DA’s office will not prosecute state Sen. David Lucas

mstucka@macon.comNovember 22, 2013 

State Sen. David Lucas will not be prosecuted for his role in a fracas at an election rally for his wife, Macon-Bibb County Commissioner-elect Elaine Lucas.

The Bibb County district attorney’s office found insufficient evidence to prosecute the lawmaker, who had been accused of choking a 14-year-old autistic child during an Aug. 21 incident at the Lakeview Club Apartments.

District Attorney David Cooke said several agencies had a chance to bring charges, and all of them turned it down. The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and GBI also considered criminal charges.

“The sheriff looked at it, didn’t see sufficient evidence in their mind to take a warrant,” Cooke said. “They passed what they had to the GBI. They didn’t see sufficient evidence to take a warrant. Either of those agencies could have taken a warrant at any time. I did my own independent judgment, and it just wasn’t there.”

Cooke said the case is closed and no charges will be filed.

The 14-year-old boy from the incident, Chase King, is the grandson of Terry Tripp, who challenged Elaine Lucas unsuccessfully for the seat. King told GBI agents that an old man with glasses pushed and choked him.

An investigation showed different accounts of what happened that night.

Kinya Miller, who is the boy’s mother and Tripp’s daughter, told GBI agents that she saw David Lucas put his hands around the boy’s neck and then push him. But an off-duty Macon police officer working security at the apartments said Miller had specifically told him she’d only gotten phone calls about the choking, because she hadn’t yet arrived by the time it happened.

The GBI reported that the boy and David Lucas both showed up in a surveillance video from the Lakeview Apartments, but it doesn’t show that they ever touched. The GBI said King went to a doctor the next day and received pain medication, but had no bruises.

Other potential witnesses told the GBI they didn’t see Lucas choking anyone.

Tripp did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The GBI investigation did substantiate other parts of the fracas. Lenny Lucas, a son, started taking off his shirt in an attempt to intimidate or fight one of Tripp’s relatives, Chandler King. Told that Chandler King was 16 years old, by all accounts, he put his shirt back on.

David Lucas had denied allegations that he choked the 14-year-old boy, saying he acted as a peacemaker.

Cooke said politics did not play a role in his decision not to prosecute. He just didn’t find enough evidence to do so, he said.

“There were many hours of video interviews, and the amount of transcripts and reports were in the triple digits,” Cooke said. “There was quite a bit of evidence, and I went through it all myself.”

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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