March 14, 2008
Valdosta - The new ethics charges against Judge Brooks Blitch also connect him to an extortion charge against his former secretary who is now the associate magistrate judge in Clinch County.
Linda Peterson was indicted Wednesday for extortion by a public official.
The indictment lists two un-named co-conspirators.
According to the JQC, those co-conspirators are Judge Blitch and his son.
They say in 2006 Judge Blitch demanded an arrest warrant against Ted Smith on behalf of Brooks Blitch IV, claiming Smith destroyed a piece of his son's logging equipment.
Magistrate Judge Annie Ruth Steedley refused to issue a warrant.
Documents from the JQC say Associate Judge Peterson agreed to hear the case and told Smith he would go to jail if he didn't pay Blitch's son more than three thousand dollars.
A month later, Judge Blitch appointed Peterson as full-time magistrate judge and gave her a 14-thousand dollar raise.
She is currently suspended with the pay.
A jury convicted a Crisp County man on two counts of child molestation Friday. The jury came back with a guilty verdict for Hermenegildo Virgil Friday.
The holiday season has arrived and Dougherty County leaders want people to be more safe than ever.
Saturday morning, a few extra paws joined runners at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany. Racers and supporters alike showed their passion for supporting veterans this morning.
Troopers with the Georgia state patrol responded to a fatal crash in Coffee County around 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Three people are behind bars in the Dougherty County Jail for their part in a shooting at Albany State University.