5 charged after witness finds woman beaten, naked in dog cage in Georgia home, deputies say

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Five people were arrested after police say they kidnapped a 20-year-old woman and imprisoned her in a cage.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office told WJBF investigators responded to a home on Nellie Drive on Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. after they received reports of a victim of false imprisonment.

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Authorities told WJBF that a witness had seen the woman locked in a dog cage inside 32-year-old Shawna Sue Powell’s home while he was there to pick up some of his belongings. He told deputies the woman was naked, beaten severely, and asked him for help.

WJBF said when the witness confronted Powell about the women in the cage, Powell told him, “That is my whore. She stole a bunch of stuff from me, so she is going to be my sex slave, and I am going to pimp her out until she pays it off.”

The witness told officials that he then overheard someone inside the home state that multiple people were on their way to “have their way with her.”


According to WJBF, the witness told deputies that he knew two people inside the home were armed and that when he first arrived, one of the men pointed a gun at him due to not knowing who he was. He implicated 19-year-old Dawson Alexander Weston was at home and always carrying a weapon.

WJBF said deputies on the perimeter of the main home noticed movement inside. The deputies attempted to instruct those inside to come out with their hands up. WJBF added that investigators even tried to contact Powell by name.

A brief time later, WJBF said 24-year-old Demichael Rashawn Dawson, a man deputies believed was armed, exited the home.

Dawson told investigators that more people were inside, and three pit bulls inside the residence were let outside to let the deputies enter, according to WJBF.

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When they entered the home, authorities said deputies found an empty cage that was believed to be where the victim was held. In addition, human and animal feces were in different rooms around the home.

WJBF said investigators eventually found the victim lying on a bed in the front left bedroom of the home, injured and emotionally distraught. According to deputies, she was found with several injuries to her face; her left eye was severely swollen and bruised.

Authorities told WJBF they believed there was at least one more person inside the home. They then attempted to negotiate them out before Powell exited the room.

Powell asked investigators what was going on and said she had been asleep.

SouthStar EMS responded and transported the victim to an area hospital. Animal control also responded by taking the dogs.

Investigators charged Powell, Weston, Dawson, 29-year-old Anjelika Denice Figueroa, and 18-year-old Savannah Marie Piazzi with kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, and firearm possession during the commission of a crime.

WJBF added that Dawson was additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon


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