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    (CNN)One of the men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery fears being killed in state prison and wants to remain in federal custody for his safety, according to a court document filed by his attorney.Travis McMichael, along with his father Greg, and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, was found guilty in the February 2020 shooting death of Arbery in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia.They were convicted in November 2021 on the state murder charges. The McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bryan received a life sentence with the possibility of parole.In February, a jury found the three guilty of all charges in their separate federal hate crimes trial, backing prosecutors' case that the White men chased the 25-year-old through the streets of a Georgia neighborhood because he was Black.Sentence hearings for the three are due to begin on Monday at the federal courthouse in Brunswick. Read MoreTravis McMichael's attorney Amy Lee Copeland filed a memorandum Thursday in federal court asking for her client to remain in the physical custody...
    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The white man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery after chasing the running Black man in a Georgia neighborhood says he fears he will be killed by fellow inmates if he’s sent to a state prison to serve a life sentence for murder. Travis McMichael, 36, faces sentencing Monday in U.S. District Court after his conviction on federal hate crime charges in February. His defense attorney filed a legal motion Thursday asking the judge to keep McMichael in federal custody. Attorney Amy Lee Copeland argued McMichael has received “hundreds of threats” and won’t be safe in a Georgia state prison system that is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department amid concerns about violence between inmates. On Feb. 23, 2020, McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, armed themselves with guns and jumped in a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home just outside the port city of Brunswick. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun....
    The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the reassignment of Brian Chambers to Warden at Johnson State Prison (SP), effective February 1, 2022. As Warden, Chambers will be responsible for overseeing staff members and 1,612 medium security male offenders at the facility. “Chambers has proven himself to be a dedicated and dependable leader throughout his tenure with the agency,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are confident that his correctional knowledge and experience will benefit the staff and  at Johnson SP.” Chambers began his career with the Georgia Department of Corrections in 1997 as a Correctional Officer at Telfair SP. In 1999, he transferred to Montgomery SP and served in various positions, to include Field Training Officer Coordinator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. In 2014, Chambers was promoted to Unit Manager at Georgia SP.  In 2015, he was promoted to Deputy Warden of Security/Care & Treatment at Montgomery SP, along with serving as the Southeast Regional Lead Hostage Negotiator.  In 2018, Chambers was promoted to Warden at Rutledge...
    The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the reassignment of Brian Chambers to Warden at Johnson State Prison (SP), effective February 1, 2022. As Warden, Chambers will be responsible for overseeing staff members and 1,612 medium security male offenders at the facility. “Chambers has proven himself to be a dedicated and dependable leader throughout his tenure with the agency,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are confident that his correctional knowledge and experience will benefit the staff and  at Johnson SP.” Chambers began his career with the Georgia Department of Corrections in 1997 as a Correctional Officer at Telfair SP. In 1999, he transferred to Montgomery SP and served in various positions, to include Field Training Officer Coordinator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. In 2014, Chambers was promoted to Unit Manager at Georgia SP.  In 2015, he was promoted to Deputy Warden of Security/Care & Treatment at Montgomery SP, along with serving as the Southeast Regional Lead Hostage Negotiator.  In 2018, Chambers was promoted to Warden at Rutledge...
    GDC The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has announced that 61 offenders completed their high school coursework during FY2020 and FY2021 through Foothills Education Charter High School, and were presented with diplomas during graduation ceremonies. Through the partnership with Foothills, offenders under the age of 21 are provided the opportunity to earn a High School Diploma, which serves as the beginning of their education journey and successful reentry upon release. GDC GDC “Thanks to our partners at Foothills, many offenders have reached a goal they once thought unattainable,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We appreciate the dedication of the Counselors, Officers, Educators, and Students who have worked hard to make this program a success.” GDC The Foothills Education Charter High School program officially began in September 2015 at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Ga, followed by Burruss Correctional Training Center in 2016, and Phillips State Prison in 2017, and since inception, 361 offenders have successfully completed the program’s requirements. Georgia Dept of Corrections
                        Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced this week that Clarence Dean Alford, a former member of the Board of Regents, has pleaded guilty to racketeering. Alford pleaded guilty before Chief Superior Court Judge Robert F. Mumford. This, according to an emailed press release. “Alford is alleged to have exploited a common industry practice referred to in the financial services sector as ‘factoring.’ Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business may sell its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. The goal of Alford’s scheme was to obtain approximately $1.7 million by selling fake accounts receivable invoices valued at approximately $2.2 million,” according to the press release. “As part of his scheme, Alford created fake invoices, contracts, and other documents to show that his company was owed money from state agencies. He also forged the signatures of state employees on those contracts and other documents. Alford was, at the time, a member of the State Board of Regents, and he used that position to further his fraud schemes.” Alford resigned from the Board...
                      by Nyamekye Daniel  Top law enforcement officials in Georgia are calling for mandatory minimum sentences for offenders to reduce rising crime in the state. Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Terry Norris told the Senate Public Safety Committee that a solid justice system with harsher sentencing for violent crimes could deter criminals. “We’re all in favor of giving people a second chance, but not a third, fourth and fifth, particularly when those people are injuring or harming and victimizing other people,” Norris said during a committee meeting Wednesday. “So, I say certainty in sentencing.” Reports show an increase in crime across the state this year. Crime in Atlanta doubled in the spring, according to reports. Gov. Brian Kemp has thrown money at the issue, and legislative leaders have called for funding to combat crime. The committee met Wednesday to discuss the trends and solutions. Kemp directed $7 million from his emergency fund to support a crime suppression unit created to address crime in Atlanta. House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, announced a $75 million proposal for additional...
                        Members of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Justice Department will investigate how Georgia’s state government confines its prisoners, particularly those who are gay or transgender. This, according to a press release that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee published this week. “The investigation will examine whether Georgia provides prisoners reasonable protection from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners,” the press release said. “The Department also will continue its existing investigation into whether Georgia provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) prisoners reasonable protection from physical and sexual harm by other prisoners and by staff.” The press release made no specific allegations against Georgia prison officials. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia encompasses 70 of Georgia’s 159 counties and covers more than 25,000 square miles. The Middle District of Georgia is home to 15 close-and medium-security Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC) prisons: • Autry State Prison • Baldwin State Prison • Calhoun State Prison • Central State Prison •...
    The Department of Justice on Tuesday kicked off a civil rights investigation into the state of Georgia and its treatment of prisoners, focusing on violence between inmates as well as the targeting of gay and transgender prisoners. “No prisoner’s sentence should include violence at the hands of other prisoners while behind bars. Our investigation will examine whether the state of Georgia adequately protects prisoners ... from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen ClarkeKristen ClarkeAG Garland announces reforms for federal monitors of local police Conditions at central California jail violate Constitution, DOJ finds Cadence Bank will pay .5 million to settle redlining case MORE of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said. Clarke referenced recent riots in Georgia prisons and noted that in 2020, at least 26 people died in Georgia prisons by confirmed or suspected homicide, while there have been a reported 18 homicides so far in 2021. “The Justice Department is committed to seeking to address the devastating effects of prison staff shortages, inadequate policies and training and the lack of accountability. Understaffing...
    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia, two brothers have been sentenced in U.S. District Court after admitting to a scheme to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a Georgia state prison. The office says this prosecution of a drone pilot is likely the nation’s first. George Lo, 27, of Powder Springs, Ga., was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to Owning an Unregistered Aircraft that was Operated, Attempted to be Operated, or Allowed to be Operated by another person, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Lo’s brother, Nicholas Lo, 25, of Dallas, Ga., was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to Serving or Attempting to Serve as an Airman Without an Airman’s Certificate. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. also ordered each man to serve one year of supervised release after completion of their prison terms. There is no parole in the federal system. The criminal prosecutions...
    Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) recently announced that Commissioner Timothy C. Ward named Tom McElhenney as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statewide Coordinator. The promotion was effective March 1, 2021.  As ADA Coordinator, McElhenney will be responsible for the oversight and review of Title II requirements of ADA. “Tom has been a dedicated and dependable leader since beginning with the agency 28 years ago,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are confident that his wealth of knowledge will prove invaluable in this important role.” McElhenney began his career with the Department in 1993 as a Counselor Assistant of Mental Health at the Georgia Women’s Correctional Institution. He was promoted in 1995 to Counselor of Diagnostics at Baldwin State Prison and later to Counselor of General Population in 1996. McElhenney was then promoted to Senior Counselor of the same facility and in 1998 was promoted to Chief Counselor at Putnam State Prison. In 2001, he was promoted to Deputy Warden of Care and Treatment at Scott State Prison. McElhenney...
    A Columbus man who crisscrossed Georgia while committing a series of robberies has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Lawrence Dominique Franklin, 37, of Columbus, Ga., was sentenced to 240 months in prison by U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. after pleading guilty to Armed Bank Robbery, Bank Robbery, and Interference with Commerce by Robbery, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. After completion of his prison term, Franklin will be required to serve five years of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system. “A previously convicted armed robber, Lawrence Franklin had been out of prison for barely four months before he took up a weapon and threatened store clerks and bank employees in multiple violent robberies across Georgia,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Our law enforcement partners did an outstanding job in identifying Franklin and bringing him to justice, once again removing this menace from our streets.” “In the course of a week, Lawrence Franklin charted a path...
    After an investigation by the Georgia Department of Corrections that was prompted by an incident last month, six correctional staff members at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville have been arrested, charged with aggravated battery and violation of oath of office, and have been terminated. The GDC announced today the arrests of the correctional staff members for their role in a use-of-force incident, following an inmate assault on a fellow Correctional Officer.  The incident occurred at Georgia State Prison on February 16 and prompted the investigation by the GDC’s Office of Professional Standards, ultimately leading to the arrests. According to the GDC, at approximately 12:30 p.m. on February 16, an offender assaulted an officer, resulting in use-of-force by fellow staff members and causing injuries to the inmate.  After review and investigation of the incident, it was determined state law and policy were violated and the case was presented to the District Attorney. “Staff accountability is paramount to the safe and secure operations of our facilities, and as an agency, we will...
    DAVISBORO, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia corrections officer was shot and a man was killed after officers got into a shooting with men suspected of trying to smuggle contraband onto the grounds of a state prison, authorities say. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in news release that the shooting happened Sunday on the perimeter of Washington State Prison near Davisboro, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta. The state agency said K-9 officers with the Georgia Department of Corrections were responding to a suspected contraband drop. The officers got into a shooting with 26-year-old Marquavious Rashod Parks of Athens, the GBI said in a news release. Parks was found dead in a nearby pond. One officer was shot and treated at a hospital in Augusta for non-life-threatening injuries. Law enforcement officers took another man, 51-year-old John Frank Snow of Monroe, into custody. The state agency said multiple charges are pending against Snow including charges of murder and aggravated assault against a peace officer. It is not immediately clear if Snow has an attorney. The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office...
    DAVISBORO, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia corrections officer was shot and a man was killed after officers got into a shooting with men suspected of trying to smuggle contraband onto the grounds of a state prison, authorities say. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in news release that the shooting happened Sunday on the perimeter of Washington State Prison near Davisboro, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta. The state agency said K-9 officers with the Georgia Department of Corrections were responding to a suspected contraband drop. The officers got into a shooting with 26-year-old Marquavious Rashod Parks of Athens, the GBI said in a news release. Parks was found dead in a nearby pond. One officer was shot and treated at a hospital in Augusta for non-life-threatening injuries. Law enforcement officers took another man, 51-year-old John Frank Snow of Monroe, into custody. The state agency said multiple charges are pending against Snow including charges of murder and aggravated assault against a peace officer. It is not immediately clear if Snow has an attorney....
    A Georgia corrections officer was shot and another man killed during an incident at a state prison early Monday morning. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said one person allegedly involved in the shooting at Washington State Prison in Davisboro is in custody. According to authorities, two Georgia Department of Corrections K9 officers were investigating a breach in the perimeter at the jail around 12:20 a.m. Monday when they engaged two individuals on the grounds during what was described as a contraband drop. GEORGIA GIRL, 7, DIES AFTER BEING SHOT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING WITH FAMILY: REPORT During the incident, one officer was shot. The wounded officer was transported to a hospital in Augusta with injuries that are not life-threatening. One suspect was found dead in a nearby pond. Marquaqvious Park was wanted in the shooting of a Georgia corrections officer. (Washington County Sheriff's Office) CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it was searching for Marquaqvious Parks, 26, in connection to the shooting. It was not immediately known if Parks was the suspect in custody. No...
    After an inmate from Georgia State Prison in South Georgia stole an ambulance and fled on the interstate, the Georgia Department of Corrections proudly announced the ‘recapture’ of the absconder but offered little information as to how the incident occurred in the first place. An inmate at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga reportedly stole an ambulance after 1:00 a.m. Friday morning. The inmate fled Tattnall County and got on I-16 West, headed toward Dublin. Law enforcement executed a PIT maneuver in Laurens County just after 3:00 a.m. in an attempt to stop the ambulance. The ambulance rolled into the median and the driver was taken into custody without further incident. WGXA later obtained and published the dash cam footage from the deputy’s vehicle, showing the chase. The Georgia Department of Corrections made no announcement to the public and did not post any information on the incident – during or after – on official social media accounts. The agency only published a release after the escapee was in custody once...
    Three men, one of them a prison inmate, have been indicted for attempting to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a Georgia state prison. George Lo, 27, an inmate currently at Smith State Prison in Glennville, Ga.; his brother, Nicholas Lo, 24, of Dallas, Ga.; and Cheikh Hassan Toure, 24, of Austell, Ga., are charged with Conspiracy, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. George Lo and Nicholas Lo also are charged with Owning an Unregistered Aircraft that was Operated, Attempted to be Operated, or Allowed to be Operated by Another Person; and Nicholas Lo and Toure are charged with Serving or Attempting to Serve as an Airman without an Airman’s Certificate. “Drone delivered contraband, including cell phones, into correctional facilities, is an emerging threat endangering the safety of those inside and outside the prison walls,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Our office works aggressively with law enforcement partners such as the Georgia Department of Corrections to crash-land these dangerous schemes.” As described in court documents, George Lo,...
    ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia doctor may continue his whistleblower lawsuit against the state’s prison health care system, its director and the warden at the hospital prison where he worked, a federal judge has ruled. The state officials and agencies had asked U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee to rule without trial that Dr. Timothy Young didn’t have a case. He ruled instead that Young’s right to free speech protected his secret disclosures to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about conditions at Augusta State Medical Prison and that his suit is a valid whistleblower lawsuit, the newspaper reported Thursday. Young “raised numerous concerns specifically related to inmates’ constitutional rights to healthcare and employees’ state law rights to a safe work environment,” the judge wrote. No date has been set for trial in the case against warden Ted Philbin, Georgia Correctional HealthCare and its statewide medical director, Dr. Billy Nichols. Philbin and Nichols had argued that the First Amendment didn’t protect the disclosures. The system’s lawyer had argued that failure to claim violation of any specific law, rule or regulation meant Young wasn’t protected...
    Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the promotion of Lee Clark to Superintendent at Smith Transitional Center (TC)/ Women’s Probation Detention Center (PDC), effective October 1, 2020. As Superintendent, Clark will be responsible for overseeing 41 staff members and 234 minimum-security male residents at Smith TC, and 211 minimum-security female detainees at Women’s PDC. “Clark has shown exceptional leadership skills in each position he has held within the department,” said Commissioner Ward. “We look forward to his continued leadership carrying out the GDC mission, as Superintendent of  Smith TC and Women’s PDC.” Clark began his career with the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2001 as a Counselor at Montgomery State Prison. In 2003, he transferred to Georgia State Prison as a Counselor and later became a Correctional Officer. While at Georgia State Prison, he was promoted to Sergeant and also served as a full-time adjunct instructor.  In 2013, Clark was promoted to Chief Counselor at Emanuel Women’s Facility, and in 2015, he was promoted to Deputy...
    Ware State Prison (Google Maps Street View Image) According to reports from the Georgia Department of Corrections, Ware State Prison was forced into lockdown after a disturbance. Other reports are calling the incident a ‘riot’. Two inmates and two staff members were hurt, although the DOC says that no injuries were life threatening. READ MORE: Hundreds of Florida inmates riot to protest prison conditions The incident began at about 11 p.m. at the Waycross, Georgia prison. Georgia State Patrol, the Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Waycross Police Department responded to reports about the disturbance.  Ware State Prison in Georgia has been taken over by the inmates. 2020 is giving us her ALL pic.twitter.com/WAZ4ioeeme— BLM (@airguitarsolos) August 2, 2020 Department officials say the prison was promptly locked down and everything was “under control,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Officers uses, non-lethal ammunition to quell the situation, according to Fox News. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported that the two staff members were stabbed, but that more details were not immediately available. READ MORE: Riot breaks out in Alabama prison, inmates armed...
    Ware State Prison inmates could be heard asking for help while trying to assist injured inmates Saturday. Three inmates and two staff members were injured at Ware State Prison Saturday night when inmates facing a heightened COVID-19 threat rioted against authorities at the South Georgia facility. The uprising followed several reports of inhumane treatment at the prison. Two inmates at the facility have died of COVID-19, and 22 prisoners and 32 staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tierra Greene, who identified herself as the sister of a Ware State Prison inmate, tweeted screenshots of May emails her brother sent her describing conditions at the prison. He told her that he tested positive for the virus, was placed on lockdown, and not given the opportunity to shower for about four days. x x YouTube Video “I havent had my medicine," he wrote May 2. "I done had a seizure in all behind the door they havebt checked on me or send medical attention!!!i love yall" Greene's brother said...
    WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Three inmates and two staff members were injured during unrest at a state prison in southeast Georgia that began Saturday night, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. A golf cart was set on fire and windows were smashed during the melee at Ware State Prison in Waycross, Georgia, and officers had to deploy “non-lethal ammunition” to bring the scene under control, the department said in a statement Sunday. The statement says there was “no major damage to the facility” reported and that none of the injuries were life-threatening. The disturbance began at around 10:45 p.m. Saturday night, and the facility was locked down by around 1 a.m. Sunday, officials said. Georgia State Patrol, the Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Waycross Police Department confirmed their agencies responded to an incident at the prison, but did not provide any additional information. Ware State Prison houses adult male felons and has a total capacity for 1,546, according to information about the facility on the department’s website. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may...
    Two guards and three inmates were injured in a riot that broke out at a south Georgia prison late Saturday, according to reports. The disturbance at Ware State Prison in Waycross started around 10:40 p.m. By 1 a.m. Sunday, the situation was under control, the state Department of Corrections said. The injuries were non-life-threatening, the department said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the two guards had been stabbed. Further details were not immediately available. FORMER MARINE GETS 9-YEAR RUSSIAN PRISON SENTENCE OVER DRUNKEN ASSAULT HE CLAIMS NOT TO REMEMBER A golf cart was set on fire and several windows were broken, but no major damage to the facility has been reported, officials said. Officers regained control using non-lethal ammunition.  The Georgia State Patrol, Ware County Sheriff's Office and Waycross Police Department also responded, according to The Associated Press. Several Facebook Live videos recorded by inmates during the riot showed fires had been lit on the grounds and inmates were walking freely outside without any guards present. One inmate told viewers to let his family know he loves them if anything happens to him. The Ware State Prison is located outside the town...
    WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Two staff members at a Georgia prison were hurt during a disturbance that forced the facility into a lockdown, the state Department of Corrections said. The injuries were not considered life threatening and the incident at Ware State Prison in Waycross was under control, spokesperson Lori Benoit said in a statement early Sunday. It's unclear how the staff members were injured. The statement said no inmate injuries were reported. Georgia State Patrol, the Ware County Sheriff's Office and Waycross Police Department confirmed their agencies responded to an incident at the prison, but could not confirm any further details. ___ Desiree Seals in Atlanta contributed to this report. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Georgia
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