By Jana Cone/Reporter
TIFTON — It was last September when The Tifton Gazette last ran the list of registered sex offenders in Tift County.
“As of this morning (Monday) we are back up to 49 sex offenders,” said Bobby Brannen with the Tift County Sheriff’s Office. Brannen said the list is updated regularly and is posted, along with photograph of the offenders, at the TCSO, Tifton City Hall, Omega and Ty Ty city halls, clerk of court’s office and county commission office. The list is also updated on the TCSO’s Web site at www.tiftsheriff.net.
“You would not believe the calls we get,” Brannen said of the situation that arises when the sex offender list is printed. He gave as an example what happened when the list was printed last year.
“We had a child molester that had moved here from Turner County,” Brannen said. “He was supposed to be living with his uncle. As soon as the list came out his uncle beat a trail here that very morning and said his nephew did not live with him. The uncle wrote a statement and we issued a warrant for him (the sex offender).” Through a long series of events, the sex offender, John Hampton, was eventually arrested and charged with murder in Clearwater, Fla.
“We try to track these people,” Brannen said. “In next year’s budget we need to look at making this a full-time position.”
The new sex offender law passed in 2006 precludes a sex offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, playground or area where children congregate. “The law was designed to be tough,” Brannen said.
To be listed as a sex offender, the offender must be convicted of a crime that is by its nature a sexual offense, such as rape, sodomy (against a minor), aggravated sodomy (against a minor or an adult), statutory rape (unless the age of the perpetrator is 18 years of age or younger), child molestation, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indent purposes or aggravated sexual battery.
In relation to crimes where the victim is a minor, the law included the following offenses: kidnapping of a minor, except by a parent; false imprisonment of a minor except by a parent; criminal sexual conduct toward a minor; solicitation of a minor to engage in sexual contact; use of a minor in sexual performance; solicitation of a minor to practice prostitution and any conduct that by its nature is a sexual offense against a minor.
In order for an offender to qualify for registration in the state of Georgia, the offender must either be released from prison or placed on probation, parole or supervised release after July 1, 1996. If an offender who is registered in another state moves to Georgia, the offender is required to register in the state of Georgia.
Following is a list of sex offenders living in and registered in Tift County provided by the Tift County Sheriff’s Office; the name is followed by the race and sex, year of birth, offense and address:
• Michael E. Barker, W/M, 1968, Statutory Rape, 456 South Access Road, Chula.
• Antonio Terrell Bentley, B/M, 1984, Statutory Rape, 3417 Hwy. 82 West, Lot 6, Tifton.
• Raymond Colson, B/M, 1941, Child Molestation, 1425-B Sutton Circle, Tifton.
• Aaron Covin, W/M, 1976, Child Molestation, 3685 Hwy. 82 West, Lot 7, Tifton.
• Darius Cummings, B/M, 1975, Aggravated Sodomy, 852 Armour Road, Tifton.
• Desmond Lee Denson, B/M, 1984, Child Molestation, 19 River Run Road Apt. 19, Tifton.
• Joseph E. Ducote, W/M, 1965, Child Molestation, 20 Whitley Road, Enigma.
• Ernest L. Ewings, B/M, 1981, Statutory Rape-Non Force, 807 North Park Ave., Tifton.
• Nicholas L. Garcia, W/M, 1978, Statutory Rape, 3685 Hwy. 82 West, Lot 6, Tifton.
• Richard Grover, B/M, 1970, Rape, 125 Omega-Eldorado Road, Tifton.
• John L. Hampton, B/M, 1974, Child Molestation; was arrested and charged with murder on June 11, 2007, in Clearwater, Fla.
• Kenneth Wayne Harnage, W/M, 1962, Child Molestation, 1425 Sutton Circle, Lot D, Tifton.
• James C. Harrell, W/M, 1945, Child Molestation, 104 Hall-Mixon Road, Tifton.
• Xavier L. Howard, B/M, 1979, Statutory Rape, 72 Windy Hill Road, Lot 10, Tifton.
• Jack L.C. Howell, W/M, 1954, Child Molestation, 3425 Hwy. 82 West, Tifton.
• Robert Anthony Jackson, B/M, 1954, Sexual Conduct 1st Degree Lewd Act On a Minor, Tift County Jail.
• Antonyus Vernard Johnson, B/M, 1976, 75 Palmetta Road, Lot 14, Tifton.
• Lee E. Johnson, B/M, 1947, Rape-With Weapon, Tift County Jail.
• Marc Ryan Kelley, B/M, 1984, Statutory Rape, 118 Lawson Court, Tifton.
• Willie James Lee, B/M, 1949, Agg. Child Molestation & Child Molestation, Tift County Jail.
• James S. Lewis, W/M, 1969, Statutory Rape and Sexual Battery, 54 Connell Ray Road, Tifton.
• Jeffrey Lee Manning, W/M, 1982, Agg. Child Molestation (2)/Child Molestation (2), Tift County Jail.
• Travis D. Mathis, B/M, 1982, Agg. Assault W/Intent to Rape, Tift County Jail.
• Edward W. Miller, W/M, 1957, Child Molestation, 1019 Ferry Lake Road, Tifton.
• Ladonia Mitchell Miller, B/M, 1976, Rape Second Degree, Tift County Jail.
• Willie Charles Mills, B/M, 1958, Sexual Battery By Threat, 1110 Hargret Ave., Tifton.
• Timothy A. Mitcham, W/M, 1956, Peeping Tom, 132 Perdue Road, Tifton.
• Paul D. Moore, W/M, 1962, Criminal Sexual Conduct, 237 Jordan Way, Tifton.
• William Bruce Naulta, W/M, 1980, Child Molestation. Arrested in Paulding Co., GA.
• Jesse Alan Pace, W/M, 1982, Statutory Rape, 15 Lastinger Road, Tifton.
• James David Redding, W/M, 1985, Statutory Rape, Tift County Jail.
• Terry Phillip Sauls, W/M, 1966, Child Molestation, 85 Brookfield Turner Church Road
• Michael Jermaine Scott, B/M, 1987, Statutory Rape, 15 River Run Road, Tifton.
• Joe N. Sisk, W/M, 1966, Child Molestation, 760 Belflower Road, Tifton.
• Randall J. Smith, B/M, 1984, Statutory Rape, 3 River Run Road, Tifton.
• Michael A. Spears, W/M, 1984, Child Molestation, 86 O’Quinn Road, Tifton.
• Danny R. Taylor, W/M, 1967, Sexual Imposition, Absconded.
• Michael Walker, B/M, 1980, Child Molestation, 31 Clint Circle, Tifton.
• Richard S. Walls, W/M, 1982, Statutory Rape, 805 E. 40th St., Tifton.
• Benny L. Watson, B/M, 1954, Lewd Lascivious Act with a child, Absconded.
• Daniel B. Weeks, W/M, 1969, Lewd Lascivious Act with a child, 67 Briarwood, Ln., Tifton.
• Ronald Dewayne White, B/M, 1976, Sexual Battery, Absconded.
• Thomas D. Wilcox, alias Thomas David Tucker, W/M, 1978, Child Molestation, Tift County Jail.
• Ritchie B. Woods, B/M, 1977, Rape, Tift County Jail.
Sex Offenders registered in other counties who are employed in Tift County:
• William E. Akin, W/M, 1968, Child Molestation, Crisp.
• William Castelberry, W/M, 1968, Child Molestation, Worth.
• Larry Zacharias Clark, W/M, 1981, Child Molestation, Cook.
• Shayna Edwards, W/F, 1977, Statutory Rape, Berrien.
• John Ferreira, W/M, 1940, Trav. Inter. Purpose Sex With a Minor, Irwin.
• Richard E. Frank, W/M, 1973, Child Molestation, Berrien.
• Aaron Mitchell Parks, W/M, 1980, Child Molestation, Irwin.
• Thaddeus Sheppard, B/M, 1978, Child Molestation, Worth.
• Darrell D. Ward, W/M, 1969, Rape, Colquitt.
• Williard Wetherington, Jr., W/M, 1963, Rape, Agg. Sodomy, Agg. Assault, Irwin.
• Melvin C. Wheeler, B/M, 1969, Assault against a person in custody, Thomas.
To contact reporter Jana Cone, call 382-4321, ext. 208.