General news and features
SUMMARIES OF RECENT OPINIONS
FROM GA. SUPREME COURT
Published Monday, November 7, 2016
Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .
SHEARD V. THE STATE (S16A1291)
A man who has already served nearly 20 years of a life prison sentence has had his murder conviction reversed under a decision today by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Elliot Sheard, who was found guilty in 1998 by a Fulton County jury for his role in the stabbing death of Charles Elder, is entitled to a new trial, Justice Carol Hunstein writes for a unanimous court. Because critical parts of the transcript from his trial have never been found, Sheard was effectively denied his right to appeal, and “where the missing transcript prevents adequate review of the trial below, a new trial is warranted,” the opinion says.
Indictment also challenged as being too vague
Attorneys representing Mark Miller, the jailed Jasper lawyer charged with dozens of counts of financial fraud and theft, filed motions in Pickens superior court last week asking to move this case along and for another shot at bail for their client.
Attorneys Scott Poole and Ross Grisham also filed a motion challenging the indictment accusing Miller of more than a $1 million in fraud/theft as being too vague.
Operation coordinated across Georgia
GBI Press Release
Decatur, GA – A total of 30 people were arrested during a mutually coordinated operation between Georgia and Alabama law enforcement agencies. Operation Southern Impact targeted persons who sexually exploit children by using the Internet. In Georgia, 17 people have been arrested during Operation Southern Impact. Those arrested in Georgia were charged with crimes pursuant to O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. Additional charges may be forthcoming and other arrests may occur after analysis of seized digital devices.
All clear locally, but remain vigilant, says fire marshal
If you are smelling smoke today, it is probably drifting into Pickens County from surrounding areas.
Fire Marshal Curtis Clark said Monday morning there is nothing burning here at this time, but “we’ve got fires all around - in Gilmer, Cherokee and a large woodland fire in the Cohutta wilderness area.”
He said even in the areas where they have the fire contained, it is so dry the decayed matter in the ground and roots are still smoldering and it’s impossible to put them out completely. He said they could spring back to life two days later as the ground is so dry.
While you may have a faint smell of smoke all day, Clark urges anyone who believes they see or smell heavier smoke to call 911 immediately to give crews the chance to get a jump on anything before it can ignite.
The fire marshal reminded the public there is a burning ban in place across north Georgia due to the drought.
There have only been a few incidents where Clark has responded to outdoor burning.
“Fortunately people here are heeding all the warnings,” he said. He said residents in Pickens have also been very good about calling in the little things so they can be contained quickly as the drought has all the woodlands at risk.
Clark said in his career as a fire fighter and fire marshal he has never seen conditions this prime for fires in the woods.
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Also, Jasper DDA hears updates on Port Royal, bathroom building for downtown, water fears from mayor
Members of the Jasper Downtown Development Authority appeared to drive the final stake into years of speculation that a large water park resort was eyeing a spot along Highway 515.
During their meeting Thursday, authority member Chuck Payne said he wanted to hear an update on the Port Royal project, which began in the spring of 2013 with a proposal for a $130 million project that would include a 400-room hotel and a waterslide park located on the fourlane.
See full story in this week's print or online editions.