April 10, 2020 Airing out the Dirty Laundry

Forsyth County man gets probation for murder

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Christopher John Puckett

A local man accused of shooting his former roommate in 2016 has accepted a plea deal, plead guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and will be released from custody sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Christopher John Puckett, 33, of Cumming was facing a jury trial charged with malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault and battery stemming from an October 2016 arrest after he shot his 52-year-old male roommate during an argument. Puckett originally facing a life sentence for each of his murder charges.

Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Scalia, says the case became complacated after a key state’s witness was implicated in a new criminal investigation.

“With the uncertainty of any potential new charges, the state thinks that this meets the ends of justice,” Scalia said after the proceedings Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley was told by Jennifer Scalia that — two counts of felony murder and counts of aggravated assault and battery – had been dismissed, and the change of malice murder had been reduced to one count of voluntary manslaughter.

After a brief moment of girl talk Judge Bagley agrees to the rediculous plea aragment stating “I can live with that… After giving it quite a bit of thought, I believe that it can be justified.”

Scalia said that the plea deal sentenced Puckett to two years in jail and 18 years on probation, but that his jail sentence was eliminated due to the amount of time he has spent in jail since his arrest.

“The state is just happy that for the next 18 years he will not be able to possess a firearm, and we think that’s a good thing too,”

Puckett was also granted first offender status by Bagley. First offender status allows someone who is accused of a felony and has no prior felony convictions to make a guilty plea and have the charge “sealed from [their] official criminal history” at the completion of their sentence and probation, according to information from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“He should process out in the next couple of hours and then go home to his family,” Savoy said. “Which is what we have been trying to accomplish for the past two years.”

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