Brunswick man gets life in prison for shooting death

A 23-year-old Brunswick man received a life sentence Friday for shooting another man to death in an argument over a woman in September 2019, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins said.

Ronrecus Goodwin pleaded guilty to malice murder in Glynn County Superior Court. He was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole after 30 years.

Goodwin received a 20-year sentence on a prior aggravated assault charge. The sentence will run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Goodwin shot and killed 20-year-old Cameron Johnson on Sept. 12, 2019, outside of a home on Ellis Street Lane in Brunswick following an ongoing argument between the two men. They had been among a gathering at a home on Ellis Street. Also present was a woman with whom both men had been involved.

The two men stepped outside as tempers flared, but a mutual friend intervened and persuaded them to calm down. The two took a walk together around the block, returning as if their disagreement had been resolved, the DA said.

Goodwin suddenly drew a handgun outside the residence and shot Johnson in the chest. Goodwin ran away afterward.

Johnson was transported to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Three witnesses to the shooting told police “the shooting was unprovoked in any way by Cameron Johnson,” the DA’s office said.

Goodwin later returned to his residence in the 2800 block of Emanuel Avenue, according to city police. His mother had already spoken with police by that time.

At his mother’s behest, Goodwin turned himself in at the Glynn County Detention Center the next day.

Johnson was raised by his grandmother, who spoke during sentencing of the pain and heartbreak the young man’s family has suffered in the wake of his violent death. Despite her loss, the woman said she forgives Goodwin.

For his part, Goodwin apologized to the family for the pain his actions caused them.

In a separate court case, a former Glynn County school bus driver was convicted of child molestation and sexual assault against a child.

Joseph Jordan, 66, was sentenced Tuesday in Superior Court to 10 years confinement with 10 years to serve, the DA’s office said. Jordan also will have to register as a sex offender.

The incident occurred outside the Glynn County football stadium on Sept. 18, 2020, during a football game. The 10-year-old victim was the daughter of another school bus driver, the DA’s office said.

The girl was playing, going from her mother’s bus to Jordan’s bus when Jordan committed inappropriate acts that were captured on a school bus camera, the DA’s office said. The girl told her mother about the incident almost immediately.

Jordan argued in court on Sept. 28 that the contact was not sexual and that he made an error in judgment.

A jury deliberated approximately one hour and determined otherwise, finding Jordan guilty on both counts.

The county transportation department and school police investigator Ricky Hilburn assisted in the case against Jordan, the DA’s office said.


Defendant pleads guilty in GBI gang, human trafficking investigation


Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney Alison Sosebee announces a conviction by guilty plea in a gang and human trafficking case against Cordarrel Blandburg, age 28, of Clayton County.

Blandburg pled guilty to Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Criminal Attempt to Commit Human Trafficking, and False Imprisonment charges following a GBI investigation.  He was sentenced to 20 years to serve 6 years.  He will also have to register as a sex offender. 

The GBI and the Ellijay Police Department arrested Blandburg in 2019 on charges of Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and Human Trafficking.  The investigation worked by the GBI’s Gang Task Force (GTF), Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) unit, and Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) unit indicated that an associate of the criminal street gang known as the Gangster Disciples was trafficking a woman in Georgia and Alabama for nearly 2 years.

The victim bravely confronted her trafficker by reading a victim impact statement in court.  She thanked the GBI and her advocate for the work that was put into this case.  She is a survivor and well on her way to recovery.

“This resolution reflects not only the careful and time-consuming investigation of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but also the GBI’s collaboration with local law enforcement agencies and the Appalachian Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office,” said District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee. “The AJC District Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our local and state law enforcement agencies investigating human trafficking and criminal street gangs, as well as our diligent prosecution of these cases in the hope that victimization will decline, and fewer people will be forced to suffer the trauma of such crimes.”

“The outcome of this case illustrates the GBI’s dedication to investigate human trafficking and criminal street gangs,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds. “We value our partnership with prosecutors to bring these violators to justice. Protecting victims is of utmost importance.”

This work is a part of the Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking, which is funded by a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s (CJCC) Human Trafficking Unit applied for and received funding for Georgia’s first law-enforcement-based statewide task force to address all forms of human trafficking. CJCC oversees the Coalition, which is responsible for creating Georgia’s statewide human trafficking hotline, 1-866-ENDHTGA. Trained law enforcement agents, advocates, and first responders are available 24/7 to answer calls.



VSU’s Bobbie Ticknor leads criminology, criminal justice research group


Valdosta State University’s Dr. Bobbie Ticknor recently kicked off a three-year term as president of the Criminology Consortium Board of Directors. 

Ticknor’s primary focus with the Criminology Consortium is to set the direction of the organization’s annual CrimCon conference. The 2021 event, “Innovations in Criminal Justice and Criminology: Moving Forward From a Pandemic,” will be held virtually Oct. 18-22 and is free of charge to attend. 

Caption: Valdosta State University’s Bobbie Ticknor president of the Criminology Consortium Board of Directors leads students during research

“For many of us in field, projects stopped when COVID-19 hit,” she said. “We’ve had to come up with innovative ways to continue our work. This conference highlights those efforts, giving both students learning about the field and practitioners doing the research an opportunity to share their experiences.  

“Most criminal justice conferences were cancelled last year. Some are doing face-to-face or hybrid models this year. CrimCon is fully online so anyone can attend. We wanted to make conference going as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.”  

The Criminology Consortium is comprised of academic criminologists and criminal justice researchers who love research. The organization has a strong desire to make sure everyone conducting research on topics related to crime, criminal justice, or public policy at a university, research organization, or criminal justice agency has an outlet for their work.  

“I am truly honored to be able to serve this organization,” Ticknor continued. “I believe in the vision of our founding board. They started this organization so everyone could have the ability to learn more about our field and discuss their work. Criminal justice is a very diverse field with implications across society. Research should not be limited to only those who can afford to attend these types of conferences.” 

Before becoming president of the Criminology Consortium Board of Directors, Ticknor served the organization as a technology consultant, panelist, and session host.   

“Several of my students will be attending the conference,” she shared. “It is a great opportunity for them to see research in action. It also really solidifies the material I present in the classroom. This applied knowledge is invaluable as they transition from student to professionals.”  

Ticknor said the conference will allow VSU’s Department of Criminal Justice students the opportunity to attend sessions, speakers, and roundtables on a variety of topics in criminal justice and criminology — policing, courts and corrections, intersectionality in criminal justice, victimology, and innovations in criminal justice.    

Ticknor joined the VSU faculty in 2014 and currently serves as an associate professor of criminal justice. She also coordinates the Virtual Reality Lab on campus.  

Her areas of expertise include correctional rehabilitation (treatment, program evaluation and design, and curriculum development), technology in criminal justice, sex crimes and sex offender policies and practices, reentry services, and biosocial criminology.    

Her favorite class to teach is CRJU 4200: Seminar in Corrections.  

“It gives me an opportunity to bring in applied learning and several experiential learning activities that students will see when they leave VSU to begin their careers,” she explained. “I also incorporate the use of virtual reality in this course so students can experience different scenarios related to what we learn in class and see the technology at work. I believe virtual reality is part of the future of our field. It is an invaluable tool that is now being widely embraced by researchers and practitioners alike. Our students at VSU, however, are one of only a handful of programs using the technology for learning.” 

Outside of her career in academia, Ticknor has worked in the field of criminal justice for more than two decades. She currently works locally with Prison Reentry Initiative of Georgia, a program of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry that helps rehabilitated offenders navigate the barriers to successful reentry into society while also ensuring public safety and reducing recidivism. She also serves on the National Incarceration Association Advisory Council.  

As a professional consultant, Ticknor conducts trainings, program evaluations, and curriculum/program development for criminal justice agencies across the country. She also works internationally with several criminal justice agencies and universities on programming for corrections and law enforcement. 

On the Web:


‘Her death would not be in vain’: Petition could create new sex offender ID policy for ATL nightlife

ATLANTA (CBS46) — A new petition could make it harder for sex offenders to get into metro Atlanta bars and night clubs.

The petition already has close to 10,000 signatures and it was started by friends of a local bartender who was kidnapped and raped.

Chris Anthony said it doesn’t feel like it’s been almost two months since his friend 27-year-old Mariam Abdulrab was taken from him, “Honestly it still feels fresh you know when you don’t have any answers.”

Police believe DeMarcus Brinkley kidnapped Abdulrab from her boyfriend’s front yard and shot her to death shortly after.

Her murder sparked outrage across the city, “We need community leaders to start talking about this,” one community member said at a city protest.

Now a new petition started by Mariam’s friends aims to limit the access sex offenders like Brinkley have to women like Mariam.

This would be great for simply checking someone’s ID and having a heads up,” Her friend Chris Anthony said.

More than 7,000 people have already signed the petition pushing for a new law that would require sex offenders to have some sort of marker on their Georgia ID.

“I think it’s a perfect idea,” Chris Anthony said.

The marker would allow bars and clubs to keep a closer eye on known predators.

This also wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened in the state of Georgia.

In 2019 Georgia’s most high-risk sex offenders were required to wear an GPS ankle monitor.

However, last year the law was deemed unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Sex Offender Attorney Tom Church said this petition might have a fighting chance.

Georgia legislatures may see this as a good compromise because they just lost the ankle bracelet requirement. So now they could think this is something they could use instead,” Attorney Church said.

Mariam’s friends like Chris Anthony are now just hoping state leaders will take a closer look at this.

“As her friend we would really appreciate something like this happening. You know that she didn’t just die for nothing and that her death was not in vain, but rather a wake up call.”

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Tallahassee man sentenced to twenty years on charges of child pornography


Gregory Carroll Johnson, 40, of Tallahassee, Florida, was sentenced to twenty years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to produce, distribute, possess, and receive child pornography. The sentence, which followed his guilty plea earlier this year, was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District

of Florida.

Court documents reflect, in July 2019, representatives of local, state, and federal law enforcement executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence in Tallahassee. The evidence showed that Johnson had been receiving child pornography from an individual in Atlanta. While conducting the search, however, authorities found messages on Johnson’s phone that demonstrated Johnson and co-defendant Madison King had also conspired to produce child pornography. The recovered evidence included short video clips and pictures that King had taken and transmitted to Johnson depicting the sexual abuse of a toddler. Florida investigators quickly obtained emergency legal process to locate King and contacted their Georgia counterparts. That same day, agents with Homeland Security Investigations, in concert with the Berrien County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, executed a search of King’s Nashville, Georgia residence, whereupon the child was rescued.

“There is no greater charge than the protection of our children,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “This sentence is yet another example of the unwavering commitment to the protection of our most vulnerable and should serve as a significant deterrent to those who would attempt to harm them. Our law enforcement partners are to be commended for the swift, multi-state investigation, which resulted in the immediate rescue of this child, preventing further abuse.”

“During the course of this investigation, a child was saved from this predator thanks to HSI partnerships in our offices in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and here in Tallahassee,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Micah McCombs.

“There is no crime worse than the crimes against our children,” said Berrien County Sheriff Ray Paulk. “I would like to thank our investigators and our District Attorney’s Office for acting swiftly and efficiently in this case to ensure the safety of this child. I also want to thank all of the local, state, and federal law enforcement that worked together in making a case like this priority.” “We couldn’t be more thankful for Acting U.S. Attorney Jason Coody and his staff for securing another conviction in this case, making the world a safer place for our children to live.”

Johnson’s prison sentence will be followed by ten years of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and will be subject to all sex offender conditions.

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorneys Meredith L. Steer and Michelle Spaven prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


Why Doesn’t NARSOL just move the conference from Texas?

We have received a number of inquires asking why we don’t cancel the conference in Houston and move it somewhere else in another state. Due to the fact that several messages have been received, we feel it’s important to respond. The consternation is due to a recent abortion restriction and other controversial laws that are now in effect in Texas. Since NARSOL is a non-partisan organization, our policy is that we refrain from taking a position on laws outside of our advocacy, which is criminal justice reform, and our focus, which is individuals and families harmed and marginalized by the sexual offense registry and sexual offense laws that are contrary to rehabilitation incentives.

It is impractical for us to move or cancel this event for a number of reasons. First, it is very difficult to find a venue that is affordable and also welcomes a group which is comprised of persons advocating for those on a sexual offense registry, a group which also includes those with a past sexual criminal conviction. Second, at this late date, it would be almost impossible to secure an alternate location that would so well accommodate us. Third, the hotel would impose a penalty on NARSOL which would be 90 percent of projected room revenue plus the minimum food and beverage tab, which is $5000.00. The combined amount we would owe would be more than $22,000.00. NARSOL does not believe our donors would be thrilled if we were so cavalier as to nonchalantly throw away more than $20,000.00 of their contributions.

NARSOL does not have the resources of the National Basketball Association (NBA) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to be able to exert any significant influence on the state of Texas. We are aware that multiple Fortune 500 companies threatened to punish the state of Georgia when their legislature enacted a bathroom bill a few years ago. The pressure resulted in a veto of that bill by former governor Nathan Deal. A small organization such as NARSOL does not have anything approximating the leverage that the group of Fortune 500 companies brought to bear on the state of Georgia.

NARSOL believes it is important to focus on the positive attributes of our current venue. As with our first Houston conference in 2019, we have received a letter from the mayor of Houston welcoming us, along with positive comments about the work we do. He says that the city of Houston is “. . . welcoming and inclusive and supportive of efforts to reintegrate citizens who have paid their debts to society,” and he commends our “. . . restorative justice efforts on behalf of marginalized citizens.”

Additionally, the Marriott Hotel has been very gracious and accommodating to NARSOL, despite knowing the constituency we serve. They are undertaking some public relations risks by permitting us to use their venue for our conference. We have found that hotels that are as welcoming to us are few and far between.

While Texas may be seen as a state hostile to our advocacy, NARSOL’s first and one of our very strongest affiliated organizations, Texas Voices, is here. The advantages to having a conference in a state with a strong, active affiliate are too many to enumerate.

The most important reason for us to continue with the event is that we do not support the concept of collective punishment. It is not fair or reasonable to hold the entire state of Texas responsible for a law that by all accounts is not supported by the majority of the state’s residents. Most of the employees whose jobs involve serving us probably are as disappointed as anyone else that this decision made by a few is causing so much adverse publicity to them as well as threatening their livelihoods. They too have families who they are trying to support, and to punish them for something that is not of their doing is not consistent with NARSOL’s values.

Registration numbers for the conference are very strong. In fact, this may be a record setting attendance for us, despite the pandemic and concerns about the virus. NARSOL hopes that you will take everything into consideration and join us in Houston October 8-10.

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Ex-South Carolina teacher guilty in Georgia child sex case

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A former teacher in South Carolina has admitted to contacting a Georgia girl who was under 18 with the intention of engaging in sexual activity, federal prosecutors said.

Jonathan Eugene Grantham, of Graniteville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty Wednesday to coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, federal prosecutors said in a news release. When he was arrested in February, he was a teacher at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School in Ridge Spring, S.C. He has since been fired.

“It’s sickening to contemplate the fact that while Jonathan Grantham was serving as a high-school teacher, he was surreptitiously participating in the depraved sex trafficking of a child,” Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes said in the release. “This plea will hold him accountable for his crimes, while our diligent law enforcement partners continue their outstanding work to protect our most vulnerable citizens from such predation.”

During a sex trafficking investigation into other people, FBI agents discovered that Grantham, 45, had traveled from South Carolina to Columbia County, Georgia, in July 2019 to engage in sexual activity with the girl after contacting her online, prosecutors said.

Grantham faces a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, as well as substantial financial penalties and restitution, the release says. He also must register as a sex offender and serve at least five years of supervised release once he’s out of prison.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Bulloch County Man Pleads Guilty to Coercing Children to Provide Sexual Images

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia, a Bulloch County man faces substantial time in federal prison after admitting he persuaded children to send him sexual images and photos.

Jasiri Hutchison, 20, of Statesboro, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to Production of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography. The plea consolidates charges brought in both the Southern District of Georgia and the Middle District of Georgia. The plea agreement subjects Hutchison to minimum 15-year prison term, up to 30 years, along with substantial financial penalties and restitution, followed by up to a life term of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“Jasiri Hutchison’s predatory behavior represents a nightmarish victimization of innocent children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. “Through the persistence of our law enforcement partners in Homeland Security Investigations, he now will be held accountable for his crimes.”

As described in court documents and testimony, as early as April 2019 through December 2020, Hutchison typically portrayed himself as a young girl in online interactions with children via various messaging applications, at first persuading them to send innocuous photos of themselves and later threatening to share those photos with their friends unless the victim sent increasingly sexualized images or videos of themselves and/or siblings. In his plea, Hutchison admitted possessing more than 600 sexually explicit images of children.

“The Internet provides a wealth of information and endless entertainment, but it also offers predators the anonymity they need to victimize innocent children with their perverse schemes. We all must be constantly aware of what our children do online as well as who they interact with because you never truly know who is lurking in the shadows,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue, arrest and prosecute those looking to exploit our children.”

Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or

The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer J. Kirkland and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Tara M. Lyons.



Alabama inmate, wanted in Georgia, released from jail early

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A man who was mistakenly released from an Alabama jail by posing as another inmate has turned himself in, authorities said.

Authorities are investigating how 31-year-old Darren Jermaine Chipman was released in Madison County, reported. He turned himself in Sunday, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Huntsville man was released prematurely — on Saturday — while he was awaiting extradition to Georgia for a robbery offense and failure to register as a sex offender, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office says that Chipman posed as another inmate and used that person’s information to get released.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Schell & Hogan LLP, a leading accounting firm in Brunswick, has its beginnings 65 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, when it began as a branch of Smoak, Davis and Nixon LLP. In 1967, J. Powell Schell and Terry D. Hogan, already partners in the firm, acquired it to operate it independent…

The Brunswick News won the Georgia Press Association’s prestigious 2021 General Excellence Award on Friday at the association’s annual convention on Jekyll Island.

In the wake of Friday night’s completion of the cut to separate Section 6 from the shipwrecked Golden Ray, oil hemorrhaged from the half-submerged steel hull and fouled beaches along the southern shoreline of St. Simons Island.

With breakthrough attained Friday night on the next-to-last section of the shipwrecked Golden Ray, a flotilla of pollution control teams spent Saturday fighting to contain the anticipated oil discharge into the St. Simons Sound, according to Unified Command.

With breakthrough attained Friday night on the next-to-last section of the shipwrecked Golden Ray, a flotilla of pollution control teams spent Saturday fighting to contain the anticipated oil discharge into the St. Simons Sound, according to Unified Command.

People tend to toss the word “crisis” around too much, but starting Monday and likely throughout August Brunswick could have a surge of people evicted from their homes as the moratorium on the procedures ends.


‘I’m tired of crying’ | Family speaks after remains identified in Henry County as missing woman


Cocoa McCoy said that she kept trying to tell police the name of the man who might have taken her daughter – the same man now suspected of killing the first woman.

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A grief-stricken mother has heard the news she had feared, for months.

Police told her that they identified her missing daughter’s remains – the remains found last week in some woods in Henry County along with the remains of another woman.

They identified her daughter, Conteshia McCoy, 19, through DNA and dental records.

Cocoa McCoy said Wednesday that she kept trying to tell police the name of the man who might have taken her daughter –  the same man now suspected of killing the first woman.

And now, Cocoa is drained. Numb.

“I know at this point I’m tired of crying. I am. Last night I cried myself to sleep,” she said.

Cocoa McCoy’s voice faded, her eyes looking down, as she spoke in her Locust Grove home along with her husband Antonio.

Conteshia’s remains were found next to the remains of 23-year-old Mirsha Victor.

Victor was murdered earlier this month, police say, by a 41-year-old man named Dennis Lane, a convicted sex offender who lives nearby those woods.

Lane is now in jail.

Police have not yet charged anyone in Conteshia’s disappearance and death.

Cocoa McCoy says Lane is the same man who had been stalking Conteshia for weeks, claiming he wanted to marry her, just before she disappeared this past February.

But in the past five months leading up to Mirsha Victor’s death, Locust Grove Police, Cocoa said, never pursued the leads that she gave them – that Lane might be responsible for her daughter’s disappearance.

“And I hate it for the Victor family, that they had to endure that. You know, all this could have been avoided if you (police) would have just went to his house like we kept telling you to do. If you just would have went – you couldn’t save my daughter but you could have saved somebody else child,” she said.

11Alive will work to reach Locust Grove Police for comment.

Conteshia, Cocoa said, was funny, always sending her videos to make her laugh, taking good care of her younger siblings.

She was working to become a hairdresser.

Now, Cocoa knows, she is gone.

But she can’t believe it.

“I just thought she was going to walk through that door,” she said. “And I’ll never see my baby again.”


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