Griffin Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office 2017 Year in Review
Note from Ben Coker,
This time of year is always a time to reflect on our accomplishments,
learn from our mistakes, and plan for the future. 2017 was certainly
an eventful year for me and my staff. As your newly elected District
Attorney, I set many goals for myself and my offices. Some of those
goals were to eliminate a backlog that existed, fully staff each of my
offices, and resolve some of the older cases that needed trials. I am
happy to report to you that we have met those goals. We drastically
reduced the backlog, each office is fully staffed, and we tried multiple
older cases that needed resolution.
This review is simply a snapshot
of our year. If you want more information about any of the cases or
events in this newsletter, please visit my website at
www.dagriffincircuit.org or my Facebook page, @gjcdistrictattorney.
This year has not been easy. These tasks, along with my other goals,
have tested the resolve of my staff; however, they never wavered. I
am eternally grateful to them. These monumental undertakings
required us, as a circuit, to become a team. We are not just an Upson
Office, a Pike Office, a Spalding Office, and a Fayette Office. We
are the Griffin Judicial Circuit.
2018 will bring about new challenges, and we will continue to work
on the backlog. We will try the hard cases, tackle the difficult problems,
stare down evil, and we will do it all with integrity.
for your trust in me. I never take it for granted. Your safety is always
in my mind. Thank you for the wonderful first year. To the year of
2018, we say, bring it on!
Michael Bowman Convicted of Malice Murder and Sentenced to Life
Michael Bowman was convicted after a two week trial of Malice Murder and sentenced to life without
the possibility of parole. Bowman was convicted of shooting Griffin Police
Department Officer Kevin Jordan multiple times in the back in Spalding County. District Attorney
Coker tried the case along with Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder, and Assistant District
Attorney Dan Hiatt.
Bill Moore, Jr. and Todd Jones Retried
and Convicted of Malice Murder and
Sentenced to Life without Parole
Moore and Jones were convicted after a
week long trial for the brutal murder of
Kevin Harmon in Spalding County. The
defendants took the victim to an
abandoned lot in the early morning hours
of February 14, 2011, stabbed Harmon
multiple times and beat him with a baseball
bat after robbing him. District Attorney
Coker and Chief Assistant District
Attorney Marie Broder tried the case. The
case was a retrial after a new trial was
granted. A co-defendant, Cody Tuggle,
was not granted a new trial. His
Kashif Mohammed Convicted of Home Invasion
and Robbery and Sentenced to Life in
Mohammed was convicted after a week long
trial in Upson County for entering the home of
two victims, holding them at gunpoint, tying
them up, and stealing guns and money from
the home. District Attorney Coker and Assistant
District Attorney Mark Irvin tried the case.
Thomas Zerbarini Sentenced to Life for
Aggravated Child Molestation
Thomas Zerbarini was convicted on Friday,
December 15th, of Aggravated Child Molestation,
two counts of Child Molestation, Incest,
and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes.
Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt and Deputy
Chief District Attorney Warren Sellers with
the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office
tried the case.
David Lee Stewart Guilty of Aggravated
Stewart entered a guilty plea in Pike
County after evidence was presented
at a trial. He was sentenced to Life
with 25 years to serve. Assistant District
Attorney Michael Rogers handled
Kristopher Cawthon Convicted of
Exploitation and Intimidation of
A Fayette County Jury found Cawthon
guilty of Exploitation and he was
sentenced to 20 years with the first 7
to serve in prison. Deputy Chief
Assistant District Attorney Warren
Sellers tried the case.
Royce Robinson to Serve Life in
Prison after Kidnapping Conviction
Assistant District Attorneys Kate Lenhard
and Morgan Kendrick tried Robinson
for kidnapping his estranged
wife, beating her, and strangling her. A
Spalding County jury convicted him of
Kidnapping with Bodily Injury, False
Imprisonment, and Battery.
Quasha Nicole Harris Convicted of
Multiple Counts and Sentenced to
30 Years with 15 to Serve in Prison
Harris was convicted of Felony Obstruction
of a Police Officer, Felony
Theft by Shoplifting, Identity Fraud,
Forgery in the 2nd Degree, Possession
of a Controlled Substance, Fleeing
and Attempting to Elude, and Driving
while License Suspended. Assistant
District Attorney Michele McCutcheon
tried the case for the State.
Timothy Allen Convicted of Kidnapping
and Aggravated Assault
Assistant District Attorneys Donna GoPaul
and Kate Lenhard tried Allen over
the course of three days. A Spalding
County jury convicted him of Kidnapping
his ex girlfriend, placing a gun to
her head, strangling her, and beating
her. Allen was sentenced to 45 years
Cary Wilson Convicted of Aggravated
Assault and Sentenced to 20 years in
A Spalding Jury convicted Wilson for
stomping on the face of a man at Kevin’s
Corner in Griffin. Assistant District Attorney
Canon Snow and Assistant District
Attorney Donna GoPaul tried the case.
Ruby Coursey Sentenced to Life after
Guilty Plea for Murder
Coursey pled guilty to abandoning a paraplegic
in a wooded area of Upson
County in freezing temperatures. The
victim died from exposure.
ADA’s Argued in both Appellate
Fayette County ADA, Christy Jindra, argued
in front of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Upson County ADA, Ashton Fallin
presented an argument in front of the
Georgia Supreme Court.
Johntavis Bailey Pleas Guilty to
Smash and Grab Burglary
Bailey pled guilty to burglarizing the
Simply Mac in Peachtree City. He was
sentenced to 25 years with 20 to be
served in prison.
Former Spalding County Captain Entered
Blind Guilty Plea
David Gibson entered a non-negotiated
guilty plea and was sentenced to 10
years with the first 3 to be served in prison.
Cornelius Henderson Pleas to Voluntary
Henderson pled guilty to shooting and
killing Demarkis Williams in Spalding
County and was sentenced to 20 years
with 15 years to serve.
Reginald Lews Blackmon Receives
40 Year Sentence for Trafficking
An Upson County Jury found Blackmon
guilty of possessing over 50
grams of methamphetamine. Assistant
District Attorney Michael Rogers tried
William Bradford Sentenced to 41
serve 21 Years in Prison for Armed
Bradford pled guilty to robbing the
PNC Bank in Fayetteville.
Marcia Annette Demarcus Pled
Guilty to Homicide by Vehicle in the
Demarcus pled guilty for killing a 16
year old girl with her car while being
under the influence of drugs. She was
sentenced to 30 years with the first 15
to be spent in prison.
RICO Defendants Entered Pleas
Multiple defendants charged with RICO
in Spalding County cases that
were 3-4 years old entered guilty
pleas. Each of those cases have now
been resolved. Each of the main players
received over 10 years in prison
and are banished from the circuit.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie
Broder handled the cases.