Homicide rate down slightly in 2017

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The homicide rate in Troup County went down slightly in 2017, according to numbers from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, LaGrange Police Department and Hogansville Police Department.

There were four homicides in Troup County in 2017, down one from 2016. According to stats from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, this was the year since 2008 that Troup County had less than five homicides in a year.

In 2017, LaGrange had one homicide and West Point had two. The fourth was a vehicular homicide worked by the Georgia State Patrol on Pyne Road in November.

LaGrange had its lowest homicide numbers since 2010. The city had either three or four homicides each year over the previous six years, but saw that change in 2017.

Lt. Dale Strickland with the LaGrange Police Department said it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has led to the lower homicide rate, but less gang crime has certainly helped.

“We’ve seen a significant decline in shootings and violent crime when gangs are concerned, so obviously the number of homicides that are gang-related are going to be reduced, so I’m sure that’s part of the reason,” Strickland said.

The one homicide in LaGrange this year occurred after an alleged domestic dispute in September. Jimmie Griffith Jr., 52, was shot and killed in the incident, which occurred at the North Cary Street Apartments. His girlfriend, Lillian Addison, was arrested and charged with murder non-family-gun, aggravated assault-gun, possession of a firearm or knife during certain felonies and false statements and writings, according to the LaGrange Police Department.

Strickland said domestic-related incidents are difficult to predict and prevent, but the LPD investigates each one thoroughly.

“Every domestic related case that we go to and make an arrest on, or even if we don’t make an arrest because we can’t determine who the primary aggressor is, every one of those are assigned to a detective for follow-up,” Strickland said. “It’s been that way for years. If there is evidence that needs to be followed up on or if there is assistance the victim in the case needs, we try to provide that. We try to get them hooked up wherever they can be hooked up so they can get out of that domestic relationship that may be abusive.”

The first of West Point’s two homicides occurred in May.

Sherika Kamia Trammell, 40, was killed in the homicide. Erica Parkmond and Desron Young allegedly fired gunshots at Trammell from a Chevrolet Tahoe as she walked on the 1100 block of East 12th Street. Both Parkmond and Young were arrested. Young’s charges were dismissed, according to the Troup County District Attorney’s office.

Parkmond was charged with murder and aggravated assault, according to records from the Troup County Jail.

The second homicide took place in December when William Carter Lee, 65, was shot and killed on the 1300 block of Avenue K. Freddy Lee Sutton was charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was arrested shortly after the incident.

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office did not work a homicide in 2017. It was the second straight year of no homicide cases for the TCSO. They worked seven homicides in 2017, although five of those were tied to one incident.

“That’s one of those things where it’s one of those crimes that you can’t predict is going to happen,” said Sgt. Stewart Smith from the TCSO. “It’s certainly good for our staff that we haven’t worked any of those.”

Hogansville also did not have a homicide in 2017, which continued a recent trend. The city has only had one homicide in the last 11 years and that occurred in 2011.

“Small towns are generally like that,” said Hogansville Police Chief Brian Harr. “If there are homicides in small towns, it’s usually a crime of passion. Very seldom is it stranger to stranger.”

The fourth homicide in Troup County in 2017 was worked by Georgia State Patrol. Seventy-eight-year-old George Allen of LaGrange was killed in the incident.

Scott Sparks was charged with reckless driving homicide with a vehicle, hit-and-run (injury, death, damage), driving too fast for conditions, duty to report accident (injury, death or property), failure to maintain lane and leaving the scene of the accident.

The Troup County District Attorney’s office said that the Addison, Parkmond, Sparks and Sutton cases were still pending.