Driver in Publix drug bust gets 25 years

Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:55pm
By: John Munford

2 defendants plead after jury selection

An Atlanta man who attempted to run over several sheriff’s deputies and crashed into an innocent bystander while fleeing an undercover drug bust in Tyrone pled guilty Tuesday to several charges in the case.

Jonathan Hugh Fenn of Latona Drive, Atlanta was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. He and a second co-defendant, Roderick Jabbar Williams of Chattanooga, entered their pleas moments before the trial was to begin Tuesday afternoon.

While driving away, Fenn attempted to run over three sheriff’s deputies and his SUV collided with a deputy’s vehicle, police said. Undercover and uniformed sheriff’s deputies shot at Fenn’s SUV as he barreled out of the Publix parking lot in the Southampton shopping center. At least one of the shots pierced the front windshield of the truck during the melee.

After escaping the parking lot, Fenn went north on Ga. Highway 74 past Milam Road where his SUV struck a compact car with two motorists inside, both of whom were hospitalized. Fenn’s truck flipped in the crash.

One of the shots struck Fenn, who recovered in the hospital and has been held in jail without bond since the incident.

Fenn pled guilty to criminal attempt to trafficking marijuana, three counts of aggravated assault, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a motor vehicle with a removed or altered identification, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer and reckless driving.

Williams pled guilty to criminal attempt to trafficking marijuana, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a motor vehicle with a removed or altered identification. Sentencing was delayed on Williams because his deal hinges on his providing accurate and truthful testimony against another defendant, Melvin Dudley.

According to court records, the deputies planned to buy 50 pounds of marijuana at the deal in exchange for cash and a 2006 Infinity G35 car.

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