JONESBORO By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO -- A former DeKalb County police captain is part of a 20-count felony indictment returned in Clayton County Wednesday related to charges she turned a blind eye to stolen property piling up on her Lake Jodeco property, said prosecutors.
Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said she presented the case against former police Capt. Suzanne Eleanor Kaulbach. Kaulbach was fired after her July arrest.
Also indicted were Kaulbach's domestic partner, Misty Dawn Caudle, Caudle's teenage son, Evan Tyler Caudle and Evan Caudle's friend, Donavin Thomas O'Leary.
In court filings, prosecutors outline an alleged pattern of behavior where Kaulbach and Caudle allowed Caudle's son and his friends to leave reportedly stolen items at Kaulbach's Lake Jodeco property.
During a July probable cause hearing, Kaulbach testified that the teenagers weren't made to go to school or hold a job. Lawson appeared incredulous when, under cross-examination by Lawson, Kaulbach objected to the prosecutor’s description of the teenagers as “moochers.”
“They don’t work, they aren’t in school, they sleep until whenever they want to get up, they do whatever they want, they have no responsibilities and you’re taking care of them,” said Lawson during the hearing. “That’s not mooching?”
When Kaulbach disagreed, Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker had her own question.
“What do you call it?” said Walker.
Kaulbach said when Evan Caudle's girlfriend, Shannon Kirkpatrick, became pregnant, she and Caudle told the couple to take the nine months to “work on themselves.”
“We told them we didn’t want them working, just work on themselves,” said Kaulbach. “They needed to learn responsibility. After the baby was born, then we could discuss them getting a job. They did chores around the house for pocket money to spend time with friends.”
In her ruling ordering Kaulbach be charged in July, Walker said Kaulbach should have known the items were stolen, given her 24 years experience in law enforcement and thousands of training hours. Kaulback was an instructor at Georgia Piedmont College in Newton County.
“It appears she deliberately closed her eyes to avoid enlightenment,” said Walker.
Kaulbach and Misty Caudle were indicted Wednesday for making false statements, obstruction of a police officer, criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark and multiple counts of theft by receiving stolen property.
Evan Caudle is named in 18 counts including theft by receiving stolen property, theft by taking, tampering with evidence, criminal damage to property, burglary and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
O'Leary was indicted for theft by taking, burglary and theft by receiving stolen property.
Kirkpatrick, 17, pleaded guilty as a first offender in June to theft by taking and got probation and a fine. Another Caudle friend, Aron Childress, pleaded guilty as a first offender in July to theft by taking, theft by receiving stolen property and criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark. Childress was sentenced to probation and a fine.