Assistant Public Defender Alexia Davis is expected to surrender Tuesday to face charges in connection with a $10,500 ring that was lost at the Cracker Barrel in Columbia County, according to several sources.
The Jail Report has learned that Columbia County authorities have obtained a warrant against the attorney for her role in the missing ring. Sources say Davis had possession of the ring and even had it appraised. She will be charged with theft of lost or mislaid property.
Davis is a member of the Public Defender’s Office, based in Augusta. She has been a member of the Georgia State Bar since November 2006, according to the bar’s website.
Last week, authorities said the woman who found the $10,500 diamond ring in the parking lot of the Grovetown Cracker Barrel had been identified and the ring was recovered.
One of the two women who found it reportedly went up to a restaurant employee Feb. 7 and asked what she should do if she found a ring. The employee told her about their “lost and found,” but the woman said she would turn it in to the sheriff’s office. That woman’s picture was displayed in local media to help identify her.
The ring was never handed over, and the victim reported the lost ring a few days later to the sheriff’s office. The woman identified in the video surveillance reportedly thought the ring was being turned over to the sheriff’s office after she gave it to Davis.
According to Georgia law, “A person commits the offense of theft of lost or mislaid property when he comes into control of property that he knows or learns to have been lost or mislaid and appropriates the property to his own use without first taking reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner. ”
Davis is represented by Augusta attorney Tanya Jeffords, who issued this statement Tuesday morning:
“At this time warrants have been issued by the associate magistrate who is not a lawyer in Columbia County for Ms. Davis for the crime of theft of lost or mislaid property. “A person commits the offense of theft of lost or mislaid property when he comes into control of property that he knows or learns to have been lost or mislaid and appropriates the property to his own use without first taking reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner.” No matter what shadow the Sheriff and the District Attorney’s office tries to cast upon Ms. Davis’ impeccable reputation and her motives, the legal fact is that she did not appropriate the ring for her own use, which is the crime this statute is intending to cover. When she learned who the owner was through the postings online from the Sheriff’s Office, she promptly turned it in. She knew it was valuable but she had neither sold it nor wore the ring as if it was hers. I trust that Columbia County will do the right thing. They will likely wonder why their tax dollars are being spent to prosecute a person when the lady who lost the ring got her ring back. Ms. Davis should not have to present a defense as to whether she took reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner, because the lady did get her ring back as soon as Ms. Davis knew who she was. Mere possession of the property for a length of time does not constitute a crime. As her lawyers and as her friends, we will all prepare for trial and pray that the right thing will be done. Ms. Davis is represented by Tanya Jeffords, Charles Lyons, Jacque Hawk, and Jack Long. With kind regards, I remain, Tanya D. Jeffords”