Senior Assistant David Atwell secures Life Without Parole in Grady County

Lopez found guilty, gets life for May 2017 murder

  • 6 hrs ago

CAIRO — A Grady County jury found Nicholas Lopez guilty of murder and a judge has sentenced him to life without parole.

The two-day trial ended Tuesday, and following the jury’s verdict, Grady County Superior Court Judge Kevin Chason handed down the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. 

Lopez was indicted for the May 26, 2017 shooting death of Ronald Moon, 49, of Cairo.

“Mr. Lopez had been a thorn in law enforcement’s side for quite some time,” said South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland. “I thank the jury for their hard work and diligence and the Sheriff’s Office for a thorough investigation. Senior ADA (David) Atwell did a commendable job trying the case. I pray for Mr. Moon’s family and hope this gives them some closure.”

Lopez was indicted for murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and aggravated assault. 

The Grady County Sheriff’s Office headed up the investigation, with Chief Investigator Chris Luckey taking the lead. 

According to an incident report, a male complainant told the responding officer that Lopez shot Moon in the chest. 

Authorities found Moon, who was in the yard at the incident address with a gunshot wound and excessive bleeding, according to the report. 

The trial concluded a long month for the South Georgia Office of the District Attorney in Decatur, Grady and Calhoun counties were trials were being held. The DA’s office secured four life without parole convictions, along with a 30-plus-year conviction in a child molestation case in four separate trials.

“Myself and three senior assistants tried four cases and were able to secure four convictions” Mulholland said. “We welcome the opportunity to prep for the coming year and we will be ready to start anew in January.  Merry Christmas to everyone in the Circuit and stay safe over the course of the holidays.”

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Senior Asst. Banks Smith Secures Tough Conviction

Verdict reached in Calhoun Co. prison killing

By WALB News Team | December 3, 2018 at 3:12 PM EST - Updated December 3 at 6:25 PM

MORGAN, GA (WALB) - A jury has reached a verdict in a killing that took place in Calhoun State Prison.

Undrea Burley and Wesley Adams were found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and gang activity.

Burley and Adams were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Demetrius Smith was found not guilty.

Adams, Smith and Burley were all charged with gang activity, felony murder and aggravated assault in the case.

Two people have actually been detained during this trial for throwing gang signs and taking cell phone video inside the courtroom, according to Joe Mulholland, South Georgia District Attorney. The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating those two detained.

Inmate Joshua Brooks was attacked and found dead in his cell with blunt force trauma to the head, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Prosecutors said the two people detained are from out of town and are concerned they may have been trying to influence the trial or witnesses.

A corrections officer was also charged in connection to Brooks' death in 2016.

WALB previously reported Shakera Burns was arrested and charged in Brooks' murder.

Mulholland said Burns is awaiting trial and her exact charge is unclear.

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Successful Second Week of Decatur Trials

Decatur Co. man sentenced for raping 80-year-old woman

The South Georgia District Attorney said Billy White is guilty of one count of rape. (Source: South Georgia District Attorney's Office)

By Asia Wilson | November 16, 2018 at 12:19 AM EST - Updated November 16 at 12:19 AM

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - One Decatur County man will now spend life behind bars without parole for raping an 80-year old woman in 2016.

The trial for Billy White started on Tuesday and lasted two days.

Jurors found White guilty of one count of rape and not guilty on one count of burglary.

District Attorney Joe Mullholland said a senior citizen woman had been living by herself after her husband passed away and was raped while home alone.

Officials were able to catch White by collecting matched DNA samples from another crime he committed in the past.

“The message in this case is one, we were very happy to be able to secure that life without parole verdict on this repeat offender who obviously took advantage of one of the two, what I consider, classifications of people you just don’t mess with, and that’s kids and the elderly,” said Mulholland.

Mulholland said the victim is said to be okay, but had to move out of her home while still being concerned for her safety.

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Great First Week in Decatur County November Term.

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Criminals tried and sentenced at courthouse

By Staff Reports

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Published 4:43 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

The South Georgia Judicial Circuit, Decatur County November Term was commenced on Monday.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Atwell handled Grand Jury.  The Grand Jury true billed 35 cases and No Billed 4 cases.

Tuesday Nov. Criminal Trials began.  Chief Assistant Mike Bankston tried Jshawn Washington for Child Molestation and Criminal Attempt to Commit Incest.  Washington was arrested on March 20, 2018 by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.  Washington sexually assaulted his seven-year-old stepdaughter multiple times while watching pornography with the child in early March in Bainbridge.

After a three-day trial, the Jury convicted Washington of both counts.  Judge Heather H. Lanier sentenced the defendant to 45 years, 30 to serve in the State system.  During sentencing, the defendant passed out.  Lanier will resume sentencing on Tuesday, November 13th.  District Attorney Mulholland stated “This was an atrocious crime.

While the Defendant may have thought it was too harsh given that he passed out when he heard he will spend the next thirty years in prison, he got exactly what he deserved.  I hope that the victim and her family can have some closure knowing he will effectively spend the rest of his life in the State Penitentiary.”

On Thursday November 8th District Attorney Joe Mulholland was prepared to try Darrion Jenkins for Aggravated Sexual Battery and Burglary.  Once a Jury was impaneled, Jenkins pled Blind (meaning at the mercy of the Court) and Chief Judge Kevin Chason sentenced Jenkins to Life Imprisonment.  On September 30th, 2017, the Defendant broke into a 78 year old woman’s residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. in Attapulgus and sexually assaulted her.  “What kind of demented individual breaks into an elderly woman’s home and assaults her? The victim was a strong witness and I am glad she had the courage to face her accuser.  Her testimony sealed his fate, which is that he will spend the rest of his years behind bars.” Mulholland added.

After a plethora of pleas, two cases remain on the calendar for next week.

Home Invasion Results In Long Term Prison Sentence

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District Attorney: Bainbridge Burglar Sentenced to 20 Years

September 6, 2018 Dustin Dowdy Around our AreaFeatured PostsFlint MediaNews 0

On September 4th, 2018, a major case was resolved in Decatur County.  Aanija Burke was arrested for Burglary and Possession of Tools During the Commission of a Crime.  District Attorney Joe Mulholland, after reviewing the file, added the charge of Home Invasion.  The evidence showed that on November 8th, 2017, the defendant broke the window of the door into a home in Bainbridge, Georgia.  After breaking into the house, the defendant encountered a grandmother and her two (2) year old grandchild.  The defendant was brandishing what appeared to be a firearm (later discovered to be a pellet gun).  The victim and her toddler grandchild were able to escape the house and call law enforcement.  The offender was apprehended shortly thereafter, with blood on his hands which matched the blood spatter from the residence.  The defendant was not given a recommendation and pled at the mercy of the Court.  Chief Judge Kevin Chason heard from the victim and the defendant.  After hearing from both sides, the Court sentenced the defendant to 20 years, 12 to serve in the penitentiary.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland had this to say: “Your home is your castle.  This was a needless intrusion on the victim and her granddaughter in the middle of the day.  His reckless act has left a lifelong impression on the poor victim’s in this case.  The toddler and grandmother still have nightmares of this invasion.  I am very thankful that the Court decided to sentence this defendant to a long term incarceration and want the public to know that such acts will not be tolerated in our community.”

Two Trials Back to Back In Baker County July Term. Two Convictions. Here is a photo of David "Hippie" Campbell and the Press Release.

PRESS RELEASE

The one week Baker County Superior Court trials for the July 2018 term consisted of approximately 22 criminal cases. One case of significant note was the case of David Franklin Campbell.  Mr. Campbell was charged with one count of Incest, Rape, Aggravated Child Molestation, Child Molestation and Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. With the assistance of Baker County Sheriff Office Investigator Charles Griffin, evidence proved on August 20, 2016 David Campbell unlawfully engaged in sexual intercourse with the accused’s daughter.  On or about the 30th day of January 2016, Mr. Campbell did commit an immoral and indecent act to his biological daughter, involving the mouth of the accused and sexual organs of the child, with the intent to arouse and satisfy the sexual desires of himself by placing his lips on the victim’s vagina. The three day impaneled jury trial was tried by District Attorney Joseph K. Mulholland. The jury found Mr. Campbell guilty of rape, incest, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, and reckless conduct.  He was sentenced to 25 years to serve in the state prison system by Judge Heather Lanier. Mulholland had this to say: “This poor child was living a nightmare.  She has been relocated to a Christian Home and hopefully will be able to start a new life.  Her perpetrator will spend the rest of his natural life likely behind bars.”

The second impaneled jury trial was a Felony Murder and Aggravated Assault case also tried by District Attorney Joseph K. Mulholland. With the assistance of Baker County Sheriff Office Investigator Charles Griffin and GBI Agent Rod Porter, evidence showed on April 1, 2017 Antonio Demond Walters caused the death of Marvin Mikel Miller, Jr. by shooting him with a handgun. The two day impaneled jury found Antonio Demond Walters guilty on all counts and was sentenced to 20 years to serve in the state prison system by Judge Heather Lanier. District Attorney said “There are far too many young people killed today over arguments that are trivial.  I hope that Mr. Miller has some closure knowing the killer of his son was held responsible.”

Should you have further concerns or comments please call Mr. Joseph K. Mulholland at 229-246-1823.

 David "Hippie" Campbell

David "Hippie" Campbell

Jury finds man guilty of fatal Baker Co. shooting

Monday, July 30th 2018, 4:37 pm EDTMonday, July 30th 2018, 4:37 pm EDTBy Emileigh Forrester.

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Antonio Walters (Source: Miller Co. Sheriff)

BAKER CO., GA (WALB) -

A jury found Antonio Walters guilty Monday afternoon of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, according to Joe Mullholland, South Georgia Circuit district attorney. 

Walters was originally charged with felony murder and aggravated assault, but Judge Heather Lanier gave the jury the option of a lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter.  

Walters was sentenced to 20 years to serve in a state penitentiary. 

The case was tried in Baker County Court, which began Friday. 

Walters stood trial for the fatal shooting of Marvin Miller Jr., which happened in March 2017. 

Having a card game, the victim and suspect broke out into an argument. Both left and at some point, they made up, but then continued to argue, according to the district attorney's office.

Miller punched Walters, who then pulled out a gun and shot Miller seven or eight times, according to investigators.

Mullholland said the district attorney's office is pleased with the verdict. 

“We were able to secure some justice for Mr. Miller,” Mullholland said. “Burying your own son is something no parent wants to go through. No winners in a situation like this.” 

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