Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

More Masters ticket cases dropped in Magistrate Court

12 Masters Week arrests dropped

Steve Crawford/Staff
Stephen Sherman, of Eatonton, Ga., is called Thursday to have his case heard in Richmond County Magistrate Court.
Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:50 AM
Last updated Friday, May 11, 2012 2:11 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

The cases against three more people charged in connection with the buying and selling of Masters Tour­nament tickets were dismissed Thurs­day in Richmond County Mag­istrate Court.



That brings the dismissals to 12 out of more than 30 arrests on disorderly conduct charges by sheriff’s deputies during Masters Week.

More than a dozen defendants had been summoned to appear in court Thursday. Eight defendants did not show up and will be required to forfeit the bond money they posted after their arrest – in most cases, $500. Two cases were postponed to be heard at a later date.

All three of the men whose cases were dismissed pleaded no contest to the disorderly conduct charge. Solicitor Harry B. James recommended that their cases be dismissed with the condition in two of the cases that their bond money be forfeited.

One of the men, Mark Dickson, had asked for a jury trial Tuesday. He returned Thursday to say he changed his mind and wanted to enter a no-contest plea.

Dickson, 21, attends the Univer­sity of South Carolina Aiken, where he is a member of the golf team. He told Judge William D. Jen­nings III he had no idea he was doing anything wrong when he bought a practice-round ticket from a Florida man, Jasper B. Sojourner.

“I just wanted to see my heroes play at the Masters,” Dickson said.

Sojourner’s case was dismissed on April 26 after he sent a letter to Augusta officials protesting his arrest. Jennings agreed to do the same for Dickson and sent him on his way. He also agreed to refund Dickson’s bond money because he was a student.

That was the same deal that Stephen Sherman was looking for when he went to court, but he didn’t get it. Sherman, of Eatonton, Ga., said he wanted his case dismissed and his bond money returned. James and Jennings said the deal for him was dismissal with no refund.

“Then I’ll take a bench trial,” Sherman said.

Jennings granted his request, but said he would have to return another day for a trial.

Afterward, Sherman said it was a matter of principle and he was willing to risk trial to be fully exonerated. He said he was arrested outside of the Augusta National Golf Club on April 4 while he was asking people who were leaving the tournament whether they intended to return. He didn’t buy or sell a ticket.

“I didn’t commit a crime, and I want my money back,” he said.

Comments (19) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 05/10/12 - 12:20 pm
2
2
Hey Sean!

Why doesn't the Chronicle just go ahead and print the names and home towns of these people to further embarrass them? Maybe they were printed in the beginning but I am glad that the newspaper has taken the high road since they were not prosecuted! Can't spell the Latin version! LOL!

dichotomy
34496
Points
dichotomy 05/10/12 - 12:59 pm
7
0
Good for him

Good for Mr. Sherman. All of the cases dismissed should have had their bond money returned. And ALL of the cases should have been dismissed, including the ones who did not come back for this travesty of a judicial dance. This whole thing was a farce and a black eye for Augusta and the RCSO. For the singular benefit of the pompous poops at the Augusta National we have harrassed, humiliated, and unjustly charged perfectly nice visitors with a trumped up charge of unspecified "disorderly conduct". The only people being disorderly were the undercover creeps conducting this little fiasco at the behest of the almighty Augusta National. JMHO

FriedFacts
61
Points
FriedFacts 05/10/12 - 01:01 pm
0
0
This Whole Matter is So Revolting
Unpublished

This Whole Matter is So Revolting the people should sue. Any jury around would award large sums to these people. What about the 72 year old guy who was taken to jail because he sees a plainclothed officer grab his daughter and touches the officer while asking him what's going on? This is one of the finest reports the Chronicle has ever done exposing this travesty.

blues550
380
Points
blues550 05/10/12 - 01:01 pm
0
0
So It Goes
Unpublished

The entertainment continues. Wasn't there at least one black arrested so the Comical could continue beating the racial divide drums? Pity.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 05/10/12 - 01:01 pm
6
0
amen Dichotomy. Post signs.

amen Dichotomy. Post signs. Problem solved. Prosecute the violators all you want then. Until A-RC or the ANGC does it, it feels predatory and looks tacky tacky tacky.

Little Lamb
47042
Points
Little Lamb 05/10/12 - 01:59 pm
2
3
Signs?

I think the sign proposal opens up more potential problems than it helps. In the first place, what would you have the signs say?

No Soliciting? (too vague)

No ticket reselling within 2,700 feet of ANGC property?

No Disorderly Conduct? (case dismissed)

Obey law enforcement agents while in Augusta? (kind of pompous)

In the second place, where would the signs be placed? On ANGC property? On city right of way along Berckmans Rd.? How about along Washington Rd.? What about putting the signs at the 2,700-foot line where it becomes legal to resell tickets?

To be consistent, why don't we make police put up signs all over town telling visitors and citizens about all of the things they shouldn't be doing during Masters week; like hiring prostitutes, drinking and driving, trashing their rental homes, jaywalking across Washington Rd. @ I-20 after dark, etc.?

Right on
210
Points
Right on 05/10/12 - 03:57 pm
1
2
Well said little lamb

Well said little lamb

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 05/10/12 - 04:02 pm
0
3
I'm just using foresight but

I'm just using foresight but I may go ahead and scout some areas around the side of Berkman to pitch a tent since we are handcuffing RCSO and ANGC and granting those with no badge asylum . Here is the "list of things to bring":

Rain Stick
Hacky Sack
Extra Tye Dye
Granola bars
Patchouli (incense and extract)
Enough money to buy up some badges for resale
Berks

That's pretty much it as I can barter and beg for whatever else I need right?

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 05/10/12 - 04:38 pm
0
0
If the case is dismissed, is

If the case is dismissed, is the badge still confiscated?

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 05/10/12 - 05:33 pm
3
0
Good one dichotomy. I've said

Good one dichotomy. I've said before that the RCSO could not be entirely to blame. The ANGC surely had a hand in this "heavy-handed" approach. And if no money changed hands, where was the crime?...Hopefully those that pushed this PR fiasco will think twice before making it a "crime" to even give a badge away or ask for one....especially when no money is involved.....

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/10/12 - 05:35 pm
0
0
After all of this mess, will

After all of this mess, will there be a single conviction?

Is there a better use of police and judicial resources?

AMMO
6
Points
AMMO 05/10/12 - 06:37 pm
4
0
Way to stand up for your rights Mr. Sherman

I for one, totally agree with Mr. Sherman. I'm glad he's standing up to these corrupt officials. This whole thing smells fishy to me. He is a true hero to the working man, to the little man,to the boys who fish for catfish from the docks. I for one wouldn't mess with this guy, have you seen that picture. He looks like 250 lbs of twisted steel to me. Look at that look on his face, this just got real. Bravo Mr. Sherman!!!Bravo!

georgiajustice
3
Points
georgiajustice 05/10/12 - 08:19 pm
1
0
Just speachless

I cannot believe that asking someone if they were leaving for the day could be considered a crime. Mr. Sherman is correct -- he should be granted his bail money back. There is no evidence of a crime being commited! My heart goes out to all of those who suffered these sham arrests, wasting our tax money and giving our city a bad name.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 05/10/12 - 09:04 pm
0
0
Maybe someone should rent a
Unpublished

Maybe someone should rent a plane and fly around the ANGC with a sign that says wanted: Masters Badges, will pay top dollar (insert phone number) as long as they stay above 2700 feet no worries right?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/10/12 - 09:13 pm
0
0
My prediction? Zero

My prediction?

Zero convictions.

The only "wins" will come from out-of-towners cutting their losses at $500, rather than spend that much in travel to challenge the charges.

my.voice
4927
Points
my.voice 05/10/12 - 10:29 pm
0
0
Why waste the police

Why waste the police departments time if the courts just going to dismiss the charges!

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 05/11/12 - 05:25 am
2
0
We need protection.
Unpublished

Here is a perfectly good example why we now need protection from the government. They know they messed up but they are following through with it like they've done nothing wrong.

allaboutlife
55
Points
allaboutlife 05/11/12 - 08:09 am
0
0
Lambchop, it is not the duty

Lambchop, it is not the duty of the Sheriff's Office to put up signs. If the public does not want the laws enforced then get them off the books. Why don't the police just overlook all the drunk driving by the money toting visitors who come to town just to see their heros and have a good time. They aren't hurting anyone. But when they do, it will be, why weren't the police enforcing the laws. Well, it's because all the idiots in Augusta who feel the laws should be discarded during masters week. Get real people.

justthefacts
22767
Points
justthefacts 05/11/12 - 08:27 am
0
1
Hopefully.

Well, after the daily (hourly) updates on this issue, maybe people will be more aware of the Georgia State Law, regarding the selling of tickets at sporting events, that exist all over the state and refrain from doing so next year.

itsanotherday1
45507
Points
itsanotherday1 05/11/12 - 09:25 am
0
0
JTF, you make a good point;

JTF, you make a good point; with all of the brouhaha over this and the widespread reporting of it, I bet the issue resolves itself in the future.

JRC2024
9341
Points
JRC2024 05/11/12 - 10:05 am
0
0
A warning should be

A warning should be sufficient. Judge Jennings did the right think by dismissing these charges but the bond money should also be returned. Mr. Sherman should be found not guilty and I believe all on the jury will see that it should. I know I would never vote for a conviction without any money passing.

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 05/11/12 - 12:01 pm
0
0
I agree with dichotomy 100%.

I agree with dichotomy 100%. The entire episode was a farce and an embarrassment to Augusta. Everybody charged under circumstances like Mr. Sherman should get all of their money back and the Law Enforcement Officials should concentrate on the mega-buck scalpers who operate so openly. First, they should apologize to Mr. Sherman and other, similarly aggrieved citizens.

Justnosey
2
Points
Justnosey 05/11/12 - 12:07 pm
0
0
Nothing wrong with standing

Nothing wrong with standing in the way and asking for tickets ? Remember that when they stop you at first friday and ask for money.

Little Lamb
47042
Points
Little Lamb 05/12/12 - 09:41 am
0
0
Not so fast

JRC posted:

A warning should be sufficient. Judge Jennings did the right think by dismissing these charges but the bond money should also be returned.

Let's not hand out too much praise to Judge Jennings. He is the one who planted the "disorderly conduct" idea in the sheriff's brain in the first place.

And the strange thing about Thursday's court is that Jennings made them forfeit their $500 bond, whereas on Tuesday, he was letting those defendants get their bond back. That doesn't sound fair or consistent.

I hope Mr. Sherman wins his case. But he'd better ask for a different judge than Judge Jennings. Jennings is a loose cannon.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs