Bodies identified in suspected murder-suicide

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating what appears to have been a murder-suicide at 111 Crane Road in Dawson County Wednesday.

The deceased were identified today as Stacy and Ralph Mathews.

The Dawson County 911 center received a call about a shooting at that location at approximately 5:45 a.m. Wednesday

No other details are available at this time. Fetch Your News will post additional information as it becomes available.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, GBI investigate possible murder-suicide

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to assist with crime scene processing at what is believed to be a murder-suicide on Crane Road in Dawson County today.
At approximately 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Dawson County 911 center received a call about a shooting at that location. When Dawson County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they discovered two deceased persons.

The investigation is ongoing. No other details are available at this time.
Fetch Your News will post additional information as it becomes available.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Correction: One officer demoted, four reprimanded

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On Dec. 18, I posted an article entitled: One officer demoted four others reprimanded in which I incorrectly identified Deputy Jacob Champion as one of the deputies reprimanded. Deputy Champion was not given a reprimand. I apologize to Deputy Champion for the error. It is my policy and that of Fetch Your News to immediately correct factual errors in any article we publish.

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One officer demoted four others reprimanded following pre-dawn badminton game

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Night Patrol Shift Supervisor Donna Bennett has been demoted from sergeant to corporal after she and the entire night patrol shift left the county with no officers on the road last Wednesday to play badminton in a local middle school gym.

Corporal Casey Honea, and Deputies Jacob Champion, Richard Martin and Corey Gearin all received a verbal reprimand for their participation in the pre-dawn departure from duty. The officers reportedly met at the school to conduct a building-clearing exercise.

Johnson said the game lasted only 35 minutes, but a video surveillance camera shows the officers were in the gym from 1:45 a.m. until 3:46 a.m.

The incident is just the latest in a series of incidents that has created negative publicity for the sheriff’s office and caused some elected officials to questioning Johnson’s leadership. Some have quietly discussed finding someone to run against him in the next election.

The negative publicity started during Johnson’s first year in office when he angered county commissioners by filing a $700,000 lawsuit against them seeking additional funding in his budget. Johnson claimed the Board abused its discretion by setting the sheriff’s office budget at $8.4 million.

Senior Superior Court Judge Fred A. Bishop ruled against the sheriff and taxpayers were left to pick up the cost of the lawsuit. At the end of the year Johnson was surprised to learn that he had $400,000 remaining in the budget that he failed spend.

In the last three months, three Dawson County detention officers have been arrested.

In September, Luciano Pablo Betancourt was forced to resign and charged with violation of oath of office after a female inmate alleged she and Betancourt had carried on a sexual relationship.

One week later, detention officer Michael Kormos was arrested in Lumpkin County and charged with simple battery family violence following a weekend domestic dispute with his estranged wife.

On December 2, Richard Anthony was arrested in Cherokee County and charged with battery against his wife.

Fetch Your News attempted to contact Johnson for comment, but he declined to return our call.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Dawson Co. sergeant charged with assaulting his wife

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Richard Anthony

WOODSTOCK, Ga. – A Dawson County Sheriff’s Office sergeant was arrested in Cherokee County Sunday and charged with assaulting his wife over the weekend.

Richard Anthony, 45, of Woodstock works at the Dawson County Detention Center. According to the incident report, a family member contacted the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office to report Anthony had physically attacked his wife Saturday, leaving visible injuries.

The report alleged the wife got into a verbal confrontation with her husband which escalated and turned physical when he proceeded to grab her by her right arm and place her into an arm bar, forcing her to the ground and causing pain, bruising and swelling in her forearm.

The wife further alleged that the marriage has been up and down over the past several months and that they argue at least once a week and it normally turns physical/ violent.

During the investigation it was determined that the female was a victim of Family Violence Battery and there was probable cause for the arrest. CID was contacted and the investigation was turned over to them.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Dawson County jailer arrested in Dahlonega

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John Michael Kormos

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – For the second time in eight days, a Dawson County Sheriff’s Office jailer is in trouble with the law.

John Michael Kormos, 30, a detention officer at the Dawson County Detention Center, was arrested in Dahlonega Tuesday and charged with simple battery and reckless conduct following a weekend argument with his estranged wife during which a firearm was discharged.

Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office deputies Jacob Smith, Damon Nix and Jameson Grulla responded to a frantic 9-1-1 call at 218 John Dowdy Road in Dahlonega Saturday during which Erica Christine Vibert, 24, was crying hysterically and claiming that Kormos was attempting to commit suicide.

According to the incident report, as the deputies reached the front door, they could see a man (later identified as Kormos) standing over a woman (identified as Vibert) who was kneeling. Both were ordered to lay face down on the floor.

Once the scene was secure, Kormos told deputies he and Vibert had been separated for a short and they were arguing about her seeing someone else.

Vibert said when she attempted to leave, he went to a room, took out a gun, pointed it at his head and threatened to kill himself. She then attempted to wrestle the firearm away from him and it discharged into the bed. Vibert said Kormos had been taking medication for depression and that he never meant to hurt her.

Deputy Smith said he could smell alcohol on Kormos’ breath and ordered him taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for a mental evaluation while a warrant was taken for his arrest.

Kormos turned himself in at the Lumpkin County Detention Center Tuesday.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Drug task force deputy commander is arrested; Some criminal cases may have to be dropped

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The arrest last week of Charles Daniel Hamrick, a Pickens County deputy and deputy commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force, could lead Dawson Count District Attorney Lee Darragh to drop the charges against some criminal defendants where Hamrick’s testimony is critical.

Hamrick was arrested on July 24 on a warrant that charges he used his position as a peace officer to convince a female to send him nude or semi-nude photos of herself.

The warrant alleges Hamrick convinced the woman, whose name has been redacted, that she was a confidential informant and that she could have potential criminal charges brought against her. He then allegedly told her he had destroyed her confidential informant file in return for the photos.

Hamrick turned himself in to Pickens County authorities but was released in less than one hour after he paid a $1,000 bond.

The two felony charges against Hamrick are violation of oath of office by a deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and violation of oath of office as deputy commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force.

In an email to Fetch Your News, Darragh said, “Our office did not learn of any pending charges against Hamrick until after his arrest. We will evaluate all cases in which he had any involvement to determine on an individual basis as to which can be proven without any further involvement from him and would go forward without him. In those cases where his continued involvement would be necessary, we will determine which may be so significant that we must proceed to ensure justice for victims. In other such cases (in which his involvement as a witness would be necessary) we may decide not to go forward at all, again, depending on their significance.”

Fetch Your News will continue to follow this story in an effort to see how many cases may be negatively impacted by Hamrick’s arrest and how many cases may lead the charges being dismissed.

Prior to moving to Pickens County, Hamrick worked in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Jeff Johnson.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Secrecy surrounds “mishandled funds” complaint

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City Manager Bob Bolz

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – One month after the City of Dawsonville filed a complaint with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office regarding “mishandled funds” during former Mayor James Grogan’s administration, city officials have kept the details of that complaint a closely guarded secret.

Taxpayers have been kept in the dark regarding how their money was mishandled and how much money is involved.

City Manager Bob Bolz responded to Fetch Your News open records request (ORR) last week in an email that stated: “Because of certain information pertinent to the investigation revealed in the (complaint), that information was deemed confidential by our attorneys.”

The City’s failure to disclose details of the complaint has raised serious questions about the validity of the complaint and especially its timing, coming just weeks before the special election that will decide if Grogan is to regain his seat or be replaced for the next four years by interim Mayor Mike Eason. Advanced voting has begun and Election Day is March 20.

Former Mayor James Grogan

City Council members Angie Smith, Caleb Phillips and Jason Power voted last May to remove Grogan as mayor for alleged violations of the city code and policies. The decision was not popular with voters and may have cost Smith her seat on the Council. She was voted out of office in November.

Grogan has maintained from the beginning that he has done nothing wrong and the complaint of “mishandled funds” is politically motivated.

“It is a politically-motivated witch hunt,” Grogan said. “But I believe the voters will see it for what it is.”

In fact, Grogan doubts there is any investigation. “I believe they filed the complaint just to hurt me. It’s been almost a month since the complaint was filed and nobody from the sheriff’s office has questioned me.”

In making the motion to refer the issue to law enforcement, new City Councilman Stephen Tolson said, “I think in the interest of full transparency it would be a good idea to go ahead and hand over all those documents and any related documents of the prior investigations conducted.”

Yet one month later, the documents have not been turned over to the media or made available to the public. Election Day is Tuesday, March 20 and the voters will finally have a chance to decide who will lead the city forward.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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