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December 5, 2013 Issue

DA clears Louisville officers
Grub joins the family
Louisville requires all dogs to be leashed

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DA clears Louisville officers

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

No criminal charges will be filed against Louisville police officers involved in an incident six months ago involving an area resident Jefferson County District Attorney Hayward Altman said this week.

Sandra Wilburn filed a complaint with Altman and others stating her son, Damien Wilburn, was a victim of excessive force by the officers in the early morning of Sunday, June 16.

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At that time, officers had responded to a drive-by shooting where two people were injured. One died later at a hospital in Augusta. The second victim was treated at Jefferson Hospital and released.

Both men were cousins of Sandra Wilburn’s, who called her son from the scene. When Damien arrived, an incident occurred resulting in a takedown of Damien by the officers.

Altman said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into the complaint and viewed a DVD that recorded the incident.

Altman said the GBI’s investigation probably took a couple of weeks.

“The FBI and the GBI both reviewed the DVD and the GBI then turned over their report to me. At that point in time, I reviewed the DVD in its entirety six or seven times,” the DA said.

“The DVD takes about two hours to review. It covers a night of activity concerning the homicide that occurred as a result of the drive-by shootings,” he said.

“I made the decision there was no criminal intent or criminal activity on the part of the officers. The incident occurred during a night where the officers were dealing with a non-related homicide but which occurred at the same, general location. The officers handled the situation in a way that did not violate any law or laws,” Altman said.

He added this took several months because he was involved in hearings and trials concerning other murder cases and wanted to be able to focus on this incident.

“I wanted to make sure I gave ample time to review the facts so that I was fair to the officers and the young man,” he said.

In a letter Altman sent to Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller, a copy of which was obtained by The News and Farmer / The Jefferson Reporter under the Open Records Act, the district attorney states he has made no determination about whether the officers involved followed LPD procedures during the incident.

“Whether the conduct of the officers followed the correct policies and procedure of the Louisville Police Department in their actions taken is a matter solely for internal review by the police department. The District Attorney’s Office makes no determination as to whether these policies and procedures were followed,” Altman states.

“For my son, Damien, thank you for being a God-sent young man. I am so proud of you,” Sandra Wilburn said.

“A lot went on that night. Two people got shot. Both were family and one died. My main concern was the death of my cousin. My focus right now is getting justice for both of my cousins,” she said.

“Law enforcement has done an excellent job bringing the people responsible to justice; and, I am thankful for that.”

“God is forgiving; God is in control and God is good.”




Grub joins the family

By Megan Johnson
Apprentice

Have you ever heard of someone adopting a baby? How about a baby pig?

The Taylor family, father Jerry, mother Tara, daughters Karrie and Lynnsey and son, Daniel, has recently adopted a baby pig.

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“Our family always gets called when someone wants to find a home for an animal,” Jerry Taylor said.

Taylor is the director of Taylor Funeral Home in Louisville.

“We got a call one day asking if we would take in a baby pig. At first we were not going to get the pig, but we thought about it and decided we would,” Lynnsey said. She is the youngest of the three kids.

Lynnsey said the pig, along with his brothers, sister and mother, was trapped in a hog trap in Jefferson County.

“The other pigs got free from the trap, but there was one little pig left so we decided to take it in and care for it,” Jerry said.

Karrie said the pig was adorable.

“We got the pig on Sept. 21. He wasn’t even a week old when we got him,” Tara said.

“We have had the pig for about two months now and he is always keeping us busy,” she said. “The pig used to be bottle-fed, but he is not anymore.

“Now that he is not bottle-fed, he eats any and everything,” Karrie said, adding, “We have to watch out because whatever is on the ground the pig will eat.”

Lynnsey said after he eats, he always wants to play. “If we don’t play with him, he will get upset and start snorting,” she said.

“Every morning the pig runs all over our backyard and is real giddy. He slides and skids all in the dirt, which is why we named our pig Grub,” Daniel said.

Lynnsey said sometimes they call the pig Grubby or Grubbles.

“We keep Grub outside in a pen with our goats,” Daniel said.

“The kids love to take care of Grub. No matter what is going on, every afternoon the kids have to feed and play with Grub,” Jerry said.

“The children love Grub and so do Jerry and I.

“I am so glad we adopted this pig, he is a joy,” Tara said.




Louisville requires all dogs to be leashed

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Louisville City Council adopted an ordinance during a called meeting Wednesday, Nov. 20, that addresses the problem of stray or wandering animals.

The ordinance, which took effect Nov. 21, updates a previous animal control ordinance by adding a requirement to use leashes.

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Under the ordinance, owners of domestic animals must have the animal under control by a leash unless the animal is properly contained in a vehicle, on the owner’s property or on another’s property with permission.

Leashes cannot be longer than four times the length of the animal.

If the animal is in a vehicle, the vehicle has to be properly ventilated.

“This ordinance requires animal owners to be responsible for the care and behavior of their animals,” Louisville City Administrator Ricky Sapp said.

“In the event that the city receives complaints on an animal, the ordinance gives us the means to resolve a situation when it arises,” he said.

“If someone has a complaint, they need to call city hall or the police department. In this ordinance, the police in addition to other city employees have jurisdiction,” Sapp said.

“This ordinance was developed by the mayor and council because of the number of complaints that have seemed to increase in the past year. And so the council took action. A copy of the ordinance is available upon request,” he said.

Louisville City Attorney John Murphy said anyone with a guard dog must post a sign on their premises that warns the public.

The ordinance also states that the city is a bird sanctuary; but, this is not new. Sapp said the city has always been a bird sanctuary.

“The leash law portion is new,” he said. “As God’s caretakers of the earth, it is our responsibility to ensure that all creatures have the quality of life they deserve. With that responsibility comes to ensure that the public health and safety are first priority.”










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