Coffee County Grand Jury hands down over 15 indictments
- Written by Kristen Kitchens
- Published in News
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This week, a Coffee County grand jury handed down indictments to more than 15 individuals, with one of those defendants, Sedric Powell Jr., now formally charged in the death of Radderian “Rae Rae” Barnes. The jury also added charges against Cory Hulett, who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly attempting to entice a teenager.
Powell Jr. is now the second individual indicted on murder charges in the January 2022 death of Barnes, a 27-year-old from Douglas. The grand jury heard evidence in the case, finding probable cause for prosecutors to move forward with the charges Powell Jr. is facing in connection to the homicide. He was indicted on one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a first offender.
According to the indictment, Powell Jr. caused Barnes’ death by shooting him during an armed robbery. He was also a felony first offender at the time of his conviction for robbery in April 2020. If convicted, Powell Jr. is facing more than a life sentence in prison.
Cory Hulett, who was arrested in July on one count of enticing a minor, has now been handed down five charges by the jury. At the time of Hulett’s arrest, DouglasNow obtained a copy of the incident report, which stated that Hulett sent "inappropriate messages" to a female under the age of 16.
However, the indictment revealed details about the alleged messages, which were said to have been sent in May 2022. According to the indictment, Hulett made several sexually inappropriate remarks to the victim, including proposing a "sugar daddy relationship" with her in which he could "please her physically." He also allegedly told her he "wanted to teach her things and be her submissive b****."
The indictment accused Hulett, who was 38 years old at the time, of telling her, "Age is just a number." The victim, according to the report, was under 16 years old when the messages were sent.
Hulett also allegedly touched the victim inappropriately, unlawfully recorded the child in the shower, and is accused of other illegal acts against the child.
The evidence presented by prosecutors led the grand jury to charge Hulett with a total of five charges, including criminal attempt to commit a felony, sexual battery against a child under the age of 16, invasion of privacy, and two counts of sexual exploitation of children.
If convicted, Hulett could be sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison.
Several other individuals indicted are accused of the following:
Michael Stone - child molestation, rape
- committing an immoral act to a child under the age of 16, with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of himself
- forcing sexual intercourse on the same victim
Ethan Rogers - child molestation (2x)
- committing the act against two children on separate occurrences, both between the dates of April and July 2022
Carlos Gomez - one count of criminal damage to property
- damaging cotton crops, the property of Vann Grantham, on July 28, 2022, without his consent by driving a four-wheeler through his cotton fields, causing damages exceeding $500
John Gravino - theft by taking (6x), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- unlawfully taking 2 revolvers, 2 rifles, a handgun, and a shotgun from an individual on July 10, 2021
- possessing a firearm as a convicted felony from the state of Florida in the offense of burglary
Anthony Hill - aggravated battery
- breaking an individual’s jaw bone on September 10, 2021
Christopher Jewell and Brandon Smith - burglary in the 1st degree
- committing the offense of burglary at a residence on Bridgewater Drive in August 2020
Ernest Knighton - armed robbery (2), kidnapping (2x)
- unlawfully taking cash (count 1) and a wallet (count 2) from a cashier at Circle K in Douglas in August 2022
- abducting the two individuals listed in counts 1 and 2
John Newkirk, Jr. - theft by taking (2x), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- unlawfully taking a shotgun from a woman on July 25, 2022
- unlawfully taking several items exceeding $1,500, including a laptop, tattoo gun, and accessories, two printers, walkie-talkies, shoes, automobile tires, a lawnmower, jewelry, two computer tablets
- possessing a firearm as a convicted felon from an offense of theft by taking in 2011
Ryan Morris - aggravated assault
- violating a temporary protection order against a female on June 5, 2022, with the intent of harassing and intimidating the victim
Sylvester Miller - habitual violator
- operating a motor vehicle while having knowledge that his license had been revoked as a habitual violator on July 28, 2022, and not having a driver’s license at the time
Denzel Pace - aggravated assault, battery family violence
- assaulting an individual by throwing and striking her on the shoulder with a hammer on July 17, 2022
- causing bodily harm to the victim’s arm, neck, and ear by striking her with his hands while living together at the time of the assault
April Tanner - possession of methamphetamine
- possession of methamphetamine of an aggregate weight of fewer than 2 grams on August 8, 2022
Jimmie Vann - terroristic threats, battery family violence (2x)
- suggesting the death of a female on August 8, 2022
- bruising the elbow and arm of a family member by pulling her hair and throwing her to the ground
- striking a female family member in the chest with his fist
Kawaski Williams - possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, trafficking of cocaine
- possessing marijuana with intent to distribute the drug on August 16, 2022
- possessing 28 grams of cocaine
Jimmy Thurman was also re-indicted on three counts of battery, with the indictment now including wording regarding the statute of limitation being tolled by the Supreme Court of Georgia’s statewide judicial emergency, which was filed in March 2020. He is facing three counts of battery that all stem from a physical altercation in 2017 with another male where he allegedly punched the victim in the face and broke bones in his jaw, rendering his jaw temporarily useless. The indictment also claims Thurman "seriously disfigured the victim’s face by punching him."
The defendants who were indicted this week will soon appear in the Superior Court of Coffee County to enter pleas during their arraignments.
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