Final 2019 Stephens County Grand Jury handed down indictments for five individuals, including a murder indictment; Stephens County 2020 Grand Jury to convene tomorrow.
The January Term of the 2020 Stephens County Grand Jury will convene tomorrow morning, Jan. 6.
“We always do a brand new Grand Jury in January, so this will be their first time coming in, so there won’t be a chance to do anything other than just the indictments that are in front of them,” Stephens County Clerk of Superior Court Tim Quick told ConnectLocal.News. “And if they choose to come back and do other things, that will be for the next time, but this week will be a brand new group, so there will be nothing but indictments for this particular time.”
On Dec. 11, 2019, the July Term of the 2019 Stephens County Grand Jury handed down a murder indictment, and several lesser indictments. Indictments included:
Kenton Deshaun Hall was indicted on one count malice murder, one count felony murder, two counts aggravated assault and one count kidnapping. Hall, in September 2019, allegedly abducted, held and then stabbed Patricia Diane Hall with a knife, causing her death, and assaulted Robert Maxwell and Nancy Johnson with a knife.
Gary Frank Williams was indicted on one count of child molestation and one count of cruelty to children in the second degree. According to the indictment, Williams allegedly committed “an immoral and indecent act” with a minor under the age of 16 years of age, an act witnessed by a second minor.
John Wesley Nicely was indicted on one count of aggravated assault for allegedly striking a female in the forehead with an “an object which, when used offensively against a person is likely to result in serious bodily injury.”
Arthur Thomas Downs, III, was indicted on two counts possession of firearm by convicted felon. Downs was convicted in September 2004 of felony forgery in the 1st degree in Stephens County, and allegedly was in possession, on or about Aug. 7, 2019, of an S&W M&P Shield 9mm pistol and a Vision Defense AR10 rifle.
Christopher Mathew Seay, 40, was indicted for two counts of failure to register as a sex offender. Seay was convicted in Stephens County in October, 1997, of the offense of statutory rape of a minor. Seay failed to “respond directly to the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office within 72 hours prior to such offender’s birthday each year to renew the required registration information” and failed to “notify the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office … of his change of residence address within 72 hours prior to the change of his address, in violation of O.C.G.A. 41-1-12(n)...” the indictment alleges. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Sex Offender Registry, Seay has been on the registry since Nov. 2, 2009, and his last residence verification date was April 8, 2018, with an address on Silver Shoals Road in Toccoa.
According the the Registry, there are 88 sex offenders registered in Stephens County (85 male, 3 female), and an additional two who are registered as sexual predators. Surrounding counties registered offenders: Rabun County - 28 sex offenders, 1 absconder, 1 sexual predator; Habersham County - 83 sex offenders, 2 absconders, 2 sexual predators; Banks County – 67 sex offenders, 1 sexual predator; Franklin County – 50 sex offenders, 1 sexual predator; Hart County – 58 sex offenders, 1 sexual predator.
According to the GBI, a sexual offender is “any individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense.” A “sexually dangerous predator” is defined as “A person who is determined by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to be at risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense.”