Terrell Sheriff serves contempt sentence in Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Terrell Sheriff serves contempt sentence in Albany

A south Georgia Sheriff is on the other side of the jail bars more than a year after disobeying a judge's order.

Terrell County Sheriff John Bowens is in the Dougherty County jail serving a five-day sentence for contempt.

Last June, Judge Dane Perkins ruled Bowens intentionally violated a judge's order by not bringing inmates to court. This month, the state Supreme Court denied Bowens' appeal and ordered him to serve the time.

Sheriff Bowens reported to the jail at 9:00 this morning. His incarceration won't cost him his job. He remains sheriff even though he'll spend this week in the Dougherty County Jail.

Just before 9:00AM, 66 year old Terrell County Sheriff John Bowens reported to the Dougherty County Jail, had a mug shot taken, and was placed in a separate cell away from the general population.

"He is segregated from the general population because of his status as an active law enforcement officer a public safety official. He could be an easy target for individuals who don't like law enforcement," said Sheriff Dougherty County Kevin Sproul.

 Sproul who considers Bowens a friend, said it's not easy to lock up a man he respects and admires for his 37 years of law enforcement service that started with Dougherty County Police.

"This is a tough one for me. We met with him last week, we gave him a book that all of the inmates in the jail get for him to look over and kind of familiarize himself with the rules and policies of the Dougherty County Jail."

In Terrell County, residents had a mixture of feeling over the Sheriff's incarceration. Many have followed his case, and we're shocked when Bowens was found in contempt of court for refusing to bring inmates to the courthouse.

"It was really uncalled for, because the Sheriff had told him he didn't have the personnel in the jail to move prisoners the way they should be moved," said Jerry Adkins.

"It's a tough situation," said Louise Coleman.

"He's the chief for the Sheriff's department and I don't think that should happen," said Rodricus Brown. "But it was wrong for what he did though."

Bowens was also ordered to pay a $500.00 fine and has 30 days from when the order was filed on August 22nd to meet the obligation. 

Sheriff John Bowens is scheduled to serve five days and the court order says he it to be released at 6:00 on Friday, but according to the Dougherty County Jail he could be released a day early, if he remains a model inmate.

The Coroner personally served the Sheriff with a copy of the order. According to the Terrell County Attorney contempt of court is not a violation that requires the Sheriff to vacate his office.


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