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Embattled Bacon County attorney Kenneth E. Futch Jr. is facing charges in Coffee County after an investigation determined that he provided a cell phone for a female inmate in the Coffee County Jail.
In May, Futch allegedly allowed Dana Larson Bowen, who is being held on a variety of serious charges from Pierce County and is a client of Futch's, to use his personal cell phone during at least one visit. Coffee County detectives believe Bowen used the cell phone to place at least one outgoing call, which is a violation of Georgia law.
Futch turned himself in at about 6 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. He was booked into the Coffee County Jail, where he remained until posting a $5,500 bond at 9:30 a.m. Authorities charged Futch obtaining/procuring a telecommunications device for an inmate.His client, Bowen, was charged with possession of a telecommunications device by an inmate.
Futch and Bowen have their own interesting stories. Futch, a former state court judge in Bacon County and city judge in Blackshear, has been in the news repeatedly over the last three years -- and for all the wrong reasons. For the last three years, he's been embroiled in a very public feud with Blackshear attorney Johnny Thigpen Jr. Their troubles began over a handicapped parking spot in front of Thigpen's Blackshear office. Blackshear police admonished Thigpen for parking in the spot; Thigpen claimed he had a permit for the spot but it wasn't displayed. That led to Thigpen allegedly soliciting business in Blackshear city court. He sought individuals who had received traffic tickets and agreed to represent them for free -- after transferring the cases to State Court. This upset Futch, who asked Thigpen to stop soliticing business in open court, according to published reports in the Georgia Times Union.
In April of 2016, Futch's wife, Sheila Lee Futch, shot the attorney during an incident at their home. Officers charged Sheila Futch, a Bacon County school teacher, with aggravated assault, as a result. Kenneth Futch was transported to a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital where he recovered from his wounds.
In another incident that took place several days before the shooting, Sheila Futch recorded her husband making alleged racial slurs during an argument. The recording and shooting led to Futch resigning his positions as both Bacon County state court judge and Blackshear city judge.
Meanwhile, Dana Larson Bowen, a Blackshear native, ended up in her own mess. Owner of an insurance agency in Blackshear -- and daughter of Blackshear mayor Dick Larson -- an investigation into her business practices led to charges on 28 counts of insurance fraud for allegedly keeping all or portions of clients' insurance premiums. Larson was also charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana during the investigation.
Bowen's woes led to divorce proceedings between her and her husband. Futch represented Dana Bowen; Johnny Thigpen Jr. represented her husband. During a divorce hearing in Superior Court, Futch and Thigpen got into a fistfight in court, which resulted in both of them landing in jail. News of their altercation spread far and wide; news outlets such as The New York Times and the BBC picked up the story.
In even more interesting developments, Futch is being represented by Johnny Thigpen Sr.
All of this small town intrigue was localized to Bacon and Pierce counties -- until Futch decided to allegedly allow Bowen to use his cell phone in the Coffee County Jail. Now it's a three-county saga -- and one that likely won't end any time soon.
Last modified onMonday, 02 July 2018 10:40
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