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Hartwell, GA (December 3, 2020) – On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Hart County resident, Loyd Lewis, age 57, was charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) in violation of O.C.G.A 16-12-100(b)(8) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. While being investigated for narcotics by the Hart County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis was found to be in possession of child pornography. This led the Hart County Sheriff’s Office to request the GBI CEACC Unit to investigate Lewis for the sexual exploitation of children. An investigation by the CEACC Unit led to the sexual exploitation of children charges brought against Lewis.
Jasper, GA (December 3, 2020) – On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Pickens County resident, Christopher Blackstone, age 41, was charged with (3) counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) in violation of O.C.G.A 16-12-100(b)(8) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Blackstone’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the upload of suspected child pornography by Blackstone via the internet. A search of Blackstone’s home and electronic devices produced evidence which led to the arrest of Blackstone on December 2, 2020.
Washington, GA (December 2, 2020) – On Monday, November 30, 2020, a 16-year old juvenile was charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Conduct, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Under the Age of 18, and Tampering with Evidence. The juvenile offender is currently in the custody of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. These charges stem from a Wednesday, November 25, 2020 incident where the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 100 block of Riverside Drive regarding a subject being shot. Deputies located Mitaiveon Tutt, 15, who had sustained a gunshot wound at the residence. Tutt was transported to Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta for treatment. Tutt died as a result of his injuries on Saturday, November 28th at Augusta University Medical Center.
Rebecca, GA (December 2, 2020) – On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Jason Michael Walker, 47, of Pulaski County, GA, was arrested and charged with Murder for the deaths of Thomas Wideman, Deborah Wideman, and Melissa Wideman. Walker is also charged with Feticide for causing the death of Melissa Wideman’s unborn child, determined to be Walker’s biological child, Aggravated Assault, and Arson in the First Degree. Walker was booked into the Turner County Jail.
On Friday, March 22, 2002, the GBI Region 13 Perry Office was requested by the Turner County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the death investigations of Thomas Joseph (Tommy Joe) Wideman, 51, his wife Deborah Wheeler Wideman, 48, and their daughter Melissa Wideman, 20. Melissa Wideman was 8½ months pregnant at the time of her death. In the early morning hours of March 22, the Turner County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office responded to a house fire at 13875 GA Hwy 112 East, Rebecca, Turner County, Georgia. The fire was reported by a truck driver passing by the residence. Inside the residence, fire personnel discovered the three bodies, as well as the body of Melissa Wideman’s unborn child. The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office performed autopsies on the bodies and revealed that the three adults had been shot and died prior to the fire.
Elberton, GA (December 1, 2020) – On Monday, November 30, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Jennifer Boggs, 36. Boggs, a former Elbert County Sheriff’s Deputy, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless conduct. Boggs’ charges stem from an officer involved shooting investigation occurring in Bowman, Elbert County, GA, on September 30, 2020.
The GBI investigation revealed that Mac J. Cunningham, 33, of Hartwell, GA, had contacted Elbert County 911, threatening to harm himself. Before the dispatcher could get any information or offer any assistance, he hung up the phone. Elbert County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) was able to identify where the call was made from, which was within a cemetery located off Rehobath Road in Bowman. ECSO deputies arrived on scene and made contact with Cunningham. He was sitting inside a pick-up truck with a handgun and indicated to the deputies he wanted to harm himself.
ECSO deputies attempted to offer Cunningham help and try to get him to surrender the gun. At one point, Deputy Jonathan Alewine attempted to break the side window of the vehicle, at which point Jennifer Boggs fired her handgun multiple times. Deputy Alewine was shot in the hand by that gunfire. Cunningham did not fire a weapon.
This investigation has been referred to the Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution.
Bowman, GA (September 30, 2020) – On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at approximately 6:00 a.m., the GBI was requested by the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) to investigate an officer involved shooting.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seeking re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The voluntary process to gain re-accreditation will look different this year as it will be conducted virtually to adhere to social distancing requirements.
The assessors this year are Retired Chief Timothy Fitch (St. Louis County Missouri Police Department) and Captain John Campanella (Delaware State Police). Agency employees and members of the community are invited to comment on the agency’s ability to meet these professional standards. Three options are available for public comments:
Lee County, GA (December 1, 2020) – On Monday, November 30, 2020, Aubrey Sean Thompson, 54, of Moultrie, and April Marie Contreras, 30, of Moultrie, were both charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine following a traffic stop on Georgia Highway 520 in Lee County, Georgia. Two kilograms of suspected methamphetamine were seized during the stop. Thompson and Contreras were booked into the Lee County Jail.
The GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, Georgia State Patrol, Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office, Moultrie Police Department, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office concluded a month-long investigation with the traffic stop.
The GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office is in Albany, Georgia and services 42 counties in Southwest Georgia. The office is a collaborative effort between the GBI, the Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, the Dougherty County Police Department, the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, and the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office, and is partially funded with Byrne/JAG grant funds.
Tips can be submitted to the GBI by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.
Fayetteville, GA (November 30, 2020) – On Sunday, November 29, 2020, the GBI was requested by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation at 1720 S Highway 92, Fayetteville, Fayette County, GA.
Kingsland, GA (November 30, 2020) – On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, the United States Marshals Service arrested Ashanti Hollerman, 17, of Woodbine, GA, on warrants secured by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for the charges of Murder and Aggravated Assault involving the November 3, 2020 killing of Ernest Ruffell. Daniel Miller, 43, of Kingsland, GA was also charged with the Murder and Aggravated Assault in reference to Ruffell’s death. Miller was already incarcerated at the time of his arrest on separate firearms charges relating to this incident.
11/25 UPDATE: There are reports that Reed was killed by the involved Nashville Police Officer. The investigation shows that Reed died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
11/24 UPDATE: Dearius Reed has died from his injuries.
Nashville, GA (November 23, 2020) On Sunday, November 22, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Nashville Police Department to investigate an officer involved shooting.
Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 3:00 p.m., officers received a 911 call about a domestic dispute in the area of Mell Avenue, Nashville, Berrien County, GA. Upon arrival, a Nashville police officer made contact with an individual that stated that the subject involved in the alleged domestic dispute was travelling in a red Jeep. As the officer was obtaining this information, the red Jeep passed by and the officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle on Mell Avenue. As the officer was approaching the vehicle, a shot was fired. The officer returned fire towards the vehicle.