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June 11--  The City of Vidalia fired its police chief in the aftermath of a murder at a Vidalia men's store.  The termination came after three members of the city council conferred with the District Attorney and made a supposition that the crime might not have occurred had authorities checked the background of the alleged killer when they had him in custody and two other instances when he was the subject of Vidalia Police Department investigations.

This week Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight issued a news release revealing his department had checked the background of Tyrone Burns, Jr. when he was booked into the Toombs County Detention Center when he was arrested on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge.  The background check revealed no outstanding warrants against Burns in Florida where he had violated a court order to live with his father while undergoing mental health and substance abuse treatment.  With no grounds to hold Burns for authorities in Florida, he was released on bond.

News Release From Sheriff Junior Kight

"On June 10, 2019, Sheriff Alvie Kight issued a press release due to recent inquires concerning the release of Tyrone Burns from the Toombs County Detention Center on September 30, 2018. The inquiry that Sheriff Kight is addressing is whether Burns had outstanding warrants or holds that would have required the Toombs County Detention Center to maintain custody of Burns.

"Toombs County Detention Center’s standard operating procedure is to conduct a background check of an inmate through NCIC and GCIC when an inmate is arrested and brought into the detention center. On September 28, 2018, at approximately 11:30 A.M., Tyrone Burns was brought into the detention center after being arrested by the Vidalia Police Department for Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor). On September 28, 2018, at approximately 3:11 P.M., detention center staff conducted a background check on Burns. At that time, the information that came back from the background was that Burns had a Protection Order issued in the state of Florida. This Protection Order was put in to effect by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. The Protection Order states only that Burns is not to have any form of contact with a female whose identity cannot be released. It is presumed that this female resides in Manatee County, Florida due to the Protection Order being issued in that county. Additionally, the background check produced a warning identifying Burns as a violent offender and/or a serious threat to law enforcement officers. The warning also advised to use extreme caution when approaching Burns.

"A warrant for Burns for Criminal Trespass was received from the Vidalia Police Department. Burns had a first appearance hearing with Toombs County Magistrate Judge Debra Sanders and received a $2500 property bond. On this same date Burns bond was fulfilled by “All Out Bail Bonds”. Based upon the information provided in the background check, the Toombs County Detention Center had no legal standing or reason not to release Burns from custody of the detention center. This information concerning Burns was verified after receiving verification from an audit request through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC).

"On November 17, 2018, Burns was arrested for Murder by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and transported to the Toombs County Detention Center. A second background check through NCIC and GCIC provided the same information as the background check conducted on September 28, 2018."

For staff use only.