On May 4, the Grand Jury of Haralson County Superior Court indicted Thomas Andrew Woods for kidnapping, cruelty to children and false imprisonment, all felonies, in addition to driving without a license, driving on a suspended license and possession of marijuana.
Woods, 25, of Austell, Ga., was arrested by the Bremen Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when he allegedly tried to abduct 7-year-old Brittney Baxter of Tallapoosa from the Walmart in Bremen.
The Haralson County District Attorney’s Office reported last month that it called a special convention of the Haralson County Grand Jury to hear the case of the accused kidnapper more than two weeks before the Grand Jury was scheduled to review cases for indictment.
District Attorney Robert Brooks of the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit said that due to the severity of the case against Woods, the Grand Jury met Friday, May 4, to hear the case for Woods’ indictment.
Assistant District Attorney Carmen Bolden, who has been assigned to prosecute the case against Woods and spoke to the Gateway-Beacon before the indictment, 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.”
Bolden said 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.
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.
A trial date has not yet been set.