Couple arrested for burglary for living in vacant rural house


A couple living in a house without the owner’s knowledge and a man with an automatic pistol who tried to run from law enforcement are among the list of assorted suspects arrested in various incidents during the past week in Fayette County.

According to reports, deputies were dispatched June 5 to a vacant home on Brooks-Woolsey Road. An investigation determined the lock on the door had been changed. Two suspects had been seen leaving the house, and they apparently had been staying there for a while after entering it unlawfully.

With a description of the vehicle, deputies spotted it an hour later heading into Clayton County near Hwy. 54 and McDonough Road and made a traffic stop that led to their arrests. Jeffrey Coleman, 40, of Jackson and Brittany Howell, 33, of Griffin were both charged with felony burglary.

Deputies made a traffic stop on a Nissan Maxima near Hwy. 54 and Sandy Creek Road late in the evening of May 29. The driver was cited for a traffic violation and eventually released, but the passenger was another story.

The deputy smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, which led to a further investigation. While both occupants were outside the car and a deputy watched them from the rear of the car, the deputy conducting the search found a Glock pistol with a switch that converts it to fully automatic.

As soon as that weapon was discovered, the suspect ran and had to be stopped with a taser before being taken into custody. The driver never moved, and it was determined that the pistol belonged to the suspect.

Nino Franklin, 24, of Valdosta was charged with seven felonies – removal of weapon from officer, possession of a dangerous weapon (the automatic), possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm/knife in commission of a crime, obstruction of an officer, escape, and criminal interference with government property – according to the Fayette County Jail log.

Deputies got a call June 2 from Piedmont Fayette Hospital informing them that a stabbing victim had just entered the emergency room. They got to the hospital and found out that the suspect had initially been an apparent victim, having been in an altercation with a family member’s boyfriend.

It was later determined that the suspect had initiated the incident. As for an injury he suffered, charges were not made against anyone at press time.

The incident took place in the front yard of a residence on Padgett Road and is still being investigated. The suspect had a pistol on his person during the argument and was found to be a convicted felon.

Jewell Padgett, 50, of Senoia was charged with aggravated assault along with possession of a weapon in commission of a crime and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.