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January will be busy for new DA Adams

By Walter Geiger New Towaliga circuit district attorney Jonathan Adams was sworn in last week and enjoyed his first day on the job Monday. Adams, who unseated Richard Milam in voting last year, has made no significant changes to the circuit’s prosecutorial staff and must hit the ground running with big cases coming up for trial here and in Butts and Monroe counties which round out the circuit. Mark Daniel remains chief assistant district attorney for Lamar with a second ADA to be hired later this month to work the local office. The other ADAs are Scott Johnston, Anita Reynolds and James Moss, who will work Butts County; and Steven Outz, Paul Hemmann and Matt Bridges, who will concentrate on Monroe County. Work gets underway Friday with a pre-trial calendar to be called before Judge Bill Fears in superior court here beginning at 9 a.m. Cases of interest on the calendar include those against Brian Thomas Thompson and Bobbie Jo Sumner. Thompson is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of DUI and reckless driving in connection with a Jan. 31, 2015 crash on Morgan Dairy Road that killed 21-year-old Kara Holland of Barnesville. Thompson and a third person in the truck at the time of the 3:35 a.m. crash, Rebecca Chapel, were seriously injured. Thompson and Chapel have since married but there are questions as to whether he is well enough to stand trial. Thompson, 24, was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he ran off the road at a high rate of speed and hit a culvert. Sumner’s case has, for unexplained reasons, languished on the court calendar for three and a half years. She is charged with first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements in connection with the June 29, 2013 death of Alexandra Noelle Desir. Desir was walking from her dorm at Gordon to work at Huddle House when she was struck and killed on Rose Avenue. The driver at fault fled the scene. Adams pledges to fast track the Sumner case. ’The Sumner case will be a priority of mine. I will make sure it is tried in 2017 and hopefully within the first six months of the year,’ he said last week. Later this month, Adams will oversee a Lamar County murder case that will be tried in Monroe County after the defense won a change of venue motion to move the trial. Joshua James Cox, 25, will be tried on charges of malice murder, felony murder and two counts possession of a firearm during commission of a felony resulting from the July 14, 2016 shooting death of 40-year-old Donald Terrell Clark. Clark was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in the driveway of his home at 939 Chappell Mill Rd. Cox told investigators he and Clark were using LSD. He reported he hallucinated Clark turning into a zombie and shot him with a Glock semiautomatic handgun. Jury selection in that case begins Jan. 23 in Forsyth.

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