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Sheriff recommending to dismiss charges against grieving father
Shannon Hamilton
Shannon Hamilton

White County Sheriff Neal Walden said Friday afternoon that his office is recommending charges be dropped against a grieving father who tried to erect safety measures at his daughter’s wreck site.

“Based on the totality of the circumstances, my recommendation probably is going to be to either nolle prosequi or dismiss the cases,” Walden said.

Shannon Hamilton was arrested by White County Sheriff’s Office deputies Sunday after bringing building materials to the Gene Nix Road bridge where Cecily Mcree Hamilton, 16, and driver Taylor Scott Swing, 18, both of Cleveland, died.

Shannon Hamilton was charged with interference with government property and was later released on a $5,000 bail. A video of his arrest garnered millions of views.

“He was on a mission to help with some closure with his daughter being killed out there,” Walden said. “Who’s to say, you or I or anyone wouldn’t have done the same thing? But that doesn’t preclude the fact that there are laws and we have to abide by the laws.”

Attempts to reach Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jeff Langley Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The car carrying Cecily Hamilton and Swing went off the shoulder of Gene Nix Road and submerged in Town Creek, according to Georgia State Patrol.

“Almost 30 days has went by since the accident and not a single thing has been done there to put up any safety measure whatsoever,” Shannon Hamilton told The Times on Monday. “Enough was enough.”

Barricades were put in place Wednesday by the county’s road crew. The structures are temporary, County Manager Mike Melton told The Times on Thursday, and no date was set on when a permanent guardrail system would be in place.

A report was being delivered to the district attorney’s office Friday afternoon along with a letter detailing the sheriff’s office’s thoughts on the case.

When looking through the case, Walden acknowledged the grief and emotion Shannon Hamilton felt that led to the incident.

“For those reasons, the totality of the circumstances, the White County Sheriff’s Office is going to offer no objection and ask the district attorney not to pursue the charges against Mr. Hamilton,” Walden said.

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