Corruption: Jackie Johnson's Path To Destruction
"The greatest disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: Transparency."
Part 1 of this series dealt with how D.A. Jackie Johnson allowed two killers to go free without a trial in 2010. These men got in their vehicles, chased down an unarmed woman because she looked suspicious, forced her off the street, and then shot her to death. Who were those callous killers?
Glynn County Police Officers.
Does this sound eerily familiar to current events?
Familiar, yes. But not the same. The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery were not police officers, despite what Jackie Johnson and the media would have you believe. Greg McMichael recently retired as an investigator for District Attorney Jackie Johnson. The public now knows that during most of that time, McMichael's Georgia POST certification (his license to be a peace officer) was suspended. And Jackie Johnson had been aware of this.
Greg McMichael had been a police officer, once upon a time, but that was over twenty years ago.
Another difference is that instead of protecting the police as she did in 2010, Jackie Johnson has done everything she can to throw the Glynn County Police Department under the bus.
So what changed between District Attorney Jackie Johnson and the Glynn County Police Department in the last ten years?
It started with the retirement of Police Chief Doering at the end of 2017.
From 2010 until 2017, Jackie Johnson and Police Chief Doering had a very amicable working relationship. This is not surprising considering that Doering had helped Jackie become the district attorney, and Jackie had possibly saved Doering’s two officers from life in prison.
However, when Doering retired, a Police Chief was appointed that Jackie Johnson could not control. Someone who rearranged how the department was run. Someone who wanted transparency and honesty with the public. Somebody who, unfortunately, some in the community are now calling for the County Commissioners to terminate—the current Police Chief, John Powell.
As a rule, the Baxley Informer does not back political candidates, however, since the Chief of Police is not an elected position, we have decided to make an exception in this instance.
From all the legal documentation we have come across, it appears that Chief Powell is an honest and transparent leader. The Glynn County Commissioners would be making a colossal mistake if they caved to public opinion and fired him.
But do not take our word for it. By the time you’ve finished reading this series of articles, and seen all the documentation, you can decide for yourself.
Part 2a: Cory Sasser
On the night of June 28, 2018, a Glynn Co. Police Officer, Lt. Robert Cory Sasser, murdered his wife, Katie Sasser, and her friend, John Hall, in cold blood.
A short time later, in the early morning hours of June 29, 2018, surrounded by law enforcement, Cory Sasser shot and killed himself.
What is significant about Cory Sasser’s murders? And how is Cory Sasser connected to the 2010 killing of Caroline Small discussed at the opening of this article?
Katie and John’s death can be tied to Caroline Small by two people—Cory Sasser and District Attorney Jackie Johnson.
Lt. Cory Sasser was one of the officers who murdered Caroline Small, and D.A. Jackie Johnson helped expedite his exoneration. On the surface, that would seem like the only connection between the cases, and for Cory Sasser it is. But when you dig deeper, you will find that for Jackie Johnson, Caroline Small was just the first deception in a twisted web of lies that grows to this day.
To understand what happened, you must go back to May 13, 2018.
It was in the early morning hours when the Glynn Co. Police Department received a domestic disturbance call to Katie Sasser’s residence. Cory and Katie Sasser were married but had separated a few months prior, and kept separate homes. When the police arrived at Katie’s apartment, it was alleged that Cory Sasser had tried to kick-in her door and threatened to kill Katie and her male friend, John Hall.
It’s sad to say, but the officers didn’t respond to this situation appropriately. Unfortunately, this was an instance where the police department failed us. Cory Sasser, a Lieutenant with their department, wasn’t treated with the same scrutiny as the average civilian. Instead, the officers treated Cory Sasser like a fellow cop and not a suspect. This is evidenced by an officer’s bodycam video obtained from firstcoastnews.com that can be seen here:
If you took the time to watch that video, I could almost guarantee it made you angry—and rightfully so. The law should be fair and administered equally to everyone.
If District Attorney Jackie Johnson had her way, that video would be all that you would see or hear about that incident. The media certainly has not corrected anything. They have not given you the full story, because that video was too juicy.
Everyone loves the narrative that cops are corrupt and get away with everything while the rest of us suffer. It’s the kind of story that sells; hence, they sold their story and didn’t bother to tell the ending. The media neglected to inform the public that the officers who decided not to arrest Cory Sasser were suspended. They also didn’t tell you that when Chief Powell was made aware of the situation, he immediately took action to obtain an arrest warrant for Lt. Cory Sasser for Simple Battery and Criminal Trespass. That warrant was issued on May 15, 2018.
So, imagine it’s May 15, 2018. You are Cory Sasser, and a warrant has been issued for your arrest.
What would you expect to happen?
The average citizen would expect to arrive at the police department in handcuffs and spend time in jail. They would imagine a stressful day of trying to find a lawyer and figuring out how to secure a bond.
Do you think that’s how it went down for Lt. Cory Sasser?
If you’re thinking, “no way,” then you’d be correct.
But if you’re assuming his ‘buddies’ at the police department helped him out, you’d be wrong.
Attorney Alan Tucker was contacted on May 15, 2018, by an employee of Judge Bart Altman and asked to represent Cory in court. Keep in mind that Judge Bart Altman was Cory Sasser’s defense attorney during the Caroline Small shooting. Caroline’s murder, and the way it was handled, had come under scrutiny over the years. Because of that, Jackie Johnson and Judge Bart Altman had a vested interest in keeping Cory’s name out of the media.
Shortly after agreeing to represent Cory, Alan Tucker was contacted by the sheriff about securing a bond for Cory Sasser. Sheriff Neil Jump gave excuses, citing hardships to the sheriff’s department, as to why Cory Sasser needed to be bonded and not placed in jail.
To top it off, Magistrate Judge Alex Atwood appeared after normal working hours, at Sheriff Jump's request, to sign Cory’s bond.
Due to outside help, Cory Sasser never stepped foot inside a jail cell that day. Strange, right? Since when do two judges and a county sheriff take it upon themselves to ensure the speedy release of an alleged criminal?
I’ll tell you when—never.
It just doesn’t happen. Unless, by chance, your name is Cory Sasser.
It wasn’t all gravy for Cory, though. Because of his actions, the Glynn Co. Police Department placed Cory Sasser on Administrative Leave without pay that same day, May 15, 2018.
Other than the police department, it seemed everyone had bent over backward to make life easy for Cory. Even his bond conditions were simple:
Attend psychiatric counseling weekly for PTSD.
His weapons had to be secured.
He was allowed ‘non-violent’ contact with Katie Sasser so that Cory could visit their young son.
Two days later, on May 17, 2018, dispatchers received a call, reporting that Cory Sasser was seen carrying a gun from his house, and he appeared distraught.
Cory Sasser was quickly tracked to Hutchison Plantation, and found alone, in his truck. When two Glynn Co. Sheriff Deputies approached his vehicle, Cory fired his weapon. It is unclear whether Cory Sasser fired at the deputies or into the nearby woods. Still, his actions instigated an eight-hour standoff with the Georgia State Patrol, Glynn Co. SWAT team, and the Glynn Co. Sheriff Deputies.
During that standoff, surrounded by helicopters and guns, Cory Sasser demanded to speak with judges on his cell phone. He lied to negotiators, telling them that he’d shot himself, going so far as to fake gurgling noises and alter his breathing.
While all of this was going on, and Cory was still in possession of a weapon, Sheriff Neil Jump was in communication with Judge Bart Altman and Judge Alex Atwood. Between the three of them, they coordinated Cory Sasser’s voluntary admission into a medical facility on St. Simons Island. Judge Altman allegedly told Sheriff Jump, “Cory’s a good boy. I’m not going to let him spend one night in jail.”
I know it’s difficult to pay attention after reading a bomb like that one, but scan back up the last paragraph and notice the word ‘voluntary.’ This is important because this type of incident generally ends with either an arrest or an involuntary admission to a medical facility. For some reason, the powers that be were determined to avoid arresting Cory Sasser.
Maybe that was because an involuntary admission into a medical facility could constitute grounds for Cory's police certification to be removed.
So, once again, Cory Sasser had two judges and the sheriff, keeping him out of trouble.
In an unprecedented move, Sheriff Neil Jump and Judges Altman and Atwood had negotiated a ‘deal’ to allow Cory to voluntarily admit himself to a medical facility.
We’re going to skip ahead a few weeks and take a look at D.A. Jackie Johnson’s press release the day after Cory Sasser murdered his wife.
Jackie Johnson lied.
The Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney intentionally misled the public that she had sworn to serve as an unbiased prosecutor.
If you’re thinking it’s an honest mistake and not an attempt at protecting Jackie’s political circle, then keep reading.
Early, May 18, 2018, the standoff between Cory Sasser and law enforcement ended when Cory was tased, and he attacked two officers who were providing him medical treatment. Once Cory was secured, deputies escorted him to the emergency room and then to a medical facility on St. Simon’s Island, where Cory voluntarily admitted himself.
From the time Cory Sasser initiated his standoff with police until the day he signed out of that medical facility, a few key things occurred.
On May 17, 2018, when Chief Powell was informed of the standoff taking place between Cory Sasser and law enforcement, he contacted the FBI for assistance. Later that week, the Chief expressed to the FBI that he thought Cory Sasser was “very dangerous.”
On May 21, 2018, warrants for two felony counts for Obstruction of an Officer, and one misdemeanor count for Obstruction of an Officer were obtained by the Glynn Co. Police Department for Cory Sasser, pending his release from the St. Simons medical facility. These warrants were issued due to Cory’s attack against Officer Leska and Officer Hyer.
Nikki Spannuth, the Crime Victim Liason, reported that between May 17, 2018, and May 24, 2018, she’d had multiple conversations with Katie “Kettles” Sasser, Cory’s wife. Katie indicated that she had encouraged Cory’s therapist to not release him. Also noted in Nikki’s logs, they had discovered that someone had linked Katie’s vehicle to an ONSTAR smartphone application, and Katie wasn’t comfortable with someone tracking her movement.
On May 24, 2018, Cory Sasser’s therapists gave him the okay to leave the facility, and Cory was escorted by sheriff deputies to a bond hearing, once again avoiding jail time.
Think about that a moment. Cory Sasser trespassed on his estranged wife’s property and was arrested and let go on bond without spending a day in jail. Three days later, Cory violated the terms of his bond when he fired his gun as deputies approached. Cory refused to get out of his truck, convinced negotiators that he’d shot himself, then after an eight-hour standoff, he’d physically attacked two officers.
Yet, once again, somehow, Cory Sasser didn’t spend any time in jail.
The documents show it wasn’t the police department looking out for Cory Sasser. From all accounts, it seemed the police were the only ones trying to put him behind bars.
How did this happen?
Who had reason to help Cory?
Cory Sasser was a police officer in Glynn County for years, and he had made many friends. We showed you the great lengths the sheriff and two judges were willing to go to help him. Was that out of friendship? Or something else?
There is another player involved that we haven’t mentioned. She is the invisible player. The puppeteer pulling everyone’s strings—Jackie Johnson. And like any master puppeteer, if you don’t watch closely, you’d never know she was there.
So where exactly was Jackie in all of this?
As District Attorney, Jackie Johnson’s office was charged with prosecuting crimes in her district. Considering Jackie’s history with Cory Sasser, and the fact that he had worked with everyone in her Glynn County office, you would have thought Jackie would have recused herself when Cory was issued two felony warrants on May 21, 2018. From that day, everyone in Jackie Johnson’s office should have ceased all communication with Cory. And yet, that didn’t happen.
Jackie also didn’t send a request for the Attorney General to assign other counsel until May 24, 2018, the day of Cory Sasser’s bond hearing. By waiting until the day of Cory’s bond hearing to ’recuse’ herself, Jackie Johnson was able to give the appearance of being ethical and removing her influence from the situation, while simultaneously controlling it all. Take a look at the court transcripts.
Jackie “specifically” requested John B. Johnson to handle Cory Sasser’s bond hearing. John B. Johnson was Jackie’s Chief Assistant District Attorney. The fact that he was from the Wayne County office didn’t matter, because John had worked many cases in Glynn County, creating clear conflicts of interest. If that weren't conflict enough, keep in mind that Jackie also had the power to fire John, as she had four other prosecutors who disagreed with her on the Caroline Small’s case.
Make no mistake, Chief Assistant D.A. John B. Johnson was securely under Jackie Johnson’s thumb.
On May 24, 2018, thirty minutes before Cory Sasser’s bond hearing, Officer Hyer, one of the officers who Cory assaulted, talked to A.D.A John B. Johnson. John immediately started the meeting by stating, “I just want you to know that I will listen to everything that you have to say, but regardless of what you say, I am going to tell the judge that Cory needs to be released.”
A.D.A John B. Johnson's mind was made up, and nothing anyone said would change it.
A.D.A John B. Johnson continued by asking Officer Hyer how long he had been a police officer. When Officer Hyer answered, "four years," John condescendingly responded, "Well, I've been doing this for forty-one years and in my experience, there have been very few times where the offender has actually come back and actually sought violence against the victims."
Officer Hyer disagreed. He was concerned for the other victims and believed that Cory Sasser would try to kill him. Then when Officer Hyer asked if he would be allowed to make a statement in court, John Johnson told him that he “should be able to.”
Per the Georgia Victim’s Bill Of Rights, Officer Hyer didn’t need John Johnson’s permission to give a statement in court—as a victim, he had a right to give it. Despite knowing this, John Johnson neglected to recognize Officer Hyer during the hearing and never told the judge he’d wanted to speak.
John Johnson violated Officer Hyer’s rights, and then completely disregarded the concerned statements made by Katie Sasser reported in the Crime Victim Liason logs (which, by the way, the district attorneys can access from their office).
This conflicts with District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s implication that the victims agreed to this bond in her July 29, 2018 press release.
Was Jackie Johnson lying again?
Jackie was being a typical lawyer and twisted her words to deceive you. Her office did ‘consult’ with the victims, but by consult, Jackie meant that they got the victims’ opinions and then ignored them.
Jackie Johnson’s constant lack of judgment on this case was negligent at best.
May 24, 2018, Judge Flay Cabiness granted the bond agreement negotiated between the district attorney’s office and Cory Sasser’s lawyer. This bond required Cory to turn over his guns to his oldest son. It banished Cory Sasser from Glynn County except for court appearances. And it allowed no contact with Katie Sasser or the officers he’d assaulted.
While Judge Flay Cabiness agreed to those conditions, he added an additional requirement. Cory Sasser would be required to check-in with CRSA, the probation office, through a smartphone app that would give CRSA his location.
While this was an improvement to the bond, it didn’t go far enough.
Chief Powell recommended adding a GPS ankle monitor to be included in the bond conditions, and requested that a seizure order for Cory Sasser's personal weapons be issued.
Chief Powell's suggestions were ignored. Had a GPS ankle monitor been utilized, Katie Sasser and John Hall may still be alive today. Unlike the GPS ankle monitor that Chief Powell suggested, the CRSA app only gave Cory’s location when the app was turned on, and when Cory manually checked-in.
So basically, Cory Sasser was put on an honor system, a week after he’d violated the terms of his first bond.
To make things worse, Cory personally called CRSA and notified them that he would be seeking to modify his bond conditions, and therefore wouldn’t be setting up the app.
Not Cory’s lawyer.
Not the judge.
Once again, Cory Sasser was getting special treatment—and NOT from the police department.
This article will conclude in Part 2b of this series, which will be published within the next few days.