HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence on State Highway 76 in Hiawassee Wednesday, Sept. 11 in reference to a reported burglary. Upon arrival, deputies met with the homeowners who advised a white male had entered the residence, leaving the area on foot. A lookoiut was placed on the subject and a perimeter was formed by law enforcement. A deputy located the suspect at a Hiawassee restaurant shorthy thereafter. The items reported as stolen from the residence were recovered with the exception of a cellular phone.
Hubert Gibson, 54, of Blue Ridge, GA was identified as the suspect involved.
Gibson was arrested without incident and charged with burglary, theft by taking, and criminal trespass.
Towns County Sheriff’s Offiice extends appreciation to Hiawassee Police Department for their assistance in seachung the area for the suspect. The case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Gibson is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Tuesday, July 9, Towns County Sheriff’s Office received information that a subject who was on the run and wanted on two warrants from several different locations was hiding out at a residence located in the area. Deputies, acting on the information received, searched a residence located on Michael’s Way in Hiawassee, and located a female suspect hiding in a closet within the residence.
The female was identified as Stephanie Elaine Hamilton, 40, of Hiawassee, Georgia. Deputies confirmed that Hamilton was wanted on a total of six warrants.
The warrants were out of Union, Fannin, and Rabun counties in Georgia, as well as one from Oconee County, South Carolina.
The warrants were theft related, along with one probation warrant. Deputies arrested Hamilton without incident.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office received a Monday, June 24 report of a sexual assault incident which allegedly occurred the evening prior, Sunday, June 23. Towns County investigators, along with the assistance of agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation into the reported incident.
On Tuesday, June 25, Peter Hohmann, 30, of Hiawassee was arrested and charged with rape. He is currently held without bond in the Towns County Detention Center.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation is active and ongoing, and the case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
Hohmann is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – At approximately 11 a.m. this morning, Wednesday, June 12, a 911 call was dispatched to Towns County Sheriff’s Office, Towns County Emergency Medical Services, and Towns County Fire and Rescue in relation to a possible stabbing on King Cove Road in Young Harris.
A male victim suffered a non-life threatening injury to the arm region, and was transported by personal vehicle to a medical facility for treatment.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a male subject has been taken in for questioning regarding the incident, although no arrests have been made at this time, as the investigation remains active and ongoing.
Follow FYN for updates as they become available.
UPDATED: 6/13 @ 8 a.m. – According to Towns County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant on a residence was in the process of submission as of yesterday afternoon. FYN spoke with Towns County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Terry Conner on Thursday morning, who informed the agency plans to speak with the Enotah Circuit Distirct Attorney’s Office today, prior to the release of further information.
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On Saturday, May 18, a Towns County Sheriff’s Office Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Highway 76 in Young Harris that resulted in a felony drug arrest. A deputy stopped a black Chevrolet pickup on a traffic offense and discovered illegal drugs within the pickup upon further investigation.
Frederic Debray, 61, of Morganton, Georgia was arrested without incident and charged with One Count of Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Possession of Methamphetamine.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office reports the investigation as “currently active and ongoing.” The case will be referred to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Debray is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HAYESVILLE, NC – Towns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Crystal LeAnn Carter, an attempted murder suspect in a September shooting, was arrested Tuesday, April 16, in Clay County, NC.
On Saturday evening, Sept. 8, 2018, Towns County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Chatuge Regional Hospital in Hiawassee in reference to a male subject who was brought to the hospital with a bullet wound to the chest. The victim was identified as William Craig Henderson of Young Harris, GA. The victim was air lifted from Chatuge Regional Hospital to another medical facility with a trauma center. The victim remains in stable condition.
Towns County Sheriff’s Investigators were called to the hospital to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident. Upon investigating the incident, the investigators identified and secured warrants on Crystal LeAnn Carter for the following:
- One Count of Attempted Murder
- One Count of Aggravated Assault
Crystal Carter, upon dropping off the victim at Chatuge Regional Hospital, left driving the victim’s Chevrolet Tahoe. A lookout was placed on the Tahoe and the suspect. The vehicle was found abandoned Sept. 8, in the parking lot of the Marathon station on Highway 75 North in Hiawassee. Investigators determined that Carter left the Marathon station in a red Ford pickup that belonged to the suspect. Investigators, following leads Sept. 9, located the red Ford pickup at a residence in Clay County North Carolina.
Acting on yet another tip, Deputies of the Clay County Patrol Division returned to a residence that had been searched multiple times in the past. Carter was at the residence and taken into custody without incident.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) expressed their gratitude for the assistance of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in their “relentless efforts to finally bring a dangerous fugitive to justice.” This is just one more example of our two communities helping each other to keep the fine people of Clay and Towns Counties safe, Clay County Sheriff’s Office stated. Sheriff Deese said, “One of my goals was to develop and maintain the best of relationships between my office and all our neighboring law enforcement. The relationship between Clay and Towns County Sheriff’s Office is the best its ever been and I thank Sheriff Clinton and his staff for that.”
Carter is awaiting extradition to Towns County Detention Center. The GBI is leading the investigation.
UPDATED: Press Release from Clay County Sheriff’s Office
Hayesville, NC – (April 18, 2019) Clay County resident, Joe Tiger, has been charged with a Felony for his part in assisting GA fugitive, Crystal Carter. Clay County Deputies took Tiger into custody Thursday morning without incident as investigators executed a Search Warrant at his residence. Evidence of Crystal Carter’s crime was located and seized from inside Tiger’s home along with Carter’s personal property.
Law enforcement authorities from GA and NC had responded numerous times on tips of Carter’s presence at Tiger’s home. Authorities had spoken to Tiger on multiple occasions and advised him of Carter’s fugitive status.
Carter will be extradited to GA to answer for her 2018 crimes in Hiawassee. Tiger was given a $5000.00 unsecured bond and a 05/06/2019 court date in Clay County for his charges.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton accepted the State of Georgia Law Enforcement Re-certification Award from Georgia Sheriff’s Association President Stacey Nicholson at the Towns County Courthouse. President Nicholson presented the award to Sheriff Clinton on behalf of the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in front of a courtroom filled with supporters and staff.
The State of Georgia Law Enforcement State Certification Award is presented to law enforcement agencies that currently meet approved standards. A team of assessors, who have received training conducting on-site evaluation assessments, ensured that the agencies being evaluated continue to meet the 139 approved standards. The on-site assessment typically consists of a two-day event conducted by three assessors. Towns County Sheriff’s Office is one of 23 sheriff’s offices, out of 159 counties within the state of Georgia, to hold state certification status.
State certified law enforcement agencies are required to undergo re-assessments every three years to maintain the certification. The State of Georgia Law Enforcement Certification was a goal Sheriff Clinton set for the Towns County Sheriff’s Office to meet. Sheriff Clinton and staff met and achieved that goal, receiving the initial award in October 2012, and has since received recertification two additional times; once in January, 2016, and recently on April 4. Towns County Sheriff’s Office Certification Manager Sandy Morgan also received an award from Georgia Sheriff’s Association President Stacey Nicholson for a “job well done”.
Towns County Chief Deputy Terry Connor said that the achievement of the state certification award was accomplished by the effort put forth by staff members of the Towns County Sheriff’s Office throughout the year.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office released a written statement March 13, continuing to distance itself from what many in the community believe was a preventable tragedy. On the evening of Feb. 23, Hiawassee resident Terry Silvers crashed his Toyota truck head-on into a vehicle on NC-69, seriously injuring a grandmother and psychologically-damaging her granddaugter. Silvers died upon impact. A 911 caller that pursued Silvers, pleading for unanswered assistance from law enforcement, remains traumatized by the horrific event.
In the ill-received statement to citizens, Towns County Sheriff’s Office provided a list of “facts” which include mileage statistics, information on a simultaneous call issued for a possible prowler in progress, and reminded that although the call for help originated in Georgia, the fatal accident occurred in North Carolina.
In the statement, Towns County Sheriff’s Office claims that a sheriff’s office deputy was not specifically assigned or dispatched to a reckless driver. “Towns 911 dispatch gave a lookout to any and all law enforcement officers who may have been in the area of Highway 76 and Highway 17 to be on the lookout for a reckless driver,” the statement reads. Towns County Sheriff’s Office Deputy 112, Greg Joseph, however, was the sole deputy assigned to the area in question at the time that the transmitted emergency “lookout” for Silvers’ Toyota pickup was issued.
In addition, Towns County Sheriff’s Office states, “The horrifying details that can be heard on the 911 tape as the caller describes to the dispatcher the way the subject is driving was not given or described in the lookout.” In the embedded audio, Towns County 911 is heard relaying to law enforcement that a “small, white Toyota truck” is “reckless driving” and “pulling into the Cornerstone BP.” Dispatch verbalizes that the vehicle is said to be occupied by a “Silvers’ subject.”
Undisputed by those who have listened to the disturbing 911 audio is the fact that Deputy Joseph’s patrol siren can be heard bypassing the 911 caller in lieu of a possible prowler, an incident which two officers had covered.
Within the 911 audio , Towns County Sheriff’s Deputy 116 Eddie Spradlin, along with Hiawassee Police Officer 305 John Carter, voiced radio reponses to 911 dispatch in reference to the potential prowler on Clark Drive, prior to the fatal be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) for Silvers’ vehicle. Furthermore, Towns County 911 asks for the combined status of Deputy 116 and Officer 305 three separate times.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton claimed, however, that western-zoned Deputy Joseph was unaware that two officers had responded because “the city officer never advised the 911 Center by radio that he was enroute.” This “fact” is disproved by the audio embedded within this article. Hiawassee Police Department informed FYN that the city officer responded to the call to assist from Towns County Deputy Spradlin in order to shorten response time. The county deputy and city officer were actively clearing the residence at the time that the BOLO for Terry Silvers’ vehicle was issued.
A troubling detail which preceded the deadly accident is the fact that Silvers was released without charges the evening prior to the fatality by the same deputy who raced past Silvers’ vehicle the following day. Several witnesses, including a Union County deputy whose fence was damaged when Silvers’ truck veered off the roadway, attested that Silvers was clearly under the influence of intoxicants the night before his death. Records show that Silvers had a history of accidents, and despite widespread knowledge of drug use, the father of six was repeatedly released without charges by Towns County Sheriff’s Office.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton posted Deputy Joseph’s body camera footage from Feb. 22 on the internet, causing widespread scrutiny in response to the handling of the incident. In the video, Silvers apologizes to the deputy for having to respond to the incident. “Well, I’d rather come out here and do this than having to pick your body up somewhere,” Deputy Joseph replied. “But you need to quit driving.” Approximately 24 hours later, Silvers was killed in the head-on collision.
Also questionable in the minds of the community was a released, recorded phone conversation between Towns County Sheriff’s Deputy 116 Eddie Spradlin – the eastern-zoned officer – and the 911 dispatcher, shaming the emergency operator for issuing a BOLO during the potential prowler incident. FYN published the controversial transmission along with the frantic 911 call for assistance last week.
“The Towns County deputies on duty and working on Feburary 23rd acted and responded appropriately as to the information that they had been given at the time,” Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton stated, offering condolences to Silvers’ family and sympathy toward the victims of the crash.
Due to overwhelming outcry, FYN remains on special assignment and will continue to actively investigate the circumstances surrounding Towns County Sheriff’s Office involvement in the tragic case.
Results of a toxicology report, ordered on Silvers by North Carolina Highway Patrol, are expected in coming weeks.