Over 60 defendants appear in court for arraignments
- Written by Kristen Kitchens
- Published in News
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Over 60 individuals were on this month's arraignment calendar in the Superior Court of Coffee County last week, with many recently making headlines following their arrests. Among the cases, three men are facing murder charges, with the majority of the others indicted on drug offenses.
The defendants on the calendar with murder charges include Andre Benjamin, Jo-Dorn Wright, and James Schmitt.
Benjamin and Wright are both charged with murder in the death of 21-year-old Joshua Lawshawn Brown. Brown was discovered deceased on July 15, 2021, at Georgian Wood Apartments on McNeil Drive in Douglas.
According to a copy of two arrest warrants, Brown succumbed to his injuries after "being shot numerous times in the body and upper body." Benjamin was arrested a few weeks after Brown's death, and Wright was recently apprehended and booked into the Coffee County Jail. If convicted on their charges, both suspects face life in prison.
DouglasNow reported that Schmitt was indicted last month on charges of murder, aggravated assault, and arson after allegedly killing his stepfather before setting his home on fire in August. Schmitt faces a maximum life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder charge, with arson in the first degree carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The majority of the defendants are facing a variety of drug offenses, including trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of methamphetamine.
The charges and the individuals include possession of a controlled substance - Demetrius Easy, Paris Hicks; possession of a schedule II controlled substance - Lauren Williams (cocaine), Howard McGinty (methamphetamine), Trina Fredericks (methamphetamine), Robert Holliman (cocaine and oxycodone 2x); possession of methamphetamine - Adaunis King, April Anthony, Javonnie Bennett, Cassiopea Mosley, Joe Weathers (with intent to distribute); trafficking methamphetamine or amphetamine - Kevin Butler, Devin Edwards, Stephanie English; possession of marijuana more than an ounce - Joshua Lowry and Ricky Hill.
Several other defendants charged with drug possession are also seeking additional counts, including Jermon Baker - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine); Jaylen Stanley - possession of marijuana (more than an ounce) and possession of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine); Je'kel Wilmer - possession of marijuana (more than an ounce) and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer; Sherry Nipper - sale of a controlled substance: hydrocodone; sale of a controlled substance: tramadol and theft in obtaining controlled substance: methadone; Janell Moody - possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance: alprazolam; Kavonte Debro - possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute: cocaine and possession of marijuana weighing more than an ounce; Tionna Coney - possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of marijuana more than an ounce; Luke McRae III - criminal attempt to commit a felony, possession of a knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies and possession of methamphetamine; and Preston Fields - fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana (more than an ounce) and DUI.
The remainder of the cases on the December arraignment calendar were: Devon Mack - aggravated assault (+ reckless conduct 3x); Anthony Hill - aggravated battery; Gerald Spangler - cruelty to children in the 1st degree; Tamela Spangler - cruelty to children in the 2nd degree; Shyanna Yarbrough - entering an automobile; Christopher Fulmer - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; Shapiro Warren - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; Demetrous Williams - possession of a firearm by a first offender probationer; Anthony Spikes - failure to register as a sex offender; Jeffery Bowen - failure to register as a sex offender; James Smith - Criminal Damage to Property in the 2nd Degree; Rusty Spell - theft by taking and theft by conversion; Matthew Ansel - theft by taking; Matthew Ruis - theft by taking; Shawn'travis Woodward - theft by taking; Corey Carelock - theft by deception (14x); Brandon Rowland - theft by deception; Alberto Carpenter Jr. - burglary in the 2nd degree; Stanley Kirkland - burglary in the 2nd degree; Ashley Tanner - aggravated stalking; Frankie Wade - terroristic threats and acts; Steven Sellers - arson, theft by taking, criminal damage to property in the 2nd degree; Gregory Bryant - printing fictitious check (4x), possession of tools for commission of a crime, forgery in the 3rd degree (2x), forgery in the 4th degree (2x); Stephen Martin - financial transaction card fraud (4x), forgery in the 4th degree; Paisley Mitchell - making a false statement (2x); Jimmy Crumby - aggravated battery on a peace officer; Keigan Jones - exploitation and intimidation of a disabled adult, elder person, or resident; Kimberly Thomas - criminal attempt to commit a felony, possession of a knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies; Willie Stevens - possession of cocaine, obstruction of an officer and Michael McKinnon - criminal attempt to commit a felony, possession of a knife during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies.
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