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Badge and Bar: Deputy honored for work in fighting domestic violence
0522 William-Jason-McClure
William Jason McClure

A Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputy was recognized for his work in the fight against domestic violence in the community.

The Northeastern Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force presented the Officer of the Quarter Award to Deputy Travis Turner during its meeting Tuesday at Peach State Bank in Gainesville.

Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard, who presented Turner with the award, said his thorough reports of domestic violence incidents lend a strong element of credibility to the prosecution when cases go to trial, citing one case from the summer of 2013.

“Deputy Turner made digital recordings of all statements and described the victim in detail, which is so helpful when painting a clear picture for the jury,” she said.

His quick thinking also led to an arrest after an attempt to flee, Woodard said, adding that eventually the offender served a 30-day jail sentence, which is “significant” for a domestic violence case.

Turner said in accepting the award that he simply tries “to do the job that I would expect someone to do for me.”

He has been with the county since 2004, serving as a sergeant at the jail before coming on patrol in 2010.

Gainesville man indicted on child molestation charges

A Gainesville man was indicted on charges of aggravated child molestation by a Hall County grand jury.

Christopher Merck, 28, is accused of victimizing a 15-year-old girl at an apartment complex on Washington Street in Gainesville. The May 20 indictment alleges the offenses took place between June 3 and July 26.

Merck, who has had a public defender appointed, has an arraignment scheduled before Judge Jason Deal on Aug. 19 in Superior Court.

Merck is being held at the Hall County Jail.

Forysth County man indicted in incident that damaged patrol cars

A Forsyth County man was indicted on charges of aggravated assault against a peace officer in a May 2013 attempt to flee authorities that resulted in an accident and damage to patrol cars.

William Jason McClure, 35, is accused of three counts of aggravated assault, felony obstruction, aggressive driving, criminal damage to property in the second degree and felony feeling and eluding.

According to the indictment, a Georgia State Patrol car flipped “multiple times” after McClure slammed on the brakes of his Mercury on May 25 trying to flee from officers on Buford Highway.

An arraignment has been set for June 10 in Hall County Superior Court.

McClure has a prior felony record in the county. He pleaded guilty to drug charges and obstruction in 2008.

Records indicate McClure is out of jail on bond.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: