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UPDATED: Charges made in Tate incident where bean bag shots fired by suspect, officer

 Lock box that stored weapon found to be unlocked, improperly stored under rear passenger seat Eric Wade Potts

                                                       photo/Pickens Sheriff Book-In Photo

                                                                        Eric Wade Potts


 Eric Wade Potts, a 37-year-old male from Jasper Georgia has been charged for involvment in a incident in Tate where the suspect retreived a non-lethal weapon from a police vehicle while handcuffed, which resulted in bean bag rounds being shot by both the suspect and arresting officer. (See original July 18 press release below).

Pickens Sheriff's Office Press Release - Potts has been charged with: 

• Aggravated Assault against a Peace Officer

• Escape

• Possession of Methamphetamine

• Possession of Marijuana (less than an ounce)

It has been determined that the secure lock box located under the rear passenger seat of the patrol unit was found to be unlocked. The box is designed to be secured storage for supplies needed during patrol time. It is not the policy of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office to allow storage of weapons in the prisoner transport compartment of the patrol car. There were no live rounds of ammunition located in the container, but the deputy had stored his less lethal weapon in this compartment.

The storage of the weapon and the lack of locking the container are both under review by Internal Investigations.

During the struggle to regain the Less Lethal Shotgun, Mr. Potts fired one round of less lethal (bean bag round). Once the deputy regained control of the weapon, he fired additional bean bag rounds at the suspect. The suspect was struck once.

Following the incident, EMS responded and evaluated Mr. Potts and he was cleared to be released to the jail.

In addition to Mr. Potts, Keri Lee Lawrence, Age 42 from Canton Georgia, was also arrested during the investigation. She has been charged with Possession of Methamphetamine.

We are very grateful that this incident did not escalate to a potential deadly force encounter.

The case is still active at this time, and additional details are not currently available.

Pickens Sheriff’s Office


Pickens Sheriff’s Press Release


Earlier this morning, deputies responded to a report of a suspicious person at a business in Tate Georgia. Upon arrival, deputies encountered a male in the parking lot of the business. As they approached him, he immediately attempted to walk away. During a pat down, deputies discovered a quantity of suspected methamphetamine and needles.

  After the suspect was placed in the patrol vehicle, deputies went back to gathering information related to the initial call. Deputies went back to the vehicle to check on the individual and he had maneuvered his handcuffs from behind his back to his front and had been able to get into a secure box and retrieve a less lethal shotgun loaded with bean bag rounds. The suspect aimed the weapon at the deputy and started to confront him. The deputy was able to wrestle the weapon away and the suspect began to run again. During the attempt to detain the individual, multiple bean bag rounds were fired by both the suspect and the deputy.

  Following a brief foot pursuit, deputies were able to take him back into custody. A second individual that was with the suspect has also been detained to determine her involvement into the issue. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Scene Unit has also responded to gather evidence and process the seen.

  Additional details are not available at this time due to the active nature of the crime scene but will be released once they are available.

Military Writing Contest Winners


This year the Sassafras Literary Writing Exchange hosted a Military Writing Contest with winners in three categories. Click on each category to 1st place winners' work. Winners were announced at the Fourth of July celebration at Lee Newton Park in Jasper. 




1st Place Combat - John Martin


1st Place Non-Combat- Jack Fay


1st Place Family - Vivian Sherperis

Woodstock Church Jasper breaks ground on new building


Members of Woodstock Church Jasper gathered Sunday to officially break ground on an 8,200 square-foot building adjacent to their current location.

Members of Woodstock Church Jasper gathered Sunday evening to hold a worship service/ ground breaking for an 8,200 square-foot, modern church.

The new site will be adjacent to the current church on Highway 53 in Hill City where they were asked to take over the operation of a small Baptist church there in 2013.

Executive Pastor Jim Law thanked members who had been there with Mt. Hope Community at the time they asked Woodstock Baptist to take over their church. A number of the large crowd at the Sunday service raised their hand indicating they had been members of the former church and continue to be involved.

Read more: Woodstock Church Jasper breaks ground on new building

Pilot whales beach themselves on St. Simons


People try to assist pilot whales that have beached themselves by trying to push them out to sea. 

      SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 17, 2019) – Multiple Pilot whales (Globicephala melas) repeatedly beached themselves on Georgia’s St. Simons Island today, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  

      “While stranding is a known natural occurrence, the only thing we can do is to continue pushing them out to sea,” says Wildlife Biologist Clay George. 

      Personnel from the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, DNR Coastal Resources Division, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, NOAA, Glynn County Emergency Management and others participated in efforts to push several beached whales back

Read more: Pilot whales beach themselves on St. Simons

Piggin in the Park BBQ this week at Lee Newton

Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned event with 35 professional teams

and Kids Q Cook-Off Friday, Saturday



Have fun, great barbeque, and brew at the 1st annual Piggin in the Park barbeque competition in Jasper scheduled for July 19th and 20th.  The Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned barbeque will be hosted by Prevent Child Abuse Pickens (PCAP), and the proceeds will go to the organizations ongoing efforts to prevent the abuse and neglect of our community’s children.

Are you aware that Pickens County has one of the highest rates of DFACS interventions per capita in Georgia? When DFACS has to remove a child from a home, even in the most extreme situations, it feels like a death to the child.

Read more: Piggin in the Park BBQ this week at Lee Newton