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Ex-investigator pleads guilty to taking pills held as evidence

The Athens Banner-Herald, OnlineAthens, onlineathens.com
BYLINE: ERIN FRANCE -
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Madison County, GA

ELBERTON - A former Madison County Sheriff's Office investigator pleaded guilty to taking prescription pills that were evidence in drug cases and will serve one year in jail and four years on probation.

Chief Superior Court Judge John Bailey sentenced Donald Glenn Carr, 47, of Danielsville to one year of prison and four years of probation for violation of oath of office by public official and one year of probation for theft by taking.

Carr will serve the sentences concurrently and will report to the Madison County Jail on Jan. 7, Bailey said. Carr worked for the Madison County Sheriff's Office for about 17 years.

He was addicted to pain medicine and stole pills from evidence bags he was supposed to take to a pharmacist to have identified, Carr said. He tried to replace the prescription pills with pills he had at his home, but that didn't work, he said.

Carr left the sheriff's office in September 2009 for personal reasons and was arrested in February.

He cooperated with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and the Madison County deputies who investigated the case, said Carr's attorney, J. Christopher NeSmith.

NeSmith cited that cooperation, Carr's attendance at a drug rehabilitation center and his six years of service in the U.S. Army as reasons why Bailey should impose a light sentence.

"This is a good man who did something pretty bad," NeSmith said.

Carr became addicted to prescription pain medication after his second surgery, he said.

"Unfortunately, whether it's right or wrong, people in our position are held to a higher standard," said District Attorney Bob Lavender. He asked Bailey to sentence Carr to three years in prison.

Bailey didn't know of Carr's military record, but his actions caused the state to dismiss about 37 cases because his interference could call into question the validity of the evidence, Bailey said.

Bailey also sentenced Carr to a total of 750 hours of community service instead of tacking on any fines.

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