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Augusta teen sentenced to 20 years for shooting at deputy

Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:00 PM
Last updated Friday, March 15, 2013 2:05 AM
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It was only by the grace of God that Garrett Howard and Richmond County sheriff’s Cpl. Chad Cheek stood in a courtroom Thursday, the officer told the Augusta teen.



The shots that Howard fired at him came within 10 inches of hitting him between the eyes, Cheek said. Cheek, a veteran police officer, a former Marine and an expert marksman, said Howard was also lucky not to be killed Dec. 3, 2011.

Howard, convicted last month of shooting at Cheek, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison, followed by five years’ probation for aggravated assault and weapons violations.

“You shot at him twice. You tried to kill a man in cold blood,” Richmond County Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis said.

Howard was 15 that afternoon when Cheek spotted him jumping, yelling and waving a handgun on 15th Street. Cheek was off-duty but driving his emergency vehicle and wearing his uniform because he was on his way to provide security for the Christmas parade.

Cheek pulled behind How­ard and turned on the emergency lights and sirens on the truck. Howard turned and fired two shots at Cheek before fleeing through Cherry Tree Crossing public housing complex.

Previous cases against Howard – burglary in 2009, burglary and obstruction of an officer in 2010, and thefts and drugs in 2011 – were adjudicated in Juvenile Court, Assistant District Attorney Sam Nicholson reminded the judge Thursday.

Public defender Kelli Spen­cer tried to explain what happened. She said that Howard has needed medication for mental health for much of his life but that it made him feel like a zombie and he would skip doses. The day of the shooting was one of those times, Spencer said.

A new medication given to him since his arrest has made an extreme difference, Spencer said. While in custody at a juvenile facility, where he was held until turning 17, Howard made good grades and never got a disciplinary demerit, she said.

Cheek said Thursday that his most frequent prayer is that How­ard will learn how to respect himself and others.

“May God be with you,” Cheek told the teen.

Comments (15) Add comment
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rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/14/13 - 05:10 pm
0
1
Who
Unpublished

does a 12 year old punk turn into? A 50 year old punk if he isn't killed first.

Darby
27002
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Darby 03/14/13 - 05:34 pm
9
1
"A new medication given....

to him since his arrest has made an extreme difference...."

Well, now, didn't know that. That changes everything. Just apologize to the kid and turn him loose.

No harm, no foul...

nocnoc
45118
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nocnoc 03/14/13 - 07:41 pm
8
0
OH ! The Magic Pill defense

I don't accept it.
It would just be a matter of time before he messes up or goes off his med's. Then shoots up a movie house, mall or a School.

Certain Nut Cases need to be off the streets.

The only way to ensure the safety of the public is remove
his thumbs & 1st fingers so he can't shoot again.

My advanced apologies to Sean..
I am sure this will get flagged.

nocnoc
45118
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nocnoc 03/15/13 - 07:35 am
5
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To the liberals reading this story.

(Serious Typos corrected and not the content)

Answer this.
We have gun Control Laws that keep minors from:
* owning a rifle,
* owning a pistol.
We have background checks that:
* keep or delay honest citizens from purchasing a weapon.
* are in place to keep mentally ill people from firearms.

So How and Why was it he had a pistol?
So How and Why was he able to shoot at a Law Enforcement Officer?
Which law one of these laws, on the books failed?

Give up... I'll answer it for you.
Criminals and Nut Jobs don't follow the law.

So let me suggest a new "CONTROL & Twisted colored ribbon Campaign". Why don't you liberals & Anti-Gunners consider a campaign against Criminals and for the Institutionalization of the Harmfully Mentally Ill?

I saw the following on Facebook and it made so much sense.

Logic dictates; if Pro-Gunners were so dangerous, that there would be No Anti-gunners.

grouse
1635
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grouse 03/14/13 - 08:51 pm
0
1
20 years because of being
Unpublished

20 years because of being mentally ill and I'll bet he was tried as a adult. I'm very glad the men weren't killed, but the system is only punitive and the kid will probably come out worse than when he went in...

scoopdedoop64
2425
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scoopdedoop64 03/14/13 - 09:33 pm
4
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How Terrible

It's awful thing to see what a few moments can do to a person's life. But people could have died and it seems to me that this sentence was fair and "meds" are no excuse for such behavior. Sad part is that now the taxpayers will always be responsible for having to pay the bill to house this young man for the rest of his life...20 years can end up being a life sentence.

CobaltGeorge
165061
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CobaltGeorge 03/14/13 - 10:36 pm
3
0
Question?

The shots that Howard fired at him came within 10 inches of hitting him between the eyes, Cheek said. Cheek, a veteran police officer, a former Marine and an expert marksman,

Now if you were Cheek, What would you have done legally?

nocnoc
45118
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nocnoc 03/15/13 - 07:41 am
3
0
CG's question maybe has an answer?

I get the feeling Deputy Cheek seemed to have been more concerned about hitting innocent bystanders than being shot himself.

Watermedic
292
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Watermedic 03/15/13 - 08:02 am
3
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Drug

They aren't called anti-psychotics for nothing!!

robaroo
797
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robaroo 03/15/13 - 08:45 am
2
1
Can't Tell How Close Shots Were

The criminal should go to jail for shooting at a police officer.

But, you can't tell how close the shots were to the target unless there was something behind the officer to catch the bullets and you knew where the officer was. All we know for sure was that the criminal fired in the officer's general direction.

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 03/15/13 - 09:37 am
0
1
this animal should have been
Unpublished

this animal should have been shot...better a pauper funeral than for the next 20 years my money will go to feed him, clothe him, and make sure he has a plac e to sleep...oh yeah and buy his medicine...well i guess his mammy is upset because now there will be no more "crazycheck" money for her to spend on he latest outfit from Citi Trends or to spend on her "latest man" to by him steak, shrimp, or crab legs and to get her hair/nails done...just more of the same obammy's people

Enyaw
13
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Enyaw 03/15/13 - 09:44 am
2
0
A Good Teacher Knows, A Great Teacher Knows Best

I was taught when black children know their history, then tend to better appreciate their responsibilities, values, and purpose in society. Mrs. Myles is a great teacher who understands and knows how to relate to her students. I to find it odd that others despite how negative their actions and the impact it has had on the school system, they have never received a formal reprimand... maybe because they are the administrators who have lost focus of the day to day struggles within all classes. A famous quotes states " Reach one teach one" which means that in order to teach someone, you must first reach them. I applaud her use of "differentiated and real-time strategies" in order to reach her students. Teaching is not a one fits all initiative. There are many other things in our schools that deserve your attention... i.e. Bullying, and Total Disrespect of the School Employees. Get focused!

Fiat_Lux
15913
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Fiat_Lux 03/15/13 - 12:25 pm
2
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Uh, Enyaw?

Sure you meant to post that comment under this particular article?

CobaltGeorge
165061
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CobaltGeorge 03/15/13 - 12:32 pm
1
1
Thanks Fiat

I was going to say something too. I have done this a few times myself.

CricketSeranade
593
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CricketSeranade 03/15/13 - 02:12 pm
2
0
What shocks me is

This kid actually made it to booking, much less the trial. That officer would have been well within his rights to put a bullet right between HOWARD's eyes. I'm glad the kid is doing well, but if he can't be trusted to take his medicine then he needs to be in custody where they can help him out with that sort of thing. No sympathy here.

AutumnLeaves
8507
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AutumnLeaves 03/15/13 - 03:31 pm
1
0
Glad it was taken seriously.

Glad it was taken seriously. I finally had to move from a neighborhood that multiple people were shooting at my person, my pets, my home and property over several years with various caliber weapons everything between 9mm and BB guns. No, it was not a rural area, it was an Augusta middle to high income subdivision and yes, I called the law on them every time and reported it.

whitedog1010
4
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whitedog1010 03/15/13 - 08:21 pm
2
0
The bullet hit the officer's truck

The bullets hit the truck which is how they were able to determine the approximate distance of the bullets hitting the officer in the head.

The excerpt below is from a previous article dated February 11, 2013.

The first bullet hit the door jam about a foot from Cheek’s head, Assistant District Attorney Sam Nichol¬son said in his opening statement. The second hit the side of the truck just behind the driver’s head rest.

my.voice
4927
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my.voice 03/16/13 - 10:49 am
2
0
Deputy Cheek: THANK YOU SIR

Deputy Cheek: THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR BRAVERY IN THE FACE OF DEATH SO WE CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT. YOU ARE A HERO IN THE PURE SENSE OF THE WORD.

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