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The September trial term of Grady Superior Court is taking place at the Grady County Courthouse through next week, and while District Attorney Joe Mulholland anticipates several trials, the Grady County Grand Jury has already indicted 38 cases this week.
Among the suspects indicted is a 67-year-old Cairo man accused of stabbing to death Donald Vandergriff; A 31-year-old Cairo man charged with killing his brother, Travis Christopher White; and a former county official prosecutors say stole from taxpayers. The Grand Jury also indicted again a Grady County teenager in the death of Levi Knop after the first indictment was dismissed. Mulholland said Monday, “the language of the charges needed to be tighter.”
Alex Smith was indicted on felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony. The indictments stem from the Dec. 31, 2018 death of Vandergriff, 62, who was stabbed multiple times in his Cairo home at 480 Sixth St. S.W. A neighbor discovered his death on New Year’s Day 2019.
Joseph Michael White was indicted on malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
White will stand trial for the March 29 death of his 33-year-old brother, Travis White. The shooting had taken place on 13th Avenue S.W., and White had fled the scene. He was later seen walking out of a wooded area on the East side of Monrovia Growers nursery on GA 111S. A specialized K-9 unit with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources found the suspected murder weapon in a wooded area about 20 yards south of the crime scene. Thus far, prosecutors had declined to identify the type of gun discovered, but the indictment states it was a .22 caliber rifle. The indictment also reveals that Joseph Michael White was a 2008 convicted felon in Mitchell County for burglary.
Anna McBride will stand trial for the Jan. 29 death of 18-year-old Levi Knop. McBride was indicted on two counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, reckless driving, speeding, too fast for conditions and following too closely.
The indictment states McBride was driving a 2014 Volvo S60T5 at a speed of 116.8 miles per hour when she crashed into Knop’s 2013 Ram 1500 ST. Both teenagers were driving to separate schools in Thomasville when the wreck happened around 7:45 a.m. on U.S. 319. McBride allegedly crashed into the back of Knop’s pickup truck and caused him to wreck into a tree in the median. He was a senior at Scholars Academy at Thomasville High School.
The Grand Jury also indicted former Grady County Clerk Carrie Kines Croy for theft by taking and criminal attempt to commit a felony. (See related story in this issue)
The Grand Jury considered 46 cases Monday, returned true bills in 38 cases, no bills in three cases, and five cases were continued, according to District Attorney Mulholland. Margaret L. Adams served as Foreperson and Megan A. Gordon served as Clerk of the Grand Jury. The district attorney says in all of the cases where a true bill was returned, the defendants will have arraignment hearings in the coming weeks, followed by pretrial hearings. He says most cases will likely go to trial either in December of this year or March of 2020.