McDonough couple faces 67 fraud counts

By Kathy Jefcoats

Police say a homeless couple took advantage of a debit card found in a local restaurant, racking up more than $11,000 in fraudulent charges, and now faces more than 60 criminal violations.

McDonough Police detective Heath Matthews said in Henry Magistrate Court Friday that Joey Scott Smith, 21, and wife Lindsey Michelle Smith, 18, will be charged with 67 counts of forgery and financial transaction card fraud in the city and in Henry County.

The Smiths, parents of a 4-month-old daughter, were homeless and staying in a series of motels, all charged to the card found in a Shoney's restaurant, said Matthews. They also took the card shopping, dining and buying parts for a reportedly stolen motorcycle Joey Smith was riding, he said.

Henry Magistrate Robert Godwin set a $15,000 bond for each defendant, considerably lower than initial bonds that topped $100,000 each. Relatives are reportedly trying to gain custody of the baby.

Naked man cut in jump through window

A construction worker staying in a local motel faces charges after disrobing and jumping through the window of a room where a woman was staying with her 12-year-old granddaughter.

Travis Lee Williams, 31, was staying at Masters Inn in McDonough while he worked at a nearby construction site, said Henry Police officer Ron Patten. Earlier this week, Williams, sitting in his underwear along the sidewalk at the motel, grabbed at the girl as she passed with her grandmother, Patten told Henry Magistrate Robert Godwin Friday.

The pair ran to their rooms, pursued by an intoxicated Williams, said Patten. During the chase, Williams lost his underwear, leaving him completely naked. The females locked themselves in their room as Williams beat on the door.

Williams reportedly demanded the woman open the door because someone had either put a rope around his neck and was trying to strangle him, said Patten. When she refused, he jumped through the window, cutting an artery in his left leg.

Williams was passed out and bloody when police arrived. He was taken to Henry Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Once he was stabilized, he was booked into the Henry County Jail charged with burglary and indecent exposure.

Until disposition of a burglary charge on his criminal history can be determined, bond will have to be set by a Superior Court judge, said Godwin. If officials determine the charge is not outstanding, bond can be set at the Magistrate Court level.

Bond remains for accused shooter

Bond remains at $50,000 cash only for a Stockbridge man charged in the July 19 shooting of a teen-ager who is reportedly clinging to life in an Atlanta hospital.

Christopher Leroi Carter, 21, of Glenwood Way is charged with aggravated assault in the shooting of Mitch Holt, 17, in the face with a small caliber handgun. Holt, the son of Kristina Holt, is reportedly on life support at Grady Memorial Hospital with brain damage and a 2 percent chance of survival.

Henry Magistrate Robert Godwin addressed the young man after he ordered him held for aggravated assault.

"If you've done what you're alleged to have done in the way it is alleged, in the blink of an eye, you've ruined two lives," said Godwin. "It's a tragedy all around."

Carter attended a probable cause hearing Friday morning in Henry Magistrate Court, represented by local attorney Dave Slemons. After hearing testimony presented by Assistant State Court Solicitor Annie Deets and Henry police Detective Thomas Stott, Godwin ordered Carter held in jail.

Stott told Godwin that Carter was identified as the shooter by at least three people at the scene.

The shooting occurred during an ongoing verbal dispute between two groups of people, said Stott. Carter was on one side, Holt on the other.

"Witnesses said Carter produced a gun from behind his back with his right hand," said Stott. "Witnesses observed that one of three males in the group fired at Holt and no one else put the gun in anyone else's possession."

Stott testified that the gun has not been recovered. If Holt dies, Carter will likely be charged with murder.