District Attorney Robert Brooks of the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit said that due to the severity of the case against Thomas Andrew Woods, 25, of Austell, Ga., the Grand Jury will meet next Friday, May 4 to hear the case for Woods’ indictment.
Woods was arrested on by the Bremen Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and charged with counts of kidnapping, false imprisonment, cruelty to children, simple assault, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and driving on a suspended license.
His case made national news after he attempted to abduct 7-year-old Brittney Baxter of Tallapoosa from the Walmart in Bremen.
“The grand jury doesn’t meet every month like it does in some counties,” said a spokesman for the Haralson County District Attorney’s Office. “It does require some extraordinary effort on the DA’s part. [It took] 12 weeks to indictment, in a county where grand jury doesn’t meet but three times a year.”
Assistant District Attorney Carmen Bolden, who has been assigned to prosecute the case against Woods, said that the move to call the Grand Jury early was in an effort to prevent Woods from receiving a bond in Haralson County Superior Court. In the state of Georgia, she said, if a case is not indicted within 90 days, the accused is entitled to a bond.
“This fellow’s criminal history and the severity of the charges are definitely something that makes this a little more special,” Bolden said. “The normal scheduling was already on the 21st, but had we waited until the 21st in this case, it would have been after the 90 days. I already have sufficient evidence in my possession to expect an indictment on May 4, and we have a variety of charges, which are most certainly to include kidnapping.”
Bolden said that Woods’ indictment is the only case to come before the Grand Jury when it convenes next week. The rest of the county’s cases remain on the schedule for May 21.
She added that since Woods waived his right to a first appearance in Haralson County Magistrate Court on Friday, Feb. 10, he has not since appeared before a judge.
“I fear that this guy could get out on bond,” Brooks said. “By doing it this way, we don’t have to depend on whether there’s a parole hold or anything out there. I want to thank the Bremen Police for their diligence and intensity in working this case and their continued cooperation with our office.”
According to information from the Georgia Department of Corrections, Woods was convicted of voluntary manslaughter stemming from a case in Dekalb County in 2004. He received a 20-year sentence in 2007, of which he served four and a half years in the Wheeler Correctional Facility in Alamo, Ga. He was released on Oct. 19, 2011 and expected to serve on probation for the remaining 13 years of his sentence.
• In addition, two suspects in the February shooting death of 80-year-old Ophir Thompson of Haralson County’s Corinth community remains in the Haralson County Jail this week. Ronnie Duane Lewis, 29, of Bremen and Mickey Ray Mulder Jr., 26, of Tallapoosa were denied bond on their initial appearance in Haralson County Magistrate Court. The district attorney’s office continues to receive evidence in the case.
• A man charged in the Nov. 2 shooting death of his wife also remains in jail for murder this week. Thomas Wilson Adams was denied bond in his first appearance in Haralson County Magistrate Court on Nov. 7. He has been charged with murder and aggravated assault for the shooting death of his wife, Elizabeth Adams, 76 at their home in the Emerald Lane Mobile Home Park in Bremen.