Sentence hearing for DCSO deputies set for March 15

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The sentence hearing for three Decatur County Sheriff’s Office deputies has been scheduled for March 15 at 10 a.m.

U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands issued a court emergency order in December 2015, postponing the sentence hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 29, 2015, to an unknown date.

The notice of the new sentence hearing was issued Jan. 13.

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This marks the second time the hearing has been moved. The first was due to defendant Christopher Kine’s attorney, Kermit Dorough, having a commitment to another trial on the original date of Dec. 10, 2015.

Kines, Elizabeth Croley and Robert Wade Umbach were convicted in June after they were charged multiple counts related to an incident at Bikefest 2012.

After an altercation with civilian Ronnie Aaron Parrish and a subsequent cover up, the deputies were brought before Sands for a two-week trial. Former Grady County Sheriff’s Office deputy Wiley Griffin, IV was acquitted of his charge of Deprivation of Rights Under the Color of Law.

Former DCSO captain Liz Croley was found guilty on two counts: Deprivation of Rights Under the Color of Law and False Reporting. The jury’s verdict was that Croley deprived Parrish’s rights to a fair criminal trial for his conduct at Bikefest by writing false reports.

Former DCSO deputy Robert Wade Umbach was found not guilty for False Reports, but found guilty for Tampering With Witness Evidence. Umbach was involved in the altercation with Parrish, but reported false information to FBI special agent Steve McDermott about Griffin, IV’s, involvement with Parrish.

Former DCSO deputy Christopher Kines was also charged with the same counts as Umbach. He was found not guilty for False Reports but found guilty for Tampering With Witness Evidence for the same reasons as Umbach.

The hearing will be at the U.S. District Court in Albany.