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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getalife
4
Points
getalife 08/20/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
Puppymama, in the article it

Puppymama, in the article it said the burglar was armed. Justus, why are you assuming the burglar is a person of color. Regardless of color, anyone breaking into my house in the middle of the night, you can color him shot or dead if I get off enough shots.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 08/20/10 - 08:14 am
0
0
Why are we not allowed to

Why are we not allowed to post a comment about the Cherry Tree shooting??

wwjd
0
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wwjd 08/20/10 - 08:19 am
0
0
Way to go Judge. Thats what

Way to go Judge. Thats what I'm talking about. It's about time that the bad guy gets it. Another one of those good endings. To the one that got away he can't even go to the funeral. Bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do when they come for you. Oh yeah.

bentman
466
Points
bentman 08/20/10 - 08:20 am
0
0
That's right judge. When

That's right judge. When they invade someone else's home the sentence is a slap on the hand. But wait until they invade your home . . .

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 08/20/10 - 08:20 am
0
0
Because the mods play that

Because the mods play that way getalife. Now AC, what is wrong with this?? People are calling this person, who is DEAD a loser, a perp, etc. He has loved ones.. Yet, you allow comments. Then the other case, the deceased was part of his demise by participating in a shootout, yet all comments are hidden and not allowed.
Please explain to all of us why one is appropriate and other not! Explain how it is ok for you to play that way, yet we are to be nice and not racist??

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 08/20/10 - 08:22 am
0
0
Question: What do you call a
Unpublished

Question: What do you call a liberal who has been a victim? Answer: A conservative. Now that he's walked in our shoes, guess who will be handing out stiffer sentences in future cases that come before him?

dani
12
Points
dani 08/20/10 - 08:22 am
0
0
The holes in the story are

The holes in the story are bullet holes.

steelermoose1
0
Points
steelermoose1 08/20/10 - 08:25 am
0
0
Justus...the only holes in

Justus...the only holes in this story, are the bullet holes in that scumbags chest!

SFARRIS
0
Points
SFARRIS 08/20/10 - 08:27 am
0
0
Good for you.......

Good for you.......

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 08/20/10 - 08:27 am
0
0
Liberal this and liberal

Liberal this and liberal that. Does it make you feel better to say that. I am very liberal, yet would not hesitate to light your behind up. So save all that political bull for a more appropriate article.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 08/20/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
pommom: The explanation is

pommom: The explanation is simple: The Cherry Tree shooting involved a person of colour; it is a tragedy when one of them is killed; we must be circumspect and politically aware and correct to please the r-word moderators. The judge shot a white guy and that's always okay.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 08/20/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
Judge, Jury, &
Unpublished

Judge, Jury, & Executioner..... GREAT Job Judge Overstreet!!!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 08/20/10 - 08:46 am
0
0
sliique were you taking

sliique were you taking about justus' comment "There is holes in this one" being excellent?

CarlA
114
Points
CarlA 08/20/10 - 08:36 am
0
0
Hey Justus, Bang Bang! You

Hey Justus, Bang Bang! You will see more and more criminals meeting the business end of a gun. People are fed up and maybe the thugs will think twice before they want to do something stupid.

onlyme
0
Points
onlyme 08/20/10 - 08:44 am
0
0
I don't usually comment;

I don't usually comment; however, I feel moved to do so today. Almost a perfect outcome, but for the one that got away. Anyone breaking into my home would meet a similar fate.

speedy6492
30
Points
speedy6492 08/20/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
Good shooting Judge. I'm

Good shooting Judge. I'm glad you're alright!! God bless!!

grinder48
2039
Points
grinder48 08/20/10 - 08:49 am
0
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justus4 - there ARE holes in
Unpublished

justus4 - there ARE holes in this, not there "is" holes in this (unless there's only one hole). Yep, and the holes are in the perpetrator! The police will do whatever is normal / required, apparently you just enjoy making a fool of yourself.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 08/20/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
Good shot, Judge. The one

Good shot, Judge. The one that got away should be easy to find. He's the one that filled his shorts, when he heard the gun discharge. Yeah, it would be cool if the Judge, used a Judge.

justdnasty
0
Points
justdnasty 08/20/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
Now he will know an remember

Now he will know an remember that he has taken a human life. and that stain can never be removed. But the postive part is that his family Ok. IT will play in his mind always. The Law will clear him. But will God will? But its funny in a way . If it was me ,I would be handcliff an take to jail, because i volated that guy rights...hm

grinder48
2039
Points
grinder48 08/20/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
Dang, even a touchy-feely
Unpublished

Dang, even a touchy-feely liberal will shoot someone, how 'bout that!

beboisme
425
Points
beboisme 08/20/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
I just emailed Sean Moores at

I just emailed Sean Moores at the chronicle and requested he open up so we can make our comments heard over the Cherry Tree incident. C'mon Sean!

na_bboy
13
Points
na_bboy 08/20/10 - 08:51 am
0
0
I don't think justus4 puts a

I don't think justus4 puts a racist slant on all his comments, I'm starting to think he's a lawyer. I don't always agree with his ideology, but you should never agree with everything you read, he's just over the top with his skepticism, and paranoia.

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
Points
Richmnd Cty Votr 08/20/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
I hope to read more of these

I hope to read more of these stories in the future, criminals find a new line of work before it is too late.

ruudvonbaron
0
Points
ruudvonbaron 08/20/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
AC mods = hypocrites

AC mods = hypocrites

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 08/20/10 - 09:02 am
0
0
PUPPYMOMMA should they sing "

PUPPYMOMMA should they sing " I wish we were in Dixie"? Some of you are just as bad as JUSTUS.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 08/20/10 - 09:48 am
0
0
Bilofft. I would sure assume

Bilofft. I would sure assume it will taint (amazing but I never thought I would use that word for a lawyer) his ability to preside over home invasion and home burglary cases. The true merits of the case will be realized when the actual location on the property is determined. But no fear, Sheriff Ronnie is on the scene to oversee the investigation, just as he is at every crime scene where a shooting has occured. Now that I think about it, I don't recall him going to any crime scene.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 08/20/10 - 10:10 am
0
0
justus4, Assumed he was black

justus4, Assumed he was black before knowing the facts. If a white person assumed he was black justice4 would be crying racism.

beboisme
425
Points
beboisme 08/20/10 - 10:14 am
0
0
Disssman I thought the same

Disssman I thought the same thing this morning, did Ronnie make an appearence at Cherry Tree?

NewHere
0
Points
NewHere 08/20/10 - 10:14 am
0
0
I am a liberal, but this guy

I am a liberal, but this guy got what he had coming. Being a liberal does not mean that you don't believe on personal responsibility.

NotReallyGA
0
Points
NotReallyGA 08/20/10 - 10:41 am
0
0
Southernguy08 - What does

Southernguy08 - What does being a liberal or conservative have to do with the judge doing what ANY of us would have done. So I take it, had the judge knew this or these guys were liberals he may not have shot them because they are liberals like him? or if he knew they were conservatives he would have unloaded the gun on them just because they were conservatives and he is a liberal? WOW, some people are so DEVOUT to being a conservative and hate everything, liberal they just can't seem to see nothing other than conservative/liberal - democrat/republican. *Shakes my head*

I say way to go Judge because I believe if the two of them had the chance, I'm sure they would have killed Judge Overstreet and possibly everyone else in the house.

OnlyinAgs, OnlyinAgs1, OnlyinAgs321, Notreally, NotreallyGA1 and jackfruitpaper833 LOL.

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