Local News

June 24, 2014

Slingshot vandals receive probation, to pay restitution

Three men will pay a total of more than $40,000 in restitution to the owners of businesses whose windows they damaged with marbles from slingshots last year as part of a plea deal.

Conasauga District Attorney Bert Poston said Nicholas Lane Atkins, Kinsey Logan Baggett and Ricky Herbert Pratt pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor criminal trespass.

“They received basically 60 months of probation,” Poston said. “They were also ordered to pay restitution of about $14,000 each, I believe, with $10,000 of that upfront and the remainder as a condition of their probation. But I believe one of them was prepared to pay the entire amount.”

Each of the three must also perform 100 hours of community service.

Sam Sanders, the attorney for Baggett, said, “They are all young and they were all sentenced as first offenders, so if they successfully complete the terms of the probation they can each truthfully say they don’t have a conviction on their record.”

When they were charged with multiple counts of felony criminal damage to property and criminal trespass in August of last year, Baggett, of Resaca, was 17, Atkins, of Dalton, was 20 and Pratt, of Dalton, was 22.

“They will also pay restitution to the victims, and most of that money has already been raised,” Sanders said. “The victims should be receiving that money soon.”

Sanders said the three acknowledged they were responsible and wanted to pay for the damage they caused.

“These are all good boys, but they are young and just made a pretty stupid error in judgment. I know my guy will learn from it and go on to lead a fine life,” he said.

The three were charged in connection with shooting marbles through glass windows at 50 Dalton-area businesses after investigators tracked them down and arrested them, thanks to a tip.

“They could not give us a reason why they did it,” Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Rick Swiney said at the time of the arrests.

Several of the businesses were in the county while the rest were inside the city limits of Dalton.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office at the time, the three “started out hitting street signs with the marbles and progressed to windows during the night.” Businesses on Thornton Avenue, Hamilton Street, Walnut Avenue, Glenwood Avenue and Morris Street were among those damaged.

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