Trial set for man charged with assault, arson
by Shaka S. Lias
Mar 16, 2011 | 1522 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Judge David Smith told an attorney for Willie Bernard Smith III to be ready for an April trial date for Smith who is charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault, arson and criminal damage to property. Smith, who was brought in from state custody, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday morning in Bartow County Superior Court.

Attorney David Lumpkin told the judge he was just assigned the case and wasn't sure if he would be ready. However, Judge Smith said the case was top priority.

"It's a high power case [that] rises to the top of our list," the judge said.

According to an indictment, Smith along with three others committed the crimes Nov. 7, 2008, by shooting a firearm into the home where several victims were located.

The group also set fire to a motor vehicle owned by one of the victims. According to the indictment, which was filed April 10, 2010, the remaining defendants are identified as Westley Duane Emmett, Nicholas Freeman Shirley and Lewis Edward Richards.

In other court news, Ronald Evans pleaded guilty to battery under the Family Violence Act. At the request of his attorney, David Lumpkin, the judge gave him permission to serve his jail time on weekends.

"He realizes he took it too far and did a lot of damage," Lumpkin said of his client's Nov. 9, 2009 fight with his girlfriend.

Assistant District Attorney Rosemary Greene said the victim's daughter was on the phone with her mother and could hear an altercation between the two.

She called police and when they arrived the victim walked outside with injuries to her face and body. Greene said the victim was taken to the hospital where X-rays were taken. The victim sustained bruises to her face and bite marks to her legs, side and back of her head.

"The bruising was very significant," Greene said.

Judge Smith ordered Evans to serve 15 consecutive weekends in the Bartow County jail.

"That's going to be worse than serving it at once," Smith said.

He ordered him to report at 7 p.m. on Fridays and be released Sundays at 7 p.m.

"Easter weekend, he's there, Mother's Day weekend, he's there too. There are no exceptions," Smith told Evan's attorney.

His sentence also includes 16 hours of anger management courses, a $500 fine and he was ordered to pay restitution for $8,833.50 for the victim's medical bills. He must also have no contact with the victim.