News Release: November 6, 2014
The Decatur County Superior Court adjourned November term, 2014
consisted of approximately 80 criminal cases. Two cases of
significant note were two Felony Murder cases of Darwin Johnson and
Marquez Taylor. Darwin Johnson was charged with one count of Malice
Murder, Felony Murder, and Aggravated Assault. Mr. Johnson pled
blind, at the mercy of the court, and was sentenced to 20 years to
serve in the state system consecutive to any sentence he is now
serving by Judge Kevin Chason. With the assistance of Bainbridge
Public Safety Investigator Mark Esquivel, evidence showed that Mr.
Darwin Johnson stabbed and killed Mr. Jamarlin Bell in the chest and
neck with a sharp edged object on or about May 22, 2011 in Decatur
County, Bainbridge, Georgia. Chief Assistant District Attorney Mike
Bankston for the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, stated, "we hope
that the Bell family can now have some closure knowing that Mr.
Johnson has been accountable for his horrendous conduct and crime.
Our prayers go out to the Bell family for their loss."
The second Felony Murder case was Marquez D. Taylor charged with
one count of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Attempt to Commit
a Felony. With the assistance of GBI agent Michael Walsingham and
Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator Chip Nix, evidence showed that
Mr. Marquez Taylor shot and killed Ms. Datta Dave on or about October
15, 2008 with intent to rob her in Decatur County. Mr. Taylor pled in
front of Judge Kevin Chason and received a sentence of 20 years to
serve in the state system. District Attorney Joseph K. Mulholland
stated, "cold cases are always incredibly difficult to prove.
Obviously if they were straightforward the suspect would be held
accountable at the time of the offense. Due to the diligent work of
law enforcement, we were able to solve this crime that shocked the
community back when it happened. Bainbridge should know that our
office will always prosecute to the fullest those that would endanger
our families and children by robbing stores in order to make a few
Another significant case this week involved Bryan Lamar Harrell. Mr.
Harrell was charged with one count of Felony Homicide by Vehicle in
the First Degree and Reckless Driving. With the assistance of the
Georgia State Patrol Troopers Keith Butterworth and Walt Landrum,
evidence showed that Mr. Bryan Lamar Harrell on March 6, 2012 in
Decatur County, Georgia while driving and operating a motor vehicle
did and without malice cause the death of a human being while driving
too fast for conditions and following too close with his vehicle
while exceeding the speed limit of flow of traffic.
Mr. Harrell pled in front of Chief Judge A. Wallace Cato and received
a sentence of 15 years to serve 8 years in custody at the state penal
system with the balance on probation. District Attorney Joseph K.
Mulholland stated, "our prayers go out to the Walden family for
their loss. Nothing can bring the life of this innocent child back
and we pray closure can now be brought to the families knowing Mr.
Harrell has been accountable for his conduct and crime."
A two day impaneled jury trial was tried by District Attorney
Joseph K. Mulholland on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 and concluded on
November 5, 2014. The jury found Mr. Al Dontarius Childs guilty on
two counts of Felony Theft by Shoplifting. Evidence at trial showed
that Mr. Childs did remove merchandise from the Bainbridge Walmart
valued over $800.00 and exited the store without paying for the
merchandise. Mr. Mulholland filed a recidivist motion on Mr. Childs
based upon three prior convictions. Sentencing was deferred by Chief
Judge A. Wallace Cato.
Mr. Mulholland and Mr. Bankston applaud the excellent work our law
enforcement agencies did this trial term. Both Mulholland and
Bankston stated, "this was a tremendous week for our office, we had
a great jury pool and we were able to secure convictions. The other
70 plus defendants were arrested, charged and entered pleas of guilty
this week in Decatur County. The defendants were sentenced to serve
some time in custody or lengthy probation.