Grand Jury hands down over 30 indictments
- Written by Kristen Kitchens
- Published in News
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Last week, the Grand Jury heard dozens of cases. The jury handed down indictments against more than 30 individuals, many of who made headlines at the end of 2022.
One of the individuals whose charges were indicted last week, Bobby Allen Ducker, was the subject of one of DouglasNow's most memorable stories last fall. Ducker was arrested on November 16 after deputies were dispatched to a residence on Highway 32 after a woman called 911 to report an unknown male in the home making threats. When deputies arrived, they said to have found Ducker sitting at a kitchen table eating, with a black tire tool in his hand.
Individuals in the home stated that Ducker forced himself inside with a weapon. One person was reported to have offered Ducker food to "calm him down," while several individuals, including an infant, went and hid in a bedroom. While Ducker was at the home, he allegedly stated he "hated Mexicans" and that he "kills everybody."
When deputies spoke to Ducker, he told them he did not know the current homeowners but knew the individual who owned the house 20 years ago. He also stated that he was sent to the residence by an individual, and when he arrived, he was welcome inside to have a meal.
Ducker was indicted for the incident on charges of home invasion and terroristic threats. A conviction for home invasion alone carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is currently incarcerated in the Coffee County Jail.
Erin Day, who was arrested by the Coffee County Drug Unit in November, was also indicted on charges of trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a schedule I controlled substance (heroin). Day and Jonathan Pridgen, who is also in custody, were pulled over upon entering the Golf Club for failing to maintain a lane, which ultimately led to a search of the vehicle.
Officers reported discovering 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine, multiple pills, and a quantity of suspected heroin. Day and Pridgen have not been released on bond and have been in jail since their arrest.
In November, the Nicholls Police Department asked for assistance in locating another individual who was recently indicted, Jeremy Gaskin. Gaskin was wanted at the time for active warrants and fled from law enforcement when approached by officers. He was apprehended shortly after and has now been indicted on one count of possession of methamphetamine.
As of Monday morning, Gaskin remained in custody and has not received a bond.
Daniel Guernsey was officially charged with sexual exploitation of children after local prosecutors presented evidence of the case to the jury. Guernsey was arrested on November 14 on charges brought by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit after they received a cyber tip report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding the possible online possession of child sexual abuse material. A search of Guernsey's electronic devices was conducted during the investigation, which led to his arrest by the GBI CEACC unit and deputies with the Coffee County Sheriff's Office. He has not been released from custody as of Monday morning.
Another individual whose case made headlines has now been indicted on two counts of aggravated assault. The defendant, Cesar Hernandez, allegedly showed up at the local movie theater to confront his ex-wife, who was on a date at the time.
At first, Hernandez reportedly started a dispute with his ex-spouse and her date in the theater lobby, then allegedly rammed her car with his truck after they left the movie.
According to the report, Hernandez and the victim's 3-year-old child were in the truck when he committed the assault. The child, according to the victim, later told her mother that she was in the vehicle when "daddy hit mommy." Hernandez has been in the Coffee County Jail since he was booked on November 5.
A search that resulted in officers discovering over 15 pounds of marijuana in December has led to two trafficking indictments for Kermit James. A report states that James walked into the probation office "carrying an unusual amount of money in pockets," later asking a probation officer to take his pocket knife to his truck. When the officer opened Kermit's door to his vehicle, she allegedly smelled a strong odor of marijuana, prompting local drug detectives to search his residence.
According to officers, over 15 pounds of marijuana, nearly 2 grams of cocaine, and 1 gram of suspected MDMA were located inside his home.
The report also noted that an investigation into allegations regarding James selling "pounds of marijuana" from the home had been underway. However, the DPD's Crime Suppression Unit "had not obtained any evidence amounting to probable cause to search the residence." James was indicted on counts of trafficking cocaine and trafficking marijuana. He has also remained behind bars since his arrest in December.
Many of those indicted received official charges of drug possession, including: Stephanie Roundtree - possession of methamphetamine; Bobby Hilliard Sr. - possession of methamphetamine; Christopher Moore - possession of methamphetamine; Samuel Orneleas - possession of methamphetamine; Jahedwin Whitfiled - possession of a schedule II controlled substance: cocaine; Sedrick Williams - possession of a schedule I controlled substance; Trevor Thompson - possession of methamphetamine; Jerrad Wampler - possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance: clonazepam; and possession of a schedule II controlled substance: hydrocodone; Joshua Nobles - possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance: clonazepam; Cleo Williams III - possession of a firearm by a first offender probationer and possession of a schedule II controlled substance: cocaine and Ontario Wilson - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a schedule II controlled substance: cocaine and DUI.
The others were indicted on various offenses, including aggravated assault, theft, and more. The individuals include Aaron Biggs - criminal damage to property in the second degree; Wayne Coates - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, DUI; Jesse Floyd - arson in the first degree; Tommy Harper - obstruction of emergency medical personnel; Kenneth Williams III - entering automobile (8x), theft by taking; Bobby Hillard Jr. - entering automobile (8x), theft by taking; Ganesha Kay - aggravated battery; Shon Knighton - criminal trespass, criminal attempt to commit a felony; Christopher Wilson - theft by taking (3x); Reanna Lott - theft by taking (3x); Darren Mobley - aggravated assault; Ryan Rish - aggravated assault; Randy Rish Jr. - aggravated assault; Jason Smith - burglary in the first degree; Jerry Walker - theft by shoplifting (10x); and Xavier Carswell - failure to register as a sex offender.
Several other court proceedings are scheduled for this week and next week. DouglasNow will publish details regarding the hearings soon after they are adjourned.
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