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Athens murder defendant charged with damaging jail, spraying deputies with bleach and feces

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Joseph Desmonde Baughns

By Joe Johnson

Two days after being indicted for murder last week, an Athens man was charged with assaulting detention officers and damaging jail property, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

Joseph Desmonde Baughns, 36, was indicted July 6 on murder and related crimes for the shooting death of 34-year-old Jarred Lamar Sanders of Gainesville on July 27 of last year at Bethel Midtown Village.

He has been detained without bail since he surrendered two days after the shooting.

Prior to his murder indictment, Baughns committed several crimes during his first nine months at the jail, which were laid out in accusations filed by the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office on July 8.

The first accusation charges Baughns with felony interference with government property for pulling damaging a fire sprinkler head, causing “excessive amounts of water to pour onto the floor“ on Aug. 13, 2020, and also with two misdemeanor counts of battery on a law enforcement officer for spraying “a substance resembling feces” on two deputies the same day as the sprinkler incident.

Another accusation, also filed in court on July 8, charges Baughns with an additional count of interference with government property by pulling a bench from a wall in the jail on Oct.23.

The accusation also charges Baughns with simple battery on a law enforcement officer for spraying a “substance containing bleach” on a jailer.

A third incident in which Baughns was said to have sprayed feces on an officer at the jail occurred on April 23, according to another accusation filed last week that charged him with an additional count of simple battery on a law enforcement officer.

The June 6 indictment for the fatal shooting at Bethel Midtown Village charges Baughns with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 21.

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Jul 12, 2021

It’s about time that inmates are being charged. However, it’s also a little too late because now after decades of deputy neglect, people are leaving faster than when Ira Edwards was in office. It’s worse now than ever before. Maybe a story needs to be done on that.

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