Palmer accuser currently on parole

The man accusing Harrisburg activist and Augusta Commission District 1 candidate James “Butch” Palmer of pointing a shotgun at him last week is currently on parole, having done two stints in state prison over cocaine charges.

Elliot M. Davis, 37, said his past shouldn’t matter.

“I’m filing a charge because he pointed a shotgun at me,” he said Wednesday. “I could have been a convicted murderer who just got out after 30 years. He still shouldn’t point a gun at me.”

Mr. Davis told the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office that he drove past Mr. Palmer’s Tuttle Street home on Sept. 24 with his radio on. He said Mr. Palmer yelled at him from his front porch to turn it down, then pointed a shotgun at him as he passed.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Davis said he was bothered by this, so he turned around and pulled up in front of Mr. Palmer’s house, asking him from his driver’s seat why he was aiming a gun at him. He said Mr. Palmer walked to the end of his front walkway, stood behind a gate, pointed the gun at him and said, “Turn that music down, boy, before I shoot you.”

Mr. Palmer told both the sheriff’s office and The Chronicle that he never pointed his Remington 1100 at the man, but only yelled at him to turn the volume down because the bass-heavy music was shaking the windows on his house.

He said the man turned around, pulled up out front and started cursing at him. He said he had his shotgun lying on the ground, and feeling threatened, he picked it up and went inside, saying, “You’re a grown man. You should know better than this.”

On Monday, Mr. Davis filed paperwork to pursue a warrant, and a hearing has been scheduled in Magistrate Court at 9 a.m. Nov. 6, three days after the election. Mr. Davis is seeking a charge of pointing a gun at another, a misdemeanor. A judge will decide whether there is probable cause for an arrest.

Mr. Davis said he lives in the 600 block of Eve Street, though not at 609 Eve St., the illegal boardinghouse targeted as a "nuisance" by Mr. Palmer and other demonstrators during their Fourth of July march against absentee landlords. He said he knows some of the soon-to-be-evicted tenants there, though.

According to Georgia Department of Corrections records, in the late 1990s Mr. Davis was convicted of sale and distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine in Richmond County. Sentenced to 15 years, he was imprisoned from October 1999 to August 2004.

A parole violation landed him back in prison from March 2006 to June 2008, most recently at Autry State Prison in Pelham, Ga.

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles has him in its system as “Larry Jenkins,” spokeswoman Scheree Moore said. He’ll be on parole until July 2014.

Mr. Davis said he is no longer involved in drugs. He said he was recently laid off from Macuch Steel Products Inc., and is currently unemployed.

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