Widow drops civil suit for criminal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Widow drops civil suit for criminal

February 13, 2003

DOUGLAS - After more than two years of gathering evidence in Carlton Evans' death, the Sheriff's widow makes a dramatic announcement.

"I have today directed my attorneys to dismiss the civil case pending in the Superior Court of Coffee County against the State of Georgia, and it's law enforcement agencies," Karleen Evans said.

But don't think Evans is giving up, instead she's waging a new battle. "The GBI called it suicide, I call it murder," she said.

Karleen Evans and her legal team not only think the GBI was in the wrong for trying to apprehend the sheriff on drug charges at his home here on October 3 of 2000, they say they have evidence they'll be turning over to the D. A. that shows GBI agents tampered with the crime scene, perhaps as a coverup of their own involvement in his death.

"I am optimisitic that a fair investigation will result in prosecutions of those persons responsible for the death of my husband."

With all the evidence they say they have, why drop the civl suit? "I want to prove I seek justice not riches," Evans said.

Evans says it's the only way she'd get a fair and impartial inquiry into the sheriff's death. 

Karleen Evans received a $5,000 settlement plus court costs last year for a civil suit filed in federal court. Neither agent named in that suit is still with the GBI in Douglas. Bill Butler has retired. Scott Whitley now heads a drug task force in Baxley.

As for the possibility of a criminal prosecution, D. A. Rick Curry says he's never seen any evidence of wrongdoing, but he'll review any new information he receives.

posted at 5:20 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com