Charge upgraded to aggravated assault in Tobesofkee shooting

The man accused of shooting at fishermen on Lake Tobesofkee was charged Friday with aggravated assault.

The original charge against Basil Ghali, 24, was reckless conduct with a firearm when he turned himself in to authorities on Thursday.

All that changed after a Friday conversation between District Attorney David Cooke and Bibb County sheriff’s investigators.

“Based upon the evidence they provided to me and other members of my staff, we presented information to a Bibb County magistrate, who issued a warrant for aggravated assault against Basil Ghali,” Cooke said in an email.

On Thursday, Sheriff David Davis said the actions of the responding deputies, who were later disciplined and transferred to duties at the jail, had “jeopardized” the case. After being called to the lake March 21 by fishermen who said someone fired up to 10 shots near their boat, deputies didn’t search the home where the fisherman said the shots came from. Ghali and his family live at the house.

“If the deputies who initially responded to this incident had done what they were supposed to do, Basil Ghali might very well have been charged with aggravated assault,” Davis said Thursday. “But they didn’t and, therefore, he wasn’t.”

But that changed Friday.

Ghali was arrested at the lake home on Friday. Also, 27-year-old Kinnan Ghali was arrested at the scene for willful obstruction of law enforcement officers, according to the Bibb County jail website.

Information from the Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.