Congratulations to Ashton Hewett Fallin for her argument in front of the Georgia Supreme Court this morning. She did an exceptional job. Ashton is one of the appellate attorneys for the Griffin Judicial Circuit. She works out of our Upson County office. She argued that a murder conviction from 2004, The State vs. Tracy White, should be upheld. The Appellant argued that the conviction should be overturned due to a challenge to a jury charge and poor acoustics in the courtroom. Ashton's argument was eloquent and polished. The Court should have an opinion in six months. We are all so proud of you Ashton!
We in the Spalding County District Attorney's Office were so grateful to take part in the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Thank you to the Spalding County Sheriff's Office for today's event. It was a somber occasion, but there was so much love in that sanctuary. District Attorney Coker said of the service, "we are all tied by the binds of grief and tragedy that crimes of violence bring. Together, we have emerged from the ashes of our respective tragedies to become a light for those who need to hear of hope. To the families there today, we love you and we are here for you. No one can ever understand your grief. Let us all unite in a prayer for peace. Let us pray that one day we will never lose another life to violence. Tonight, let us hold our loved ones close. God bless you all."
The Fayette County District Attorney’s Office completed a trial calendar in front of The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams. The calendar began with 123 cases. In total, there were 87 guilty pleas and 1 jury trial.
A Fayette County Jury heard the case of the State vs. Kristopher Lee Cawthon. Cawthon was tried for two counts: Rape and Exploitation and Intimidation of a Disabled Adult. The trial lasted three days. The jury deliberated over the course of two days. They found Cawthon not guilty on Rape and Guilty of Exploitation and Intimidation of a Disabled Adult. Judge Simmons presided over the case and sentenced Cawthon to 20 years with the first 7 years to be served in prison. Deputy Chief District Attorney Warren Sellers tried the case.
Matthew James Flesher pled guilty to 40 years with the first 20 years to be served in prison. He pled guilty to multiple counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children and multiple counts of Peeping Tom. He was arrested in January of 2017 for taking photographs and videos of unsuspected women and girls around the Peachtree City area.
Emmett Bennett pled guilty to two counts of Statutory Rape. He was sentenced to 30 years with the first 20 years to serve in prison. Bennett pled guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15 year old victim. He will be required to register as a sex offender.
Kylana Anyail Threatt pled guilty to Armed Robbery. She was sentenced to 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in prison. Threatt pled guilty to being a party to a crime of the robbery of PNC bank. Her codefendant, William Bradford, Jr., entered a guilty plea on a previous court date and was sentenced to 41 years with 21 years to be served in prison. The charges stemmed from an incident at a PNC Bank in Fayette County on January 25, 2017. The charges involved entering the bank, pointing a gun at employees, and taking money.
Wasean Watkins and Ishmel Kenan Wilson pled guilty to multiple counts of Armed Robbery. Wilson also pled guilty to multiple counts of Aggravated Assault. Both defendants were sentenced to 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in prison. They are also banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.
District Attorney Coker said of the trial weeks, “I want to thank the Court and its staff, law enforcement, the clerk of court and staff, court services, and my staff for their hard work and dedication. These results would not have been achieved without the tireless efforts of all involved. The District Attorney’s Office will continue in its efforts to work to make Fayette County safer and keep criminals off of the streets.”