Two longtime court officials face challengers

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Two longtime members of the Richmond County judicial system are defending their positions Tuesday against experienced challengers.

Superior Court Judge Carlisle Overstreet, the chief judge of the judicial circuit, is banking on his 20 years of experience and development of accountability courts to give him an edge over Juvenile Court Judge Willie Saunders.

Overstreet said the distance between judges and society continues to shrink, so accountability courts are becoming important. One example is drug court, in which sentences include treatment and strict probation instead of just prison time.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the court,” Overstreet said.

His challenger, Saunders, also wants to strengthen ties between the bench and the community, particularly in crimes committed by young men. Saunders, who has been a Juvenile Court judge for six years, advocates problem-solving courts and coordinating with community leaders to keep students in school.

“Crime has always been a young man’s game,” he said.

Also on the ballot is Clerk of Court Elaine Johnson and her challenger, Hattie Holmes-Sullivan. Johnson started as a clerk in 1973 and became clerk of court in 1993. She said her experience and push to bring new technology to the clerk’s office makes her the best candidate.

“Technology is the key...” said Johnson, who is facing her first election challenge.

Holmes-Sullivan worked in the office the same time as Johnson, from 1978 through 2005, when she became an assistant to State Court Judge David Watkins.

Holmes-Sullivan said she has worked hard to build up her experience and leadership.

“You can’t just wake up one morning and say, ‘I want to be the clerk,’  ” Holmes-Sullivan said.

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dstewartsr 07/28/12 - 08:23 am

Replace one set of "talk tough ... then let 'em go" with another? Big deal. The only thing I'm looking for is the (I) besides the names on the ballot, then I'll vote for the OTHER fellow.

rambler3 07/28/12 - 04:32 pm
Crime & Courts Richmond Co. |

Crime & Courts
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Bond granted in molestation case
From Staff Reports
Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:45 PM
Last updated 2:34 PM

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A $50,000 bond was granted Thursday to a man accused of sexually molesting a 9-year-old girl.

Solomon Carraway, 61, has been incarcerated for 15 months and his attorney, Willie Saunders, said Carraway was expecting a “quick day in court.”

“We’re still in a posture waiting for trial,” Saunders said.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Stewart opposed bond for Carraway, who is accused of inappropriately touching the girl on Dec. 4, 2010. He is charged with aggravated child molestation and child molestation. Stewart said the delay in trial is caused by a backlog in DNA testing.

Superior Court Judge Carl Brown granted the bond, but stipulated that the suspect have no contact with the victim.

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