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October 16, 2014 Issue

At the fair
Bartow man faces cruelty charges
Two charged with unlawful handling of an explosive

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At the fair

The Louisville Lions Club held its 57th annual fair last week. In addition to the live entertainment, rides and games area residents took part in the booth competitions.


Bartow man faces cruelty charges

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wadley police have charged Gabriel James Price, 31, of Bartow with four counts of animal cruelty after finding malnourished dogs behind a home.

A man told police he had started a process eight months ago for Price to rent a home. Price had paid a deposit but had no further contact with the homeowner.


The homeowner tried last month to contact Price to return the deposit. When he made contact with Price, the man discovered Price had been keeping dogs at the residence in Wadley. The man went to the home and found four dogs in poor condition. He reported this to Wadley police.

Three officers went to the Wadley home Sunday, Sept. 14.

“Dog 1 was a large dog that had been tied to a tree in the woods behind the house. The dog did not have available food or sanitary water. The dog appeared to have scars on its face. The dog’s body could not be assessed due to the dog behaving in an aggressive manner. The dog appeared to be a pit bull,” the officer states in his report.

The officer described a second dog as medium size and appearing to be a pit bull.

This dog did not have access to food or sanitary water and was tied to a dog house.

“Dog 2 did not appear to have any facial scars but dog 2 could not be properly assessed due to the dog’s aggressive behavior,” the report states.

“Dog 3 and dog 4 were kept in a small covered cage that did not have access to sunlight. Dog 3 appeared to be a puppy pit bull mix. Dog 3 did not appear to have scars on its body, but dog 3 appeared to be malnourished.

“Dog 4 is a small dog, solid white in color. Breed of dog 4 is unknown. Dog 4 appeared to be extremely malnourished. Dog 4 appeared to have difficulty sitting, standing, walking and was shaking constantly. Neither dog 3 or dog 4 had access to water. There was a water bowl inside of the cage that was dry. There was no food bowl present in the cage,” the report states.

The officer brought food and water for all of the dogs.

“All dogs present immediately began to drink and eat. I observed that all dogs behaved in a manner which would suggest that they had not been provided with food or water in a long time,” he stated.

A neighbor offered to take dog 3 and dog 4 to a local veterinarian clinic. The officer states in his report both of those dogs were in critical health.

The other two dogs could not be transported at that time because of their aggressive behavior. The officer tried to contact Price but was unable to do so.

City workers were to have taken the other two dogs the following Monday.

The report states Price was to be charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals because dog 1 had visible scars on its face and because dog 4’s legs and body were useless because of malnourishment.

Wadley police officers arrested Price Saturday, Oct. 4, and charged him under state law.

Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said these charges are felonies.

Wadley City Council passed an ordinance banning pit bulls inside city limits. Lewis said violating that ordinance is a misdemeanor; and, Price will face only the state charges.

Two charged with unlawful handling of an explosive

By Carol McLeod

Jefferson County’s Grand Jury indicted two men for unlawful handling of explosive device and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

County deputies arrested Devonte Malik Hannah, 19, of Wrens Monday, Sept. 29, on those two charges, which Assistant District Attorney Kelly Jenkins said are felonies.


Jenkins said there were several juveniles going around Wrens who were able to create an explosion significant enough to be a public safety risk.

There were two adults with the juveniles, Jenkins said. Hannah was one of those adults.

A case against the juveniles is being addressed through the juvenile system.

Jenkins presented evidence against the two adults to the Grand Jury, which indicted both adults. The second adult has not been named at this time.

Wrens Assistant Police Chief Jim Votow said this happened earlier this year.

“These were empty 2-liter bottles, like a Coca Cola bottle. The individuals put several items together in the bottle and pressure built up until the bottle sort of popped. There was not a significant explosion; and, no damage was done,” Votow said, adding the juveniles were all under the age of 16.

“Somebody could have gotten hurt. They had the materials and then they threw various devices at a variety of structures or on the surface of a parking lot. If anyone had been near a bottle when it popped, the explosion could have hurt them,” he said.

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