RCSO sgt. arrested, fired

CONYERS -- A sergeant with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office has been arrested following an early morning crash Friday on McCalla Road in Rockdale County.

Jerome Albato Woods, 43, of Covington, was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol following an investigation into a single-vehicle crash in a roundabout. The RCSO, in keeping with policy, called the GSP to investigate the crash after Woods’ personal vehicle was found at the scene. The GSP, in turn, contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Woods is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, willful obstruction of law enforcement officers, failure to maintain lane, and making false statements to law enforcement officers in connection with the incident. A relative of Woods’, Briajon Graig, 20, also of Covington, was charged with making false statements to law enforcement officers and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

Graig initially told the Georgia State Patrol that she was driving the vehicle, but through the course of their investigation, they determined that Woods was the driver and had left the scene.

RCSO Chief Deputy Scott Freeman said Friday that Woods admitted during the administrative inquiry that he had been drinking alcohol the night before the accident. Freeman said because of the amount of time that had passed between the accident and Woods’ questioning, it could not be determined if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

According to Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett, Woods has been terminated based on the totality of the investigation results thus far.

“We are working with the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to review all aspects of this incident,” said Levett. “I will hold every employee in the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office to the high standard of conduct and professionalism that the citizens of this county deserve. I will always respond swiftly to any misconduct or illegal actions, as they have no place in law enforcement and certainly have no place in the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.”

In 2012 Woods had been placed on administrative leave following a domestic disturbance in Newton County which involved both him and his wife. Both were arrested and charged with battery under the Family Violence Act.

Freeman said the charges against Woods were dismissed by the Newton County District Attorney’s Office and he was returned to duty earlier this year.