Griffin parolee held in car theft

McDONOUGH — A recent parolee driving a stolen car and his passenger gave conflicting stories to police, creating probable cause that a crime had been committed, ruled a Henry magistrate Monday morning.

Judge Wes Shannon bound over theft charges against Joel Robert Mavergames. Police said Mavergames, 34, also gave a false name and date of birth and was driving on a suspended license.

Henry County police Officer Jason Jones testified Monday that Mavergames was stopped at a Ga. 138 safety checkpoint Sept. 12. Jones said Mavergames was driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla that had been reported stolen in Clayton County.

Jones said officers used a portable fingerprint reader to determine Mavergames’ identity and discovered he was wanted by the parole office in Atlanta for stolen property.

A backseat passenger told police Mavergames had just picked him up from his shift at Waffle House and knew nothing about the stolen car, said Jones. The man was still in his work uniform so he was released, he said.

However, Jones said Mavergames and his front seat passenger, Jheri Marcelle Godfrey, 21, gave conflicting stories so they were both charged with theft by receiving stolen property. During the arrest, police found less than an ounce of marijuana in Godfrey’s possession so she also faces a drug charge.

Mavergames has been in and out of state prison six times since 1997, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. He was most recently released on parole in October 2011 after serving less than a year for a theft by taking conviction in Clayton County. He is to serve parole until February 2015.

Godfrey’s case was bound over without a hearing. She was given a $3,500 bond.