“Because the gun was stolen and they did not turn it over to us immediately, the administration could have been charged with breaking the chain of evidence in a crime; however, they said they did not have a protocol in place for this type of situation and it will not happen again.”
Camp could not comment on how the child came to possess the weapon as the investigation is still active.
Turner County Chief Deputy Sheriff Charles Dean confirmed by phone on Friday the gun was one of 36 stolen from Godwin’s Hardware and Sports Center in Ashburn on Nov. 26, 2003. Ashburn, located in Turner County, is 75 miles south of Macon. Dean has been with the Turner County Sheriff’s Office since 2000 and immediately remembered the crime.
“According to the file I have in front of me, the gun with a matching serial number is listed in our file as one from Godwin’s. To my knowledge, no other guns have been recovered in this case,” Dean said.
Demetrius Fernando Burgess was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 2003 crime. He also was convicted of burglary a second time and sentenced to eight years. Currently, he is serving his sentence in Wheeler Correctional Facility and his maximum release date is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2018.
Dean had not spoken to Cartersville Police Department yet regarding the situation but plans to contact them to coordinate the investigation.
“It seems Cartersville may have contacted the city of Ashburn and that department has completely turned over since 2003. No one currently there was in the department back then and they may not be aware of the situation. That is probably why the information regarding the gun was not sent over to me from Ashburn City police since we took over the case. I am very happy to inform our resident that one of his guns has been recovered. I will contact Cartersville to see if I can find out how the 12-year-old got the weapon and, hopefully, it will lead us to recovering more of the guns,” Dean said.
Per the CPD incident report regarding the situation, a dispatcher sent a hit request on May 22 to Ashburn police on Georgia Crime Information Center. Ashburn police confirmed the hit.