Morning News Briefs for 3-15-17

| March 14, 2017

The man responsible for the robbery of the Southwest Georgia Bank branch in Valdosta has been identified. Valdosta Police report that Charlie Smith was captured just minutes after the Friday afternoon holdup. Agents with the FBI also responded to the scene of the robbery and federal charges could be filed.

67 year old Francis Clay of Albany was struck by a stray bullet in February of 2015 and was found dead in her residence almost a week later. Quantavious Thomas was scheduled to appear in court today for the start of his murder trial. He reportedly was firing at a group of men when Ms. Clay was struck. Also indicted in connection with the case were Syndra Jackson and Shannon Jordan. Quantavious Thomas could face life in prison without parole if convicted.

A 35 year old Pavo man was wanted in Chatham County and was deemed by law enforcement officials to be a violent sexual predator. Thomas County investigators, U. S. Marshals from Savannah and Tallahassee, and a sheriff’s deputy from Chatham County have arrested Shadrick Hayes who was discovered to have been in Pavo since December.

Paul Dawson Jr. told investigators probing the robbery of a convenience store owner, that he and his three co-defendants were asleep at the time of the robbery a week ago. Dawson was reportedly the driver of the get-a-way vehicle. The owner of the business and one of the clerks were followed after closing, forced off the roadway and robbed. Three of the suspects who also claimed to have been asleep at the time of the robbery were captured when their vehicle was forced off the road by a sheriff’s deputy and then crashed. Dawson had abandoned the vehicle earlier and fled into a wooded area. Bond for all four suspects has been denied.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations had been looking into the criminal activity of Rome, Georgia police officer Earnest Cox for six months prior to his arrest. He is charged with trafficking marijuana, bribery and oath violation.

Educators and state employees are hopeful that members of the Georgia Senate will vote to approve Governor Nathan Deal’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It includes pay raises for 200,000 teachers and state employees and more than $1 billion worth of new construction projects. If the measure passes in the Senate it will then be negotiated in the House.

Ambushed Valdosta officer happy to be back on full duty
Valdosta bank robbery suspect in custody
Filed in: News, Regional News

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