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Athens machete-attack suspect has history of crimes with sharp weapons

Cedric Courtes Smith

By Joe Johnson

A man who is in custody for a brutal machete attack of an Athens homeless facility employee on Thursday has a history of arrests for crimes in which he threatened or injured victims with sharp objects.

The victim, 53-year-old Christopher Sullens, on Sunday remained in a hospital intensive care unit with severe injuries to his face and skull.

Charged with aggravated assault for the attack is 33-year-old Cedric Courtes Smith, who police say is homeless.

The first of previous incidents involving Smith occurred a decade ago, when he accosted a pair of women with a knife.

According to court records, the victims were walking along Gaines School Road on the evening of Aug. 6, 2013, when Smith approached them while holding a knife in one raised hand and making a “stop” gesture with the other hand.

The victims ran across the road calling for help. and Smith was quickly arrested near Cedar Shoals Drive.

One of the victims reportedly told police that “she was so scared she almost wet herself.”

Smith was arrested and later indicted on two counts of aggravated assault.

He plea-bargained the case down to simple assault with a sentence of 24 months on probation and a recommendation that he receive mental health treatment.

In April 2017 Smith was arrested on felony criminal damage charges for using a sharp instrument to flatten the tires of vehicles in west Athens, including at the Salvation Army homeless shelter on Hawthorne Avenue.

The charges were later dismissed after prosecutors were unable to locate witnesses, court records show.

Four months later, in August 2017, Smith attacked a University of Georgia student on the sidewalk on Mark Twain Circle.

According to records, the student told police that Smith walked toward him with his hands behind his back, began to talk, and then without provocation attacked him with a razor blade.

A police report indicated that the student suffered a large, deep, bloody cut on the side of his neck and was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Smith was arrested for aggravated assault soon afterward on Barnett Shoals Road.

In an agreement with the district attorney’s office, Smith pleaded guilty in return for a sentence of 20 years, with the first seven to be served in confinement and the balance on probation.

He was paroled in February 2023, after having served less than five years in prison.

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3 comentarios

Thank you for the information.

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Why was he not shanking other people in prison? Another failure of DA to prosecute?

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Can’t blame Gonzalez for this. She wasn’t elected until 2020.

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