Local News

January 24, 2014

Court roundup

Man pleading guilty to sex crimes gets 300 days in jail

Editor’s note: Updates on high-interest criminal cases previously reported in The Daily Citizen appear periodically on Saturdays.

CHATSWORTH — A Crandall man the Murray County Sheriff’s Office arrested in April 2012 for alleged sex crimes against a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty to sexual battery recently in Superior Court.

Gordon Lewis Callaway, who was 29 at the time of the arrest, turned himself into authorities after learning he was wanted for child molestation, officials said then. Judge David Blevins sentenced Callaway to serve five years — 300 days in jail and the rest on probation — as well as to pay a $2,000 fine, perform 300 hours of community service and abide by the state’s sex offender conditions, which include being placed on a sex offender registry.

He had been scheduled for a Feb. 3 trial.

Also in Murray County Superior Court:

• Sunil Shamji Jungawalla, who was 46 and living in Snellville when he was arrested in 2011 for allegedly traveling to Murray County where he expected to have sexual relations with a child, is tentatively scheduled for trial before Blevins on Feb. 3. He was placed on hold shortly after his initial arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials said.

• Paul Mergel is serving a sentence handed down in 2005 after he pleaded guilty then to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and seven counts of first degree forgery in connection with cashing his mother’s Social Security checks after her disappearance.

The search for his mother, Murray County resident Mary Mergel, is ongoing, and she has been declared legally dead although investigators haven’t found her body. Paul Mergel’s name re-entered the public spotlight after he was arrested on drug charges in New Jersey, then extradited to Georgia for violating his probation.

According to court records, he hadn’t made contact with his probation officer since June 2007 and currently has about a year-and-a-half left on his sentence. He remains in the Murray County jail following a probation revocation hearing earlier this month.

• David Emmanuel Ostalaza, who faces several charges in connection with pointing a firearm at a Chatsworth police officer, is scheduled to be back in court May 29 for a calendar call to state whether he is ready for a June 9 trial.

Ostalaza is charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm while under the influence, discharging a firearm near a public highway and possession of drug-related objects.

Officials said at the time of the November 2013 incident that the officer was responding to a complaint about someone shooting a firearm outside in a residential area, and Ostalaza allegedly met him at the door with a gun.

Text Only
Local News
  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • 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