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Trial date set for former sheriff's deputy in Warrenton

WARRENTON - The trial of Dewayne Wood, a former sheriff's deputy accused of criminal charges, has been set for Monday, Oct. 1, in Warren County Superior Court before both a special appointed judge and prosecutor.

Mr. Wood, who had worked as a deputy with the Warren County Sheriff's Department for 18 years, is charged with sexual assault against a person in custody, violation of oath by a public official and Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. The charges were returned against him by a grand jury in Warren County.

He was arrested on the charges by agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in August 2006. Prior to being taken to jail, Mr. Wood was terminated as a deputy by Warren County Sheriff Joe Peebles.

Mr. Wood has remained free under $10,000 bail since being released from jail.

Judge Albert M. Pickett, Jr., of Augusta, has been named the special judge in the case, while Danny Craig, district attorney of the Augusta Judicial Circuit, has been named special prosecutor.

Both Judge Pickett and Mr. Craig have handled many high-profile criminal cases over the years.

The two men were appointed to the case, because both judges in the Toombs Judicial Circuit, Roger W. Dunaway Jr., and Harold Hinesley, as well District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders and William Doupe, senior assistant district attorney, recused themselves from hearing the case against Mr. Wood.

Mr. Craig was named special prosecutor in Mr. Wood's case by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

The charges against Mr. Wood followed a four-month investigation by GBI Special Agent Tony Williamson. The probe began after allegations were made against Mr. Wood by a female inmate, who Mr. Wood transported from Warren County Superior Court to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center in Thomson on Aug. 10, 2006.

The 38-year-old female inmate, who had on that same day been sentenced to eight years in prison and seven additional years on probation, earlier had pleaded guilty to one count of burglary. She currently is serving her sentence at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto.

An affidavit, filed by Agent Williamson in Mr. Wood's case, reveals that the crimes occurred while the female inmate was inside Mr. Wood's patrol vehicle - a 2004 Ford Explorer.

An examination of the patrol vehicle by GBI Crime Scene Specialist Steve Foster later turned up pornographic photographs, condoms, Viagra pills and a pill bottle which contained diet pills, court records show.

Web posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007

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