Man Who Planted Drugs On Angela Garmley's Car Given 18-Month Prison Term; Won't Tell Who Told Him To Do It

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Dalton man who planted drugs on the car of Angela Garmley in Murray County was sentenced Friday in Federal Court in Rome, Ga., to serve 18 months in federal prison. He also must provide 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutor Jeff Davis said Clifford J. "CJ" Joyce put the meth on her car "to help out his landlord." Attorney McCracken Poston, who represents Ms. Garmley, said Cochran, a former Murray County magistrate, was the landlord.

Attorney Poston said, "In the sentencing of Capt. Henderson, we learned that not only did Judge Cochran contact multiple officers trying to get them to pull Angie Garmley over, he also told them where the drugs could be found. Today, in the sentencing of Clifford "CJ" Joyce, we heard that he planted the drugs for his landlord. At the time of the framing of Angie Garmley, he was living in a trailer owned by former magistrate Judge Cochran."

Ms. Garmley said the drugs were planted shortly after she spurned the sexual advances of Magistrate Cochran.

Two police officers have already been sentenced by Judge Harold Murphy in Rome in the scandal.

But no charges have been brought against Cochran and he was dismissed as a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by Ms. Garmley.

Apparently, none of the three who have been sentenced have given a statement against Cochran. Prosecutor Davis said the GBI and the FBI have carried out over 100 interviews in the case. He said Joyce in his interviews gave "repeated lies."

He said Ms. Garmley and a man with her had to spend a night in jail over the set-up. He said Joyce "sought to subvert the criminal justice system for his own purposes."

The prosecutor said the after effects "have been staggering" including the widespread investigation.

He said Joyce had "impeded the investigation by not coming clean."

Joyce, 27, was not charged with obstruction of justice, but a meth charge.

Prosecutor Davis said in calculating the sentence he should not get credit for "acceptance of responsibility."  

Judge Murphy agreed, saying Joyce "has not been straight-forward. There is nothing in the record that shows what really happened."

The judge did not give him a reduction, but the maximum in the range of 12-18 months. He said, "Others acted, but this was the key to the corrupt action of all."

Judge Murphy said, "This strikes at the very heart of fairness and justice in a free society. I can't think of anything more reprehensible."

Scott Forster, attorney for Joyce, said he is a family man with a wife and three children and another one on the way. He said he had held down a job to support his family.

He said that "law enforcement and sworn judges were involved in this case."

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “By planting drugs on an innocent woman’s car, Mr. Joyce attempted to use the criminal justice system to serve his own personal agenda. In the end, however, it is Mr. Joyce, and not the Murray County woman, who will be headed to prison.”


Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “Mr. Joyce’s sentencing today serves to not only hold him accountable for his crime but provides him time to reflect on this terrible deceptive act intended to harm another innocent individual. The FBI will continue to work with its various local, state, and other federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate any allegations of criminal conduct involving or adversely impacting our criminal justice system.”

“Vindicating an innocent person is as important as convicting the guilty. The GBI will continue to work with our federal law enforcement counterparts to ensure criminal cases are thoroughly investigated so the innocent remain free and the guilty are held accountable,” said Vernon Keenan, GBI Director.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: in July 2012, a Murray County citizen met with then-Chief Magistrate Judge Cochran regarding a legal matter. She alleged that during the meeting, Cochran made inappropriate sexual advances towards her.

In an effort to discredit the citizen, Joyce and others participated in a scheme to frame her for drug possession. On or about August 12, 2012, Joyce hid a metal tin containing five packets of methamphetamine under the tire well of the citizen’s car.

Two days later, on August 14, 2012, Murray County Deputy Sheriff Joshua Greeson (who has since been convicted of witness tampering for lying to law enforcement officers) conducted a traffic stop of the citizen’s car. During the traffic stop, Greeson searched the vehicle for drugs. Ultimately, after receiving information from Captain Michael Henderson (who has also been convicted of witness tampering), Greeson found the metal tin of methamphetamine under the tire well. After locating the drugs, Greeson and Henderson arrested the citizen and the driver of the car on narcotics charges. On August 24, 2012, the district attorney dismissed the charges against the citizen.





  


Fleischmann Votes To Repeal And Replace Medicare SGR Formula

Representative Chuck Fleischmann voted on Thursday for H.R. 2 ,  the  Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act . After passage, Rep. Fleischmann released the following statement: “By repealing and replacing Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), we are not only improving health care for seniors, but we are saving money for taxpayers. Without this permanent ... (click for more)

Female Students Charged After Fight At Brainerd High School; NAACP Criticizes Handling Of Students

Eight girls involved in a fight at Brainerd High School on Tuesday face charges of disorderly conduct. County School officials said six of the eight girls were suspended. The melee brought a response from three police agencies. Students who are suspended generally are assigned to an alternative school. Meanwhile, the local NAACP criticized the handling of the incident ... (click for more)

The Problems With Prescription Drug Addiction

In Tennessee today, we have a major problem with prescription drug addiction, particularly when powerful opioid pain relievers are concerned.    For the first time in 2012, Tennesseans abused prescription opioid drugs more than alcohol.  Our young people ages 18-25 abuse prescription opioids at a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.  In just five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Recall J.C. Owens

If you were to go to Oakville, Ala, a little ways from Decatur, about the biggest thing you’d find would be some 20 or so Indian mounds, where the early tribes would bury their dead many centuries ago. But if you sniffed around a bit, you’d learn it was the birthplace of James Cleveland Owens, a man whose name is of no consequence to anyone. I’m proud to say I talked to him ... (click for more)

Innisdale Leaves Canadian Frozen Tundra For Pounder Classic

The annual Pounder Classic is becoming the long-distance destination for prep baseball teams seeking tournament experience that could serve as a springboard to seasonal success. A year ago, the Key West (Fla.) Conchs traveled 1,880 miles round trip to play a few games in Central’s tournament. This March a team from another country is making an appearance in the three-day ... (click for more)

Morris Resigns As East Hamilton Girls Hoop Coach

Derek Morris, the only girls’ basketball coach in East Hamilton’s six-year history, has resigned. Morris enjoyed a wildly successful four-year run in District 6-AA, but struggled mightily when the program moved up in classification to District 5-AAA. Morris’ Lady Hurricanes went 8-23 this past season. They defeated McMinn County’s girls 46-42 in overtime in the District ... (click for more)