Chatsworth man sentenced to 20 years in prison for running over father, clinic employees with van

A Chatsworth, Ga., man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for an incident in which he injured two medical center employees. Donald Bradly Holcomb, 58, was found guilty Thursday by a Murray County jury of two counts of aggravated assault and one count of family violence aggravated assault. A jury of six men and six women deliberated for less than one hour after hearing the evidence on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Superior Court Judge Scott Minter presided over the trial and set the sentence, including 20 years on probation. The state’s case was presented Assistant District Attorney Dixon Lackey, with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Kevin Caylor, and Victim Advocates Perla Reyna and Ashlyn Elrod. Mr. Holcomb was represented by Dalton attorney Bart Barnwell. On Oct. 5, 2020, Holcomb went to a medical facility in Chatsworth accompanied by his father and stepmother. Due to prior disruptive behavior and non-compliance with rules, he had been told not to come back onto the clinic property the week before. Because of those prior instructions, staff called law enforcement when they saw him arrive. When he was refused entry that day, he grew angry and got in an argument with his elderly father, which alerted staff and others nearby. In his attempt to leave he put his van in reverse catching his father and two clinic employees in the open van door. Holcomb then put the van in drive and deliberately moved forward causing further injuries to the clinic employees, it was stated. The events were recorded on surveillance cameras outside the facility, and on a cell phone video (including audio) captured by a patient at the clinic. The state called 10 witnesses including the victims, medical personnel and detectives with the Chatsworth Police Department. Holcomb testified, but called no other witnesses. He claimed accident as a defense, and maintained that at sentencing, never demonstrating any remorse for his actions. Holcomb is missing a leg and paralyzed from the waist down and thus unable to climb the stairs to the courtroom in Murray County courthouse. An alternate location for the jury trial needed to be found, something which has not been needed before in Murray County, at least not in recent memory. This change of location required the help of a number of county officials, District Attorney Bert Poston said. Murray County Sole Commissioner Greg Hogan and Chairman of the Murray County School Board Greg Shoemaker entered into an agreement to use the hearing room at the Murray County Schools Central Office, located at 1006 Green Road (the rock building) as an official courtroom. The use of this facility had to be also be approved by Judge Minter and the Court Administrator’s Office, as well as by Sheriff Jimmy Davenport, who is responsible for court security. DA Poston said, “The District Attorney’s Office would like to express its sincere thanks to these individuals and to the Murray County Schools Innovative Technology Department and the employees of the Murray County Schools Central Office for their invaluable assistance and willingness to adapt to the imposition, which made the conduct of the trial a success.”

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