by: Tony Thomas Updated:GWINNETT, Ga. —
A judge has dropped half the charges against a Duluth father accused of grabbing his children and running when a welfare worker came to get them.
John Blue insists he had no idea the woman yelling at him in his front yard June 12 was a state welfare worker.
Blue tossed his sons in his minivan and tore off, hitting the woman's car as he left.
Authorities say the Department of Family and Children Services worker had come to talk to Blue's girlfriend and likely take his children into protective custody.
"I didn't do anything," Blue told a judge as he was led from a courtroom.
The judge agreed and dismissed two of the four charges Blue was being held on.
“This was a stranger to him and a stranger to his children who was trying to prevent him from leaving with his children," Blue's attorney, Wesley Persons, told the Magistrate Judge.
On June 12, Duluth police issued a statewide Levi's Call, fearing the two boys were in danger after Blue took off with them. Later that night, Blue turned himself into police. His sons were found at their grandfather’s house in South Carolina.
Prosecutors believe Blue knew the woman at his doorstep was a state worker because she had tried to call him before and she had an appointment with his girlfriend to be at the house. She was also wearing a state ID badge.
"Somebody that was not aware that something was going to happen to his kids wouldn't make arrangements for his kids to go out of state," said prosecutor Marlene Zekser.
"He stated that he thought she might be a friend of the mother's children," Duluth police Detective Bobby Johnson testified on the stand.
While Blue is cleared of interfering with state custody of his children, he still faces aggravated assault and reckless conduct charges for allegedly ramming his car into the welfare worker's rented car as he tried to leave.
His lawyer will be asking a different judge for a bond.
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