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Trouble is just down the street

By Walter Geiger Sitting in on the murder trial of Lakievius Eleby for the past several days in Lamar superior court has been an eyeopening experience. I routinely cover crime and spend my fair share of time in the courthouse so I have a greater understanding than most of what goes on out on the streets but the testimony in this trial was surprising even to me. We learned there is no shortage of thugs out there willing to kill you for your valuables. They are up all hours of the night doing drugs, communicating by text message and looking for their next target. The home invasion that led to this trial was, investigators say, conducted by three young men. They blew another young man’s face off for the contents of one purse and perhaps some marijuana. There were several other young men more than willing to get in on the attack if needed. They called each other ‘˜nigga’, openly boasted of being ‘strapped’ – street slang for armed – and displayed no respect for life or property. The robbing crew had planned a ‘˜lick’ at another home before deciding to hit the one in their own neighborhood. I wonder if the folks at Ashley Court know how close they came to death that cold December night in 2010. Eleby either couldn’t or wouldn’t stay in school so he dropped out after 10th grade. He had no job other than selling marijuana and apparently had no interest in education or gainful employment. He sought the thug life and it was easy for him to find it right here at home. What his drug business did not provide, those of you who do work did – in the form of free medical care, free or reduced price school meals, welfare, food stamps and who knows what else. There are hundreds of others out there like him. You may think you are safe from them but you are not. Sadly, slack admission standards at many colleges across the state – including Gordon College in Barnesville – play a role in this. The local thugs mix with the near thugs on campus and many in law enforcement agree it is only a matter of time before there is more violence between the two groups who openly drink underage and use drugs at local clubs with no threat of repercussions. Two Gordon students testified at the trial. Hopefully strengthened admission rules will weed out some of these ‘˜entitled’ students. They come here from high schools where teachers cheat to make themselves look good and discipline is nonexistent. They bring their gangster lifestyles and Pell grant party money with them. What can you do? Be aware of your surroundings. Keep a watchful eye. Don’t be afraid to call law enforcement if you see suspicious people or behavior. Trouble may be lurking just down the street!

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