Despite being labeled as "a substantial risk" by authorities, a Hall County magistrate judge granted bond Friday to a Hoschton man charged with five counts of child cruelty.
Shannon Pavey, 38, was arrested Tuesday when the Hall County Sheriff's Office SWAT arrived at his Paris Lane home with search and arrest warrants.
Prosecutors allege Pavey discharged a stun gun on his 11-year-old son, using it multiple times on his legs and thighs. He is also accused of placing his son in a choke hold with his hands over the boy's mouth and nose.
Additionally, a warrant alleges Pavey dangled both his son and 8-year-old daughter upside down by the ankles over a two-story balcony.
Based on Pavey's previous compliance with bond conditions, Magistrate Judge David Burroughs granted a $75,000 bond with multiple conditions, including submitting to random drug tests, GPS monitoring, forfeiture of all weapons and having no contact with his two children.
"The evidence is (Pavey) never had a probation revocation during the time he was on probation. He's never been held in contempt of his divorce decree," Burroughs said.
Previously Pavey was allowed visitation with his son and daughter every two weekends. His ex-wife, Heather Foster, has custody of the two children.
Because authorities deemed Pavey as being "prone to spontaneous violent behavior" and owning "a large amount of weapons and ammunition," SWAT was used to make Tuesday's arrest, Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said.
Investigator Mark Mitchell testified that officers arrived at the residence at about 4:30 p.m. and waited about 30 minutes before Pavey came out and was he was then arrested without incident.
Pavey said he was in the shower when officers arrived and didn't realize they were outside.
Attorney Kelley Robertson, representing the state, as well as other witnesses, described Pavey as having violent outbursts that led to threats against his ex-wife and her current husband. The prosecution suspects that alleged violence could be a result of steroid use.
In 2005, when Pavey and Foster were still married, he pleaded guilty to a Gwinnett County aggravated assault charge in which he made threats against her life and placed a gun in her mouth.
During testimony, Foster's current husband, Greg Foster, said Pavey has made additional threats since that time.
"The persistence by which (Pavey) has gone to aggravate my wife and my family ... knowing his past ... people don't like to mess with him. They're afraid of him and I'm very afraid of him," Greg Foster told the court.
"I'm afraid to testify here today. I'm putting my life in danger because I feel like Mr. Pavey will retaliate."
Among the conditions of the bond, Pavey can't travel to Walton County where the Fosters live. The couple testified that Pavey "has nothing to lose" and would attempt to coerce witnesses not to testify.
"He's done nothing but harass (Heather Foster) the whole time over every single little thing," Greg Foster testified. "My wife has been through an unbelievable hell."
Attorney Hammond Law, who represents Pavey, countered the prosecution's claims.
Neighbors testified for the defense that they feel comfortable leaving their children under Pavey's watch.
"They're unanimous in their intention that their children are safe at Mr. Pavey's house. They leave their children and they don't have any problem with him," Law said.