was looking for ideas for TV shows. Hansen said he proposed the idea to them and here he is, three years later, doing something that he loves.

The show airs on BYU TV and is in its fifth season. Hansen said they have aired 60 episodes, all of which are available online at BYUtv.org.

“BYU is a network that airs across the country on cable and satellite. Most people think they don’t have it, but they do. It they have Dish or Direct TV it is a free channel. It’s channel 9403 on Dish and 374 on Direct. It also airs on over 600 different cable systems as well, but it all depends on where you are if you can get it on cable or not.”

Hansen is not sure when exactly the Louisville episode will air, but it should be sometime in mid-October.

Hansen spends a lot of time traveling all over the country. He said anywhere they hit in the United States is where he goes next. Hansen has four daughters, ages 11, 13, 15 and 19. For this season, he is letting his daughters pull states from a hat.

“Once we get the state, I get a map of the state and I close my eyes and drop a marker on it to determine which city we go to. That’s how we ended up in Louisville,” he said.

Once they reached Louisville, Hansen said they went and saw the mayor. They had him point to a spot on the map to decide where they would start their search.

“It’s completely by chance, but I believe it’s fate. We end up talking to who we are supposed to be talking to,” Hansen said. “That’s what I hope this show teaches people, that they are important and their lives are meaningful and that everyone they talk to every day is important and meaningful, and if we would all take time to get to know each other, we would realize that.

“So many people think ‘oh, how cool, you get to travel all over the world’ and yeah, that’s wonderful. I get to see all these little towns that tourists don’t really go to and I love seeing the history and learning about it, but it’s the people that make it really worth it. People make up a community and that’s what makes it so much fun for me. The memories I have are not so much of the things I see, it’s the people I meet. I feel like I have friends all over the country. ”




Qualifying closes, few races contested

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Qualifying closed last week and only three cities in Jefferson County and none in Glascock will be holding city elections in November.

There will be no contested seats in all of Glassock County, nor in Louisville, Wrens or Avera.

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In Jefferson County, there is only one county ballot, that to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Quincy Murphy (D-127). Murphy died last month. Only those cities in Murphy’s district will cast a vote. Those cities are Avera, Louisville, Stapleton and Wrens.

A call to the Georgia Secretary of State for the names of those who qualified to run for Murphy’s seat went unreturned as of press time Tuesday.

A review of the secretary’s website did not show a list of candidates as of press time Tuesday.

Jefferson and Glascock counties will not hold county elections.

Some cities will not hold elections in November because not enough individuals qualified.

Avera
Avera City Clerk Amy Hadden said three council seats and the mayor’s seat expire this year. The council seats are currently held by Ronnie Hadden, Mary Mahoney and Richard Norton.

Ronnie Hadden and Mahoney qualified. Norton did not.

“That seat was vacant so Larry McGraw will fill that seat,” Amy Hadden said. McGraw was the only person besides the two incumbents to qualify for the council.

No one qualified for the mayor’s position, she said.

Bartow
In Bartow, council incumbents Billy Neal, Sally Brooks, Ken Smith and Lee Shellman qualified for re-election. Dwayne Morris, a current councilmember, was the only person to qualify as mayor. Catherine Swint and L.C. Clark also qualified for council, making six candidates for five seats. The five with the highest votes will be elected. As Morris has no competition, he will be the next mayor.

Louisville
In Louisville, Mayor James L. Morgan and Councilmen Robert Dixon, Matt Hodges and Phil Polhill expire at the end of this year. City administrator Ricky Sapp said only the incumbents qualified; so, no city election will be held.

Stapleton
In Stapleton, Frank Parrish, the current mayor, and Harold Smith qualified for the mayor’s seat. Jason Irby and Tara Parrish, both incumbents, qualified for the two council seats.

“All the names will still be on the ballot. They just have no opposition,” said Gail Berry of Irby and Tara Parrish. Berry is the city’s clerk and elections superintendent.

Wadley
Wadley will hold an election for mayor. Herman Baker, the incumbent, qualified, as did three other individuals. They are Betty R. Register, Holloman Moore and Dorothy Strowbridge, a current councilmember.

For council, the term of three seats expires this year. They are held by Strowbridge, Izell Mack and John Maye. Mack, Maye and Colin M. Cornett qualified. As there are only three seats available and three candidates, all three will serve.

Additionally, Wadley voters will once again decide by referendum whether to allow alcohol sales on Sunday. Voters faced this on a referendum earlier this year; but, the referendum did not pass.

Wrens
In Wrens, Elections Superintendent Janee Hodge said the city had three council positions open.

“The incumbents qualified but no one else,” she said. “So we don’t have to hold an election.

Edgehill
The positions available in Edgehill are for mayor, currently held by Durham Milburn, and one council seat, currently held by Dewey Belcher. Only Belcher qualified for mayor. Kristi Kitchens qualified for council.

Angela Barrow, the city clerk, said the city will not have to hold an election since neither candidate has an opponent.

Gibson
In Gibson, only the two incumbents up for re-election, Carol Markins and Stanley Phillips qualified. No election will be needed.

Mitchell
In Mitchell, only the incumbents qualified. Mitchell is not having an election.







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Last modified: September 5, 2013