According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, On January 14th, 2023, at 8:15 PM, TFC3 Trooper Terry was on patrol on GA 156 near Harris Beamer Road when he observed a large white 2009 GMC Sierra traveling on GA 156. Trooper Terry reported, “As it passed, it appeared to have a large amount of damage to the front windshield, and after it passed, it had damage to the taillights and no taillight covers on the passenger side. The truck appeared to be traveling at approximately 65 to 70 MPH, but [I] was unable to activate my radar to confirm the speed. After the vehicle passed, [I] quickly turned around, and while [I] was catching up, [I] was then unable to see the vehicle. [I] suspected the vehicle either was somehow able to turn off or was traveling at a high rate of speed. After negotiating through a few curves, [I] was eventually able to see the vehicle straight away and observed it braking. As [I] was catching up, the truck turned onto Sitton Road and came to a stop.” Trooper Terry then made contact with the driver, identified as Jeffery Lance Hughes, 50, of Calhoun. While speaking to him, the trooper noticed several firearms in the vehicle and that he was very nervous. Trooper Terry reported, “As [I] continued to speak with him, [I] noticed his speech was fast. He had dilated pupils and beads of sweat around the edge of his hat. [I] asked him if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, and he stated there was not. While in my patrol car, [I] determined that, based on his manifestations, it was possible that he may be under the influence of a drug.” While patting him down, the trooper noticed he became even more nervous and started shaking. I asked him several more times if there was anything he wanted to tell me about and he stated “yes” but then stated no. While patting him down the trooper located a meth pipe. He then started pleading with the trooper begging “please don’t sir”. He stated he had some bad stuff going on right now and advised the trooper it had to do with a fatal hit and run. During standardized field sobriety tests, Hughes showed several signs of drug impairment. Trooper Terry then placed him under arrest for DUI. While the trooper was cuffing him, he began to plead with him and stated he was right here at his house and that the trooper should just let him go. The trooper then warned him that anything illegal found at the jail, he could possibly be charged with a felony. He then advised that he had a baggie with meth in his top pocket. Trooper Terry let him call someone to get his truck. Hughes then had his wife put their daughter on the phone and tried to use her to guilt the trooper into just letting him go. Hughes was transported to the Gordon County Jail, charged with DUI – driving under the influence of drugs, possession and use of drug-related objects, taillights, possession of meth, and windshields and windshield wipers.
In January, Hughes was indicted by a Gordon County Grand Jury on charges related to the fatal February 2022 hit-and-run in Plainville. Hughes was indicted by the Grand Jury on charges of Homicide by Vehicle in the First Degree, Tampering with Evidence, Hit and Run, Failure to Report an Accident, and Expired Tag. On Saturday night, Feb. 5 2022, GSP Post 43 Calhoun was requested to investigate a hit-and-run crash on Hwy. 53 and Brownlee Mountain Road near Plainville. At the time, the GSP said a possible older model orange cab dump truck with a black bed was traveling south on Hwy. 53 in the center turn lane while approaching Brownlee Mountain Road. The report stated that Michael Shane Robbins, 52, of Adairsville, was on a bicycle in the center turn lane near Brownlee Mountain Road. The truck struck the bicycle in the rear tire. After impact, the vehicle fled the scene. Robbins was transported to Erlanger Medical in Chattanooga by LifeForce, where he was listed in serious condition. On Feb. 9, the GSP received information from family members that Robbins had succumbed to his injuries the previous day. Hughes turned himself into authorities on Monday, March 7, 2022, and was given bond.