Crime

Judge: Parents of man charged in Lake Tobesofkee shooting must testify

The parents of a Macon man accused of shooting at fishermen at Lake Tobesofkee last month will be required to testify when their son’s case is presented to a grand jury.

Basil Ghali’s lawyer, Laura D. Hogue, filed a motion in Bibb County Superior Court Monday seeking to quash subpoenas for Jalal and Jinan Ghali’s testimony.

In a hearing Tuesday, she argued the Ghalis have a right not to testify in a situation that would “bring infamy, disgrace or public contempt” on them or their family unless prosecutors can prove their testimony is “material” to the case against their son.

District Attorney David Cooke said Dr. Jinan Ghali was home on March 21 when her son allegedly fired shots at fishermen on the lake from a balcony of their Lotus Point Drive house. No one was injured in the shooting.

Dr. Jalal Ghali returned home immediately after the shots. Based on a conversation he allegedly had with a neighbor, he seemed to have an idea of who might have fired the shots and of a prior incident, Cooke said.

He hasn’t been interviewed by authorities and is the person who refused to talk to deputies at the door of his house on the night of the shooting, Cooke said.

Judge Howard Simms denied Hogue’s motion, meaning the subpoenas stand.

The district attorney’s office filed motions last week seeking to have a judge grant Jalal and Jinan Ghali immunity from being prosecuted for anything that may be disclosed in their testimony. The motions were granted, according to court records.

Basil Ghali, 24, turned himself in to authorities April 23. Although he initially was charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, the charge was upgraded Friday to aggravated assault, a felony.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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