COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia sheriff has resigned effective immediately after he pleaded guilty to groping Judge Glenda Hatchett.
Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell was the only reporter inside the courtroom Monday when Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Coody entered the plea to sexual battery charge.
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With the guilty plea, Coody agreed to 12-month probation, 40 hours of community service, a $500 fine and he agreed to complete an alcohol and drug course. He also sent a resignation letter to Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.
“For this man to come up and violate me the way he did is unspeakable,” Hatchett said in court, fighting tears. “It is important for the defendant and everyone present to understand the horrific effect this has had on me.”
Newell spoke to Hatchett on Monday. She said she prides herself on being a strong woman, but admitted that the whole situation has cut her to the core.
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An arrest warrant alleged that Coody grabbed Hatchett’s chest at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Bar while attending the Georgia Sheriffs Association’s winter meeting in January 2022.
Earlier this year, Newell spoke to Thomas Brown, the former sheriff of DeKalb County, who witnessed the incident and had to physically intervene.
Brown said that Hatchett was his guest at the conference and that Coody groped Hatchett as he was introducing her to sheriffs.
Brown said three sheriffs came to the standup table, including Coody and the president of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association. Brown said he turned his head away from Coody and Hatchett as they were talking.
“As I turned to my left to focus back on the two of them, I saw his hand go down on her left breast,” Brown said. “I grabbed his arm threw it off of her chest and basically said, ‘What are you (adjective) think you’re doing?’ and that’s basically where it ended.”
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Hatchett gave her first public interview about the case back in April. She told Channel 2 Action News that she was grateful for the community’s support.
“I really am going to tear up,” Hatchett said holding back tears. “The love and support that I have gotten from this community… I don’t have words to describe it. I am enormously grateful.”
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