Nov. 25-ALBANY - A prosecutor investigating charges against Dougherty County's Probate Court judge is awaiting reports before making a decision on whether to present the lingering case to a grand jury or dismiss charges.
Judge Leisa Blount was arrested and charged in March 2020 after Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul asked the GBI to launch an investigation. The case was assigned to Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Shealy, who said this week that he is waiting for reports from the GBI.
"I had to request some additional information from the GBI, and they have not gotten it back to me," he said. "'I'm hoping to get it back now."
Specifically, the district attorney is seeking additional witness statements and layouts of the courtroom area.
Shealy said he is not ready to make a decision on whether the case merits being presented to a grand jury, but he hopes to make a determination by January.
"No, not until I have all the evidence," he said. "I don't like to make a decision until I have all the evidence in. I think that's fair to the individual. They're having to get those witness statements and put together a report. Hopefully, I can get that pretty soon."
Blount was charged in March 2020 with one count each of terroristic threats and violation of oath of office.
The GBI alleges that Blount made threats against an employee who works with the county's Facilities Maintenance department.
The alleged victim, who was not present at the time that Blount had the conversation with county employees, had reportedly entered Blount's office while she was in the office during a time when he was not assigned duties in that part of the building.
In an affidavit filed in court, Blount indicated that the employee acted strangely. In one instance he told her he was there to turn off the lights, and in the other he did not give an answer for why he was inside the Probate Court area.
During a meeting with officials from the county and sheriff's office, Blount made a remark about defending herself and that she was allowed as a judge to bring a gun inside the building for protection.
Albany attorney Maurice King Jr., who is representing Blount, said that the last he had heard, the GBI had not spoken with the county employee who is the alleged victim in the case.
"They've talked to everybody in the case but the alleged victim, who has said he was not threatened," King said. "That's what he told a coworker. It was my understanding the GBI did not talk to the alleged victim before the charges were filed."
Shealy seems to be doing his due diligence, King said, but the incident does not seem to rise to a matter that could be successfully prosecuted.
"I just don't think they need to waste taxpayers' money on a case like this," he said. "Sometimes you have when time passes that cooler heads will prevail, and I hope that's what's happening here."