DA discusses first year and a half on the job, admits some things need to be ‘strengthened’

In retrospect, T. Wright Barksdale’s timing wasn’t the best.

He was sworn in as the new Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney on December 30, 2020. That same year, Milledgeville-Baldwin County recorded eight homicides, which was the most recorded in 35 years. Also in 2020, as well as 2021 and into 2022, gang violence reached levels not seen since the heyday of street gangs in Baldwin County in the 1990s.

To complicate matters, murders and violent crimes have also increased in some of the other seven counties in the judicial district – Hancock, Jasper, Greene, Morgan, Putnam, Washington and Wilkinson.

We’re pedaling as fast as we can,” Barksdale told Baldwin2K News in a wide-ranging interview. “The district attorney’s office for this circuit has tried more murder cases in the last year and a half than probably in the last previous five years. , combined. We have tried, I believe, a total of 23 or 24 homicide cases, including two death penalty cases. So we take an aggressive stance on the cases that come before us. But, quite frankly, our cup is overflowing, if you know what I mean. I have eight counties and 10 attorneys who handle day-to-day Superior Court litigation.

At the same time, however, Barksdale admits there are some things within his office that need to be “strengthened,” as he puts it. For example, Barksdale recently fired one of its assistant district attorneys following a triple shooting at Riverbend apartments last month. One of the men involved in the shooting – Netobia Williams – was on bail for murder following a fatal shooting in the south last fall.

Essentially, Barksdale felt the assistant district attorney assigned to that murder had not worked diligently enough to bring Williams’ case to a grand jury and indictment within 90 days. In the state of Georgia, a defendant in Superior Court is entitled to bail if their case is not charged within 90 days. That’s what happened with Williams, and he was released on a $150,000 ground bond and began to find other legal issues.

“It should never have gotten to the point where the suspect was eligible for bail,” Barksdale said. “In a perfect world, my office would have charged this case, and we wouldn’t have put a judge in a predicament to give him bail. There’s nothing the judge did wrong.”

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Additionally, Barksdale said his office needs to do a better job of monitoring people who are re-arrested after they have already been released on bail. A case study is Kibias Mosley, one of the men involved in a ‘rolling shootout’ through Central State Hospital, which occurred at a time when Georgia College & State University was hosting a barbecue and bluegrass concert. in the pecan grove for parents’ weekend. Mosley was quickly arrested after the shooting, but was released from county jail on bail after about three months. After his release, Mosley then released a music video in which he bragged about having “only done 14 weeks” in the county jail.

Fresh out of county, and I’m back on the streets. They thought I was going to leave, but I only did 14 weeks.

Mosley was already on bail during the shooting in Central State. This is where the problem lies. Barksdale wouldn’t discuss the Mosley case specifically, but he said his office needs to make sure any suspects released on bail and then re-arrested must “stay in jail.”

“I sent a note to our (assistant district attorneys). Basically, I don’t care if someone who is on bail is then arrested for driving with a suspended license. We need to file a motion to revoke bail of that person. To have a connection is a privilege,” he said. “What my instructions were, ‘Look, when somebody commits a new crime and they were on bail, I expect the (assistant district attorneys) in this office to file the proper paperwork to have it revoked. surety for that person.

Barksdale said he promised “to stay in the trenches”.

“These individuals with big criminal records and these individuals who are committing these shootings, we want to do everything we can to get them off the streets for as long as possible,” he added. “Period.”

CLICK HERE to meet the Williams “family”

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