A man wanted on a 10-year-old warrant in Whitfield County for child molestation lived here from 1997 to 2003, before being arrested last week.

Anthony A. Knapp, 45, of 2805 Carey Road, Blairsville, was booked into the Whitfield County Jail on June 15. District Attorney Kermit McManus said Friday afternoon he did not know the details of Knapp’s arrest.

Knapp’s attorney, Richard Yancey, said Knapp operates a business in Blairsville.

Knapp is accused of molesting two sisters in 1996 in Whitfield County. One of the alleged victims is now an adult and wants to prosecute, said Bert Poston, Whitfield County chief assistant district attorney, who opposed bond during court proceedings Friday morning. The other sister has not been located, Poston said.

Yancey said Knapp continued to live with the alleged victims for a period of time after the warrant was issued, but has not had contact with them since 2001.

He has lived in Blairsville since 2003, Yancey said.

Judge William Boyett agreed to a $10,000 bond with the stipulation Knapp not have any contact with the alleged victims. Knapp is scheduled back in court on Sept. 21.



Man pleads guilty to having gun

Prosecutors dropped a charge of aggravated assault against a man after he pleaded guilty Friday to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Whitfield County Sheriff’s deputies said Renard Cooper, 49, of 1386 Dustin Drive, Dalton, shot Dwight Hamilton Welch on March 23 at Welch’s home at 121-A Green Bay Drive in a dispute over money.

District Attorney Kermit McManus said there were problems with the evidence that would have prevented prosecutors from proving the aggravated assault charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Cooper was sentenced to 18 months in prison; three years and six months on probation; to pay a $2,000 fine plus court costs, surcharges and probation fees; and must perform 200 hours of community service.

Cooper was ordered to stay away from Welch and to turn over the gun.

Prosecutors also dropped a charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in exchange for Cooper’s guilty plea.



The following pleas were heard in Whitfield County Superior Court on Friday:

• Christopher Shon Godfrey, 31, of 1404 Pierce Circle, Dalton, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail; four years and nine months of probation; must pay a $2,000 fine plus court costs, surcharges and probation fees; must perform 300 hours of community service; must complete alcohol and drug abuse counseling; and must submit to random drug screens.

• Lyle Marion Gravely, no address listed, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced to five days in jail; four years, 11 months and 25 days of probation; must pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs, surcharges and probation fees; and must perform 100 hours of community service.

• Joshua Henry Ledford, no address listed, pleaded guilty to first degree forgery. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

• Jesus Manuel Lopez, 21, of 532 Hill Road, Lot 20, Dalton, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, DUI, driving while license suspended or revoked, obstruction of law enforcement officers and improper lane change. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail; four years of probation; ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs, surcharges and probation fees; must perform 200 hours of community service; must complete alcohol and drug abuse counseling; and must submit to random drug screens.

• Chad William Songer, 27, of Route 2, Bledsoe, Tenn., pleaded guilty to illegal possession of prescription drugs, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of a drug-related object. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail; four years and 10 months of probation; ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs, surcharges and probation fees; must perform 100 hours of community service; must complete alcohol and drug abuse counseling; and must submit to random drug screens.

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