Charles E. Richardson

Shaking my head at the recent spate of crimes rooted in stupidity

“This city deserves a better class of criminal.”

The Joker from the 2008 Batman film “The Dark Knight”

Have you ever picked up your paper, read a story about another crime of stupidity, and just started shaking your head? I’ve been shaking my head a lot lately for two reasons. First, at the abject thoughtlessness of the criminal involved, and secondly, for my absolute helplessness in being able to do anything about it.

Here are just a few of the latest examples. Nineteen-year-old Logan Nettles, decided to pistol whip his dad, Craig. That’s bad enough considering son lives on the father’s largess. But here’s the damning part. Just a few days earlier, Logan and a friend, David Billingsley, 23, stopped by the house to, according to reports, swap a pistol, apparently with 16-year-old Chase Gillis. In the process, Gillis, allegedly pointed a gun at Nettles and was shot dead by Billingsley or Nettles, we don’t really know which one fired the fatal shot. Nettles and Billingsley ran off into the Lizella woods and later caught a ride to the sheriff’s office to report the shooting. No arrests have been made as of this writing.

There is an old saying, “Dead men tell no tales,” but live ones do, and instead of lying low and keeping quiet, Nettles decides to beat up his dad and tell him, according to the incident report, “Next time I will kill you.” This coming from someone who is sitting on the edge of being charged with a much more serious crime. Genius.

My head continued to shake when I read about Casey Harvey’s murder at the Rockland Apartments out on Recreation Road. Harvey was all of 25. The gunman yelled, “Police!” as he kicked in the door of the upstairs apartment at 6 a.m. Harvey, his girlfriend and three children were inside sleeping, according to deputies. The gunman didn’t want anything to do with the girlfriend or the children, but his purpose was clear. He went into another bedroom and shot Harvey dead. The whys of this murder are still under investigation.

My question to which there is no answer. If you want to kill someone, why put others in harm’s way? Why traumatize the children and the girlfriend? Obviously, Harvey and his killer had some sort of connection and hopefully, investigators will discover what that connection is and put somebody under the jail.

And lastly, maybe the most confounding situation of the ones I’ve mentioned. A family of eight, including mother, father, two adult sons, three children (all under five) and a girlfriend, were traveling back to Alabama after a Florida vacation when Daniel Young, 40 (the father) got into an argument with his son, 21-year-old Deontae Leqwan Young.

Apparently they had been arguing since they hit the Florida-Georgia line and by the time they hit Peach County it all came to a head. The elder young told his wife to pull the SUV over to the side of Interstate 75 just past the Byron exit. The father, apparently reached over to the back seat and slugged son, got out of the vehicle and came around to the side of the vehicle where his son sat. The son shot his father twice in the chest, killing him. The children saw their father kill their grandfather. Hard to get happy after that.

Father/son dynamics are complicated. The report says the elder Young had been drinking heavily, but I would hope, that this situation could have been resolved without gun play. If dad was that drunk, I would have taken him for a little jog along the highway rather than shoot him. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Now you have a son that might be charged with killing his father, the man that gave him life. His mother has lost her provider, all after, what one would hope, was a fabulous vacation.

My head is still shaking because good sense and clear thinking was obviously absent in all of the above situations and there is no answer I can pull out of the sky that could have prevented any of them. And what worries me most is that more such crimes are on the way.