Woman accused of bringing loaded gun to court

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

Deputies said they removed a small handgun from Lesley Fanning's hand bag. Deputies said it had a magazine loaded with 10 bullets.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department said the woman accused of bringing a loaded gun to the Gwinnett County Courthouse Wednesday did not have a permit for that gun.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh has also confirmed that woman is the daughter-in-law of embattled ex-county commissioner Shirley Lasseter.

Gwinnett County Court Security said a deputy scanning items entering the courthouse spotted the gun right away.

"They pulled the bag out again, laid it flatter so they could get a better picture, sent it back through, identified the object as a handgun," Lt. Jim Casey with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department said.

Casey said the purse belonged to Lesley Fanning of Dacula. Casey said a supervisor removed a small handgun from her hand bag. Deputies said it had a magazine loaded with 10 bullets.

"She said that she had picked up the weapon at lunchtime. A friend gave it to her because of some issues she's here in court on and she forgot she had it in her bag." Casey said. "Evidently she was scared of somebody or something."

Kavanaugh confirmed through online court records Lesley Fanning was at the courthouse for a scheduled for a hearing which also involved her husband, John Fanning.

Lasseter and her son, John Fanning, have both pleaded guilty to federal charges surrounding bribery, land deals and potential drug trafficking.

Deputies said they don't know what Lesley Fanning planned to do with that gun, if anything, but it doesn't matter.

"Anytime we can stop a weapon from coming in the courthouse we've avoided a dangerous situation," Casey said.

Deputies said Fanning is charged with bringing a weapon into a public court house and with having prescription narcotics not in their original container.

Kavanaugh checked and Fanning had bonded out of jail. Kavanaugh went to the Dacula address listed on her police report, but did not speak to anyone there.