Coweta teacher keeps job after felony charge is downgraded

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Charges against a Coweta County school teacher were downgraded from aggravated assault to two misdemeanor charges relating to an alleged poisoning incident in January involving her husband. The Coweta County School System said Willis Road Elementary School teacher Rebecca Allwine will maintain her employment with the school system.

Commenting on the matter, Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Ray Mayer on Thursday said the charges stemmed from an incident in January when Allwine and her husband were drinking and arguing at home. Mayer said at one point Allwine struck her husband and proceeded to leave the home. Prior to her exit Allwine dumped 10 Ambien (a sedative-hypnotic drug) tablets into his drink.

Mayer said that as her husband continued to consume the drink he later noticed a sludge at the bottom of the glass. The man subsequently called poison control and was apparently told that he was, “not in a bad way.”

The matter was investigated and reviewed by the Coweta County Grand Jury. Allwine was charged with aggravated assault with the intent to murder. Mayer said those charges, with the consent of her husband, were later changed to disorderly conduct and family violence, both misdemeanor charges that carry a total of 24 months probation.

Mayer said Allwine’s husband was willing to have the lesser charges filed because the Professional Standards Commission that addresses issues with teachers does not acknowledge first offender issues. Subsequently, Mayer said, Allwine would have presumably lost her job if she had been convicted of felony aggravated assault.

Coweta County School System Public Information Officer Dean Jackson on Thursday said the school system will not comment on personnel matters generally, though he did confirm that Allwine is a teacher at Willis Road Elementary School. 

 Jackson said that when the matter arose last January, Allwine was “forthcoming with her principal and the school system immediately. We were continuously informed of the legal proceedings, and the issue was thoroughly reviewed by the Professional Standards Commission. The charges were resolved this week as misdemeanors.”

Jackson said Allwine has continued teaching throughout and is a good teacher and a good employee.