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Another suspect in magistrate court

District Attorney Scott Ballard said there is one other suspect in the Pike County Magistrate’s Office and that case could be presented to the grand jury next week. Chief magistrate Priscilla Killingsworth was forced to resign April 9 after pleading guilty to one count of unprofessional conduct for not depositing magistrate court funds as the law requires. Her granddaughter, Brandy Vaughn, also pled guilty to theft by taking for stealing $70 belonging to Pike County. ”Basically what occurred was employees of the magistrate office were writing personal checks for cash and taking the cash out of county funds,” said assistant district attorney Ben Coker. “Some checks were held out for over seven months and not deposited.” Pike County attorney Rob Morton said there is no time frame to appoint a new chief magistrate, but all judges on the superior court circuit must agree on the appointment. Loretta Rakestraw is currently assistant magistrate judge for Pike County. ”It’s the closest thing Georgia has to a people’s court so it’s very important that the person serving in that court be extremely knowledgeable in law and that person make is a court that’s dignified but friendly to the public,” said superior court Judge Christopher Edwards. Details are not yet available on the remaining suspect, but check www.pikecountygeorgia.com for updates.

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