Dublin woman arrested after leaving 10-year-old beside roadway, locally wanted man arrested


Special to The Chronicle from The Johnson Journal

A Dublin woman was arrested last week after leaving a child on the side of the road as a form of punishment.

According to Investigator Raymond Riner with Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to Highway 319 North on July 12 around 6:30 p.m. in reference to a child standing beside the roadway. A passerby had stopped to check on the child, a 10-year-old female, after watching the car put her out. While waiting on deputies to arrive, the car the put the child out came back to the scene.

Deputy Jay Hood, also of JCSO, made contact with the child, the passerby, and the driver of the car, 38-year-old Margaret Ann Melvin.

Melvin explained the 10-year-old and another child, an 11-year-old, belonged to her friend. Both children were in the back seat of her car fussing and fighting when she was struck with a pillow multiple times during the altercation. To discipline them, Melvin made the 10-year-old get out of the vehicle and told her to walk home. She then drove away.

When questioned by Hood as to what made her think it was okay to put someone else’s child out on the side of the road, Melvin advised him the child’s parents told her she could.

Melvin was taken into custody, and the children were taken to Johnson Law Enforcement Center and later picked up by Melvin’s husband.

She was charged with two counts reckless conduct and two counts first-degree child cruelty.

In other crime news, a call about a suspicious vehicle in a Wrightsville restaurant parking lot led to the arrest of a man wanted in three different locations—Swainsboro, Metter, and Alabama.

On July 9 just before 2 p.m., Investigator Garner, Captain Logan Fahey, Deputy Andy Hudson, and Deputy Jose Soto responded to the call and made contact with the vehicle, a white Lexus, in the Cattle Bay parking lot.

The driver, Christopher Leon Thomas, 59 of Metter, initially told officers he didn’t have any identification on him but provided a name and birthday. The man’s real identity was quickly discovered, and officers learned he had an outstanding warrant out of Metter for failure to register as a sex offender.

The vehicle Thomas was in had a drive-out tag, so Garner ran the VIN, which yielded the car to be stolen from Alabama. Garner contacted the sheriff’s office there and was informed they, too, had outstanding warrants on Thomas for a stolen vehicle and possession of methamphetamine.

Thomas was placed in custody. While the vehicle was being searched, officers found a glass pipe containing a white powdery substance. Thomas reportedly admitted the substance was meth and said he was smoking it while sitting in the parking lot.

Thomas is charged with theft by receiving in another state, theft by receiving, possession of a Schedule II drug (meth), possession of drug-related objects, public intoxication, criminal trespassing, giving false information to officers, obstruction of an officer, expired tag, and no insurance.

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