#AceNewsReport – Jan.03: The mother of 5-year-old Kamarie Holland had allegedly sold her daughter as a sex slave before the young girl turned up dead in Alabama, newly made public court documents reveal.
The disturbing revelation comes three weeks after 35-year-old Kristy Marie Siple delivered a tearful performance to local news cameras claiming she woke up early on Dec. 13 to find the door to her Columbus, Georgia, home open and her only daughter missing.
The girl’s body was found later that same night in an abandoned home in Phenix City, Alabama and a 37-year-old suspect – Jeremy Tremain Williams – was taken into custody after authorities nabbed him at a nearby motel.
The document alleges Siple knowingly subjected another person to labor servitude or sexual servitude.
“She did agree with another person to pay her for having sexual intercourse and sodomy with her minor daughter,’’ the warrant states.
After Siple’s arrest Tuesday, Holland’s father issued a statement to WRBL.
“The amount of pain Kristy has caused by ripping Kamarie out of our lives will never cease,” Corey Holland said. “We are glad to see that she has been arrested. We are one step closer to justice for Kamarie. It’s our hope that justice is served. Kristy should receive whatever the maximum penalty she can get.”
“She’s a monster. A real mother protects and would die for her children,” he continued. “Kristy is a monster. My family and I will continue to wrestle with the loss of losing our angel Kamarie. We will ask that you continue to make your news about her and the justice she deserves.”
Williams is charged with capital murder of a child under the age of 14 over Holland’s death and could be facing additional counts, according to authorities. He has a lengthy history of alleged crimes against children, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor has previously disclosed.
Warrants against both Williams and Siple indicate Holland died by asphyxiation from a ligature.
After her daughter was found dead across state lines, Siple spoke to WTVM for a tearful interview denying she had anything to do with Holland’s disappearance. Siple said her daughter’s father, Corey Holland, had custody, but the girl was staying the weekend with her when she disappeared.
“I’m a mommy. I did not have nothing to do with this,” Siple told the news outlet, shedding tears. “She was my life. I lived for her daily. She was my only girl. I have 3 boys and her.”
Williams was charged with child abuse in 2009 in Phenix City but was acquitted by a jury in 2012. He was also charged with child abuse in Columbus – though the outcome of the case wasn’t known – and was also the suspect in the slaying of a 1-year-old boy in Alaska but was never formally charged.
Gag orders have since been issued for both Siple and Williams’ cases.
#AceNewsReport – Nov..07: The killing unfolded after the older McMichael saw Arbery sprint past his home, alerted his son and the two grabbed guns, hopped in a pickup truck and pursued him. Bryan joined the chase in his own vehicle. The three men believed that Arbery, 25, was a burglar who had just been spotted trespassing in a neighbor’s under-construction house and was fleeing.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Rebecca Rosenberg of Fox News says it was the first day of testimony in the Glynn County Superior Court trial of Travis McMichael, 35, his father Greg McMichael, 67, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, who are charged with murder and assault for the death of Arbery.
Bryan recorded cellphone footage that captured part of the deadly encounter, which sparked national outrage.
“All three of these defendants did everything they did based on assumptions — not facts, not on evidence,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski argued in her opening statement. “And they made decisions in their driveways based on those assumptions that took a young man’s life.”
The prosecutors said that Arbery was “under attack” by the defendants, who pursued him for five minutes through the neighborhood as he tried to evade them. Bryan had tried to hit him with his truck four times, she said.
Arbery, who often jogged through the neighborhood, was captured on surveillance video in the unoccupied home several times, but there is no evidence he ever took anything, she said.
Greg McMichael’s defense lawyer Franklin Hogue told jurors in his opening remarks that his client acted in self-defense.
Arbery, he said, ran toward the younger McMichael, whose car was stopped in the street, and lunged for his shotgun. The video shows the two tussling over the firearm.
“He’s in abject fear that he is about to witness his only son possibly be shot and killed in front of his very eyes,” Hogue said. “This case turns on intent, belief, knowledge, reasons for those beliefs whether they were true or not.”
Robert Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attorneys, argued that the men were trying to make a citizen’s arrest permitted under an 1863 state law, which was largely repealed with bipartisan support after Arbery’s death.
The law had allowed citizens to make an arrest if an offense was committed in their presence or within their “immediate knowledge.”
Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, declined to make an opening statement but reserved his right to do so in the future.
Arbery’s family has called his death a “modern-day lynching.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case after two other district attorneys’ offices recused themselves. The three men are also indicted on federal hate crime charges and are slated to go to trial on that case Feb. 7.
If convicted, the defendants face possible life sentences.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.07: Opening statements began Friday in the murder trial of three White men charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, with a prosecutor telling jurors that faulty assumptions led them to chase down the 25-year-old Black man. Arbery’s killing was largely ignored until a leaked cellphone video stirred outrage that deepened a national reckoning over racial injustice. ….
#AceDailyNews Court Report: According to the Associated Press leaked cellphone video of Arbery’s killing stirred outrage related to racial injustice
Greg McMichael and his adult son, Travis McMichael, armed themselves and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck as he ran through their neighborhood just outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded graphic video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery three times with a shotgun.
“All three of these defendants did everything they did based on assumptions — not on facts, not on evidence,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury as the trial began Friday morning. “And they made decisions in their driveways based on those assumptions that took a young man’s life.”
Georgia’s response to the killing has become part of a broader effort to address racial injustice in the criminal legal system after a string of fatal encounters between police and Black people such as George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley swore in the disproportionately White jury Friday before proceedings began. All three defendants are standing trial together, charged with murder and other felony counts.
Arbery had been dead for more than two months before the McMichaels and Bryan were charged and jailed last year. Greg McMichael, a retired investigator for the local district attorney, told police the men were trying to stop Arbery because they suspected he was a burglar. Security cameras had recorded him entering a nearby house under construction.
Greg McMichael said his son killed Arbery in self-defense after Arbery attacked with his fists and tried to take Travis McMichael’s gun.
Prosecutors say Arbery was merely out jogging, was unarmed and had committed no crimes in the neighborhood. When Bryan’s video of the killing leaked online in May 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. GBI agents arrested the McMichaels the next day and charged Bryan two weeks later.
The killing of Arbery has dominated news stories and social media feeds in Brunswick and surrounding Glynn County, a coastal community of about 85,000 people.
It took the judge and attorneys two and a half weeks to select a jury. Nearly 200 people summoned to jury duty were questioned extensively about what they knew about the case, how many times they had seen the video and if they had any personal connection to Arbery or the defendants.
Controversy erupted on Wednesday, the final day of jury selection, when prosecutors objected to a final jury consisting of 11 Whites and one Black juror. They argued that defense attorneys had cut eight potential jurors from the final panel because they are Black, which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.
The judge agreed there appeared to be “intentional discrimination” but said Georgia law limited his authority to intervene because defense attorneys stated nonracial reasons for excluding Black panelists from the jury.
One juror, a White woman, was dismissed Thursday for medical reasons. Fifteen total panelists will hear the trial — 12 jurors plus three alternates. The judge has not given the races of the alternate jurors, and they were not asked to state their race in open court.
Court officials have said the trial could last two weeks or more.
If the defendants are acquitted, their legal troubles won’t be over. They have also been indicted on federal hate crime charges. A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled that trial to begin Feb. 7.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.24: In the wake of the overnight shooting, Fort Valley State spokesperson Mechel McCrary said the school’s homecoming parade, scheduled for Saturday morning, has been cancelled.
#AceDailyNews says according to Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks says Tyler French, 27, died Saturday around 3 a.m., Macon television station WMAZ reported. The GBI says French was not a student at Fort Valley State.
Several other victims were taken to hospitals, Rooks told the station.
Fort Valley State University is located in central Georgia, about 85 miles south of Atlanta. The university has a full time enrollment of about 2,600 students, according to its website.
The GBI is investigating a shooting incident that happened at an off campus party in Fort Valley. A total of eight people were shot. Of the eight people, one person has died.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.15: These sentences are a major achievement in our fight against gang violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Gangster Disciples have ravaged communities across the nation, but now dozens of their leaders and enforcers are off the streets thanks to the extraordinary devotion of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
#AceDailyNews reports that Lewis Mobley, 45, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison for his role as an enforcer for the Gangster Disciples gang, including shooting a minor in the chest twice for interrupting the filming of a gang rap video….
“For decades, the Gangster Disciples have destroyed communities all across the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine for the Northern District of Georgia. “The gang’s criminal activity in Atlanta included the killing of innocent people, brazen shootings, and prolific drug-trafficking. These horrific acts and the victims lost and injured will not soon be forgotten. Our community remains united and our law enforcement partners are committed to making sure this type of crippling criminal activity is met with our best investigative and prosecutorial effort. We understand that the sentences issued in this case will not mend the hearts of those who lost loved ones to the crimes of the Gangster Disciples, but we do believe they will make our community safer.”
“The Gangster Disciples have wreaked havoc in our neighborhoods for far too long with the drug trafficking, thefts, violent assaults and murders they have committed,” said Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker of FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. “Mobley is the last of many members of the ruthless gang to be sentenced as a part of this investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and its state and local partners. We are all committed to dismantling these organized and violent criminal enterprises in order to make Atlanta and all of our communities safer for our citizens.”
“These gang members committed a number of heinous crimes including murder, and this sentence ensures the final defendant was held accountable for his actions,” said Assistant Director Calvin Shivers of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “This verdict shows the FBI is firmly committed to putting violent offenders behind bars and dismantling criminal enterprises across the country in order to make our communities safe from violent street gangs.”
In total, 38 defendants have been sentenced in the case, which a federal grand jury indicted on April 27, 2016, and then superseded to add defendants on Oct. 24, 2018. Convicted defendants include the highest ranks of Gangster Disciples leaders from Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and California.
The Gangster Disciples are a national gang with roots in Chicago, Illinois, dating back to the 1970s, and are now active in at least 25 states. The Gangster Disciples brought money into the gang through, among other things, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud. The gang protected its power and operation through threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault and obstruction of justice. It also promoted the Gangster Disciples enterprise through member-only activities, including conference calls, celebrations of the birthday of the Gangster Disciples founder, the annual Gangster Ball, award ceremonies and other events.
The gang was highly structured, with a hierarchy of leadership posts known as “Positions of Authority” or “POAs.” Members were organized into different positions, including board members and governor-of-governors who each controlled geographic regions; governors, assistant governors, chief enforcers and chief of security for each state where Gangster Disciples were active; and coordinators and leaders within each local group.
The gang strictly enforces rules for its members, the most important of which was “silence and secrecy” – a prohibition on cooperating with law enforcement. To enforce discipline among Gangster Disciples and adherence to the strict rules and structure, members and associates were routinely fined, beaten and even murdered, for failing to follow rules.
At trial, the government presented evidence that the Gangster Disciples were responsible for 25 shootings from 2011 through 2015, including eight murders, multiple robberies, the extortion of rap artists to force the artists to become affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, fraud losses of over $450,000, and the trafficking of large amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, illegal prescription drugs and marijuana. Additionally, through trial and pleas, a total of 33 different firearms were forfeited.
Those sentenced by the court include:
Donald Glass, 31, of Decatur, Georgia, the leader of HATE Committee, a Gangster Disciples “enforcement team,” was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy and using a firearm to cause death.
Lewis Mobley, 45, of Atlanta, Georgia, a Gangster Disciple enforcer, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after a trail jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and using a firearm during that attempted murder.
Shauntay Craig, 43, of Birmingham, Alabama, who held the rank of Gangster Disciples Board Member, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Kevin Clayton, 48, of Decatur, Georgia, the chief enforcer of the Gangster Disciples in Georgia, was sentenced to 33 years in prison after a trial jury convicted him of RICO conspiracy.
Alonzo Walton, 52, of Atlanta, Georgia, who held different positions including overseeing the gang in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Indiana and South Carolina, was sentenced to 32 years in prison after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy, carjacking and using a firearm in connection of that carjacking.
Vertuies Wall, 45, of Marietta, Georgia, the leader of the Macon branch of the Gangster Disciples, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy.
Antarious Caldwell, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples HATE Committee member, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy, robbery, and using a firearm in connection with that robbery.
Mario Jackson, 39, of Jacksonville, Florida, the gang “governor” of Florida, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Lawrence Grice, 32, of Bay City, Texas, the gang “overseer” for Texas, was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in custody, after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy and illegal drug distribution.
Mangwiro Sadiki-Yisrael, 48, of Marietta, Georgia, who held different positions including gang “governor” of Georgia, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $396,942.46 in restitution to victims based on his fraud conduct, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Damien Madison, 34, of Denver, Colorado, the gang “governor” of Colorado, was sentenced to 19 years and seven months, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Vancito Gumbs, 29, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, a member of the Gangster Disciples while at the same time serving as a police officer with the DeKalb County, Georgia Police Department, who provided sensitive information to the Gangster Disciples and claimed to be a hitman for them, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a trial jury found him guilty of RICO conspiracy.
Frederick Johnson, 44, of Marietta, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who sold drugs with other gang members, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Antonio Ahmad, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, the chief of security for senior gang leaders in Georgia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Roy Farrell, deceased, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a former Gangster Disciples board member, was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison after pleading guilty RICO conspiracy.
Jeremiah Covington, 38, of Valdosta, Georgia, a local leader for the Valdosta region Gangster Disciples, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Dereck Taylor, 35, who provided security to Macon, Georgia gang leadership, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
James Travis Riley, 40, of Coffeyville, Kansas, the gang “governor” of Kansas, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute illegal drugs.
Nicholas Evans, 32, of Newport Beach, California, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute illegal drugs.
Ronald McMorris, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, a local leader of the Atlanta Gangster Disciples, was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $10,345 in restitution to victims after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Markell White, 48, of Atlanta, Georgia, a regional leader in Macon, Georgia, was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Eric Manney, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples’ member who stored narcotics and multiple guns at his house, was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Terrance Summers, 48, of Birmingham, Alabama, the gang governor for Alabama, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Alvis O’Neal, 43, of Denver, Colorado, a drug trafficker for the Gangster Disciples, was sentenced to seven years and six months in custody after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Condelay Abbitt, 37, of Hoover, Alabama, a Gangster Disciples member who transported illegal drugs for the gang, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Adrian Jackson, 42, of San Jose, California, the national treasurer for the Gangster Disciples, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Charles Wingate, 31, of Conyers, Georgia, a local leader for the Gangster Disciples in Covington, Georgia who sold drugs with the gang, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Quiana Franklin, 38, of Birmingham, Alabama, a Gangster Disciples’ member who stored drugs for gang leader Shauntay Craig, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Anthony Blaine, 39, of Dallas, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to three years and five months in prison and ordered to pay $64,234.29 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Myrick Stevens, 32, of Madison, Wisconsin, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to three years and five months in prison and ordered to pay $8,700 in restitution to victims after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Thomas Pasby, 47, of Cochran, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison and ordered to pay $83,918.56 in restitution to victims after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Laderris Dickerson, 51, of Hartselle, Alabama, who orchestrated a carjacking with senior Gangster Disciples members, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to federal carjacking.
Carlton King Jr., 31, of Cochran, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $5,897.88 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Michael Drummond, 54, of Marietta, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $3,677 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Curtis Thomas, 44, of Cochran, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison and ordered to pay $59,521.90 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Kelvin Sneed, 33, of Cochran, Georgia, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison and ordered to pay $24,417.89 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Arrie Freeney, 37, of Detroit, Michigan, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to one year and a day in prison and ordered to pay $25,641.36 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Denise Carter, 47, of Detroit, Michigan, a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, was sentenced to eight months of home confinement and three years of probation and ordered to pay $7,938.45 in restitution to victims, after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Postal Inspection Services, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Clayton County Police Department, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, DeKalb Police Department, Georgia Dept. of Community Supervision, Georgia Department of Corrections, Gwinnett County Police Department, and Marietta Police Department investigated the case.
Principal Deputy Chief Kim S. Dammers and Trial Attorneys Conor Mulroe and Hans Miller of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Buchanan, Erin Spritzer, and Stephanie Gabay-Smith of the Northern District of Georgia prosecuted the case.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.04: Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, had been out for a run when a white father and son, Greg and Travis McMichael, armed themselves and pursued him in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun, killing him.
#AceDailyNews says Jackie Johnson, a former district attorney in Georgia involved in the case of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, has been indicted on charges of misconduct for allegedly using her position to shield the men who chased and shot Arbery in February 2020….
Greg McMichael worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office and retired in 2019. He had called Johnson soon after the shooting, leaving her a voicemail asking for advice. At the scene, Johnson told officers not to put Travis McMichael under arrest.
#AceNewsReport – July.11: Rhoden allegedly shot 46-year-old Gene Siller, who was director of golf at the club, in the head near the 10th hole after police said the golf pro ‘witnessed an active crime’ unfolding.
ATLANTA: Bryan Anthony Rhoden, 23, was charged late Thursday with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping following a five day manhunt over the July 3 shooting deaths at Pinetree Country Club in suburban.
Police who arrived at the scene later discovered the bodies of two men – Paul Pierson, 76, of Kansas; and Henry Valdez, 46, of California – in the back of a white Ram 3500 pickup truck that Rhoden had allegedly driven onto the course.
The gunman fled the scene of the triple homicide on foot and police refused for days to release any details of a potential suspect.
#AceNewsReport – May.01: Travis McMichael, 35; Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing—and in Travis’s case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence:
Three Georgia men were indicted today by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia and charged with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery. The indictment also charges two of the men with separate counts of using firearms during that crime of violence’
Counts One and Two of the indictment allege that the defendants used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race: Specifically, Count One of the indictment alleges that as Arbery was running on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck, and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their truck to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms. Count One also alleges that the offense resulted in Arbery’s death. Count Two alleges that William “Roddie” Bryan joined the chase and used his truck to cut off Arbery’s route:
In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape: Counts Four and Five allege that during the course of the crime of violence charged in Count One, Travis used, carried, brandished, and discharged a Remington shotgun, and Gregory used, carried, and brandished a .357 Magnum revolver:
All three defendants have also been charged in a separate state proceeding with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. No trial date has been set for the state case.
The announcement was made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes of the Southern District of Georgia, and Special Agent in Charge J.C. Hacker of the FBI.
This case was investigated by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tara Lyons of the Southern District of Georgia, and Deputy Chief Bobbi Bernstein and Special Litigation Counsel Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division.
An indictment is a formal accusation of conduct, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.14: In a newly unsealed federal indictment, Byron Booker, 28, of Ludowici, Ga., and Jordan Brown, 21, of St. Marys, Ga., are charged in the death of Specialist Austin J. Hawke, 24, at Fort Stewart Military Reservation, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia:
Two men indicted in death of Fort Stewart soldier found stabbed to death in installation housing: Eight-count federal indictment returned in murder conspiracy
Southern District of Georgia:
Booker is charged with Premeditated Murder; and Murder of a Member of the U.S. Uniformed Services. In addition, both Booker and Brown are charged with Felony Murder; Conspiracy to Commit Assault Upon a Member of the U.S. Uniformed Services and to Commit Burglary; Assault Upon a Member of the U.S. Uniformed Services; Burglary; Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Witness; and Retaliation Against a Witness. The statutory penalty for each of the murder charges upon conviction is death, or mandatory life in prison.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“It is a high priority for our office to pursue justice for members of the military who are victims of violent crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “We commend the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and other law enforcement partners for their tireless and detailed work on this case.”
The 21-page indictment alleges that Booker and Brown conspired to commit the offenses against Hawk in retaliation for Hawk reporting Booker to U.S. Army leadership for “poor leadership, poor military performance, and maltreatment of subordinates” prior to Booker’s discharge from the U.S. Army, and in retaliation for Hawk reporting Brown for drug use during his service.
The indictment further alleges that Booker and Brown discussed “silencing” Hawk, and discussed Brown providing Booker with a key to access Hawk’s room. The indictment alleges that Booker drove from his home on or about June 17, 2020, to Fort Stewart, and entered the installation on foot before walking approximately one mile to Hawk’s barracks. The indictment then alleges that Booker killed Hawk by “stabbing, cutting, and slashing” him with an edged weapon, and that afterward Booker disposed of the clothing and shoes he was wearing at the time.
Booker has been in custody since June 18, 2020; Brown was taken into custody after a U.S. District Court grand jury returned the indictment during its April 2021 term. Both defendants await further legal proceedings.
Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI are investigating the case, which is being prosecuted for the United States by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer G. Solari and Frank Pennington, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.25: We’ve been looking forward to so many ways we could return to normal, to the way things were before the pandemic,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. “Mass shootings were not what anyone had in mind.”
Politifact: Gun violence spiked during pandemic, even as the deadliest mass shootings waned: ‘After a year of social distancing and closures from the #COVID19 pandemic, the tragedy of two mass shootings, less than a week apart, has led people to worry what a return to everyday American life will really be like’
Is it true that mass shootings tapered off during the pandemic? …….Large-scale public mass shootings, like those that just occurred in Georgia and Colorado, did indeed decline throughout the pandemic. However, other forms of gun violence rose dramatically over the past year.
Competing definitions of mass shootings: One common definition of a mass shooting is based on the old FBI definition of a “mass murder” — an incident in which four victims are shot and killed. Gun violence databases that abide by this definition have reported that the number of large-scale public mass shootings declined sharply during the pandemic.
One such database, compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, found that two mass shootings occurred in 2020, down from eight or nine per year during the previous three years. And both of the 2020 shootings took place before pandemic lockdowns were instituted in the U.S.
However, some researchers prefer a more expansive definition, defining a mass shooting as a firearm-related incident that results in four or more individuals shot, rather than killed.
The Gun Violence Archive, a research group that monitors gun violence, uses the broader definition. This allows the organization to track shootings typically excluded from other mass shooting statistics, such as domestic shootings, as well as forms of gun violence that occur disproportionately in predominantly Black neighborhoods.
By this definition, 2020 was the most violent year since the Gun Violence Archive first started tracking gun deaths in 2013. According to the organization, 611 mass shootings took place in 2020, exceeding any other recent year by more than 50%.
In fact, many forms of gun violence spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of overall gun homicides at its highest rate in over 20 years. Much of the violence was centered in major cities such as New York, Houston and Philadelphia.
However, many of these shootings, which disproportionately featured Black victims, tend to receive less coverage in the media.
The reasons for this are varied and complex. University of Texas-Austin professor Michael Sierra-Arévalo said that the phenomenon is rooted in the way that the media often devalues the lives of Black and brown people. As evidence, he pointed to a study that analyzed homicides in Chicago and matched them to media stories to analyze which got the most coverage. The study found that Black victims were less likely to receive media coverage than white victims. It also found that the Black victims who were covered were far less likely to be discussed as complex and sympathetic people than white victims.
Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, an assistant professor who researches violence prevention at the University of California, Davis said that the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a major role in contributing to rising violence.
“The COVID-19 pandemic worsened many of the underlying conditions that contribute to community gun violence risk — poverty, unemployment, food and housing insecurity — while also taxing many of the systems and interpersonal networks of support in communities that foster safety, health and wellbeing,” she said. “These, in combination with the pandemic’s unique effects on feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness, likely had an impact on the increase in interpersonal community gun violence over the past year.”
#AceNewsServices – GEORGIA (Tbilisi) – October 21 – The Tbilisi City Court has sentenced former Georgian prime minister and minister of the interior, Vano Merabishvili, to three years in prison for abuse of power in a murder case, RIA Novosti reported.
Georgian prime minister and minister of the interior, Vano Merabishvili, to three years in prison for abuse of power in a murder case,
Three other defendants in the case of the murder of United Georgian Bank employee, Sandro Girgvliani, were former interior ministry officials, who were sentenced to four years and six months in prison each, RAPSI said.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES(Albany) – September 20 – Food safety advocates say a guilty verdict in a rare federal food-poisoning trial should send a stern warning to anyone who may be tempted to place profits over people’s welfare AP reported.
‘ Peanut Corporation of America’
More than five years after hundreds of Americans got sick from eating salmonella-tainted peanut butter, the top executive in the company that owned the Georgia plant where it was made was convicted Friday of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and other crimes related the nationwide outbreak in 2008 and 2009.
U.S. prosecutors take aim against Peanut Corp. of America officials accused in conspiracy to sell tainted products.
Jury selection begins today in Albany, Ga., in the case against three former company officials accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls ever.
The defendants are Stewart Parnell, PCA’s former chief executive; along with his brother,
Michael Parnell, a former company vice president; and Mary Wilkerson, the ex-manager of quality control.
Federal investigators found filthy conditions at the company’s Georgia plant and said the defendants fabricated certificates that claimed peanut product shipments were safe when tests showed otherwise.
#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15 Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.
‘ Troops Depart for Rapid Trident 2014 ‘
The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.
It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.
It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.
‘ Operation Maple Arch ‘
Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.
‘ Partnership for Peace Programme ‘
Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.
#AceWorldNews – GEORGIA – July 12 – The father of ISIS commander Omar al Shishani has told Sky News his son felt rejected by his country when he left to fight jihad.
With his distinctive red beard, al Shishani has become one of the most recognisable faces of a group now notorious for extreme brutality in its pursuit of an Islamic state across large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
But his father remembers a young man who was never particularly religious, but who always wanted to be a soldier.
Born in the remote Pankisi Gorge in Northern Georgia, an area once seen as a stronghold for Chechen militants, his real name is Tarkhan Batirashvili.
When he was younger, he worked as a shepherd boy in the hills above the gorge, where he reportedly first met Chechen fighters, crossing the Caucasus mountains to fight Russian forces across the border.
"He was a very good boy, very well behaved," Timur Batirashvili remembers.
"Always very intelligent, very nice, he hated when people lied.
"Do you know what I think now? I didn’t know my son. I didn’t know him at all."
Tarkhan joined the Georgian army and served in the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
His father said he seemed happy, that he had found his place in the world.
By Katie Stallard, Moscow Correspondent, in Pankisi, Georgia @ Sky News
#AceWroldNews – GEORGIA – April 29 – Authorities in Georgia are searching for the gunman who opened fire inside a Georgia FedEx building Tuesday, injuring six, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported.
According to crews on the scene, authorities have secured the entire area to safely search and apprehend the suspect. The injuries were considered minor to serious, the station reported. Hundreds of law enforcement officers are at the facility, which is in the town of Kennesaw, located in Cobb County, north-west of Atlanta.
A bomb team from the FBI is on the scene and assisting in the investigation.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that six people were taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital and more are expected.
Ace Related News:
1. Fox Atlantic – April 29 – http://tinyurl.com/mtrfhtn
2. Well Star – April 29 – http://tinyurl.com/n4r8myd
#AceWorldNews – MOLDOVA – April 27 – All citizens of Moldova with biometric passports will no longer need to be in possession of visas to enter and travel around the European Union from Monday, according to a European Commission statement.
The EU is making steps towards forging stronger ties with eastern European states in response to the Ukraine crisis, with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine all seeking stronger Eastern Partnership links with the bloc, which would facilitate stronger trade and business ties without full EU membership being granted.
#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – March 26 – The 27th round of Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia have started in Geneva.
The consultations are held under the auspices of the UN, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and involve delegations of Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia and the United States.
The delegations have met within two working groups – for security and humanitarian issues.
The priority task is to work out guarantees of Georgia’s non-use of force against neighbouring states. Russia’s initiative on making a statement by all participants is on the agenda.
The parties fail to make the statement because Georgia gives it up. Georgia demands Russia make a unilateral statement on the non-use of force against Georgia. Moscow declines and calls on its partners not to regard it as a party to the Georgian conflict.
The latest Geneva discussions were held in December 2013.
Head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Itar-Tass that Georgia had not changed its position.
The lack of progress has been conditioned by the fact that “it is rather difficult to get rid of old inertia when Mikhail Saakashvili was Georgia’s president”, the Russian top diplomat said.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – 24 March – Latest – The US State Department concerns over the Georgian prosecutors’ decision to interrogate former President Mikhail Saakashvili is considered by Tbilisi merely as a partner’s advice, RIA Novosti quoted Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister David Dzhalagania as saying on Monday.
This would not affect the determination of Georgian authorities to complete investigations, the official said.
The former president, who is in the Netherlands, his wife’s native country, told Georgian Rustavi 2 television on Sunday that he would not obey the summons to appear on Thursday for questioning in the 2005 death of his prime minister and other cases, AP reported. Saakashvili left Georgia shortly after his second term ended in November.
Ace Related News
1. March 24 – 11.35 GMT – Extract – #AceWorldNews – TBILISI – March 24 – If former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili fails to turn up for questioning in the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in several criminal cases, he will be put on wanted list, Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said on Monday.http://wp.me/p165ui-4vk
#AceWorldNews – TBILISI – March 24 – If former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili fails to turn up for questioning in the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in several criminal cases, he will be put on wanted list, Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said on Monday.
Saakashvili “should turn up for questioning, because he had served as the Georgian president for 9 years, and the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office has many questions for him in several important cases,” the prime minister said in an interview with newspaper Kviris Palitra.
“If Saakashvili does not arrive in Georgia and does not show up for questioning, the prosecutor’s office will act according to the law, and Saakashvili will be put on wanted list,” Garibashvili stated.
#AceWorldNews – British troops would participate in military drills in Ukraine in July, the British newspaper Guardian said on Thursday.
The personnel would be part of a group of about 1,300 troops, mostly American, to participate in the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise, the newspaper said.
Rapid Trident 2014 is to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US forces in Europe website.
In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.