Local News

August 28, 2012

Murray officers involved in alleged bogus arrest on leave

— Two Murray County Sheriff’s Office employees involved in the arrest of a woman who made allegations that led to the resignation of the chief magistrate have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Ray Sitton, a chief deputy with the sheriff’s office, said Capt. Michael Henderson and Officer Josh Greeson were placed on leave according to a department policy that governs officers involved in ongoing investigations. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Angela Garmley, who accused former judge Bryant Cochran of using his power to solicit her for sexual favors, was arrested by Greeson on a possession of methamphetamine charge weeks after she went public with her story. The arrest occurred during a traffic stop in which Greeson uncovered a magnetized metal can underneath her car that he said contained meth.

District Attorney Bert Poston asked the GBI to investigate after Garmley said the drugs were not hers and that she had been set up, possibly by an employee at a trailer park Cochran owns. The investigation is ongoing, but Poston said he had enough information to dismiss the charges against Garmley.

A phone number for Greeson could not be found. Ringgold attorney Larry Stagg, who is representing Henderson, said his client has “tried to stay out of it as much as possible” in regard to anything to do with Cochran, who was under investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission before he resigned. Stagg said Henderson is Cochran’s cousin.

“For the most part, he didn’t have a lot to do with (Garmley’s arrest),” Stagg said. “There was an officer that pulled this young lady over, and he was present when she was placed under arrest, but he did not find the drugs on the car and did not make the arrest.”

Stagg said Henderson was the closest officer available for backup when Greeson made the stop, so he responded.

“He’s not done anything wrong,” Stagg said.

McCracken Poston, Garmley’s attorney who is not related to Bert Poston, said placing the officers on leave was “the right thing to do.”

Sitton said placing officers on leave is a routine practice while investigations are ongoing.

“It’s not a suspension, it’s just until the investigation is completed, and when that will be I don’t know,” he said.

Cochran resigned in mid-August after admitting he pre-signed warrants. Through his attorney he has denied wrongdoing with Garmley and another woman whom McCracken Poston said has made similar allegations.

“He adamantly denies both of them and feels that if the case ever goes to court the truth will come out and that it will be resolved in his favor,” said Chris Townley, Cochran’s attorney.

Townley said that while Cochran did admit to pre-signing warrants, it was an “extremely limited circumstance.”

 “It’s not anything like what has been portrayed,” he said. “It’s a real limited circumstance that he was addressing ... He has accepted responsibility, and that’s as far as I can go with that at this time.”

Sitton said he could not discuss details of the investigation and referred questions to GBI officials. Special-Agent-In-Charge Jerry Scott declined to discuss the investigation.

“We’re just still conducting the investigation, and it’s ongoing and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • gov deal in dalton1.jpg State faces skilled worker gap

    Clay Cooper says HON is producing as many retirees as the company is office chairs.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • house fire on tops st1.jpg House fire under investigation

    Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire on Top Street in Dalton Monday that at least temporarily put a family of four out of their home.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo