No indictment for former south Georgia sheriff

'Chunk' Jones confronted McIntosh deputy at son's traffic stop

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 5:49 AM
Last updated 5:53 AM
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DARIEN, Ga. --  McIntosh County grand jury has declined to indict former Sheriff Charles "Chunk" Jones on a charge of obstructing an officer.

The grand jury voted to "no bill'' the proposed indictment, which was presented in open court earlier this week, the Darien News reported.

The indictment, which was presented by a special prosecutor, included misdemeanor and felony counts of obstructing an officer on Feb. 6 in Darien.

McIntosh County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Palmer stopped Jones' son, Chris, beside U.S. 17 to check his vehicle's window tinting, which the officer believed was darker than allowed by law, Chief Deputy Williams Jennings said the day after the arrest.

The former sheriff arrived and repeatedly interrupted the deputy, touched him at one point and refused the deputy's instructions to step back, Jennings said.

Palmer, who had been recently hired from Liberty County, did not know Charles Jones or his son, Jennings said at the time.

Jones was charged with obstructing an officer with violence, a felony, and taken to the county jail where he was booked and released on his own recognizance at the request of Sheriff Steve Jessup.

The window tint was found to be legal and Palmer issued no citation.

Jones lost the sheriff's race to Jessup in 2008.

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agustinian 11/27/10 - 09:08 am
And had an ordinary citizen

And had an ordinary citizen shown up and done the same thing to police officer, would they have received the same treatment?

TeamLoser 11/27/10 - 09:12 am
Im sure us normal people

Im sure us normal people would have been tased, maced or both, followed by some physical treatment. Some violation would be found on our vehicle causing it to impounded and fees would stack up while we waiting for release on bond. I expect their would be more effort to ensure we were indicted as well.

airbud7 11/27/10 - 10:24 am
Sounds like it all started

Sounds like it all started with an illegal traffic stop, (The window tint was found to be legal) Sounds like Mr Jones had a good Defense Attorney☺

justus4 11/27/10 - 10:56 am
Thugs with badges comes to

Thugs with badges comes to mind since this entire episode had NOTHING to do with law enforcement. This was all ego. Someone should be fired! But they won't. And that grand jury stuff is laughable because there is no credibility in those things due to severe conflicts of interest. The whole thing is a sad joke and evidence that some sworn officers are reckless and dishonest in their duties and have little regard for the actual laws. This case is just more proof of that reality.

Sweet son
Sweet son 11/27/10 - 04:27 pm
Oh, come on justus, give the

Oh, come on justus, give the "brother" a break.

Asitisinaug 11/27/10 - 07:37 pm
The deputy, while simply

The deputy, while simply doing his job made a legal traffic stop and once determined the tint was legal, let the driver go without a citation. If you want the tint laws changed, then contact your legislature but don't berate a deputy for doing his job as instructed.

As for an "ordinary citizen" receiving the same treatment from a deputy, YES, he/she would have been arrested and prosecuted just as this former Sheriff was. The deputy did not give the former Sheriff any special treatment and even followed through with the charges. The citizens of the community on the special grand jury failed to follow through, not the deputy or the DA's office.

Justus, your comments are pathetic, uneducated, ill informed and have no merit at all whatsoever, as usual. The deputy did his job and you think he should be fired - for what exactly? You say the deputy was dishonest and yet the deputy said the tent was legal and didn't even issue a citation so where is the dishonesty? The deputy arrested a former Sheriff for breaking the law and interfering with a law enforcement officer so where is disregard for the law?

A police officer does his job efficiently and is berated by some within the public.

When a marine or citizen tackels a shoplifter, throws him to the ground and holds them down for police they are a hero when a police officer does the same thing, he is an out of control cop who should be fired and arrested because of excessive force on a shoplifter. Yes, I know this is a different story but it has become the mentality of many who simply have no respect for laws of law enforcement.

jhill6659 11/29/10 - 01:08 pm
the former sheriff was tased

the former sheriff was tased

mable8 11/29/10 - 01:30 pm
What violence occurred?

What violence occurred? Touching is not the same thing as a violent act so it was ridiculous to add that to the charges. As for interferring with the officer, then that is what he should have been charged with. No wonder the Grand Jury failed to indict the man. That's the problem with the criminal justice system: people are often charged with a greater criminal act than that which was committed and when these charges are reduced to a lower level, the unsuspecting public is outraged. If the individual was actually committing a violent act, then use the appropriate law; if the violation or criminal act was a lesser degree, than use that as the appropriate charge and do not reduce either since this dilutes the officer's law enforcement efforts. DA's are great at demanding the greater charge because this gives them the leverage necessary in plea bargaining to save taxpayer dollars; however, using a criminal charge at a greater degree to satisfy the DA's whim is still wrong and unconstitutional as well.

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