The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office is in the midst of a two week trial calendar in front of The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams. The calendar began with 77 cases. In total, there were 22 guilty pleas and 6 bench trials. The trial calendar will continue on Monday. In total, these defendants were sentenced to 219 years on probation and 71 years in prison.
Kindley Coggins pled guilty to Racketeering and Trafficking Cocaine. He was sentenced to 30 years with the first 12 years to be served in prison. He is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Coggins was part of a large scale investigation led by Sgt. Josh Pitts with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office along with the Griffin Police Department followed the activity of multiple individuals on a Title III wiretap over the course of many months. Mr. Coggins sentence and banishment is the result of countless hours of teamwork and preparation.
Wilber Louis Brown, III pled guilty to Racketeering, Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree, and Illegal Use of a Communication Device. He was sentenced to 30 years with the first 12 years to be spent in prison. Brown is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Brown was also a part of the Title III wiretap investigation led by Sgt. Josh Pitts. Brown, along with Coggins, and Joshua Stephens were three of the main cocaine suppliers to Spalding County at the time of their arrest. Stephens pled guilty on an earlier date, was sentenced to 30 years with 10 years to be served in prison, and is also banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.
Another main player in a separate Title III wiretap from 2015, also entered a guilty plea on Monday, June 20th. Adrian Ryan Lehsten pled guilty Racketeering, Sale of Methamphetamine, and Illegal Use of a Communication Facility. He was sentenced to 20 years with 15 years in prison. He is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit and surrounding counties. Lehsten was a methamphetamine dealer in Spalding County. The investigation into Lehsten was led by Cpl. Howie Spitzer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, aided by the Griffin Police Department, observed Lehsten’s distribution of methamphetamine over a wiretap in June of 2015. Multiple arrests arose from the wiretap. Lehsten also faces drug charges in Lamar County.
Daniel Knight, a main player in the Lehsten Title III methamphetamine wire, also pled guilty to Racketeering and was sentenced to 15 years with 10 years to be served in prison. He is also banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.
Randy Ray Brown, also involved in the Lehsten wire, pled guilty to 20 years with 4 years to be served in prison. He is, likewise, banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.
District Attorney Benjamin D. Coker said of the results from this week, “this is the result of the tireless work of law enforcement and the preparation and dedication of Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder and the Spalding staff. The drug dealers that entered guilty pleas on Monday will serve a combined 63 years in prison and will be banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit for 145 years. Cocaine and Methamphetamine are poison that infiltrate our community and breed drug addiction and crime. The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to keeping those that sell these drugs off the streets of Spalding County and keeping our community safe.”
The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office had a trial calendar scheduled for June 12, 2017 in front of the Honorable Robert “Mack” Crawford. The calendar lasted two days. Over forty guilty pleas were entered in front of the court. Two of those notable pleas were:
Cornelius Henderson pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years with the first 15 years to serve in a state penitentiary. The maximum sentence for Voluntary Manslaughter is 20 years to serve. Henderson pled guilty to shooting Demarkis Williams, after an altercation, in the city of Griffin on November 24, 2014.
Lashonda Miller-Webb pled guilty in a non-negotiated plea to Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery and was sentenced to 20 years with the first 7 years to serve in a state penitentiary. Miller-Webb pled guilty to slicing the victim, Tyrone Hughley’s, face with a hook knife in the city of Griffin on August 9, 2015. Mr. Hughley suffered a significant injury to his face and still wears a scar from the incident. Ms. Latisha Lashay Miller also suffered an injury to her arm in the attack.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the trial week ended on Tuesday. Benjamin Coker said of the week, “despite the early end to the week, Assistant District Attorney Canon Snow did a great job moving this calendar. As always we thank the tireless effort of law enforcement and the work that they do.”
On June 13, 2017, Ruby Kate Coursey entered a plea in Upson County Superior Court before the Honorable Christopher C. Edwards to Felony Murder and Neglect to a Disabled Adult. She was sentenced to Life in Prison for abandoning Troymaine Johnson, a paraplegic, in a wooded area of Upson County between March 14th and March 17th, 2017 when tempatures were below freezing. Because of the hard work and diligent effort of the Upson County Sheriff's office and Sheriff Dan Kilgore along with assistance from GBI and Thomaston Police Department, the judicial system was able to bring about a swift resolution to the case.
On June 8th, 2017, former Spalding County Sheriff’s Department Captain, David Wayne Gibson entered a non-negotiated plea to two counts of Violation of Oath of Office before Honorable Robert “Mack” Crawford in Spalding County Superior Court and was sentenced to ten years with the first three to be served in a State penitentiary. The State, represented by Benjamin D. Coker requested ten years with five to serve in prison. Judge Crawford sentenced Gibson to the ten serve three and granted first offender. The State objected to first offender. Mr. Gibson was also ordered to surrender his P.O.S.T. certification as part of his sentence. These charges stem from a G.B.I. investigation conducted at the request of the Griffin Circuit District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s office will have no further comment on this matter due to pending civil litigation.
A two week trial calendar in front of The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams concluded, today in Fayette County. The calendar began with 56 cases. In total, there were 40 guilty pleas. Today, the following defendants pled guilty:
The co-defendants in the Smash and Grab Burglary at the Simply Mac in Peachtree City, pled guilty this week. Dontavius Fredrick Hammonds, pled guilty to Smash and Grab Burglary, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, and various traffic offenses. He was sentenced to 25 years with 20 years to serve in prison. The final co-defendant, Dontavius Stephens, also pled guilty to Smash and Grab Burglary and Fleeing and Attempting to Elude. He was sentenced to 20 years with 10 to serve in prison. Both men were banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit for the entirety of the sentences, which includes Fayette County.
Quentin Gibson was sentenced to Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Giving False Information, Driving while License Suspended, and Improper Brake Lights. He was sentenced to 20 years with 10 to serve in prison.
The Fayette County District Attorney’s Office also had a trial calendar in front of the Honorable Christopher C. Edwards. There were 11 cases on the calendar, and 9 defendants entered guilty pleas.
Jarvis Woodard pled guilty to Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, Possession of Cocaine, and various misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 8 years with 5 to serve in prison.
Marcevous Foster pled guilty to Theft by Shoplifting for an incident that occurred at Belk in Fayetteville, GA. The defendant admitted to cutting wires and taking purses from the establishment. Foster was sentenced to 5 years to serve in prison.
Antione Austin pled guilty to taking a motorcycle from a business in Fayette County. He was sentenced to 5 years probation.
District Attorney Benjamin Coker said of the work over the past two weeks: “my office displayed a great deal of hard work and dedication in resolving the number of cases that they did. Law enforcement in Fayette County is to be commended for their excellent preparation on these cases. When law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office work together, as they did over the past two weeks, the community sees these results. We, along with law enforcement, will continue to be diligent in our efforts to keep the citizens of Fayette County safe.”