Judge to hear parole officer case

Friday, April 17, 2009 2:35 PM
Last updated 4:12 PM
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Two former parole officers accused of abusing people and lying to investigators have decided to forego a jury and let a judge determine their fate.

Joshua Stephens, 30, and Terrell Yelverton, 38, announced today they want a bench trial, a move not opposed by Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Schwartz, who is prosecuting the case.

Mr. Stephens and Mr. Yelverton have pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of making false statements.

In a motion argued today, Mr. Stephens’ attorney contended that because Mr. Stephens is a part-time deputy sheriff in Emmanuel County, his actions in two incidents were justified.

In the first case, Timothy Grant was allegedly jerked off a bicycle and threatened with a Taser after he make an obscene gesture at the parole officers on Dec. 2, 2005.

The prosecution contends that as parole officers, Mr. Stephens and Mr. Yelverton had no right to detain any person unless he is on parole. Mr. Grant was not.

Defense attorney Richard Allen countered that as a deputy sheriff, Mr. Stephens was within his rights to detain Mr. Grant for disorderly conduct.

In the second incident, the officers mistakenly chased down Troy Curry the night of Nov. 9, 2004. Mr. Allen contended that since the officers were looking for another man who looked like Mr. Curry, the detention was justified and Mr. Curry was released when properly identified.

Ms. Schwartz said that the facts are in great dispute. In the state’s version of the facts, the officers not only chased down Mr. Curry but Mr. Yelverton pulled a gun on him and Mr. Stephens kicked him in the head.

In addition, Ms. Schwartz argued that a deputy sheriff does not have arrest rights outside his home county.

Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. took the motion under advisement. The judge said he will try to find time for a bench trial in July. The attorneys anticipated a two- to three-day trial.

Mr. Stephens was hired as a parole officer in August 2001. He was fired in March 2006.

Mr. Yelverton, hired in October 1993, resigned in lieu of firing in March 2006, The Augusta Chronicle previously reported.

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toldya
0
Points
toldya 04/17/09 - 02:46 pm
0
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giving the finger is now

giving the finger is now "disorderly conduct"- nice try counselor; if that were true there would be a whole lot of people in jail; sounds like the cparole officer is a wanna be cop. If he doesn't like the "bird" coming from that kind I'll give him a whole "flock" and see how far he gets with the "disorderly conduct". Both of them are guilty and are a disgrace to the uniform.

Georgiais1
0
Points
Georgiais1 04/17/09 - 03:08 pm
0
0
Toldya, Ride by a cop and

Toldya, Ride by a cop and give him the bird and see what happens....You can't be that mentally challanged. Not guilty

concernmom
403
Points
concernmom 04/17/09 - 03:23 pm
0
0
Sorry, but giving an officer

Sorry, but giving an officer the "birdie" will get you a citiation for misdemeanor offense, disorderly conduct. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself and see what happens....

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 04/17/09 - 04:10 pm
0
0
toldya, common sense says,

toldya, common sense says, "respect yourself!" There is a statute law for ignoramouses who disrespect the law! Obviously the parolee did not have either. You reckon he'd have any respect for his po' ol' Ma or Pa, ... or you, or me?

Stormy1
0
Points
Stormy1 04/17/09 - 06:05 pm
0
0
I'm sure it was the 'birdie'

I'm sure it was the 'birdie' that did it! NOT! The finger is deemed an expression without contact. Same as the opinions on this thread. It is a constitutional right to express, or in this case, gesture. I was told..by a cop..that there is nothing they can do about a finger. I know one of the probation/parole officers and there is more to this story than what is being told by the AC. Yes! It is disrespectful! So are some of the comments on these forums.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 04/18/09 - 03:52 am
0
0
Another joke. These officers
Unpublished

Another joke. These officers have violated citizens' constitutional rights and deserve punishment for their crimes. They failed in several areas, but illegal detention is a serious felony that requires jail time. But this move for a bench trial is actual admitting guilt, but they believe the judge will be favorable to their plight. And using historical data as a rule, they will be back at work next month. Again, a predictable joke.

corgimom
38741
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corgimom 04/18/09 - 04:16 pm
0
0
"But this move for a bench

"But this move for a bench trial is actual admitting guilt, but they believe the judge will be favorable to their plight. " Assuming someone is guilty before they have been found guilty is a violation of citizens' constitutional rights. Remember, Justus, innocent until PROVEN guilty?

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 04/18/09 - 04:17 pm
0
0
Justus4, do you ever stand

Justus4, do you ever stand for justice? Do you always support the ones causing the problem to begin with? Your stupidity will come back to bite you one day by one of these thugs you continually support. Now, as far as the law in concerned, shooting the bird to an officer can be ruled as disorderly conduct and subject the person to arrest just as using profanity can get you the same result - the constitution does not allow you to say what you want anytime you want without limitations. Additionally, a Sheriff's Deputy is sworn by the state of GA and has arrest powers throughout the state, not within a respective county and also has a duty to act regarding state laws. However, disorderly conduct is generally a county ordinance and therefore he may not be able to arrest the subject but detaining him for local law enforcement would be within his rights. As for the second case, cases of mistaken identity occur every day and drawing a weapon on a fleeing subject is not out of the ordinary in certain circumstances and he was immediately released upon discovering it was the wrong person so as long as they didn't hit him, etc. as referenced, again, within the legal limits of the law.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 04/18/09 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Respect for authority, which

Respect for authority, which obviously is no longer taught in many homes must be held to standards on the streets and those who disrespect the authority of the govenment and its assigned officers deserve to be punished for their actions. That being said, although I do not know either of these officers or all of the story, it does seem that they have exceeded their authority to some extent and at the very least need to tone it down a notch or two. If they want to be police officers then they should not be working fo the Parole office.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 04/18/09 - 04:24 pm
0
0
Respect for authority, which

Respect for authority, which obviously is no longer taught in many homes must be held to standards on the streets and those who disrespect the authority of the govenment and its assigned officers deserve to be punished for their actions. That being said, although I do not know either of these officers or all of the story, it does seem that they have exceeded their authority to some extent and at the very least need to tone it down a notch or two. If they want to be police officers then they should not be working fo the Parole office.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 04/18/09 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Respect for authority, which

Respect for authority, which obviously is no longer taught in many homes must be held to standards on the streets and those who disrespect the authority of the govenment and its assigned officers deserve to be punished for their actions. That being said, although I do not know either of these officers or all of the story, it does seem that they have exceeded their authority to some extent and at the very least need to tone it down a notch or two. If they want to be police officers then they should not be working fo the Parole office.

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