Sheriff’s K9 Apprehends Fugitive Fleeing Deputies

Featured Stories

PRESS RELEASE – Gordon County Sheriff’s Office released the following press release after they were able to apprehend a fugitive with the help of their K9 officer.

At about 8:45 a.m. [Feb. 13], deputy sheriffs responded to a report of a suspicious person on Shepherd Drive off Red Bud Road near Calhoun.

The suspicious man, subsequently identified as one Joshua Turner, age 32, of 227 McConnell Road, Calhoun, fled on foot through a semi-wooded area and reemerged near the football field at Gordon Central High School.

After unlawfully entering an automobile belonging to a school staff member, Turner entered a concession stand structure near the field and barricaded himself within.

An alert school employee directed the deputies to where Turner had hidden himself, and the deputies attempted to convince him to surrender himself.

Turner refused to come outside, so a Sheriff’s K9 was deployed.

The K9 swiftly located and effectively apprehended Turner, who still attempted to resist both the dog and the deputies.

Turner was rapidly brought under control and lodged in the county jail.

At the time he fled from the deputies, Turner was being sought by Calhoun Police for Burglary, Trespassing, and Obstructing Peace Officers.

Deputies filed additional charges of Burglary (2nd Degree), Entering an Auto, and Obstructing Peace Officers in connection with this morning’s events.

Sheriff Ralston thanked the school staff for working closely with the deputies in swiftly resolving this situation.

Young mother arrested after car chase with her daughter in the backseat

Featured Stories

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ga. – Caylin Jalea Bell, a 19-year-old mother, was arrested after she led officers on a high speed car chase through Franklin County on Monday evening.

According to a release from Georgia State Patrol, a trooper tried to stop Bell while she was traveling on I-85 South.

The trooper had clocked Bell’s Kia Telluride going 98 mph in a 70 mph zone and that is when the trooper initiated a pursuit of the vehicle.

Bell refused to pull over and continued driving southbound for about 7.5 miles, according to the release.

The trooper then used a PIT maneuver, causing the Kia to crash on the right shoulder of the interstate.

After the crash Bell surrendered without further incident, however, upon her arrest officers discovered Bell’s three-year-old in the backseat of the vehicle.

The child was not properly secured in her car seat during the crash and after medical evaluation, she was released into the custody of her grandparents.

No injuries were reported at the time of the crash but Bell still faces many charges, including a felony charge for fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement.



Jackson County man arrested for the sexual exploitation of children

Featured Stories

JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. – Patrick John Agnew, 58, of Jackson County, was arrested on Jan. 11, 2023 for sexual exploitation of children.

He has been charged with four counts of the above offense by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit.

An investigation into Agnew began after he was flagged for allegedly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material.

The FBI then received a cybertip report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

“This investigation led to a search of Agnew’s residence and his subsequent arrest.  The search of Agnew’s home was conducted by the FBI Gainesville Office, the GBI CEACC Unit and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Agnew was taken to the Jackson County Jail upon his arrest,” according to a release from the GBI.


Man arrested for murder after home invasion shooting

Featured Stories

POLK COUNTY, Ga. – Brandon Lyle, 30, has been arrested and charged with ‘murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, Home Invasion, Burglary, Theft by Taking and several other offenses’ in connection with the home invasion and shooting in Cedartown, GA that took place on Dec. 19.

The Polk County Police Department has been investigating the case along with assistance from the GBI since the incident first occurred and they discovered a man was shot dead during a home invasion attempt.

“On Monday, December 19, 2022, Polk County police officers responded to a 911 call about a shooting and home invasion at 1029 Hutto Rd, Cedartown, GA. Officers found a man, later identified as Antonio Johnson, age 29,  who had been shot. Johnson was life-flighted to Grady Hospital. It was reported that the shooter (later identified as Lyle) had stolen a vehicle from the home.  While on scene, officers were dispatched to another residence on Hutto Road in reference to a burglary in progress. Polk County police officers responded and saw Brandon Lyle armed with a firearm inside of a home.  There was a struggle and eventually Polk County police officers were able to arrest and place Lyle into custody without further incident,” according to a release from the GBI.

Lyle was initially charged with Aggravated Assault. Johnson died from his injuries on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, and Lyle was subsequently charged with murder.

The investigation is active and ongoing. Once the case is done, it will be given to the Polk County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Walker County man convicted of child molestation

Featured Stories

Walker County – On November 30, 2022, Wesley Lebron Romine was convicted by a Walker County Jury of Rape, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Child Molestation, Sexual Battery against a Child and Child Molestation.

The jury deliberated only a short time before rendering their verdicts. The case came to light after a juvenile relative showed Snapchat photos to her father of Romine touching her in inappropriate ways. The matter was immediately reported to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office where Detective Sergeant Pepper Stanfield was assigned to conduct a follow up investigation. The child victim was interviewed by Holly Kittle, a forensic interviewer with the Lookout Mountain Children’s Advocacy Center. The victim, a very intelligent and articulate 13 year old, disclosed that Romine had been molesting her since she was very young. She was a frequent visitor to his home and was continually sexually abused over an 8 year period of time. In her testimony at trial, the victim told the jury she had taken the photos of Romine molesting her with her cell phone because she was afraid no one would believe her without them.

The trial lasted 3 days and included testimony from two other close adult family members who recounted years of abuse at the hands of Wesley Romine. This testimony was admitted by the Court

under O.C.G.A. § 24-4-413 and 414, which allows juries to hear evidence of other sexual acts and crimes committed by a defendant. After the verdict was announced, one of the close family members stated, ”we can now have closure and know that someone finally believed us.”

The Honorable Don W. Thompson sentenced Romine to 5 consecutive Life sentences, followed by 63 years. All to be served in prison. The case was presented to the jury by Assistant District Attorneys Bruce Roberts and Ansley House, with support from Victim/Witness advocate Cindy Clark and DA Investigator Christy Smith.

District Attorney Arnt stated “This case shows the true devastation that child sexual abuse causes. Two women have spent most of their lives trying to cope with what this child molester did to them; and even though it had been well over thirty years since this defendant last molested them, both of these witnesses broke down in tears when describing their abuse at the defendant’s hands. Successful prosecution of these cases takes a team effort to gather the necessary evidence and put together a compelling case. We are blessed to have one of the absolute best Children’s Advocacy Centers in the State to work with.Thanks to the efforts of Detective Stanfield, and ADA Bruce Roberts this predator’s reign of abuse is ended.”

Rossville man arrested during traffic stop

Featured Stories

Catoosa County – According to Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On November 12th, 2022, at 2:25 AM, Deputy Weaver was sitting stationary running LIDAR on the off-ramp of Exit 345 Southbound when he observed a vehicle traveling at 99mph in a 70mph zone.

According to the report, “Deputy Weaver observed the vehicle making sporadic lane changes, without using a turn signal, and failing to maintain lane by swerving into the middle lane numerous times and then jerking it back into the vehicle’s original lane of travel. The vehicle passed Deputy Weaver at 99mph and did not apply the brakes.

Deputy Weaver pulled out behind the vehicle. Deputy Weaver observed the vehicle hit the fog line numerous times.” Deputy Weaver initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver Preston Ben Dworkin, 26, of Rossville.

As Deputy Weaver was walking up to the vehicle, he noticed the driver spraying on cologne and throwing numerous bags into the back of the van. According to the report, “Deputy Weaver stated, “Good morning I’m Deputy Weaver with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office. Do you know why I pulled you over?” The driver stared at Deputy Weaver with blankly stare and stated, “Idk”. Deputy Weaver asked the driver how fast he thought he was going.

The driver stated, “I had it locked on 75″. Deputy Weaver informed the driver he checked him at 99mph, and when he passed him, he maintained that speed. The driver said there was no way he was going that fast.” Deputy Weaver informed Dworkin he smelt the odor of alcohol. The driver said there was no way he hadn’t had anything to drink tonight, run all the tests you want”.

Deputy Weaver then located six empty bottles of Bud Light. Deputy Weaver asked Dworkin again how much he had to drink, and the complainant stated he only had two bud lights. Deputy Kuzma assisted with field sobriety testing on Dworkin and observed several clues of impairment and a BAC of .097 on a PBT.

Dworkin was then placed under arrest for DUI and refused the state test. Dworkin was transported to the Catoosa County Jail and charged with DUI, speeding, and failure to maintain a single lane.

Cherokee man arrested for dog fighting

Featured Stories

CANTON, GA  – The Cherokee Marshal’s Office executed a search warrant Dec. 6 at a home at 6336 Union Hill Road as part of an animal investigation for dog fighting.

The investigation began with a request for a welfare check on the animals. The Cherokee County Marshal’s Office conducted a welfare check, and probable cause was found to obtain a search warrant. Evidence located during the execution of the search warrant led to the arrest of the resident, Randall Larry Thaxton, 58.  

Thaxton is charged with nine counts of felony dog fighting, and nine counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. 

Nine dogs were removed from the property, along with other evidence relevant to the case. With the assistance of the Cherokee Animal Shelter, the animals were removed from the premises. 

The case remains active and ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Rosemary Wigington arrested same day as husband Allen Wigington indicted

Feature News, Featured, Featured News, Featured Stories, News

JASPER, Ga. – Official records from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed the arrest of one Rosemary Wigington and booking into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center.

Rosemary Taudte Wigington

Arrested earlier today on two counts of Theft by Taking, Rosemary Wigington was incarcerated, according to the warrant placed for her arrest, with a $50,000 bond. Today also saw proceedings for official indictment of former Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington, Allen was arrested in January of this year for Theft and Violation of Oath of Office. At the time, he was also given a $50,000 bond.

Rosemary faces one misdemeanor count of Theft by Taking and one felony count of Theft by Taking according to records.

According to the arresting records, Rosemary’s workphone was listed as that of Pickens High School. According to Pickens County Schools’ website, she teaches World History and is a part of the LPSCS (Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security Career) Pathway. Some of the pathway classes listed under her pathway courses include Introduction to Law, Corrections, and Security, Criminal Justice Essentials, and Criminal Investigations.

The same website confirms that Rosemary has been a part of the faculty for more than 20 years where she has previously taught Civics, Geography, World History, US History, AP European History, and Criminal Justice.

Allen Wigington

According to documents from the District Attorney’s Office, Allen Wigington’s indictment listed 57 counts of criminal activity including 42 counts of “Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Card,” 11 counts of “Theft by Taking,” 3 counts of “Forgery in the Fourth Degree,” and 1 count of “Violation of Oath by Public Officer.”

The counts reached all the way back to January of 2017 and some were as recent as January of 2020. With the Theft by Taking counts totaling over $2,666 in just the specified amounts of six of those counts. The other counts only specified more than or less than $1,500. Some held named people as those he allegedly took the money from, others named the Magistrate Court of Pickens County, Pickens County Government, and Pickens County Law Library as the alleged victims of the theft. Then, each of the three indictments of “Forgery in the Fourth Degree” for checks less than $1,500.

The extra counts of “Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Card” included

Count 11. goods and services Hampton Inn Canton, Georgia

Count 12. goods and services at Hilton New Orleans, Riverside

Count 13. goods and services at Doubletree by Hilton Bonnet Creek Hotel Orlando, Florida

Count 14. goods and services at Doubletree by Hilton Atlanta Airport Atlanta, Georgia

Count 15. goods and services at Hampton Inn Kingsland, Ga

Count 16. Apple iWatch

Count 17. AC plus Watch Series 4-PAIOS

Count 18. Chick-Fil-A Food

Count 19. K&G Atlanta

Count 20. K&G Marietta

Count 21. Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandals

Count 22. Tonka Mighty Motorized Garbage FFP Truck, Battat-Dump Truck with Working Moveable Parts and 1 Driver, Women’s Merry Christmas Reindeer/Santa Claus Printed Tunic Tops, VTech Go! Go! Smart Spin Wheel Spinning Spiral Tower Playset, and Toy State Caterpillar Tough Tracks 3 Piece Set

Count 23. Old Glory Christmas FA LA Llama Men’s Long Sleeve T Shirt

Count 24. No PRobllama Llama Ugly Sweater Funny Women Sweatshirt T-shirt Irish Green 2XL

Count 25. True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headset

Count 26. Borescope Inspection Ear Wax Remover Tool

Count 27. Amazon Prime Membership

Count 28. Nintendo Switch, Airpods, and Airpods case

Count 29. Probiotic Capsules

Count 30. Probiotic Capsules

Count 31. Boy’s Long Sleeve Contrast Color Cute Bunny Casual T-Shirt

Count 32. Set of 5 Reading Glasses

Count 33. Probiotic Capsules

Count 34. Probiotic Capsules

Count 35. True Wireless Earbuds 5.0 Headset

Count 36. Crew Socks and Reading Glasses

Count 37. 3 piece personalized toddler firefighter outfit

Count 38. Polo cologne, detangling brush, makeup primer and pore minimizer, children’s lab coat, kids scrubs, and nasal care essentials bundle

Count 39. Magnetic tiles with storage case, magnetic block set, and magnetic cars

Count 40. Maxliner floor mats

Count 41. Condor jacket and a shave suction razor stand holder kit

Count 42. Apple watch bands

Count 43. VIGO Zurich kitchen sink faucet

Count 44. Rozin bathroom shower faucet set, Votamuta floor mounted faucets, Rozin rainfall shower faucet set, and LOCOA Chandelier

Count 45. Oriental rug and box spring

Count 46. Mattress, KitchenAid stand mixer, rug pad, area rug, wooden bed slats, and a slow cooker

Count 47. Robot vacuum cleaner, accessory kit for a robot vacuum cleaner, and ECOVACS Dry-Wet Mop replacement

Count 48. Umbrella, stroller umbrella, and three travel mugs

Count 49. Stick-on LED lights, roll up shooting mat, bronze IGLOO cooler, and a black IGLOO cooler

Count 50. Vehicle emergency lights and home security hardware

Count 51. Drafting chair

Count 52. Reading Glasses

Pickens County Chief Magistrate Judge Wigington arrested Theft and Violation of Oath of Office

Feature News, Featured, Featured Stories, News
Judge Allen Wigington

PICKENS COUNTY, GA – At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2020, Pickens County Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington was arrested for multiple incidents of Theft and Violation of Oath of Office.

The Sheriff’s Office began a review of financial documents for Pickens County in mid-December 2019. During the review of these documents, investigators identified questionable spending activity on the Pickens County credit card issued to Wigington. After an initial review, Sheriff Craig reached out to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office to discuss the findings. Following the sharing of information with the district attorney’s office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to assist with further investigation.

Investigators further learned of an additional situation involving a local nonprofit organization, where Wigington served as the Treasurer. In this case, it was found that Wigington had taken funds from the nonprofit organization to pay personal debts. It was determined that Wigington then attempted to remedy this action by taking funds from the Magistrate Office to reimburse the nonprofit organization.

Following an investigation that has been ongoing for more than a month, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at approximately 3:30 p.m., GBI executed a search warrant at Judge Wigington’s office to gather further evidence for the case.

The GBI obtained warrants for Judge Wigington’s arrest, which include the following:
• 3 counts of Unauthorized Use of Financial Transaction Card (O.C.G.A. 16-9-37(b))
• 6 counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. 16-8-2)
• 1 count of Violation of Oath by Public Officer (O.C.G.A 16-10-1)

Wigington reportedly made several questionable purchases for instance he made three separate transactions of $923, $848.31, and $317 from Pickens County Magistrate Court to give to aforementioned nonprofit with the “intention of depriving owner of said property.” He also allegedly charged $96.27, $137.82, and $343.84 on Pickens County government card for personal expenses at Hampton Inn in Kingsland, Ga, Doubletree by Hilton at Atlanta Airport, and Hilton Bonnet Creek Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

Judge Wigington turned himself into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center at 7:30 p.m. and is currently on a $50,000 bond.

This case is being actively investigated at this time.

The Vaping Substance Unveiled as Pinaca

Community, Feature News

Quick-Mart’s owner, Jigneshkumar Patel, was arrested Wednesday Sep. 25 and charged with multiple charges.

These charges include a felonies for distribution of Nitrous Oxide (known as whippets), possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (the vaping substance now recognized as Pinaca), reproduction of recorded material (bootleg movies), and racketeering. A misdemeanor for transactions in drug related objects (like vape pens and e-cigarettes) was also included in the charges.

Fannin County’s District Attorney Allison Sosebee stated that the case against Patel is still an open investigation: “If any more charges are added it will be from the investigation.”

While in court, Jigneshkumar Patel’s attorney requested dismissal of motion to bond during penance. It was revealed that Homeland Security has Patel listes on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) list and it’s possible that he could be subjected to deportation.

This is a community issue because this illegal substance listed above, Pinaca, is the vaping substance that’s been sold to students in Fannin County. There have been other similar incidents in Pickens and Gilmer counties as well.

Pinaca is a synthetic cannabinoid and is designed to mimic THC, the active chemical of cannabis. Synthetic cannabinoids are classed as ‘New Psychoactive Substances’ (NPS) which are unregulated substances that have become newly available on the market as an alternative to illegal drugs.

As a result, Pinaca has been listed a Control Level 1 illegal substance due to the dangerous health risks like accidental overdose and severe psychiatric complications.

The type of Pinaca and amount of active compound may vary considerably from batch to batch. Effects of this compound may include agitation, rapid heart rate, confusion, dizziness and nausea.

Drug Task Force Officer Arrested


Jasper, Ga. – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and released reports for warrants and booking for one Charles Daniel Hamrick.

According to the Arrest Warrant, Hamrick is accused of using his position as a peace officer to convince a person to send nude and semi-nude photos to him. The offense violates his oath as a public officer.

The warrant alleges that Hamrick convinced a lady that she was a confidential informant for him and that she could have potential criminal charges brought against her. He then allegedly told her that he had destroyed her confidential informant file in return for the photos.

Having been arrested and booked on the charges, Hamrick has since paid a $1,000 bond and been released. As the official charge states Violation of Oath by Public Officer, it is charged as “a violation of the Oath taken by Hamrick as a Deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Deputy Commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force…”

Drug Task Force Officer Arrested


Jasper, Ga. – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and released reports for warrants and booking for one Charles Daniel Hamrick.

According to the Arrest Warrant, Hamrick is accused of using his position as a peace officer to convince a person to send nude and semi-nude photos to him. The offense violates his oath as a public officer.

The warrant alleges that Hamrick convinced a lady that she was a confidential informant for him and that she could have potential criminal charges brought against her. He then allegedly told her that he had destroyed her confidential informant file in return for the photos.

Having been arrested and booked on the charges, Hamrick has since paid a $1,000 bond and been released. As the official charge states Violation of Oath by Public Officer, it is charged as “a violation of the Oath taken by Hamrick as a Deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Deputy Commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force…”


East Ellijay Police Officer Arrested. Theft by Taking

Feature News, Featured, Featured Stories

The GBI arrested East Ellijay Police Office Michael McClure at approximately noon today February 14th 2018.  A copy of Booking report and warrant below.  FYN has requested a statement from the GBI and East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan.

Below is a Press Release Statement from East Ellijay Chief of Police, Larry Callahan.

Four Indicted for Distributing Heroin


Press Release


Bond Set at $25,000 for Pickens High School Teacher Daniel Culbreth

Featured, News

According to information received earlier tonight, October 7th 2016, bond has been set for Daniel Culbreth in the amount of $25,000.   Culbreth is currently trying to make bond as of 10pm Friday night according to Pickens County Sheriff’s office.  Bond Conditions are as follows:    (See Below)

Click here to see Bond Conditions

Mr. Daniel Culbreth, a math teacher at Pickens High School, was arrested on Thursday night (October 6, 2016) for Computer Exploitation of Children and Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory Authority.  Culbreth, also a PCHS running back coach was arrested for DUI of alcohol in 2015. (see arrest/booking report below).

The arrest came during an investigation into inappropriate communications with a student. Led by Detective Steven Holmes of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office, who also serves as an agent for the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, detectives began following up on a tip that Mr. Culbreth had been using the popular teen social media app Snapchat to communicate with female students.

According to the information received by detectives, the content of some of his communication was highly inappropriate. After receiving and verifying this information, Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives executed a search warrant on Mr. Culbreth’s Snapchat account and found this information to be true.

Back to Top