District Attorney speaks out on recent holiday crimes

District Attorney speaks out on recent holiday crimes
(Source: WALB)

LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Lewis Lamb is the District Attorney for Georgia’s Southwestern Judicial Circuit. Over the years, his office has worked on many cases in Sumter County. But as he tells us it’s the number of cases falling on his desk this week that has him concerned.

Five people are dead after a wave of violent holiday crimes. Three killed in separate incidents in Sumter County and now two more in a double homicide in Dougherty County.

Lamb says an increase in violence during the holidays is expected. But the amount of cases we’re seeing now is unusual.

“We certainly don’t expect to see that much of an increase at one time. It’s out of the ordinary. What is not out of the ordinary is an overall increase in violent crime,” said Lamb.

A few factors are credited to the climb in cases like dealing with extended family and the added stress of the holidays.

Lamb says emotions are quick to rise and, unchecked, can lead to confrontations. Alcohol is another factor Lamb says is often involved.

“In my understanding, they were involved in a couple of those cases. One involving some family members, in a couple of instances, alcohol was a factor. It may not have been the cause, but it was certainly a factor that was involved in at least two of the three,” said Lamb.

Lamb says most violent situations happen between people who have close relationships.

Like neighbors, family, and friends. But the amount of violence he’s seen this Thanksgiving is nothing short of shocking.

“Three homicides in 18 hours is a lot, by anywhere, under any circumstance, especially a lot in a county the size of Sumter county or a town the size of Americus,” said Lamb.

As we continue through the holidays, Lamb suggests everyone take a step back and try to avoid confrontations.

“If you find yourself feeling overly pressured, if you find yourself feeling against the wall, take a step away, take a deep breath, watch your alcohol consumption, especially in circumstances you will be encountering folks you might have difficulties with. It’s a joyful season for almost everyone. I would like it to be joyful for everyone,” said Lamb.

Lamb tells me the increase in crime is also taking a toll on a court system already backed up due to the pandemic.

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