Bacon County sheriff arrested, accused of grabbing elderly man by throat

Crime & Safety
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ALMA, Ga. (WSAV) – Authorities have arrested the sheriff of Bacon County on multiple charges, including elder abuse.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced they arrested Sheriff Mark Cothren, 50, on Wednesday, May 29. According to GBI agent Mark Pro, Cothren on May 22 approached a 75-year-old and after a short conversation “grabbed him around the throat area.”

Pro said the sheriff released the man, identified as John Daniel Melton, and Melton walked away from the confrontation.

On the same day of the confrontation, the GBI says the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney requested the agency to investigate the allegations against Cothren about the assault.

Now Cothren faces one count each of elder abuse, violation of oath of office and battery. Officials say he turned himself over to the Bacon County Jail without incident.

On May 30 News 3 was denied a request for Cothren’s booking photo. We received it five days later through a Georgia Open Records Act request.

The GBI’s investigation continues. Once complete it will be turned over to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution.

Cothren was elected sheriff of Bacon County in 2016.

Some story info via The Associated Press.

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