Gator case to be heard in Superior Court

One of two men charged with killing an alligator in Richmond County and leaving its carcass in a pond behind Brown Feed & Seed in Evans will have his case heard in Superior Court, rather than Columbia County Probate Court.

Luther Godowns, 65, of Columbia County, was charged in Columbia County with two misdemeanors: possession of illegally taken wildlife and “dumping of egregious litter.”

He appeared in Probate Court today, posted an $1,800 bond and asked that his case be moved to Superior Court, where he will request a jury trial.

On Aug. 23 , workers at Brown Feed & Seed found the butcchered remains of a large alligator in a pond behind the store off Washington Road, where a 9-foot gator has been living for several years. It was presumed to be the the pond’s resident gator.

Wildlife authorities later determined the resident gator was still alive and a similarly large gator killed illegally in Richmond County had been dumped there after its head, claws and tail were removed.

A second suspect, Bobby Charles Jones, 51, of Columbia County, was charged with two misdemeanors — hunting out of season and possession of illegally taken wildlife. His case was processed in Richmond County State Court earlier this month, and he was ordered to pay $1,350 in fines and serve 160 hours of community service at an animal shelter facility.

Mr. Godowns’ case will be sent to the Superior Court clerk’s office, where it will be entered and placed into the system. No trial date has been scheduled.

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