Crime & Courts

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Judge shoots intruder who broke in through window

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength press conference about the shooting at Judge Overstreet's home, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010.
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John E. Howard Jr. -- the man shot to death by Judge Carlisle Overstreet after breaking into his house Friday morning -- was on probation for three burglaries and a shoplifting offense, according to information from the district attorney's office obtained through an open-records request.

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A Richmond County sheriff's deputy enters the gate at Judge Carlisle Overstreet's home on Cumming Road.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
A Richmond County sheriff's deputy enters the gate at Judge Carlisle Overstreet's home on Cumming Road.


The 20-year-old Blythe man, whose nickname was "Killa," according to the Richmond County jail's booking sheet, was arrested June 25, 2008, after investigators in Burke and Columbia counties connected him to a June 12, 2008, residential burglary on Maddox Road, and break-ins at Keysville Baptist Church and Blythe Baptist Church.

Most of the items stolen from the Maddox Road break-in -- which was discovered by the victim's mother, who is Judge Overstreet's secretary -- were recovered at pawnshops or at a home where Howard was staying.

Howard told investigators he had done the crimes alone, and charges against the second man were dismissed.

Augusta attorney Jacque Hawk, who represented Howard, said at the sentencing hearing that Howard had been in jail for 9 1/2 months and had not asked for bond because Howard and his family -- his mother and three brothers -- thought Howard needed to spend some time behind bars to think about what he had done and to get drugs out of his system.

Hawk said that Howard was abusing an over-the-counter cold medicine, Coricidin.

Howard was 2 years old when his father died while serving in the military in Korea, Hawk said.

According to police records, Howard had no criminal history before the 2008 break-ins. At that time, he was unemployed after dropping out of school in the 11th grade.

Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. accepted a plea negotiation worked out by the attorneys. He sentenced Howard on May 1, 2009, to serve 10 years' probation. Brown suspended a 1-year prison sentence on the condition that Howard complete a program with the Day Reporting Center.

On Friday night, police announced that they were searching for a second suspect believed to have been involved in the burglary about 4 a.m. at Overstreet's Cumming Road house.

William Omar Jacobs, 22, is being sought by authorities on a charge of burglary in connection with the break-in, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Chris Langford.

At a news conference Friday morning, authorities said Howard and another man, who was later identified as Jacobs, entered the house after throwing a rock through a glass door, and went upstairs.

Overstreet heard voices, got his gun and saw Howard coming down the stairs with a bandana covering his face and socks on his hands. Overstreet fired, hitting Howard in the chest.

Howard was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities said no weapon was found on Howard.

"At this point, there is little doubt it was nothing but random," said Sheriff Ronnie Strength, adding, "Physically, the judge is fine but upset."

Strength said the way the men entered the home -- "making that much racket" -- makes police suspect they were not aware Overstreet was inside.

A laptop computer was missing.

According to records published in The Augusta Chronicle, Jacobs, of the 2000 block of Starnes Street, was indicted May 11 on charges of possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor count of family violence battery.

Strength said his office advocates that people be armed and follow the judge's example.

"We support that 100 percent," the sheriff said. "If somebody breaks into your home, we expect and hope that what Judge Overstreet did this morning would be done by any other citizen."

The sheriff said he has known Overstreet for about 45 years and called him a "good marksman."

Friday's break-in wasn't the first at the Overstreet home. On March 12, 2008, a man kicked in the door while Overstreet's wife, Shara, was there.

She told police she was taking a nap when she heard the doorbell ring several times. She ignored it, but then heard a crashing sound.

She went to investigate and saw a man standing in the foyer. The man ran.

The report makes no mention of anything being stolen, and police say they're not aware of anyone ever being arrested in that case.

Shara Overstreet died of cancer later in 2008.

Anyone with information on Jacobs is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Comments (174) Add comment
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RoadkiII
6596
Points
RoadkiII 08/20/10 - 07:45 am
0
0
Judge, it's about time you

Judge, it's about time you gave a criminal the punishment he deserves.

Dukedirtbag
0
Points
Dukedirtbag 08/20/10 - 07:49 am
0
0
here come da judge here come

here come da judge here come da judge

billoftt
0
Points
billoftt 08/20/10 - 07:59 am
0
0
I wonder if he used a Tauraus

I wonder if he used a Tauraus Judge. Sorry, I couldn't help myself with that one.

Well, here's hoping for some changes in the way fate is handed down to thugs and criminals alike. Now that Judge Overstreet has joined the ranks of those who know horrible of a personal violation a home invasion is, could benevolence on the bench be a thing of the past? Or could this go the other direction and forever taint him...

duckey
0
Points
duckey 08/20/10 - 08:00 am
0
0
A fair sentence

A fair sentence

wlightnin42
0
Points
wlightnin42 08/20/10 - 08:02 am
0
0
The judge put the hammer

The judge put the hammer down. This is how to punish these punks before they can get out of the court room with probation.

Iknowjack
22
Points
Iknowjack 08/20/10 - 08:05 am
0
0
Oh how I must agree with the

Oh how I must agree with the first comment. Now that he too is a victim of a crime of violent nature, it might....I said might get him to change the way he thinks when handing down a sentence. He as of late has become weak, now he might step up and be strong...

Mongoose
4
Points
Mongoose 08/20/10 - 08:06 am
0
0
Was the burgular armed?

Was the burgular armed?

dichotomy
32856
Points
dichotomy 08/20/10 - 08:07 am
0
0
How ironic. I hope it was of

How ironic. I hope it was of our injustice system's repeat offenders who has always been given probation or one out on parole.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 08/20/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
I can't wait to hear what

I can't wait to hear what Austin Rhodes has to say!!! You break in our house, you will face our gun also.

movingtoaugusta
62
Points
movingtoaugusta 08/20/10 - 08:13 am
0
0
Mongoose........who cares.

Mongoose........who cares. Good shooting Judge Overstreet. I'd have done the exact same thing. Your gonna hear all of the lefties cry about he had a bad child hood and grew up poor. TS ........ Don't break into another man's house if you don't want to get shot, pure and simple.

courtneymom4
0
Points
courtneymom4 08/20/10 - 08:13 am
0
0
Who cares if he WAS armed or

Who cares if he WAS armed or not, someone breaking into your home and not knowing what they are going to do is scary, I would break my gun out too. People are attacked everyday by someone without a gun or knife.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/20/10 - 08:17 am
0
0
Georgia's Castle law does not

Georgia's Castle law does not require the perp to be armed.

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 08/20/10 - 08:18 am
0
0
Haven't heard yet if burglar

Haven't heard yet if burglar was armed but if someone is going to enter a strangers house with a mask over their head during the night, I'd think they would have some kind of weapon. In any case, glad the judge was a good shot .

seenitB4
86958
Points
seenitB4 08/20/10 - 08:22 am
0
0
He did exactly what most

He did exactly what most would do.

justus4
101
Points
justus4 08/20/10 - 08:24 am
0
0
There is holes in this one,
Unpublished

There is holes in this one, but the judge should be treated just like any other citizen involved in a shooting i.e. ballistics test, drug test, witness testimony, and other evidence. Something tells me, that won't happen in this case. In fact, expect some changes on this story and the factual events because something smells about this shooting.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 08/20/10 - 08:27 am
0
0
I love a story with a good

I love a story with a good ending!

tay120487
21
Points
tay120487 08/20/10 - 08:27 am
0
0
A job well done judge!

A job well done judge!

CATFISHSTEW
14
Points
CATFISHSTEW 08/20/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
semongoose of course he was

semongoose of course he was armed.. 2 of them to be exact . The good Judge doled out Justice before he got to the bench. You break into smeones
house in the middle of the night....What do you expect someone to do ?
offer him a sandwich and a cup of coffee ? too bad it was not 2 or 3 more
and he could have got them all. The very same thing will happen... if you come to My HOUSE.

AWyld1
3
Points
AWyld1 08/20/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
The only thing that smells in

The only thing that smells in this story is your comments...come on AC enforce your own rules...this particular poster puts a racist slant on everything why are his posts not deleted and his acct warned? Could it be that the moderators are...yep you guessed it...you know what...

stickmen
0
Points
stickmen 08/20/10 - 08:36 am
0
0
Fine shooting, judge, FINE!!!

Fine shooting, judge, FINE!!!

FAIR TAX Now
16
Points
FAIR TAX Now 08/20/10 - 08:36 am
0
0
So a liberal judge owns a

So a liberal judge owns a gun. Plus he stole the right of a person to a trial and even handed down a capital punishment. He could get ban from liberalism for this. No I am happy he dealt with this useless human and took him out of this world from tormenting anyone else. At least one liberal realizes you must deal with criminals. I just wish Judge Overstreet was as willing to carry out the dealth penalty in his court as he is in his home.

gutdawg
8
Points
gutdawg 08/20/10 - 08:42 am
0
0
Mongoose, does it matter?

Mongoose, does it matter? Someone breaks in a house @ 4 A.M. , you have to assume that one is armed.

chadwick323i
48
Points
chadwick323i 08/20/10 - 08:43 am
0
0
judge and executioner

judge and executioner

LynxRHot
0
Points
LynxRHot 08/20/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
justus4....you always have to

justus4....you always have to shift the blame, don't you? So give him a drug test, ballistics test.....It doesn't matter...It won't matter....the idiot broke into his house....'nuff said.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 08/20/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
FairTaxNow- you missed the

FairTaxNow- you missed the point, "So a liberal judge owns a gun." Of course he does; he just doesn't want some peasant like YOU to own one. This fellow violated the judge's home and got the ultimate sentence; if he'd been ransacking your house, he would be deserving of compassion and understanding.

I suspect if someone like you had shot this clown, you would still be down at 401 Walton Way, going over your story for the several hundreth time while a team of unbelieving and unsympathetic investigators tried to poke holes in your story. It is good to be the king.

beboisme
425
Points
beboisme 08/20/10 - 08:53 am
0
0
justus4, Explain yourself

justus4, Explain yourself please. There are two sentences, and two small paragraphs written above. Nowhere do I see "holes" in this story line to indicate a wrong doing on the Judges part. If ignorance is bliss you must be one happy camper. Wait for the "Rest Of The Story" (as Paul Harvey would say) before you blast ridiculous comments. Silence is Golden, practice.

LynxRHot
0
Points
LynxRHot 08/20/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
Austin....love your comment!

Austin....love your comment! But justus will still find something to complain about.

sliique
0
Points
sliique 08/20/10 - 08:55 am
0
0
"justus4," EXCELLENT

"justus4," EXCELLENT assessment!

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 08/20/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
Sorry Justus, you'll have to

Sorry Justus, you'll have to sing "We Shall Overcome" by yourself.

gutdawg
8
Points
gutdawg 08/20/10 - 09:03 am
0
0
justus4, what smells is your

justus4, what smells is your comments, you need to get a life. Someone broke into his house, he shot them, case closed. He didn't go out into the street, hunt them down and ambush them.

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