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Morehouse stands by its man

Assault charges leveled against him here in Lamar County apparently will not impact the career of Morehouse College police chief Vernon Worthy in the short term. The college issued a two-sentence statement on the matter last week after repeated requests for comment from The Herald-Gazette. ”Chief Vernon Worthy is a long standing and loyal employee of Morehouse College. The incident that occurred in Lamar County happened on his personal time and outside the scope of his employment,” Toni O’Neal Mosley said in a prepared statement. Mosley is Morehouse’s director of public relations. Worthy was bound over to superior court here November 24 on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and pointing a gun at another. The charges were brought by local resident Nathaniel Rooks. Rooks claims he was hunting on November 11 when he encountered Worthy who pulled a gun on him, forced him to lie face down in a field and accused him of trespassing. An investigation by DNR ranger Keith Page determined Worthy was the one who was trespassing and Rooks subsequently sought warrants. The case will likely go to the Lamar County grand jury to be impaneled in March, 2009, according to district attorney Richard Milam. ”We have ordered a copy of the tape recording of the hearing in magistrate court and will have it transcribed when received. Our plan is to give a copy of the transcription to the sheriff’s office and request an investigation and reports. Then the case will be presented to the grand jury. With the transition in the sheriff’s department, I cannot say how long it will take us to get an investigative file,” Milam reported.

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