Pena Convicted Of Aggravated Child Molestation In Murray County; Facing Life Sentence

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

 Diego Martin Pena (39) of 193 Bells Ferry Road, White, Ga., has been convicted by a Murray County Jury of aggravated child molestation, child molestation and statutory rape for offenses against a single victim. 

 

Pena was convicted on Friday afternoon of the offenses before Superior Court Chief Judge William T.

Boyett. 

 

Pena is facing a life sentence on aggravated child molestation and twenty years on both statutory rape and child molestation, which could run consecutively. 

He was remanded to the custody of the Murray County Sheriff’s Department and is set for sentencing before Judge Boyett on Nov. 22

 

Detective Brett Morrison of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office presented the case along with Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer. 

 

The state called a total of three witnesses, including the victim.  A witness from the Georgia state crime lab testified concerning DNA test results, which indicated Pena was the father of the victim’s child.

 

The investigation began in 2012 when the victim was 15 after reports were presented through Murray County Schools.  The victim was pregnant at the time but it was initially believed that the father of the child was a classmate of similar age. 

 

In 2014, after the victim had moved out of state, paternity testing revealed that Pena was the child’s father.  That revelation led the Murray County Sheriff’s Office to reopen their investigation and request additional DNA testing through the Georgia State Crime Lab. 

 

District Attorney Bert Poston said the sexual acts occurred between 2008 and 2011 when the victim was 11-14 years of age.  The District Attorney’s Office sought an indictment once the Georgia DNA testing was completed in early 2015. 

 

Pena was represented by Tom West, a sole practitioner out of Bethlehem, Ga.

 

 


Corker Doubtful On Latest Saudi Version Of Death Of Writer At Consulate In Istanbul

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday expressed doubt about Saudi Arabia’s claims regarding the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post. He said, “The story the Saudis have told about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance continues to change with each passing day, so we should not assume their ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Investigating Car Break-in

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify a woman who was recorded by store surveillance using a credit card stolen from a car parked in a gym parking lot last week. The suspect used the stolen card to rack up more than $500 in fraudulent charges. The theft happened on Oct. 12,  at the Planet Fitness gym parking lot on Walnut Avenue. When ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The reviews are good after we initiated “The Funny Video of the Week” but today let me take the liberty of sharing an oldie that I consider the funniest of all time. Please be aware the principals are speaking Polish, which you also need to know makes not a bit of difference. I have watched “The Polish Spoon Trick” at least 50 times because every time I watch the video it makes ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Rally Tops CCS For Region Title

The Notre Dame football team headed to Chattanooga Christian’s David Stanton Field for their final regular-season game against the Chargers Friday night with two really strong incentives. If they won, the Fighting Irish would win its region title for the second straight year and in doing so, would clinch home-field advantage throughout the post-season playoffs. They accomplished ... (click for more)

OoltewahThumps Cleveland, 34-20, To Near Region 2-6A No. 2 Playoff Seed

Maybe it’s time to tag the Ooltewah Owls as the “Comeback Kids.” The Owls rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit to clip Bradley Central, 28-27, on Kyrell Sanford’s 16-yard pass to Fisher Perry in the third quarter and turned the outcome over to the team’s defense. Three weeks ago, Ooltewah scored on a 55-yard pass from Sanford to T.J. Taylor with 13 seconds remaining to ... (click for more)