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October 23, 2014 Issue

Deputy under investigation
Citizens consider SPLOST
Birthday party ends in double murder

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Deputy under investigation

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Glascock County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) has suspended Deputy Tony Arrington with pay and has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to investigate accusations against Arrington.

Although specifics of the accusations have not been released, Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch stated in a press release the accusations, if true, would be a violation of the sheriff’s policy and criminal offenses.


Couch said there is an internal investigation on violations of policy.

Chief Deputy Jeremy Kelley said Arrington has also worked at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Louisville Police Department, Wrens Police Department and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Kelley said Arrington has not had any disciplinary actions during his time with GCSO, about two years.

The chief deputy said Arrington has not received any commendations, adding, “We don’t give out commendations.”

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Col. Clark Hiebert said last week Arrington will continue working for JCSO on the courthouse security staff.

“We’re not familiar with any charges that have been brought forward. If there are not any charges, I would expect he would continue as courthouse security on court days,” Hiebert said.

“We have not had any complaints that have been entered into his personnel file.”

Ron Braxley, assistant special agent in charge with the GBI in Thomson, said Tuesday the investigation into the allegations against Arrington is ongoing.

“That’s all I can tell you at this point,” he said.


Glascock County Consolidated School crowned senior Morgan Stephens its 2014 Homecoming Queen Friday night during the halftime of the Panthers football game. Pictured (left to right) are 10th grade representative Alyssa Fain, 11th grade representative Carleigh Guill, Stephens, first runner-up Kayla Adams and ninth grade representative Gracie Hutcheson.


Citizens consider SPLOST

By Carol McLeod

Jefferson County and its cities are hoping voters say yes to the 2016 SPLOST referendum on the ballot this year.

If the SPLOST is passed in November, it will allow the cities and county to continue receiving 1 percent in sales tax without a break after the current SPLOST ends in December 2015.


The city councils and county commission seem to be concerned mainly about equipment, vehicles, roads, sewer and recreation.

Avera hopes to receive $156,924 from the SPLOST, if it passes.

The city will use the money for generators and other equipment for the fire department; city hall office equipment and furniture; and, a fountain for the city park as well as benches and equipment at the playground.

Bartow hopes to receive $182,444 from the 2016 SPLOST.

These funds are earmarked for water and sewer improvements and repair of the fire station roof.

Louisville is hoping for about $1.5 million. Its plans for the revenue include a fire truck and fire fighting equipment, cars and equipment for the city’s police department, capital sewer improvements, recreation improvements, improvements at the airport and remodeling at the library.

Stapleton is slated to receive $278,460 from the SPLOST. The city plans to use the money to improve public buildings and/or recreational facilities, purchase public safety vehicles and equipment, and for water system upgrades and improvements.

Wadley hopes for $1,314,760 as its share. The city plans to acquire land, buildings and/or equipment for economic development, recreation improvements, water and sewer improvements and library improvements.

Wrens share is projected to be around $1,394,133. The city’s plans include purchasing public safety equipment and vehicles, upgrading improvement and capital outlay for the maintenance of city streets and roads as well as capital improvements and equipment for parks and recreation.

Jefferson County plans to use a significant amount of its anticipated $5.8 million on roads equipment. A little more than $1 million will be used there.

The county has earmarked its 2016 SPLOST funds for the water department, economic development, the landfill, public safety and road resurfacing/improvement.

The county also will use $150,000 for recreation.

A complete list of where the money will be used will be on the ballot.

Early voting, which has already started, continues through Friday, Oct. 31, at Jefferson County’s registrar’s office on Green Street in Louisville.

The offices will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday voting will be on Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. During early voting, the office will remain open through lunch.

Several elected officials have said without this SPLOST, they will have to choose between not being able to fund projects and raising taxes.

Birthday party ends in double murder

By Elizabeth Billips

Two Jefferson County men were shot and killed during a birthday party near Waynesboro.

The accused gunman, 22-year-old Warner Tolbert III, was already on probation for robbing a disabled man.


According to Sgt. Dedric Smith, chief investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the Lawson Road party around 2:40 a.m. Sunday after Andre Harris Jr. of Stapleton and Likensie Holliday of Wrens, both 24, were fatally wounded.

Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office had arrested Harris just days before.

He was arrested Friday, Oct. 17, and charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property in the second degree. He bonded out that same day.

Smith said he does not know if the incident that led to Friday’s charges play a role in Harris’ death.

“All we know right now is that some type of altercation took place right before the shooting,” Sgt. Smith said. “We believe it may have been started by some young ladies and escalated from there.”

While investigators did not release many details, they confirmed that one victim was shot inside the former Club Dynasty facility and the other was outside.

Smith called the deaths a senseless act of violence.

“Kids no longer argue and solve their differences … they want to pick up a gun,” he said. “In a split second, two lives were lost and three families have been totally destroyed.”

While there were no other injuries from gunfire, another man, whose identity has not been released, was hit by a fleeing vehicle.

Smith said he was transported to Burke Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and has not been cooperative with the investigation.

Deputies spent most of Sunday morning interviewing witnesses and said Tolbert was quickly identified as the lone gunman.

“We have no reason to believe that anyone else discharged a weapon,” Smith said, noting that Tolbert voluntarily came in for questioning and was subsequently arrested.

“At this time, we really don’t know the motive,” he said.

Tolbert had already been sentenced to eight years probation back in Feb. 2012 when his armed robbery charge was reduced to theft by taking during a plea negotiation.

He is now charged with two counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the BCSO at 706-554-2133.

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