Alzheimer's patient held on '98 warrant freed

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An elderly man suffering from Alzheimer's disease symptoms was jailed without bond this week on a probation revocation warrant that was issued more than 11 years ago.

Gary Allen Sr. came close to spending Christmas behind bars.  Special
Special
Gary Allen Sr. came close to spending Christmas behind bars.

Gary Allen Sr., 82, was picked up by a sheriff's deputy who found him near the busy roadway of 15th Street at the Calhoun Expressway exit just after 7 p.m. Monday. A computer check revealed an outstanding warrant for Mr. Allen's arrest.

According to court documents, a nonbondable arrest warrant was obtained by the private probation company Sentinel Offender Services on April 15, 1998, based on allegations that Mr. Allen failed to pay fines and fees totaling $1,400. It also accused Mr. Allen of failing to report to his probation officer during the prior eight months.

Mr. Allen, who was two days shy of his 70th birthday at the time, pleaded guilty in July 1997, in Richmond County State Court to criminal trespass, a misdemeanor charge.

He was placed on probation for 12 months, fined $1,200 and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

On Wednesday, The Augusta Chronicle discovered that the original court documents pertaining to Mr. Allen's case had been purged because of the age of the records.

Although Richmond County State Court conducts court hearings every business day to hear cases for anyone in jail on misdemeanor and traffic charges and Sentinel probation cases, Mr. Allen's case was not on the court's calender Tuesday or Wednesday.

Because the county offices are closed through Christmas, Mr. Allen would have spent the holiday behind bars if the jail staff hadn't intervened.

Mr. Allen was incoherent when he was brought in, said Maj. Gene Johnson, who is in charge of the county's jails.

The officers could not communicate with him and had to put Mr. Allen in a holding cell where he sat yelling, Maj. Johnson said.

When he saw Mr. Allen's age and the age of the probation violation warrant, Maj. Johnson called Judge Richard Slaby, who had signed the warrant more than 11 years ago.

The judge agreed Tuesday to allow the jail to release Mr. Allen, and officers tracked down an Aiken relative who agreed to pick him up.

"I doubt he would have gotten to court before Christmas," Maj. Johnson said.

Although the maximum probation period for a misdemeanor offense is 12 months, the Richmond County State Court judges allow the probation company to stop the clock at the point a probationer has allegedly absconded -- failed to report to his probation officer.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

Comments (19) Add comment
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UncleStrom
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UncleStrom 12/24/09 - 03:58 am
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I'm glad they let him out.

I'm glad they let him out. It's nice to see common sense used for a change.

Yosemitesam
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Yosemitesam 12/24/09 - 04:18 am
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Sentinel Probatation services

Sentinel Probatation services should be run out of town on a rail. Can you imagine having the power to put out a NONBONDABLE warrant for someone for a misdeanor. And it ain't got anything to do with the probation violation, and everything to do with collecting their monthly fee for services rendered. It's obscene. If you, for any reason miss paying your monthly probation fee, the nonbondable warrant is issued for your arrest. This area needs to take back it's probation department or get out of the probation business altogether. If you are poor and get sentenced in Richmond County you are just thrown to the dogs.

curiousgeorge
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curiousgeorge 12/24/09 - 04:20 am
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as a former employee of this

as a former employee of this very office/company (Sentinel)...this is nothing new. There are hundreds of cases similar to this one in this office. When the former DMS took over RC probation followed by Sentinel and then Alabama vs Sheldon cases you get confusion. The office can only try and collect if the person is picked up on new charges. There are also ppl who are forced to report who are going through chemo treatments, elderly, hospice, or other medical conditions In general there are many cases that have high fines attached that the officer/computer miscalculates, incorrect end dates, and case mismanagement. The problems with Sentinel Augusta is poor management and high turnover. unfortunately this affects the community, long waits, inconsistent follow-up, jail over crowding, and a criminal justice "system" busting at the seams. Even the building is not equipped or large enough to handle the influx of people. The building itself is unsanitary for both employees and offenders; filthy carpets, soiled seats, no ventilation to keep germs down. The list goes on..in a nutshell employees are overworked, mistreated by local mgmt and underpaid.

robbie1
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robbie1 12/24/09 - 04:55 am
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Thanks for the insgiht,

Thanks for the insgiht, George. I was not impressed by the management of the program when my son went through it. There were allot of things that did or didn't happen that made no sense to me. When my son brought them up, my answer was, just don't get into anymore trouble, or if you do, don't do it in Richmond County. Merry Chriatmas.

Doyougetitnow
4
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Doyougetitnow 12/24/09 - 05:25 am
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Amen on Down w/ Sentinel.

Amen on Down w/ Sentinel. They are a merciless bunch of jerks and I've seen many sides of them. They are rude, they keep horrible records and speak like first graders in court. I'd be embarassed to get up and represent a company if I couldn't do any better than they do in front of a judge. Sadly, they lie too.
Grovetown handles their own probation and very well I might add. Keep your money out of private money mongers hands. If you play you pay...but keep it in your town where your mistakes can pay for your incarceration or the officers salaries who arrest you or cite you.

reader54
329
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reader54 12/24/09 - 08:16 am
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Maybe they will keep the old

Maybe they will keep the old man in prison as they seem to do with the mentally ill these days. Out of sight, out of mind. The entire Corrections Industry has drifted towards private, for profit, prisons and probation. Disguised slavery? You decide. www.GlobalResearch.ca

justus4
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justus4 12/24/09 - 08:24 am
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Great country, eh? A
Unpublished

Great country, eh? A nonviolent old man suffering from Alzheimer's didn't even get a break from the first contact officer. This is a complete outrage! This is why these uniforms can't be trusted. Instead of trying to help the old man, they running a check to find dirt when, if it was someone of another ehtnicity, their behavior would be different. Just more evidence of prejudice and why minority males are at risk anytime they come in contact with such uniforms. That officer requesting that check should be counseled on his poor judgement. Again, a great country, eh? U be the judge.

Riverman1
94210
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Riverman1 12/24/09 - 08:30 am
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This gentleman's case is

This gentleman's case is unfortunate and it should be dropped completely. The Chief Jailer did the right thing. Thank goodness for his common sense and prompt action. But as far as those on probation being jailed for not paying their fees, I see nothing wrong with that. Being put on probation in lieu of staying in jail is a deal based on the condition that the individual will do certain things and pay the fees. It's a favor of sorts that the person is not locked up. I understand lots of young people make mistakes that they will outgrow, but this is a course in instant responsibility or suffer the immediate consequences....jail.

UncleStrom
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UncleStrom 12/24/09 - 08:35 am
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justus, you made a very good

justus, you made a very good point that most everybody would agree with for a welcome change. Then you had to mess it up by making it a racial thing. Leave well enough alone and thank the jailer and judge who went out of their way to get him released. You can look up their genetic background yourself.

UncleStrom
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UncleStrom 12/24/09 - 08:38 am
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It's standard procedure to

It's standard procedure to check outstanding warrants on ALL suspects who are being investigated. Once an outstanding warrant came back and was confirmed, the officer had no choice. At least the man wasn't left to wander the streets until he froze or got run over.

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 12/24/09 - 09:10 am
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Besides Mr. Allen, the "lucky

Besides Mr. Allen, the "lucky person" was the caretaker who probably allowed Mr. Allen to wonder off without noticing that he missing.

bill9504
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bill9504 12/24/09 - 09:52 am
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justus if you are so unhappy

justus if you are so unhappy in this country why don/t you go back to wherever you came from,i am sure you will be happy in somalia or uganda or one of those countries that are always in the news about their oppressive government and the continuous struggle of the people to just survive ,maybe you can find somebody over there that will listen to your drivel before they execute you ,i am sure the people that read this paper are tired of reading your non-objective racial garbage . if you decide to leave be sure and let everyone know and i am sure that you will have a hell of a crowd at your point of departure saying goodbye and good riddance

curiousgeorge
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curiousgeorge 12/24/09 - 11:07 am
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@Doyougetitnow..lol its funny

@Doyougetitnow..lol its funny thay u say they talk like first graders...the blonde headed employee with the thick accent is probably drunk...its ironic she represents Sentinel to revoke probation when she was arrested herself for DUI she should have been fired but they keep her bc she is cheap uneducated labor, the poor office manager C. Page keeps her 7-8 "dedicated" employees by her side to keep from uncovering her file/money mismanagement, dirty deeds, and special gifts she and another officers receive. Sentinel in Augusta does nothing for the community, the Augusta office is the largest and one of the most profitable for the "California" based company and is the only office that functions in this manner. Even when the employees from the other office come for a visit they didnt stay long (ex masters week) and cant believe the horrific conditions of employment and building. @unclestrom u are right, regardless of who or how old the warrant is the suspect must be brought before the judge. The problem is the type of warrant which was still valid..Some have files dating back to the old Stockade! Im glad to move on w/ the state, I like what I do but was just w/ bad employer

savoy_savoy
1
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savoy_savoy 12/24/09 - 11:58 am
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Thanks Maj. Johnson!!!!!!!

Thanks Maj. Johnson!!!!!!! Wish I was there to buy you lunch :-) and to all the staff who "knew better" because, "when you know better, you do better" Merry Christmas and Happy New Year--much love

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
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BakersfieldCityLimits 12/24/09 - 05:58 pm
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This is the same type of

This is the same type of bureaucracy that you will soon find in your " free " health care. Thanks be to him, Obama.

enana031
0
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enana031 12/24/09 - 10:13 pm
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I so agree with you Bill9504.

I so agree with you Bill9504. Justus is a racial idiot! In case he is not aware of it, law enforcement routinely run background checks on those they encounter. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is certainly a case of Richmond County Law Enforcement doing their job and also going the extra mile for this gentleman. By the way, I want to be first in line for the party when Justus takes his racial A-- to an all black country where he can spread his racial venom. Let the celebration begin!!!

old man river
0
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old man river 12/24/09 - 10:22 pm
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I am STILLLLLL looking for a

I am STILLLLLL looking for a country run and governed by and established by blacks that is doing well..........

corgimom
38703
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corgimom 12/26/09 - 06:12 pm
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I don't see what the problem

I don't see what the problem was, in the first place.

KSL
144450
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KSL 12/26/09 - 07:26 pm
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omr, let me know when you

omr, let me know when you discover one. I'm not a racist. I'm just looking for reasons to support the racists' issues. And I'm finally giving RCR a real reason for calling me one, which he has so gladly done for years. Now, if someone can give me a reason not to reciprocate toward him.

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