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THE BLOTTER: Head(less) games

And other tales of life in the ATL


In Athens, GA, someone put a decapitated sheep corpse next to the city’s odd and famous landmark, The Tree That Owns Itself. A passer-by walking near South Finley and Dearing streets first spotted the headless sheep around noon.

Oh yeah, the sheep’s head wasn’t too hard to find.

“The beheaded sheep was placed inside the fence that surrounds the tree, according to the (police) report,” the Athens Banner—Herald reported. “The officer noted the sheep’s head was placed near its body, which did not show any other signs of injury.”

A police detective was assigned to the Case of the Headless Sheep. So far, no suspects have been revealed.

The Tree That Owns Itself got its name in 1890, after landowner Col. William Jackson decided that he loved the Tree so dearly that in his will, he deeded the Tree (a white oak) legal ownership of itself and all the land within eight feet of its base.

Heck, the Case of the Headless Sheep may never be solved.

Consider this: Someone has dumped hundreds of headless goats into Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River for the past several years — and gotten away with it. Yes, that’s right, decapitated goats have frequently been spotted floating in the Chattahoochee River — also known as the prime drinking water source for millions of people in metro Atlanta.

Learn when to shut the hell up

A Georgia fugitive got offended when his name didn’t make the cut for a “most wanted” list — so the fugitive publicly ratted himself out. On Facebook.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

Fugitive Christopher Spalding was reading the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office’s recently posted “Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives” list on Facebook.

“How about me?” commented Spalding, age 40 — using his personal Facebook account featuring his facial photo.

Rockdale County deputies spotted Spalding’s Facebook comment/confession … and started digging through his file.

“You are correct, you have two warrants, we are on our way,” Rockdale sheriff’s deputies replied days later on Facebook. “We appreciate you for your assistance in your capture!” Fugitive Spalding was arrested for two felony violations of probation — and handcuffed while wearing a red Georgia Bulldogs hoodie and hat.

Deputies posted his arrest photo on their Facebook page, noting that Spalding initially did not qualify for Rockdale County’s “most wanted” list because his crimes — two probation violations — were not violent. Usually, “most wanted” lists are reserved for fugitives linked to violent crimes such as murder. Apparently, they save the “ridicule list” for a 40-year-old fugitive idiot with two active warrants, who can’t keep his burning urge for “Facebook me-me-me attention” in check — even if his mad desire for Facebook recognition leads cops straight to his front door.

Underwear scare

A north Georgia married couple was jailed without bond — after a bizarre alleged robbery attempt.

The 39-year-old husband walked into a convenience store in Ellijay — and pretended to be a customer looking for an energy drink. Then, the husband yanked a pair of women’s panties from around his neck to cover his face. Yes, his wife’s panties. As a face mask. Police said the husband pointed a .45 caliber pistol at the store clerk’s head and demanded money.

Another male customer, who happened to be packing heat, pulled out his gun to try to stop the robbery. “A second customer in the store went to his car to get his own pistol, then helped the first customer subdue the suspect,” Fox5Atlanta reported. This happened as the panty-wearing husband tried to escape from the store. “A third customer pumping gas outside the shop noticed what was going on and grabbed his weapon before coming inside to assist.”

When the panty-wearing husband was disarmed, the first customer told the other two customers not to shoot the suspect.

Three armed customers. Yes, Georgia is an open carry state. Police said all three customers had permits to legally carry their guns.

Police showed up, and the panty-wearing husband got belligerent and unruly. Officers used a Taser stun-gun to subdue him. His wife, 39, was sitting in their car outside the convenience store.

The husband and wife went to jail. Husband is facing charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His wife is charged with armed robbery, intimidation, and taking control of a substance.

Those who can, teach; those who can’t, do

A criminal-justice professor at Georgia Gwinnett College is accused of a felony-shoplifting spree at a Target near the Lawrenceville campus. Get this — the professor was the chairman of the college’s Criminal Justice program at the time. Now, he’s suing his bosses for damages.

Authorities said the professor used a Target self-service checkout scanner to pay for a few items — then walked away with more items he hadn’t scanned.

It wasn’t a rookie mistake. Nope.

Target’s team dug through months of surveillance footage and found tape showing the professor allegedly stealing $629.02 worth of unscanned items during eight previous visits to the same Target within two months, according to Fox5Atlanta’s Investigative Team: Stolen items include: champagne flutes, wine glasses, chocolates and a gold hat.

The professor claims the shoplifting charge led directly to his suspension without pay from his job as chairman of the Criminal Justice Program at Georgia Gwinnett College.

In his lawsuit filed against the Board of Regents, the professor claimed he was suffering “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” due to a “traumatic life experience” around the time of his arrest and “does not remember all of the details.”

It gets weirder.

The lawsuit also claims, “multiple criminal defense attorneys have publicly warned customers not to use self-checkout lanes,” citing a TikTok link from an Arkansas female lawyer who said, “I advise most people to steer clear of self-checkout. Those big-box stores are not going to spend their time and resources in deciding whether you stole it on purpose or it was a mistake. They’ve lost all sympathy and are taking a tell-it-to-the judge approach.”

Right. A criminal-justice professor suing over his alleged shoplifting spree — and blaming PTSD and self-checkout lanes.

Good luck with that.

Trials and tribulations

The high-profile Young Thug criminal trial is getting weirder by the week. Famed ATL rapper Young Thug and a co-defendant are now accused of attempting a hand-to-hand drug deal in a Fulton County courtroom, during jury selection.

Prosecutors accused Kahlieff Adams of giving a Percocet pill to Young Thug (real name Jeffery Williams) in court. Young Thug’s attorney told WSB-TV that the famed rapper did nothing wrong, and didn’t know what was being passed to him, and immediately turned it over to a deputy.

Co-defendant Adams was rushed to Grady Hospital after the incident. Prosecutors said Adams ingested the contraband and that’s why he was hospitalized. Adam’s attorney said his client was hospitalized because jail officers Tased him several times.

Young Thug and Adams are on trial as part of Georgia’s massive racketeering indictment against record label YSL. Prosecutors claim the label was the centerpiece of a violent ATL street gang with a murderous bent. Both Young Thug and Adams have pleaded not guilty. —CL—

The Blotter Diva compiles reports from the Atlanta Police Department and local news reports — and puts them into her own words.

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