Prosecutor investigated for stealing evidence - CBS46 News

Prosecutor investigated for stealing evidence

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UPDATE 3/24/16: The GBI finished its part of the investigation and the case is now in the hands of the Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys Council.  State investigators gave no indication of whether they were able to draw any conclusions, or when to expect another update.

A source who works in the courts said Sam Skelton is accused of stealing money from fines paid to the district attorney's office. In addition to that, the Sheriff accuses Skelton of taking evidence from the jail's evidence room that was scheduled to be destroyed.  Based on that clue, the source presumes the evidence is drug-related.


It's a troublesome development in a Georgia county that has already seen more than its share of shadows cast over the district attorney's office.

An investigation centers on the evidence room at the Banks County Jail, which is about 73 miles northeast of Atlanta. According to authorities, evidence might be missing from the room, or perhaps, never made it in the room to begin with.

It all started when the Banks County sheriff picked up on some peculiarities in a local prosecutor's record keeping. The sheriff brought his concerns to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and now the investigation is centered directly on assistant district attorney Sam Skelton.

Right now investigators won't say what kind of evidence might have been stolen. But without saying exactly what's missing, the sheriff's department hinted at what kinds of things could be contained in the evidence room.

"Anything our officers confiscate from traffic stops or investigations," said Sgt. Carissa McFaddin.

That doesn't really narrow it down. It could be money, drugs or even a murder weapon.

Banks County and the Piedmont Judicial Circuit has a storied past of trouble surrounding the district attorney's office.  In 2007, district attorney Tim Madison was also accused and convicted of theft in a scheme to defraud the government of money.

Forty years before that, district attorney Floyd "Fuzzy" Hoard was killed by gangsters known as the Dixie Mafia in retaliation for pursuing organized crime.

The current district attorney, Brad Smith, was out of town Wednesday, but CBS46 reached him on the phone. He said his assistant hasn't been arrested yet because there is not currently enough probable cause. 

The GBI said, among other things, that they are looking at whether the prosecutor would have stood to gain anything by stealing the evidence and whether it would have affected a case he was working on.

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