Local News

July 2, 2014

Man to claim self-defense in December killing in Murray

A Chatsworth man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2013 death of his mother’s boyfriend pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and his attorney said he will claim self-defense.

“He had a justification to use force against someone who actually pulled a weapon on him,” Rex Abernathy said of John Dwight Phillips, who entered the plea before Judge Jack Partain in Murray County Superior Court. The trial is scheduled to start Oct. 6.

Abernathy said he couldn’t comment too much since he has not yet seen all of the evidence the prosecution plans to present.

Phillips is charged in the death of Tommy Walraven, 63, of Crandall, who died Dec. 27 at Hamilton Medical Center. A day earlier, at about 4:30 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy found him beaten and unconscious lying on his girlfriend’s living room floor at her home on Smyrna Church Road. The deputy called for an ambulance.

According to an incident report, the deputy came to the home when the woman, Terry Welch, called authorities after Walraven and her son, Phillips, got into an argument. According to the report, Phillips told the deputy he had ordered Walraven to leave the house after the two began arguing over how Phillips was handling an issue with his wife, and that’s when Walraven grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at his stomach. Phillips said he began hitting Walraven in the face in self-defense.

The deputy wrote in his report that he planned to charge Walraven for pointing a gun. Alcohol was involved, according to the report.


Text Only
Local News
  • Dalton State turtle 4.jpg In the mood for love: Encouraging breeding, saving species

    For one Dalton State College couple, a cool misty shower is more effective than Barry White and candles at turning thoughts to love. And keeping this couple feeling amorous could mean survival of the species.

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Beaulieu expects 2,000 employees to be affected by week-long shutdown

    About 2,000 employees of Beaulieu of America in Georgia and Alabama will be affected by the company’s plans to conduct an inventory of its buildings and facilities next week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Moral monday 3 mlh.jpg Four ‘jailed for justice’ tell their stories

    Arturo Martinez was just 8 when his family came to the United States from Mexico, and though he is one of more than 500,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deferred removal by President Barack Obama, Martinez said his dream of pursuing higher education is out of reach because of Georgia policies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tanner Blackton: Diners, servers must show understanding

    Try to imagine this: You’ve been on your feet for hours, hoisting heavy plates, buzzing from table to table, taking orders, running food, refilling drinks. All the while, you have a smile plastered on your face and a go-to attitude, even when people blame you for things that are out of your control, berate you for accidentally mixing up an order, or loudly complain about being seated underneath an air conditioning vent.

    August 1, 2014

  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014