PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Fayette County District Attorney’s Office has been hard at work the past three weeks trying cases. Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers tried the State of Georgia vs. Robert Lemons, and on April 29, a Fayette County jury found Lemons guilty of burglary in the second degree, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and criminal trespass. The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams sentenced the Defendant to a total of 10 years, with 9 years to serve in prison followed by 1 year of probation. The maximum sentenced was one year.
Lemons, a 30 year old man from McDonough, was convicted of entering the property of LKQ Pick Your Part, a business in Fayetteville, at just after 1 am on August 14, 2019. Lemons pried open an exterior door to the business with a yellow crowbar with intent to steal auto parts. The alarm was triggered. The business had surveillance cameras and video showed the Defendant on the property wearing a dark colored long sleeved shirt, dark pants, a dark stocking cap and carrying a bag over his shoulder. A security monitoring company employee spotted the Defendant on the surveillance camera on the property and called 911. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to respond to the scene, and the defendant was apprehended less than 3 minutes after the alarm was triggered. Lemons had four prior felony convictions out of other counties.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt picked a jury to try the case of the State of Georgia vs. Eugene Martin yesterday, May 3rd. Martin, a 35 year old man from Albany, GA faced armed robbery and aggravated battery charges. On September 3, 2020, Martin and another man entered the Victoria’s Secret in the Avenue shopping center. He sprayed the victim, an employee of the store, with pepper spray and fled the scene with more than $2,000.00 worth of merchandise. Patrons of the Avenue shopping center contacted law enforcement and retrieved a tag number from the getaway vehicle. Peachtree Police Department responded and quickly put out the information about the getaway vehicle. The vehicle and the defendant were apprehended very shortly after in Newnan with the help of Newnan Police Department. The incident was caught on a security camera.
This morning, after the jury was empaneled, the defendant indicated his desire to enter a guilty plea to the charges. The victim was present and in accordance with the plea, The Honorable Ben J. Miller, Jr. sentenced the defendant to 30 years with the first 15 years to be served in prison. The maximum sentence was life in prison. The defendant had four prior felony convictions out of other counties.
Due to the lengthy history of both defendants, they will not be eligible from early release.
District Attorney Broder said of the convictions, “it has been a challenge to get trials up and running again, but we have done it. I am so proud of my office and our collaboration with the law enforcement agencies who worked these cases. These convictions should send a message to those who seek to come into Fayette County and commit crimes, do not come here. Here, in Fayette, we will prosecute you for those actions in order to keep the citizens safe.”
Trials will continue for the next two weeks.
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Our District Attorney inspires students at St. George's Episcopal School Career Day! District Attorney Marie Broder served as guest speaker at the school's recent Career Day. The students participated in a mock trial and learned about the many different roles in our court system.
Please help me welcome Misty Gresham to our team! Misty is an amazing investigator, and we are very lucky to have her.
I am honored to be a panelist at this extremely important summit. Teen Dating Violence is a big problem. Start by getting informed, so you can be part of the solution! Thank you to Promise Place for organizing this!
I am so proud to stand along with these agencies who brought this horrific drug ring down. We did it together. I'm reminded of the quote "alone we are strong, but we are stronger together." Today we took down a methamphetamine distribution ring that was spewing poison into our communities. We stopped it with teamwork, hard work, and determination. Methamphetamine destroys families, and we took a hard stance today in saying NO MORE. Drug dealers need to pack up and get out. This is no place for you.
Thank you to all of the law enforcement agencies that were involved. We did this together. Together we are stronger.
As many of you know, I write a column for a paper in each county. Now that the column has run in all of the newspapers, I wanted to share this column with you, my Facebook followers. I am thankful for all of you, and I hope you enjoy this column.
A Season for Thanksgiving
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and your week is going well. I am taking a break from my series on the anatomy of a criminal case to reflect on the Holiday Season. Our Thanksgiving looked different this year than in those past. We celebrated mostly outside and wore masks. We were more cautious around our older relatives, and some of the normal faces we see were absent because of concerns about travel from faraway states.
Yet, there were those small moments where everything seemed just like it always had been. A prayer of thanks as we all stood in a circle, the laughter of the youngest ones playing outside, the smell of turkey, ham, and every casserole you could imagine. In those moments, the memories of years past and the hopes for the future converged, and I was met with the overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the simple comforts of food and family. A thankfulness for something normal.
This year has been a tremendous challenge for our country and for many in our community. We have faced economic insecurity, health issues, and the real anxiety that comes with not knowing where the world will take us next. But, despite our fears and worries, we are not without blessings. The challenge is to find a moment to reflect on these blessings.
First and foremost, I am thankful for a Thanksgiving Holiday to be with family and friends. I am thankful for those in the military and law enforcement who could not be with their families because they were out protecting us. I am thankful to live in a country where we are free to worship and speak our mind as we please. I am forever thankful for my work family.
Finally, I am thankful to serve as your District Attorney. I view this job as a calling and as a gift. I answer this call every day and strive to keep you all safe in these communities that we call home.
While the world may seem vastly different and divided right now, I am thankful for the commonalities that bring each of us together. We all want health and happiness. We are striving for our children to be the best that they can be, and we are all hopeful that this Holiday season will bring some much needed joy in what has been a difficult year. As we begin this season of thanks and giving, let us remember to think of others: check on your neighbor, help out a stranger in need, call a friend, hug your family members and let them know you love them. There are so many little things we can do to make the world a brighter place. Let us do our part to spread just a little more joy this season. Until next time, take care of each other.
Marie G. Broder
Griffin Judicial Circuit
A big thank you to the Fayette County Bar Association for asking me to present at their Fall Seminar in Amicalola Falls. We had a great morning discussing the State vs. Franklin Gebhardt, a cold case that was tried in Spalding County. It was a great morning with some great lawyers, and a beautiful place to present.
Thank you to the Fayette County Republican Party for having me speak on Saturday morning about what my office is working on right now and reopening courts. Also, thank you to the Spalding County Republican Party for hosting me as a speaker last Thursday evening. It was an honor to fellowship with such incredible people that care so very deeply for their communities. I hope to be back to both groups again, soon.