June 16-- The Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled that a Montgomery County Superior Court Judge erred when he refused to quash a burglary indictment against a former Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy.
Deputy Todd Yancey was one of six people indicted for a burglary at the office of Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O'Connor the night the sheriff was killed in a police chase auto accident.
In a decision issued today, the Court of Appeals ruled Superior Court Judge Frederick Mullis should have quashed Yancey's indictment because District Attorney Tim Vaughn denied Yancey the opportunity to testify before the Montgomery County grand jury which indicted him.
Yancey's attorney Susan Shook of Vidalia argued the District Attorney violated a state law that requires present or former peace officers be notified that an indictment is being considered and to appear before the grand jury during presentation of the state's case and to testify at the conclusion of the state's presentation.
The Appeals Court agreed with Shook and reversed the decision of Judge Mullis.
Shook says the DA now has to decide if he wants to seek another indictment against Yancey while giving him the opportunity to testify on his behalf.
She claims Yancey was helping authorities search for Jim Lowery, the man who has since been convicted of murder in the death of Sheriff O'Connor, and that Yancey entered O'Connor's office through an already-opened door to retrieve files which he thought might help in the search.
The other five indicted in the case are Mount Vernon Mayor Joey Fountain, Montgomery County manager Brandon Braddy, former Sheriff's office secretary Kathy Rudd and citizens Matthew Waller and Brent Braddy.
Files and a lock box were removed from the Sheriff's office. One of the defendants, Kathy Rudd, has been quoted as saying the Sheriff had told her to secure the files and lock box if anything ever happened to him.