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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Welcome to the New South:|Just Like the Old South

AUGUSTA (CN) - A man claims a judge chased him down a road, had him handcuffed and threatened to have him shot after he broke up with the judge's daughter. As the local police threw him to the ground, the chief magistrate told the young man, according to the complaint, "This is my god-damned county!"

Just to make sure his point was clear, the judge added, "This county belongs to me."

Dustin Myers sued Chief Magistrate Murry Judge Bowman, Jefferson County Sheriff Charles Hutchins, and Louisville, Ga., Police Chief James Miller Jr. on civil rights charges in Federal Court.

Myers claims he had been engaged to and was living with Kelly Bowman, the judge's daughter, but they broke up this summer. He says he and co-plaintiff Rodney Myers went to Jefferson County on Aug. 13 to pick up Dustin's personal belongings, including a dog.

While there, Myers says, he discussed with Judge Bowman and Kelly Bowman the return of the engagement ring and some money that Myers claimed his ex owed him.

Myers claims his ex "had forged various paychecks of [his] and had used them for her own benefit," according to the complaint.

After stopping at a bank and to eat breakfast, the Myerses got on the road and headed back to South Georgia.

Myers says Judge Bowman, accompanied by Sheriff Hutchins and Police Chief Miller began a "high speed pursuit." The sheriff and police chief each was accompanied by one of his officers. Myers says the cops and deputies stopped him, pulled their guns and threatened to shoot him.

Dustin Myers says he was handcuffed and thrown to the ground, and Judge Bowman "made repeated statements that 'this is my god-damned county' and that 'this county belongs to me.'"

He claims Judge Bowman seized his dog and put it in the car with his daughter, then told him to "leave his county and never return."

The Myerses say that at no time during the ordeal were they told why they were stopped or what their rights were.

They seek damages for civil rights violations.

They are represented by John Spurlin, Gary McCorvey and William Dow Bonds, of Tifton, Ga.

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