DUI dropped after Richmond County deputy falsified documents

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 12:28 PM
Last updated 10:29 PM
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A DUI charge was dropped Friday against a man with a history of driving offenses because the arresting deputy previously admitted to falsifying traffic reports. Instead, Roderick Tolbert was given five years’ probation for driving with a suspended license.



He had been arrested March 24 by Richmond County Deputy Erik Norman on suspicion of DUI after his car was seen weaving on Greene Street. Norman resigned in October after admitting to altering the results of two DUI breath tests. That revelation has cast doubt on the validity of all of the deputy’s arrests.

Assistant District Attorney Kim Easterling said Friday that Norman was part of the reason he DUI charge against Tolbert – who had three previous convictions for driving with a suspended license – was dropped. Field sobriety tests determined Tolbert was under the influence of marijuana.

Court records show that Tolbert was ticketed for driving on a suspended license Dec. 30, 2000, 26 days after he was paroled from prison for possession of cocaine. He went back to federal prison for possession of cocaine in 2002, then was ticketed Oct. 17, 2007, for driving on a suspended license, then Dec. 25, 2010, and Feb. 3, 2011.

Norman, hired as a jailer in July 2002, was transferred to the DUI task force in March 2009. An accurate count of his DUI convictions cannot be made through court records, but during his time on the task force, he arrested an estimated 250 to 400 people.

State Court Solicitor Charles Evans said in November that his office had 62 pending DUI cases in which Norman was the arresting officer. District Attorney Ashley Wright said at the time that prosecuting Norman for falsifying evidence would be difficult because her office would have to prove in which case he falsified the results, and there was no way to uncover those cases without Norman’s admission. He claimed he didn’t know which cases were falsified.

Wright estimated her office had about a dozen pending cases in which Norman was the arresting officer.

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stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 02/10/12 - 02:24 pm
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WOW, what kind of message

WOW, what kind of message does that send out to all the drunks and druggies on the road? How many DUI arrest had Officer Norman made? Mr. Tolbert and the others need to consider this a get out of jail free card and stay from behind a wheel while under the influence.

raul
3350
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raul 02/10/12 - 02:33 pm
0
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Even if they had to throw out

Even if they had to throw out the DUI, they should have given him the maximum penalty for driving on a suspended license given his history, which I'm sure would be more than probabtion.

realitycheck09
307
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realitycheck09 02/10/12 - 02:45 pm
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raul....you want to send

raul....you want to send someone to prison...for driving on a suspended license? You want your tax dollars to house someone for that? I don't.

Riverman1
70396
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 02:56 pm
0
0

Do away with drivers'

Do away with drivers' licenses. Suspensions and what have you don't stop people from driving. A monumental waste of money. Giving larger tickets for repeat offenders is how to do it. 3rd ticket for speeding and you pay a thousand or so. First offense for DUI about 5 thousand, second gets much worse. Third is jail.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 02/10/12 - 03:02 pm
0
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See someone driving way too

See someone driving way too slow they are either old folks or too scared to drive or high on pot.
See someone driving fast and erratic they are either kids and or drunk on illegal booze (sorry, prohibition didn't work on booze so that should be "legal" booze).

specsta
5701
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specsta 02/10/12 - 03:41 pm
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Riverman1 wrote: "First

Riverman1 wrote: "First offense for DUI about 5 thousand, second gets much worse. Third is jail."

I think the first offense for a DUI should be jail. It's no different from walking around with a loaded gun and shooting it randomly along a street. Except in this case, the bullet weighs about 3000 pounds.

ridesbrd
112
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ridesbrd 02/10/12 - 03:56 pm
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What kind of field sobriety

What kind of field sobriety test can they do for Marijuana? No way they could pin point that someone was high on pot. I applaud the RCSO for getting rid of this crook of a police officer. Makes me wonder about others on the force here in Augusta!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 02/10/12 - 04:03 pm
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ridesbrd: “What kind of field

ridesbrd: “What kind of field sobriety test can they do for Marijuana?”

They can can, ah um, they can a canna…I forgot what I was going to say.

thelastword
18
Points
thelastword 02/10/12 - 06:16 pm
0
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I am so sick of drunk drivers

I am so sick of drunk drivers getting off!!! Next time we see Tolbert in the paper it will be because he killed someone because he refuses to take responsibly and find a driver!

GaStang22
910
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GaStang22 02/10/12 - 06:26 pm
0
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Yes Realitycheck I want my

Unpublished

Yes Realitycheck I want my tax $ to go for that. Tons of people who drive on a suspended do so from prior duis, because they wont keep insurance etc... I have to pay for them one way or another through higher insurance premiums, gov't assistance etc... while they get a pass on being irresponsible drains on society. If I have to pay, they should be being punished somehow and I'd rather keep losers like that off the street!!! Have you seen his record??? Typical for most driving on a suspended. Menace to society, especially on the roads!!!!!! I'd definitely pay to keep someone like this locked up!

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 02/10/12 - 06:53 pm
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Although I despise drunk

Although I despise drunk drivers, I also sympathize with anyone having to deal with a falsified charge. It happens a lot in Augusta.

fatboyhog
1493
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fatboyhog 02/10/12 - 07:34 pm
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"I also sympathize with

"I also sympathize with anyone having to deal with a falsified charge. It happens a lot in Augusta." - Patty-P

Really? It happens a lot in Augusta? Like how often? And you have facts to support this?

twolane
191
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twolane 02/10/12 - 08:02 pm
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yeah lock up a drunk driver

Unpublished

yeah lock up a drunk driver and that means that a rapist or someone that tried to kill someone makes bond because there is no room for them in jail...brilliant...secondly after all the fines for dui you are already at or over 5000 dont stop noone....how bout get rid of alcohol altogether...oh no wait drunks will not stand for that......lastly the only person that affects your insurance rates is YOU and your driving record.....the reason so many people are paroled and let out is simply so many non violent offenders are in prison for victimless crimes because drug crimes have mandatory sentences......

twolane
191
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twolane 02/10/12 - 08:04 pm
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and its kinda scary what if a

Unpublished

and its kinda scary what if a police officer falsified evidence and got you convicted of murder you foks wouldnt have a problem with that......and ill bet many of you screaming about the drunk driving go out to dinner and have a few drinks then drive home...just because you dont feel drunk dont mean you arent over the limit

allhans
21928
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allhans 02/10/12 - 11:21 pm
0
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You never know about the

You never know about the driver in the next car. It is getting more dangerous by the day.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 02/11/12 - 12:06 am
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fatboy it happens....not

fatboy it happens....not always reported in the news though.

AutumnLeaves
4712
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AutumnLeaves 02/11/12 - 12:25 am
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It happens and sometimes they

It happens and sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they are caught, like this article alleges. I hope they can keep weeding out the bad apples, "if "they still have any, like they have in the past and apparently, as the article above describes, still are doing.

cozzster
50
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cozzster 02/11/12 - 04:24 am
0
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wonder if this guy knows the

Unpublished

wonder if this guy knows the fire inspector?

what is wrong
1
Points
what is wrong 02/11/12 - 07:36 am
0
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Being a victim of a DUI

Being a victim of a DUI driver, I don't want to see them free either. Buy devices put them in their cars, they will have to blow in them to keep them running. Prison/Jail=free room and board,cable,medical, and dental. All on the tax payers dollar. Prison is a joke now, why do you think there are some many repeat offenders.

lazerfist
0
Points
lazerfist 02/11/12 - 09:10 am
0
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How is everyone missing the

How is everyone missing the biggest point of all??? You have a police officer who is supposed to uphold the law committing a serious crime of falsifying reports?!! This happens on a daily basis and with either no repercussions to these officers or with a little slap on the wrist. I take this personally because i was falsely convicted of a dui. I was wakened by an officer saying he was concerned my truck had been broken into. Mind you I had been asleep with my girlfriend at the time for over four hours. Prior to sleeping I had a few stiff drinks to wind down from a rough day. After going downstairs and providing paperwork to the officer proving the vehicle was mine, it was made aware to me that it was shift change. On the arrival of the deputy covering the first officer, he proceded to give me a field sobriety test in February with no shoes on and absolutely no cause for testing period. I went to court and the "arresting" officer lied like a DOG on the stand and stated he found me in my vehicle. My girlfriend who was with me the whole time was deemed a biased witness and was not allowed to tell the jury how much BS this all was. So apparently I was drunk driving in my sleep. In a nutshell, we put these officers on a pedestal when in fact they are as likely to err as REAL criminals. I would go as far to say that there are many more of these snakes patroling now. So who do you trust anymore? Me? NO ONE! This officer should be hung out to dry for falsely imprisoning people. It is absolutely a heinous crime and he needs to be made an example of! Get Some!

twolane
191
Points
twolane 02/11/12 - 09:58 am
0
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folks no matter how rabidly

Unpublished

folks no matter how rabidly and loudly you scream about insurance rates it doesnt make it true...the high insurance rates are because cars cost as much as my first house......and yeah build more jails but they arent so thats why you see all these thugs with gun charges attempted murder charges and various and numerous other felonies out on the street r on bond because somebody that got caught with pot is on a mandatory drug sentence

InChristLove
21686
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InChristLove 02/11/12 - 10:07 am
0
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lazerfist, I'm sorry but this

lazerfist, I'm sorry but this story sounds so far-fetched. If you were home in bed, asleep, why did you submit to a field sobriety test.....that should have been a clue right there to call someone, a neighbor, a lawyer?

By the way, there was no justification for your comment to fatboy. With an unprovoked attitude like that, maybe the officers weren't so wrong in their reporting.

InChristLove
21686
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InChristLove 02/11/12 - 10:12 am
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Riverman1, you Friday 1:56pm

Riverman1, you Friday 1:56pm comment makes sense. Hit them in the pocket book and maybe they will think twice. Problem is if they can't pay the fine, then how do you handle that situation. Can't garnish their wages if they don't have a job. There doesn't seem to be an easy fix.

twolane
191
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twolane 02/11/12 - 10:41 am
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icl you would be really

Unpublished

icl you would be really surprised how true lazerfists post is these cops overstep their bounds and if he would have refused the field sobriety test he would have went to jail anywa....scares me how much faith you folks put in cops....how many examples did we have last year....and they do get hit in the pocket it doesnt make a difference as long as DRINK AND DROWNS ARE ADVERTISED

InChristLove
21686
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InChristLove 02/11/12 - 11:05 am
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twolane, I don't put my faith

twolane, I don't put my faith in anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not so naive that I don't realize there are some officer's of the law who are "bad apples" but after working with law enforcement for over eight years, I have heard just about every story (excuse) there is and for every one bad apple you have 100 who are dedicated to serving the public with integrity. What scares me is people who continuely degrade our law enforcement because of a few unethical officers to the point that there is no longer respect for the organization and we wind up with several dead officers just in a few months.

lazerfist
0
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lazerfist 02/11/12 - 11:41 am
0
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Of course it sounds far

Of course it sounds far fetched. when the second officer arrived he stated he was there to report to a DUI which was not the case. it was to follow up on the reported break in of my vehicle. I would not sit here and go through the trouble of registering on here just to tell my story if it wasnt true. in fact in court the audio on the taped portion of the incident had "mysteriously" been disrupted. Unfortunately i was a younger man barely able to provide for my family at the time so my lawyer funds were limited. therefore i was appointed one. with all the goings on and excitement of thinking someone had broken into my vehicle (which had happened before at the same location) i vehemently opposed the test and on tape if the audio hadnt "mysteriously" been erased, you would clearly hear me asking them why in the world do i have to submit to a test when ive been in bed. this happened at the maxwell house apts. so even the security guard there backed me up saying i had been there for over four hours. yet once again her statement was conveniently not on the report. not only was this injustice on richmond county's part but i feel it was also on my appointed lawyers shoulders. i know this sounds ridiculous because it was and is. i do not retract my comment to fatboy. if anyone can dish it out they should be prepared to take it. InChrist i respect your demeanor and wish we could replicate more working officers like you. God will have his way with the vermin whether they be dirty cops or criminals where ever they stand.

JRC2024
6954
Points
JRC2024 02/11/12 - 11:55 am
0
0

Lazer, I wonder if the hood

Lazer, I wonder if the hood on your vehicle was still hot and the inside of your shoes still warm? If what you say is true then I would have never given a field sobriety test. I would have walked back in the house and called a lawyer and the officer would have to have a court order to enter. One time I in my much younger years I went to Daniel Field during Masters to watch the planes land and take off. I parked my car near where the cabs line up. Later that day an officer knocked on my parents door and said he came to invistigate a complaint. He said that the cabbies had accused me of trying to take their fares to the National. When I came into the room he asked what I did. I told him, he made his report and then left. We believe we had good officers then and we do now.

lazerfist
0
Points
lazerfist 02/11/12 - 12:25 pm
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i did in fact ask the officer

i did in fact ask the officer to touch the hood of my truck which was colder than a polar bear's toenails. their response was that it was 20 degrees and would have been cold whether i had been driving it half an hour earlier. being a mechanic by trade i said, "well pop the hood and touch the valve covers". this of course was disregarded. i was very young then and was naive to our laws. though still obviously bitter, i have taken the experience as a lesson and am well prepared these days. that event tarnished my record and ultimately affected job opportunities that could have changed my life for the betterment of my family. i have recently gotten back into church and am learning to forgive and trying to realize that God may have let this happen to open the doors that have since presented themselves. its been a long road.

Boudreaux
75
Points
Boudreaux 02/11/12 - 12:49 pm
0
0

Everyone just assumes that a

Everyone just assumes that a cop won't lie, and is always doing right.Most are just regular people who are making a paycheck and do their job to the best of their ability. Then you have the guys like this, who are on a power trip or something, that are worse than the ones he is paid to protect us from. This stuff does happen, more than most realize. I apllaud anyone putting themselves in harms way to protect us but misusing that power makes you the worst of the worst. It also makes the honest cops job much more difficult.

lazerfist
0
Points
lazerfist 02/11/12 - 12:57 pm
0
0

Amen.

Amen.

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