Several deny charges at Friday hearings
A former Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigator accused of sexual assault pled not guilty at a Friday hearing.
In January, a Columbia County Grand Jury indicted David Timothy Dutton for rape, aggravated sexual battery, unlawful surveillance and giving false information. Dutton, 35, of Keene Street in Martinez, pled not guilty to those charges at the arraignment hearing in Evans.
A 27-year-old woman told Columbia County authorities on Nov. 12 that she was looking through Dutton’s phone and found videos of them having sex the previous night, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. The woman said she wasn’t aware she had sex or that it was filmed.
The woman said she took her prescription medication and went to sleep and has no recollection of the sexual encounter, according to the report.
Dutton initially told deputies that the woman, dressed in black lingerie, consented. He admitted recording the encounter without her knowledge, according to the report. Dutton erased the videos and pictures after he took the phone back.
Dutton, who was initially suspended from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office pending a review of his case, resigned on Nov. 26, according to Lt. Calvin Chew.
Also at the hearing, four people accused of selling synthetic marijuana pled not guilty to multiple charges.
Young Ju Kim and Hyun Su Kim, owners of Pumpkin Center store, pled not guilty to 17 counts of possession of a counterfeit substance with intent to distribute. On July 5, sheriff’s office investigators found 292 packets synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice or K2, in their store. The couple also had 853 packets at their Evans home.
Synthetic marijuana is a psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, allegedly mimic the effects of cannabis.
Atul Patel, owner of Lewiston Express at 107 Lewiston Road, and his son Kinjalkumar Patel, also pled not guilty to 18 counts of possession of Spice with intent to sell it. On June 21, investigators found 401 packets of suspected Spice in the store where the younger Patel worked.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office:
Man charged with choking
An Evans man was arrested Friday after his wife said he choked her unconscious during an argument.
Gurjit Singh, 39, was charged with battery/family violence. He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond on Monday, according to jail records.
Singh’s wife called authorities about 2 p.m., stating that her husband attacked her about 14 hours earlier. She said Singh was drinking heavily and walked into the bedroom just after midnight fussing at her. She said Singh grabbed her hair and slammed her head into a wall. He then grabbed his wife by the throat and choked her unconscious.
Singh’s wife said she didn’t feel safe calling for help until her husband left.
A deputy found dark bruising on the woman’s throat, and Singh was arrested.
Neighbor chases off burglar
A Grovetown woman chased a burglar who walked into her neighbor’s home Friday morning.
The woman said at about 11 a.m., a man knocked on both doors of her home. When she went outside he asked for gas. The woman said she didn’t have any, so he left through an opening in her fence.
The woman saw the man walk into her neighbor’s back yard on VFW Road, then heard him knock on the front door, then open it and go inside. She ran to the front door and yelled for the burglar to get out of the house. The burglar ran out the front door, got into a late model Jeep Cherokee and back out of the driveway.
The woman’s neighbor got home and said he’d shut, but not locked the front door. His television was moved slightly and the curtains on the back of the home, which the neighbor left closed, were open. Nothing was stolen from the home.
Columbia County Fire Rescue activity report for Jan. 27-Feb. 2:
Medical calls, 34; activated fire alarms, 13; controlled/unauthorized burns, seven; investigations, seven; vehicle wrecks, four; structure fires, three; vehicle fires, two; wood/brush/grass fires, two; CPR in progress, one; and electrical incidents, one.