DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Governor Nathan Deal and former Attorney General Sam Olens, two of Georgia’s most prominent political figures, are expected to testify at Nydia Tisdale’s trial in Dawson County Superior Court this week.
Tisdale is charged with felony obstruction of an officer, misdemeanor obstruction and criminal trespass stemming from her conduct at a Republican political rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in August 2014. Deal, Olens, Senator David Perdue, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler and School Superintendent Richard Woods were featured speakers. All have been subpoenaed.
While the event was advertised as “open to the public,” it took place on private property owned by Johnny and Kathy Burt. Johnny Burt testified Wednesday that he did not authorize the ads, and he wanted Tisdale to stop filming or leave. When she refused, he told then Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten to “get her out of here.”
Witnesses said when Wooten attempted to lead Tisdale away from the crowd, she began screaming and flailing her arms and hit Wooten in the face and was subsequently placed under arrest.
The audio and pictures of the struggle were captured by Brian K. Pritchard of Fetch Your News, who was seated directly behind Tisdale. Pritchard is also expected to testify, possibly as early as today (Nov. 30).
At the time of the arrest, Olens was the top law enforcement official in Georgia. Public comments he made after Tisdale’s arrest could be pivotal in the case. Olens questioned the political wisdom of having her removed, saying: “What are we saying here that shouldn’t be on film? What message are we sending?”
But he added, “It is private property. The property owner has the right to not have the person there.”
The state could wrap up its case today. The defense will then begin calling its witnesses.
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Prosecutors presented a string of witnesses who testified Tuesday that self-proclaimed citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale refused repeated requests by Burt’s Pumpkin Farm owners to stop filming a political rally on their property in August 2014.
Event coordinator Clint Bearden testified that Tisdale ignored at least five requests to stop filming before she was physically removed by Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten. Tisdale has been charged with one felony and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of an officer and criminal trespassing after the officer said she elbowed him in the face and kicked him in the shin.
Clint Bearden, an attorney and magistrate judge who is on a short list to become a state superior court judge, testified that he organized the event that included some of Georgia’s top politicians, including Gov. Nathan Deal and then U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue.
Bearden said he and Wooten talked to property owner Johnny Burt who wanted Tisdale to stop filming or leave. He said he asked her 3-4 times to stop and she ignored him. “I thought she was a little rude,” he said. “She said she had permission from the owners, but I told her I had just talked to Johnny Burt and she did not have permission.”
Johnny Burt testified that when Wooten told her to stop filming or leave “she just blurted out ‘No’. So I told him to get her out of here. She was screaming out that my wife told her she could film, and I told her that wasn’t true.”
Kasey Sanders, the Burts’ daughter testified that she was at the entrance when Tisdale arrived and that she never asked for permission. “She just said she was there to film for the governor,” Sanders said.
In an audio recording produced by Brian K. Pritchard of Fetch Your News, Tisdale can be heard screaming for Wooten to identify himself.
Wooten, who was dressed in a black polo shirt with a silver embroidered sheriff’s badge and khakis also had a badge on his belt, his service revolver and a police-issued radio.
Defense attorney Bruce Harvey asked Wooten why he didn’t immediately identify himself. Wooten responded that his first responsibility was the safety of the crowd. “I didn’t know her or what her intentions were,” he said. He said once he got her away from the crowd and she calmed down, he did identify himself.
The trial continues Wednesday in Dawson County Superior Court.
After the jury was dismissed for the day, Judge Martha Christian denied a motion to quash a subpoena for Gov. Nathan Deal who is expected to testify before the end of the week.
The state is expected up wrap up its case Wednesday before the defense begins calling its witnesses.
ELLIJAY, Ga. — In a fiery hour-long debate broadcast live on FYN TV and moderated by Fetch Your News owner Brian K. Pritchard Friday, four challengers — Paul Broun, Mike Scupin, Roger Fitzpatrick and Bernie Fontaine — took turns attacking Georgia’s 9th District Congressman Doug Collins on issues ranging from his support of President Obama’s Omnibus bill to what they see as his less than conservative voting record.
Fitzpatrick, a long time educator from White County, said Collins’ voting record is not representative of the 9th District, which he called, “the third most conservative district in the entire United States. If you look at the Conservative Review website, which grades everybody according to the original intent of the Constitution, Mr. Collins has a 59 percent voting record,” Fitzpatrick said.
By far the number one issue his opponents used to batter Collins was the Omnibus bill which most conservatives view with contempt because it provides funding for the Dreamer’s Act for children in the U.S. illegally, sanctuary cities, refugee programs, Middle East immigration programs that have been exploited by terrorists and Planned Parenthood.
Former 10th District U.S. Congressman Paul Broun said “The greatest moral issue we face as a nation is the killing of over one million babies every year and it must stop. The Omnibus bill funds Planned Parenthood while they go on butchering babies and selling baby parts.”
Broun added, “I have never voted for an omnibus bill and I never will.”
That gave Collins an opportunity to launch a conter attack. Collins claimed Broun voted for an omnibus bill in December 2007. “Either that’s an incompetence issue or you’re just lying,” Collins shot back.
Broun said his vote was not for the bill at all, but an amendment to the bill and that every Republican but one voted for the same amendment. “This is just more of the lies and distortion we get out of the Congressman,” Broun countered.
Lanier Tea Party Patriot Founder Mike Scupin said he would never have voted for the Omnibus bill and questioned how Collins could “swear an oath to the Constitution of the United States then vote for it when it had so many unconstitutional things in it.”
Fontaine, a retired Army and National Guard Brigadier General who ran against Collins four years ago, said, “Congress was dysfunctional then and its dysfunctional now. What we have is a systemic problem with two career politicians against three citizen candidates.”