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Former Athens coroner and ex-convict Tribble arrested again

By Joe Johnson

Even after spending time in federal prison, former Athens-Clarke County coroner Bobby Tribble continues to run afoul of the law.

He was arrested this week on a misdemeanor vandalism charge

Tribble's stint in federal prison came after a 2015 investigation by local police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in which Tribble confessed to stealing five guns from Franklin Gun Shop on Atlanta Highway while employed as a seasonal worker there in December 2014, according to court records.

In a negotiated agreement, Tribble pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm, and U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal ordered Tribble to serve 10 months in prison and two years of supervised release, and to surrender his certification as a Georgia police officer. In addition to serving as coroner, Tribble had been a police officer in Athens and a captain with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. He formerly was an instructor at the Northeast Georgia Police Academy.

Tribble completed his prison sentence in November 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Prior to the Franklin Gun Shop thefts, Tribble was accused by the daughter of a deceased Athens man of stealing guns from her father’s home while he was serving as Clarke County coroner in 2007 but he was never charged.

The woman claimed that when Tribble went to her father’s home to declare him dead as the result of a heart attack, Tribble stole several of the victim’s guns, ammunition and holsters.

On Tuesday the 66-year-old ex-federal convict was arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespass-damage to property for allegedly regularly throwing items on the truck of a man at an Athens fitness center where both he and the victim were members, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The incidents began in November 2018 when a member of Athens Health & Fitness noticed that someone had been throwing items such as gum and banana peels on the hood of his truck while parked at the West Broad Street facility, according to a police report.

After his membership expired the victim began using another fitness center until April of this year, at which time someone again began throwing things on his truck, according to a police report the victim filed on April 30.

In the report, the 64-year-old Colbert resident said he attempted to “alleviate the problem by parking in different locations at the fitness center but that did not work, according to the report.

The victim then purchased a dashboard video camera which on the evening of April 16 recorded a white male throwing a liquid on his truck. According to the police report, the fitness center’s manager subsequently identified Tribble as the offender in the video and when the manager confronted Tribble the former coroner claimed he accidentally spilled the liquid on the victim.s truck, According to police, the victim said he did not know why Tribble had been targeting his vehicle

Tribble was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a Magistrate Court judge held a hearing and signed the arrest warrant.

Tribble spent only about an hour at the jail, prior to posting a $1,300 bond.

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