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Paige may plead guilty in Hooks case

Thomas Areeco Paige may plead guilty to charges related to the alleged hit and run of a Clayton County police officer in December. (File Photo)

Thomas Areeco Paige may plead guilty to charges related to the alleged hit and run of a Clayton County police officer in December. (File Photo)

JONESBORO — A Hampton man may plead guilty Monday to charges related to the alleged hit and run of a Clayton County police officer in December.

Thomas Areeco Paige, 37, faces more than 150 years in prison if convicted on 14 counts in the indictment returned in March.

The charges include aggravated assault with intent to murder, four counts of aggravated battery on a police officer, two counts of aggravated assault on two other police officers, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, burglary, hit and run, obstruction of an officer, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and loitering or prowling.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said Paige could plead guilty Monday. If Paige changes his mind, jury selection will begin instead.

Officer Michael Hooks, 32, was seriously injured Dec. 12 when he was hit by a car while responding to a call about suspicious activity. Police said Paige was driving that car.

Paige’s alleged co-defendant, Jabari Akil Jackson, was indicted for burglary, obstruction of an officer, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and loitering or prowling.

Jackson, 34, of Marietta pleaded guilty in June to commercial burglary and obstruction of an officer. He was sentenced to 12 months to serve and five years on probation, to be served concurrently. The state dropped charges of loitering and possession of tools used for the commission of a crime.

Police said the pair were stealing metal from behind an abandoned building on Frontage Road near I-75.

Paige was indicted in May for theft by taking in a separate case. Prosecutors said Paige took heavy equipment valued at more than $25,000 from Trax Inc. Nov. 29 and Dec. 12, the same day he is charged with hitting Hooks with his car.

According to Georgia Department of Corrections, Paige has a long criminal history. He was most recently paroled in 2009 after serving two years for burglary, false report of a crime, loitering, possession of tools to commit a crime and obstruction of an officer.

His prior prison terms were four months in 2001, a year from 2002 to 2003 and two years from 2004 to 2006. His prior convictions include theft by receiving stolen property and interference with government property.

Hooks had just returned to work several months before getting hit. He underwent surgery and 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed in the spring 2012 with stage three testicular cancer.

Hooks attended the first Clayton County Board of Commissioners meeting of 2013 in January in a wheelchair. He had surgery and participated two months later in the 12th Annual Lifesaving Awards ceremony sponsored by Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services.

Wearing braces on both legs, Hooks walked to the front during the ceremony to a standing ovation.