Father of slain woman confronts Jones commission over loss of prosecutors

alopez@macon.comOctober 8, 2013 

GRAY -- Jones County lost two prosecutors last week that handled cases ranging from traffic cases to murders.

A father who is waiting for his daughter’s manslaughter case to be tried had planned to advocate for the one county-funded position to be reinstated, but before he could plead his case, the commission voted Tuesday evening to hire someone.

Scott Eric Anderson is the father of Brittany Grizzle, who was shot and killed May 6 by her boyfriend Waylon Goodson.

Prosecutors charged Goodson with manslaughter, as he contends the shooting was accidental, but he is currently free on bond.

Fred Bright, the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit district attorney, said the case will be prosecuted. A trial date, however, has not been set.

In August, Anderson expressed confidence in the team of prosecutors handling the case. Last week, a unanimous county commission vote disbanded the team.

They eliminated Keagan Waystack’s assistant district attorney position, and a $5,000 supplement to the state-appointed assistant district attorney Gregory Bushway. The move effectively doubled Bushway’s workload while cutting his pay. He resigned. Major court dates were canceled this month as a result.

Commissioner Larry Childs contends that the decision was difficult, but necessary to protect the county budget and prevent a tax increase.

“Hope was crushed,” Anderson said. “You don’t make budget decisions that jeopardize the safety of the community.”

Anderson had never attended a county commission before, but he attended Tuesday to speak to commissioners directly.

“I want to know why they thought it was the right thing to do,” he said, prior to the meeting.

While Anderson waited to speak, the commissioners reviewed bids for muscle cars and SUVS for the sheriff’s department.

Later, commissioners Daylon Martin and Tommy Robinson fought over employee pay scales. Martin accused Robinson of unfairly “picking and choosing” which county employees to protect.

Soon after that, Bright took the podium to ask for a state-appointed, county-funded district attorney for Jones County. The commission agreed and voted to fund it out of its contingency fund. The position will be filled at an entry level of pay.

Anderson thanked the commission for the move, but chastised them for getting rid of Waystack and driving away Bushway. “You fired some good people,” he said. “I don’t believe this was motivated by the budget.”

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 477-4382.

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