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New acting District Attorney sworn in shortly after DA Mark Jones suspension from office

“At this point, I am just fulfilling my role to serve the community in the capacity that I have been instructed to do so. As far as the future is concerned, that is for God to determine.
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit has a new top prosecutor for now, while the legal troubles continue to unfold for her predecessor. Acting District Attorney Sheneka Terry told News Leader 9 she’s focused on filling the open positions in the D.A.’s office.

According to Terry, a fully staffed office would typically have 29 prosecutors. She said so far she has hired six attorney’s to bring the total up to 26, and is actively recruiting experienced prosecutors to bring aboard the D.A.’s office.

Terry goes on to say, it’s her hope, once they get more situated with staffing they can begin working on a growing backlog of criminal cases across the Chattahoochee Valley.

“And those experienced prosecutors will be able to pick up the cases of those that are waiting for their day in court over in the jail, and get those cases in to court and tried to verdict hopefully sooner, rather than later,” said Terry. “At this point, I am just fulfilling my role to serve the community in the capacity that I have been instructed to do so. As far as the future is concerned, that is for God to determine. We are constantly, striving to do better as an office, and to move cases, and to give justice to the community that we can, and serve the community anyway we can.”

As far as her predecessor, suspended District Attorney Mark Jones goes, Jones arraignment in his nine-count felony indictment case is scheduled for Tuesday. Jones is accused of bribery and attempting to influence a witness. In a statement to News Leader 9, following his release from the Muscogee County Jail after the news of his indictment in September, Jones maintained his innocence.

“I did not do what they say I did. I’ve never taken a bribe, I’ve never tried to influence a witness, I’ve never tried to get someone to testify untruthfully,” said Jones.

The indictment came from State Attorney General Chris Carr’s office, alleging Jones tried to influence a police officer, to say something in court that would upgrade a suspect’s charges from manslaughter to murder. Jones is also accused of bribery, for allegedly offering his Assistant D.A.’s thousand dollar bonuses for securing murder convictions.

Jones is currently under fire for his activity on Facebook. He’s created a caricature of himself and there are Facebook posts with him asking people to message him to talk about their cases. He responded to one person saying “They never wanted me to be D.A. but the people did. I did my job. The Governor wants the DA seat but it doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to the people.”

When it comes to the latest Facebook posts from Mark Jones, Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Counsel of Georgia, Pete Skandalakis, issued the following statement to News Leader 9:

“Regarding Mr. Mark Jones, yesterday afternoon I was made aware of his posts on Facebook. I have directed PAC Legal Counsel to research the matter in order to determine whether such statements violate the intent of the Governor’s Order of Suspension. At this time, I have no further comments to make.”

Pete Skandalakis

It’s unclear at this time when Jones case will be tried, but according to his recent Facebook activity, he’s expecting the case to be tried in November.

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