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Joey Anderson, father of Justin and Jason Anderson, has been arrested and charged with embracery for allegedly attempting to influence a potential juror in his son Justin Anderson’s trial on murder, aggravated assault, making false statements to police, and tampering with evidence charges in connection with the January 1, 2020, death of Vann Brown.
The Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Joey Anderson on March 13, 2023. He was arrested the following day. The indictment reads that “between the 6th day of October, 2022, and the 13th day of November, 2022 . . . with the intent to influence Johnny Spivey, a person summoned as a juror, in the case of the State of Georgia v. Justin Anderson, communicated with said juror otherwise than authorized by law, in an attempt to influence his action as a juror, by communicating with him through David Spivey, the juror’s brother, telling him not to vote in favor of a guilty verdict, Contrary to the laws of said State . . .”
During jury selection for Justin’s trial, Johnny Spivey stood up and stated that Joey Anderson contacted his brother and asked him to tell Johnny to acquit Justin if chosen. When the court found out what had allegedly happened, Johnny was dismissed.
Justin, one of three defendants charged with murder in Brown’s death, is the only one thus far to stand trial. His brother, Jason, is scheduled to face trial beginning July 31. A date for the trial of the third defendant, Jeffrey Harper, has not been set.
Justin was found not guilty of murder and aggravated assault. However, he was found guilty of making false statements and evidence tampering. He was sentenced to a total of a year and a half in jail on those two charges.
At the time, law enforcement neither confirmed nor denied that an investigation into Joey’s alleged jury tampering was underway. However, during Justin’s sentencing hearing, Renee Brown, Vann Brown’s mother, and prosecutor John Rumker addressed the allegations. Rob Walker, Justin’s attorney, also briefly mentioned “jury tampering” during his closing statements.
During Renee Brown’s statement, she addressed Joey Anderson, stating, “Joey, I guess you will take any measure, right or wrong, to protect your child. I did not have that choice on January 1, 2020. You proved your son was guilty of helping kill Vann by contacting a potential juror . . . You will have to live with your actions for the rest of your life.”
During his closing, Rumker mentioned Joey’s alleged actions. He stated, "I have no doubt that Joey Anderson will be sitting at that [defense] table next from what he did in this case. That's what they do — they lie and cheat to get what they want. They don't care as long as they get what they want."
Joey Anderson has been denied bond and remains in the Coffee County Jail. Jury tampering is a felony in Georgia and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and 20 years in prison.
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