By Kathy Jefcoats
The McDonough man on whose land an 18-year-old Augusta man was found stabbed to death had prior brushes with local law enforcement agencies but nothing violent, according to court records.
Henry County police said the teen, Josh "D.J." Bargeron, stayed with Timmy Lee, 34, at Lee's Ga. Highway 81 home in the weeks between Bargeron's last contact with his mother Dec. 18 and when his body was found Feb. 7.
A search warrant was executed at the home earlier this week and police reportedly took away trace evidence for analysis.
According to a letter Lee sent to Bargeron's mother, Tammy Bargeron, the teen left Lee's home Dec. 18 n his 18th birthday. Lee has not been charged with a crime in connection with this incident and has not been publicly named as a suspect.
His mother, Mary Lee, 70, was mayor of Riverdale for about a dozen years before losing a re-election bid in November.
According to court records, Lee has a history of minor traffic violations in Henry and Clayton counties. However, he was arrested in January 2002 for trying to break into the ATM machine at Heritage Bank in McDonough five different times in December 2001, according to Henry Superior Court records.
His parents and sister signed a $10,000 bond on the family's 55 acres on Highway 81 n where Timmy Lee and his sister each have homes.
Represented by Jonesboro attorney Jerry Patrick, Lee pleaded guilty under the First Offender Act to three counts each of attempted theft by taking and criminal damage to property and was sentenced to five years on probation. Patrick also served as solicitor for the city of Riverdale.
During a search warrant executed at Timmy Lee's house following the January arrest, officers found a wallet belonging to a Jonesboro man who said it was stolen from a workout gym the previous November. Lee was then charged with theft by receiving stolen property.
Lee pleaded guilty to that violation as well and was sentenced to 12 months on probation. He was ordered to pay fines and fees in both cases, and to serve 240 hours of community service.
On Sept. 12, 2003, Patrick filed a motion with the Superior Court to amend Timmy Lee's sentence, stating that Lee had fulfilled all his financial and community services obligations and was serving an "exemplary" probation. Patrick also stated that the probation "with all due respect" was "detrimental to his employment of choice."
At the time of his January 2002 arrest, Timmy Lee was working at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport for Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
The motion asked that his probation be terminated under the First Offender Act without adjudication of guilt. However, in Oct. 23, 2003, Patrick announced his intent to withdraw the motion.
Timmy Lee did not return a phone call asking for comment on the case. His mother said her attorney n she declined to identify him n advised the family not to talk to the press.
Bargeron's mother, Tammy Bargeron, said earlier this week she believes her son, who was gay and known to date black men, was the victim of a hate crime.