GBI Arrests Early County Coroner in Sexual Assault Investigation

Blakely, GA (August 19, 2021) – On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Early County Coroner Todd Hunter, age 51, of Blakely, GA, was arrested for Felony Violation of Oath of Office and Misdemeanor Sexual Battery.  Hunter was transported to the Early County Jail where he was subsequently released on bond.   

On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Early County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate allegations that Hunter sexually assaulted one person at his home.  Based on information obtained during the investigation, investigators believe there are other victims.   

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Carroll County

Carrollton, GA (August 19, 2021) – On Thursday, August 19, 2021, at approximately 6:40 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 4:30 p.m., deputies with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office arrived at 225 Park West Drive, Carrollton, GA for the purpose of serving a temporary protective order on Bryce Jarrod Suter, 41 years of age, of Carrollton, GA in reference to Terroristic Threats and Acts (FVA) Family Violence Act.  Upon arrival, Suter barricaded himself inside the mobile home and began threatening to “blow up” deputies on scene.  Deputies began speaking and trying to negotiate with Suter through a public address system (PA). 

At approximately 5:00 p.m., investigators with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for the residence.  Deputies continued to try and negotiate with Suter.  Deputies then began deploying tear gas into the residence to get Suter to come out.  Suter continued to remain inside the residence. 

Telfair County Man Arrested for Sexual Exploitation of Children

Scotland, GA (August 18, 2021) – On Friday, August 13, 2021, Robert Scott Kendrick, age 56, was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provided information regarding a user uploading child sexual abuse material (CSAM) to the Internet.  Further investigation into this Internet activity led investigators to determine that it was originating from a home in Scotland, Georgia, and a search warrant was executed at that location on Friday, August 13, 2021 by the GBI and the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office.  During the search warrant, CSAM was located on devices identified as belonging to Robert Scott Kendrick and led to the criminal charge against Kendrick for the Sexual Exploitation of Children. Kendrick was previously arrested and charged by the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office for Child Molestation on August 10, 2021 and was in custody at the time of the search warrant execution.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting at Lithonia High School in DeKalb County

8/16/21 Update: One person in this incident who has been identified as Ricky Brookins II, age 17, is being charged by the DeKalb County School District Police Department with the following:

8/16/21 Update: One person in this incident who has been identified as Ricky Brookins II, age 17, is being charged by the DeKalb County School District Police Department with the following:

* Possession of Gun w/Altered ID Mark

* Aggravated Assault on an Officer of the Court

* Carrying weapons within School Safety Zones

* Disrupting Public School

* Criminal Trespass Remain in Property

* Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers

* Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle

* Hit & Run


DeKalb County, GA (August 13, 2021) – On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the DeKalb County School District Police Department asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation at Lithonia High School. 

Claxton Man Arrested following Drug Investigation in Evans County, GA

Evans County, GA (August 16, 2021) – On Friday, August 13, 2021, Marquese Shavel Palmer, age 29, of Claxton, Evans County, was arrested following a drug investigation initiated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SRDEO).  The Evans County Sheriff’s Office and the Claxton Police Department assisted the GBI-SRDEO.  Two simultaneous search warrants were served at 2141 Weinnmeir Drive and 2133 Weinnmeir Drive in Claxton, Evans County, Georgia by the GBI-SRDEO, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, Evans County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Community Supervision, and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) K-9 Unit.  During this investigation, agents seized one firearm, approximately 7 ounces of suspected marijuana, pills, and money.

GBI Assists in Wrens, GA Shooting Investigation

Update #2 (8/14/21): The suspect in custody has been identified as Larry B. Mackie, 33, of Graniteville, SC.  Mackie is also a suspect connected to a shooting in Aiken, South Carolina & Richmond County, GA.  Charges will follow.

Update #1 (8/14/21): The suspect is in custody, detained in Aiken, South Carolina.


The GBI is assisting the Wrens Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office with a shooting incident at a Family Dollar located at 505 N. Main Street in Wrens, GA. 

At around 8:55 a.m., an individual entered the Family Dollar and fired multiple gunshots at the store clerk, striking the clerk.  Officers arrived on scene to find the victim alert.  The victim was transported to an Augusta area Medical Facility for treatment.

The male suspect left the store and entered a black, four-door 2018/2019 Hyundai Sonata and left the scene, traveling Southbound on U. S. 1.  While this investigation is still in the preliminary stages, robbery does not appear to have been a motive. 

The Wrens Police Department is aware of a shooting incident earlier on U. S. 1 in Richmond County and is working with investigators to determine any possible connection between the two cases.  At this point, a connection has not been made.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Whitfield County

UPDATEThe man involved in this OIS has been identified as Steven Ray Bailey, 63, of Rocky Face, GA.


Whitfield County, GA (August 9, 2021) – On Monday, August 9, 2021, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s  Office to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation.

The early investigation indicates that at approximately 11:33 p.m., Whitfield County deputies responded to several 911 calls on Hwy 41 and Westgate Drive in Rocky Face, GA, about a shooting incident.

When deputies arrived on scene, they began to negotiate with an armed man.  After several minutes of negotiations, the armed man began firing at the deputies with a handgun.  The Whitfield County deputies returned fire, striking the man multiple times.  Deputies began life saving procedures and the man was transported to Hamilton Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.


GBI Investigates Homicide & Aggravated Assault in Seminole County

Donalsonville, GA (August 11, 2021) – On Monday, August 9, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to assist in an aggravated assault and homicide investigation that took place in the 3000 block of Old Jakin Road in Donalsonville, Georgia.  A short time later, Seminole County deputies arrested Floyd James Harris, 29, for aggravated assault and murder.

Preliminary investigation suggests that Harris was responsible for shooting a woman and man after separate confrontations with both.  The woman had been shot in the head but was able to get away from the area and seek help. She was later airlifted to a local trauma center for treatment for her wounds. The vehicle the woman was driving had also been shot multiple times. A man who had also been shot was located deceased at the scene. An autopsy for the man will be conducted at the GBI Crime Lab.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Banks County

Homer, Banks County, GA (August 7, 2021) – On Saturday, August 7, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Banks County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) to investigate an officer involved shooting incident.  

The investigation shows that BCSO deputies were on patrol when they located a vehicle driven by a male suspect, identified as Larry Steven Grogan, of Danielsville, GA, age 49, of an ongoing homicide investigation.  A vehicle chase began and ended in Grogan leaving the roadway along GA Highway 51, near its intersection with Payne Road.  Grogan got out of the vehicle and fired a rifle at two deputies.  The two deputies returned fire, injuring Grogan.  He was taken to a local area hospital for treatment.  The two deputies were not injured.

GBI Arrests Former Oconee County Jailer for Sexual Assault

Watkinsville, GA (August 6, 2021) – On Friday, August 6, 2021, the GBI arrested former Oconee County Sheriff’s Office jailer Blake Edward Patat, 30, of Comer, GA for one count of sexual assault. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office requested the GBI to investigate after allegations of the incident were made. Patat was arrested for having sexual contact with a person in custody (a person he had supervisory or disciplinary authority over). The incident is believed to have occurred on July 25, 2021.