Alleged rapist pleads guilty to false imprisonment
by Shaka S. Lias
May 25, 2011 | 3033 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A 19-year-old man, who once faced a rape charge, will spend the next six months in jail after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of false imprisonment.

Michael Lowe Jr. appeared in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday morning represented by Samir Patel. Lowe was sentenced to five years; he will serve the first six months in jail and the remainder on probation. He served nearly a month in jail in November 2009 and will receive credit for time served.

On May 11, Lowe was granted a motion to dismiss an interview conducted at the Cartersville Police Department. According to court testimony, officer R.P. Hawley did not inform Lowe of the charges when he arrested Lowe on Nov. 13, 2009.

During the interview, Lowe asked Hawley how serious the charges were. "I'm not willing to talk to you without a lawyer if this is a serious charge, and I know it's not," Lowe said to the officer.

The officer proceeded with questioning but failed to inform Lowe of the rape charge until the end of the interview.

Judge Scott Smith said Lowe should have been made aware of the charges at the beginning of the interview.

"I don't think he understood the severity of [the charge], and quite frankly, with the statement he made, it would be an error on my part to let his statement go to the jury and I'm not going to," Smith said on May 11.

In addition to his sentence, Lowe must complete 100 hours of community service, stay away from the alleged victim and pay a monthly probation fee. He was sentenced as a first offender.

In other court news:

* A woman who stole $60 in makeup from Walmart was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine. Tiffany Day pleaded guilty to theft by shoplifting in Judge Carey Nelson's courtroom. She also is banned from the properties of all Sam's Club and Walmart stores during the duration of her probation. Day has a record of shoplifting.

"She'll be back in this court, if not for another shoplifting [case], for something more serious," Nelson said.

"I hope you prove me wrong," he told Day.

* Amanda Johnson also appeared in Nelson's courtroom. She pleaded guilty to theft by shoplifting. Johnson, who was already on probation, stole $16 in fishing hooks from Walmart.

She was sentenced to eight months in jail.

* Gentry Wright Parker pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. He was sentenced to 10 months probation and 30 days to serve in jail.

Parker told Nelson he had been selling marijuana for three to six months. When asked why he sold it, he replied, "It made it cheaper for me to smoke."

In addition to his sentence, Parker must pay a $1,000 fine and enroll in a drug evaluation program.