Fayette’s court system back in business after Covid shutdown, DA Marie Broder reports —
The Fayette County District Attorney’s Office has been hard at work the past three weeks trying cases, reports Fayette District Attorney Marie G. Broder.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt picked a jury to try the case of the State of Georgia vs. Eugene Martin May 3. Martin, a 35-year-old man from Albany, Ga., faced armed robbery and aggravated battery charges.
On September 3, 2020, Martin and another man entered the Victoria’s Secret in The Avenue shopping center in Peachtree City. He sprayed the victim, an employee of the store, with pepper spray and fled the scene with more than $2,000 worth of merchandise.
Patrons of The Avenue shopping center contacted law enforcement and retrieved a tag number from the getaway vehicle. Peachtree Police Department responded and quickly put out the information about the getaway vehicle. The vehicle and the defendant were apprehended very shortly after in Newnan with the help of Newnan Police Department. The incident was caught on a security camera.
On May 4, after the jury was empaneled, the defendant indicated his desire to enter a guilty plea to the charges. The victim was present and in accordance with the plea, Judge Ben J. Miller, Jr. sentenced the defendant to 30 years with the first 15 years to be served in prison. The maximum sentence was life in prison. The defendant had four prior felony convictions out of other counties.
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers tried the State of Georgia vs. Robert Lemons, and on April 29, a Fayette County jury found Lemons guilty of burglary in the second degree, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and criminal trespass.
Fayette Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams sentenced Lemons to a total of 10 years, with 9 years to serve in prison followed by 1 year of probation. The maximum sentenced was one year.
Lemons, 30, from McDonough, was convicted of entering the property of LKQ Pick Your Part, a business in Fayetteville, at just after 1 a.m. on August 14, 2019. Lemons pried open an exterior door to the business with a yellow crowbar with intent to steal auto parts.
The alarm was triggered. The business had surveillance cameras and video showed Lemons on the property wearing a dark colored, long-sleeved shirt, dark pants, a dark stocking cap and carrying a bag over his shoulder.
A security monitoring company employee spotted Lemons on the surveillance camera on the property and called 911. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene, and the defendant was apprehended less than 3 minutes after the alarm was triggered. Lemons had four prior felony convictions out of other counties.
Due to the lengthy history of both defendants, they will not be eligible from early release.
District Attorney Broder said of the convictions, “it has been a challenge to get trials up and running again, but we have done it. I am so proud of my office and our collaboration with the law enforcement agencies who worked these cases. These convictions should send a message to those who seek to come into Fayette County and commit crimes, do not come here. Here, in Fayette, we will prosecute you for those actions in order to keep the citizens safe.”
Trials will continue for the next two weeks.