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Grand jury declines to indict local teen for killing abusive father

(WTOC)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -A Columbia County grand jury voted not to prosecute an Appling teenager charged with killing his father last year.

The 15-year-old was charged with shooting his father, 66-year-old Wesley Gales, in the head on the night of Oct. 28, 2020. The teen reportedly told authorities he shot his father because he was fed up with his mother being abused.

Today, the grand jury issued a “no bill,” Columbia County District Attorney Bobby Christine confirmed.

The night of the incident, Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies were called around 8:30 p.m. to 3353 Gales Road, in reference to a “CPR in progress.”

When authorities arrived, they found Gales on the back porch with a gunshot wound to the head. Deputies found Gale’s wife and his 15-year-old son at the scene as well.

While being interviewed, the son admitted shooting his father with a .22-caliber Marlin semiautomatic rifle. He reportedly told deputies the murder was brought on by his father constantly abusing his mother.

Incident reports over the past several years -- going back to 2011 -- show the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office had been called to the Gales’ residence many times for what the reports call “family trouble.”

Many of the incidents, according to the reports, started as arguments but ended with physical violence and law enforcement being called to calm the dispute.

In the most recent incident, sheriff’s records show the father had been arrested and booked into Columbia County jail on March 11 on charges of battery/family violence and cruelty to children in the third degree.

Wesley Jordan Gales' booking photo and the sheriff's report on the incident that led to his...
Wesley Jordan Gales' booking photo and the sheriff's report on the incident that led to his arrest.(WRDW)

After his arrest, the 15-year-old bonded out under a signature bond -- a type of bond that only requires a signature and agreement that he will not leave the area.

This afternoon’s decision by the grand jury means prosecution in the case will not move forward.

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