The Spalding County District Attorney's Office was proud to help Sgt. Josh Pitts, with the Spalding County Sheriff's Office, and donate bikes, electric cars, and toys to some needy families in Griffin this Christmas. We have to give a big shout out to Scott and Rus with Walmart for donating 4 bikes this morning! Y'all are awesome. Thanks to the staff of the office for their generosity! We hope that these gifts brighten the day of a child. Merry Christmas!
Marie Broder, the Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit spoke at Upson-Lee Elementary this week to the 4th Grade Social Studies classes about the Bill of Rights. Broder said of the presentation, "It was an honor to speak to Upson-Lee Elementary about the Bill of Rights. These kids are so smart! I had a blast!"
Thomas Zerbarini, a 48 year old man from Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted on Friday, December 15th, of Aggravated Child Molestation, two counts of Child Molestation, Incest, and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert “Mack” Crawford to Life in Prison with 35 years to be served consecutively to that life sentence. Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt, with the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office, was the lead attorney on the case. Deputy Chief District Attorney Warren Sellers assisted Mr. Hiatt in the presentation of evidence. Detective Andy Ward with the Peachtree City Police Department was the lead investigator on the case. Multiple victims testified at trial.
Ben Coker said of the verdict, “I could not be more pleased with my office and the teamwork that they displayed during this trial. The victims of the defendant have been waiting for years for justice, and I hope that they will have some closure due to this verdict and sentencing. It is the position of my office that Mr. Zerbarini is a predator who deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. My office worked extremely hard to make sure that he never harms another child. I am so proud of Dan, Warren, the witnesses, victims, and law enforcement officers that worked on this case. I know the tireless effort that you put into this conviction. I would also like to say thank you to the jurors. This trial lasted a full two weeks. Your service is to be commended. To the citizens of Fayette County, please know that we will continue to work extremely hard to keep you and your children safe.”
The Spalding County Grand Jury convened Tuesday at 9 a.m. The Grand Jury heard evidence in the State vs. Franklin Gebhardt and William Moore, Sr. The indictments were presented in open court, and the Grand Jury issued a True Bill on the case for Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, and Concealing the Death of Another. The case will now proceed to arraignment.
The Pike County District Attorney’s Office had a trial calendar in front of the Honorable Christopher Edwards this week. The State presented evidence in the case of the State of Georgia vs. David Lee Stewart. Natasha Horner, with the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, was the lead investigator. A Pike County jury heard evidence on the following charges: Rape, Aggravated Child Molestation, and three counts of Child Molestation. Kristen Lee. with the Southern Crescent Child AdvocacyCenter, was the forensic interviewer. The State was represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Rogers.
The defendant, a 55 year old male, was charged with performing sexual acts on a 12 year old child. After the presentation of the evidence by the State, the defendant entered a guilty plea to Aggravated Child Molestation. He was sentenced to Life with the first 25 years to be served in prison.
District Attorney Ben Coker said of the trial and resulting plea, “I am very proud of the collaborative effort of the Pike County District Attorney’s Office, the Southern Crescent Child Advocacy Center, and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office in this case. Child sexual abuse and assault cases take their toll, not only on the innocent victims, but also on law enforcement, prosecutors, and jurors. These cases are difficult, and they take hard work to bring about verdicts and pleas like this one. Let today’s result send a message to those who commit these acts. Know that we will all work together to bring justice for these victims. You are on notice that justice is coming.”
The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office tried the State of Georgia vs. Royce Robinson this week. The case was tried in front of the Honorable W. Fletcher Sams. A Spalding County jury convicted Robinson of Kidnapping with Bodily Injury, False Imprisonment, and Battery. He was acquitted of Aggravated Assault and Criminal Trespass. He was sentenced to life in prison on the Kidnapping charge. The other sentences were to run concurrently.
The defendant was convicted of kidnapping his estranged wife from a relative’s house, taking her to his house, and beating her. Members of the Griffin Police Department responded quickly to find the victim with multiple bruises and lacerations. Assistant District Attorneys Kate Lenhard and Morgan Kendrick tried the case for the State. Investigator Carrie Williams-James, with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, was the lead investigator.
“It is our position that the quick response of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and the Griffin Police Department, along with the actions of the victim’s friends and family, saved her life on January 17, 2017,” District Attorney Coker stated of the verdict. “This victim suffered so much abuse at the hands of this defendant, and now, thanks to the hard work of law enforcement and my office, she will suffer no more. I am so proud of Kate, Morgan, and those in my office that worked to bring about this conviction. To the offenders of domestic violence, know this, my offices will not tolerate these crimes. We will continue to fight for these victims every day. If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, please come forward. You could save someone’s life.”