Judge dismisses case against Palmer

Augusta Magistrate Judge H. Scott Allen summarily dismissed the shotgun-pointing case against commission candidate James R. "Butch" Palmer today after his accuser, Elliot Davis, failed to show up for a pre-warrant hearing.

Mr. Palmer's attorney, Joe Neal, said he came prepared to show that Mr. Davis’ credibility is questionable. He's currently on parole, having served time in state prison on cocaine charges, and having been arrested last summer in a raid at an illegal boardinghouse Mr. Palmer has targeted in his neighborhood campaign against crime.

"He is the exact element that Butch has been fighting in the neighborhood."

Contacted by The Chronicle later in the day, Mr. Davis said, “It’s at three o’clock.”

Told the pre-warrant hearing was actually scheduled at 9 a.m. and that the case was dismissed because he didn’t appear, Mr. Davis said, “Man, they told me three o’clock.

“Well, okay,” he said. “He lost the election, so (forget) it.”

Mr. Davis has said in past interviews that he’s no longer involved with drugs. He said the accusation wasn’t a campaign smear, but a valid claim over Mr. Palmer aiming a gun at him.

He filed paperwork in September to take out a misdemeanor warrant, which if granted would have had Mr. Palmer led out of the courtroom Friday and booked in the Richmond County jail for pointing a gun at another.

Mr. Davis told police that as he drove past Mr. Palmer's Tuttle Street home Sept. 24 with his stereo on, Mr. Palmer pointed a shotgun at him and said, "Turn that music down, boy, before I shoot you." Mr. Palmer denied pointing the gun or calling the man "boy" and said it was Mr. Davis who launched degrading slurs at him that day.

Mr. Palmer, who came in third in Tuesday's election, said he's moving on with his efforts to help Matt Aitken, who he endorsed Thursday, get elected to the District 1 commission seat, as well as his efforts to get the commission to pass a Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance dealing with landlords who rent to crime-committing tenants.

"That's the only thing that's going to bring decency to Richmond County," he said.

who he endorsed Thursday, elected to the District 1 commission seat, as well as his efforts to get the commission to pass a Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance dealing with landlords who rent to crime-committing tenants.

"That's the only thing that's going to bring decency to Richmond County," he said.

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