UPDATE: Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill arrests ex-deputy who wants to unseat him


UPDATE 2 [Tuesday, 10:25 a.m.]: Bond for Robert Hawes was set at $26,000 Tuesday morning. Supporters expect that he will be released today around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. 

UPDATE 1 [Tuesday, 6:15 a.m.]: Robert Hawes, a former deputy in the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office who announced plans to run for the office earlier this month, was booked into the county jail just before 10:30 p.m. Monday. He is being held on charges of making false statements, making false official certificates and two counts of violating his oath as a public officer. He remains in jail Tuesday morning as his bond has not been determined.

>> AJC VIDEO: 5 things to know about Victor Hill

ORIGINAL STORY: Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill on Monday issued arrest warrants for a potential rival for his job on charges of filing false documentation and violation of oath of office.

Robert Hawes, a former deputy in the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office under Hill who announced plans to run for the office earlier this month, was expected to turn himself into the county jail late Monday. 

The warrants come a week after Hill had Hawes’ wife, Gerrian Hawes, arrested and jailed over several emails she sent him earlier this year. Hill said the emails were harassing and that Gerrian Hawes refused to discontinue the communication even after he asked her to stop.

The arrest last Wednesday of Gerrian Hawes was livestreamed by her husband on Facebook. Gerrian Hawes also livestreamed a follow up on the social network after being released Thursday.

“The last 24 hours have been crazy,” Hawes said in the livestream before thanking supporters. “I’m not crying because I’m hurt, I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m just so emotional now.”

The couple has accused Hill of trying to intimidate them because Robert Hawes plans to challenge him for sheriff in 2020. Neither Hill nor his representatives have returned calls for comment. 

In Monday’s arrest warrants of Robert Hawes  -- which were posted to the Sheriff’s Office Nixle site on Twitter -- Hill said his action related to a late 2017 incident in which the former deputy could not account for the whereabouts of his service weapon. 

The department, seeking in October 2017 to replace its Glock 42’s with Glock 43’s, had sought the Glock 42 assigned to Hawes. The former deputy allegedly turned in a  Glock 42 that had been bought from a pawn shop.

After an investigation was launched, Robert Hawes told the office he mistakenly sold his assigned weapon to an Atlanta Police Department officer, the Clayton Sheriff’s Office said. That later turned out to be a lie, the department alleged, and after being put on administrative leave without pay, Hawes resigned to avoid being fired. 

In the Nixle explanation about the issuance of the warrants against Hawes, the sheriff’s office also alleged a past issue  with a missing weapon assigned to Hawes dating back to 2014. Hawes said that weapon was in a place where his son and his son’s friends could access it. 

The Nixle report also called into question Hawes record with the APD and whether he had left there under a cloud.

And finally, the report said that a lieutenant was demoted to sergeant and another was fired for lying to investigators and tipping off Hawes that officers planned to arrest Hawes’ son on July 30. 

Hawes’s son is suspected in the disappearance of two weapons, but the department did not provide details about the guns or from where they were taken.

—Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.  


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