Four Officers, Prosecutors honored during Senior Week

(L-R: Kathy Floyd, GCOA; Heather Strickland, GBI; Jason Marbutt, Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney; Erikka Williams, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney; Justin Von Behren, Gwinnett County Police Detective; Kent Lawrence, Eatonton Police Chief; and, Vernon Keenan, GBI Director)

(L-R: Kathy Floyd, GCOA; Heather Strickland, GBI; Jason Marbutt, Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney; Erikka Williams, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney; Justin Von Behren, Gwinnett County Police Detective; Kent Lawrence, Eatonton Police Chief; and, Vernon Keenan, GBI Director)

Honored by Georgia Bureau of Investigation for protecting Georgia’s vulnerable adult population

Atlanta, GA (February 17, 2017) – A Senate and House Resolution presented this week at the Georgia General Assembly honors four public servants who in the line of duty protected vulnerable adults in harm’s way. Senate Resolution 110 was sponsored by Senators Unterman of the 45th, Harper of the 7th and Stone of the 23rd. House Resolution 199 mirrors the Senate resolution and was sponsored by Representative Willard of the 51st and Cooper of the 43rd.

Those honored at the afternoon ceremony were: Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence, Gwinnett County Police Detective Justin Von Behren, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erikka Williams and Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney Jason Marbutt.     

“These individuals went above and beyond the call of duty to protect at-risk adults in what were critical situations of abuse and then prosecute their abusers successfully,” commented Vicki Johnson, Chair of the Georgia Council on Aging. “We appreciate the stringent laws that help curb elder abuse; Georgia’s vulnerable and older population will continue to increase as will the need to be diligent.”

From Resolution 199:

  • Eatonton police Chief Lawrence and the Eatonton police worked selflessly to ensure the safety of one of its disabled residents who had been severely neglected by her family members.
  • Gwinnett County Police Detective Von Behren worked relentlessly until he relocated 16 residents and indicted eight people on 53 criminal charges for abuse, financial exploitation, and operating an unlicensed personal care home.
  • Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Williams worked diligently on a trial and argued for significant prison time for a subject who was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 16 years on probation for multiple counts of exploitation of an 82 year old resident who suffered from dementia.
  • Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney Marbutt worked earnestly on a trial to convict two subjects who were sentenced up to 30 years in prison for 16 counts of abuse and neglect of three mentally ill men who lived in an unlicensed personal care home.
  • “[They] stand as a shining tribute to the strength of human spirit and willpower, and it is abundantly fitting and proper that the outstanding accomplishments of these remarkable and distinguished Georgians be recognized appropriately.”