Last summer I blogged about a really bad situation that my mentally disabled grandson, Nicholas, got into. Even as I wrote the piece, I didn’t realize how much danger he had been in, nor did I realize the extent of the trauma visited upon him.
Essentially, he was held captive by a group of people, true scum-of-the-earth, in Cornelia, Georgia. Trash that they are, they robbed him, intimidated him, brainwashed him and threatened him: “This is the knife I’m going to kill you with,” one of them told Nicholas, brandishing a blade in front of my grandson.
Luckily, before the threat could become reality, five people were arrested and jailed, due largely to the efforts of Nicholas’ mother. Very recently, the legal fates of the five were determined through plea bargaining negotiations with the Habersham County District Attorney’s office.
The ringleader of the group, a sociopathic witch—-my opinion, not a clinical diagnosis—-by the name of Kristina Baggerly, was sentenced to two years in jail followed by eight on probation. My guess is she’ll bust probation, since she already comes with felony baggage. One can only hope.
Kristina, an inveterate liar, fabricated a number of falsehoods to keep Nicholas in check. She told him there was a warrant out for his arrest, that his family would have him committed to a mental institution if he returned to them, and that his grandmother—-my wife—-had fallen, cracked her head, went into a coma and died.
The first time Nicholas’ mother, Betsy, met Kristina, Kristina’s hand was in a cast. Only later did Betsy find out that was because Kristina had broken her hand whacking Nicholas on the head because she thought he’d tried to phone his family. Thank God, my grandson has a hard head. (This can be taken both literally and metaphorically.)
Brandon Kent, the piece of garbage who waved a knife at Nicholas and told him he was a dead man, got 10 years probation, a $1000 fine, and loss of his 4th Amendment rights. Loss of those rights means his vehicle and/or home can be searched at any time without cause.
Brandon also threatened Nicholas’ aunt and cousin, and they are understandably frightened now that he’s “free.” In my limited dealings with Brandon, he came across as a classic bully. He seemed the kind of person who would intimidate someone he viewed as inferior or weaker, but who would back off if confronted or challenged by someone stronger or smarter.
Daniel Sosebee, wonderful human that he is, tossed lighted matches at Nicholas. (I saw the burns on his arms.) Daniel got 12 months probation.
Jessica Meeks, for her part in the match-tossing incident, also got 12 months probation. She probably should have received more: She also dumped hot ashes from a barbecue grill on Nicholas.
Charges were dismissed against Carolyn Meeks, Jessica’s mother. Nicholas agrees with that outcome, saying Carolyn actually tried to help him.
As a group, the four remaining individuals are liable for $3000 restitution to Nicholas. Chances are he’ll never see it. These are people, I suspect, who are essentially unemployable.
Nicholas is living with his mother in Mexico now and understandably isn’t too excited about returning to the U.S., except as necessary to renew his visa. He says Kristina is still “in his head,” telling him to do things he shouldn’t be doing. And he’s frightened that Brandon is going to come after him. He doesn’t sleep well and frequently has an upset stomach. Basically, he’s got a version of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
All considered, the perps got off lightly. But I also understand the DA’s side of the issue. Their office is inundated with cases and thus will strike plea bargains whenever it can to clear its judicial calendar. And I was reminded by the DA that his office represents the state, not individuals. Not Nicholas.
Nicholas and his mother could bring civil suits against the “Cornelia Cretins,” but suing zeros only gets you zeros.
-March 22, 2012-
IMAGE: Mug shot of Kristina Baggerly, from the studios of the Habersham County Sheriff’s office.