Local News

October 31, 2012

Dalton man convicted of burglary, escape

A Dalton man who pleaded guilty during trial to burglary and escape was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison followed by five years on probation on Wednesday. 

Pearl Smith Jr., 39, of 717 Brooker Road, was arrested on the burglary charge on Aug. 23, 2011 after he entered a home in the Antioch community and stole copper wire and a heater.  The heater was recovered from the person to whom Smith had sold it.

On Jan. 16, 2012, while in the Whitfield County Jail awaiting trial on the burglary charge, Smith escaped from the jail after being granted trustee status. Smith was cleaning windows near the front of the jail and fled when the jailer responsible for him was temporarily distracted. Smith was arrested a short time later when he was found wearing a trash bag after he had discarded his inmate uniform.

At the time of his August arrest, Smith was on parole for a previous burglary. His trial on the new cases was delayed in part because of the need to indict the escape charge and because he hired a new attorney after his second arrest. The trial was further delayed when his parole was revoked and he was shipped into the state prison system and had to be returned to Whitfield County. A jury was finally selected on Monday and the trial commenced on Tuesday morning.

Following the testimony of eight witnesses on Tuesday and after conferring with his attorney, Scott Forrister, and with family, the defendant notified the court on Wednesday morning that he wished to enter a guilty plea to both charges.

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris presided over the case and accepted the guilty plea.  The case was being presented to the jury by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer. As part of the probated portion of the sentence, Smith was required to pay more than $2,000 in restitution to the victim of the burglary, to perform community service work and to seek alcohol and drug abuse counseling.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014