Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney 
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit 
News from District Attorney Sherry Boston
December 2017 
Volume II
In This Issue

Message from the District Attorney     
Greetings! It seems almost unimaginable that my first year of service as your District Attorney is nearing a close. What an honor and pleasure to serve you. My team and I are ending this year with the same amount of enthusiasm, dedication, and passion with which we began. Together, we are working hard to create a balance between prosecution, prevention/intervention, and awareness through our innovative programs and initiatives, along with a streamlined approach to case processing and management. It is part of what has been termed a "smart justice" and progressive prosecution philosophy for which we are being increasingly recognized nationally.

We rounded out the second half of this year with our 7th Annual Domestic Violence Symposium and Resource Fair:  Building Bridges, Making Connections, Coordinating a Community Response to Domestic Violence, shedding an important light on a national epidemic. We also joined forces with the U. S. Attorney's Office for the DeKalb County screening of Released: When Does the Sentence End? a powerful documentary giving voice to the pain, challenges, and hopes of returning citizens struggling to reintegrate into their communities as productive citizens following incarceration.

My team and I have had the opportunity to join other leaders in action-oriented discussions and awareness campaigns on a variety of issues including human trafficking, elder exploitation and abuse, child abuse and neglect, gang activity, and strategies for fortifying community-law enforcement relationships. Our Office is also working with our partners to develop important protocols related to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and sexual assault cases.  

We have also had a number of prosecution successes including the conviction of two parents who starved and beat their four children; a guilty plea from a serial rapist for the brutal assault and murder of a pregnant woman; and justice for an elderly Alzheimer's patient, the vulnerable victim of a caregiver's greed.

During the second half of our year we also had the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and service of several members of our team, including those who reached their 25-year DeKalb County employment  milestones!

It has indeed been a busy and productive year! We are already rolling up our sleeves for the tasks ahead in year two. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones the happiest of holiday seasons. I look forward to connecting with you in the new year with more exciting news and information from the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney.

District Attorney
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
Law  & Justice Awards: 'Woman of the Year'
Meeting with U.S. Deputy Attorney General   
 #Purple Thursday: DV Awareness
Heart of South DeKalb Festival
Community Engagement

The District Attorney' s team hit the streets in August to celebrate National Night Out. The annual community building campaign aims to promote law enforcement-co mmunity partnerships and camaraderie in an effort to improve neighborhood safety and quality of life. DA Boston joined city leaders at NNO events in Clarkston, Doraville, and Tucker. She also enjoyed socializing with neighbors in the Greater Towers, Belvedere, and Toney Valley communities.



In partnership with Clarkston City Councilman Ahmed Hassan, the DA's Office conducted a Criminal Justice 101 crash course in August, giving residents an  opportunity to ask questions about criminal justice proce sses and address crime and safety   concerns. DA Boston was featured a day earlier on Clarkston-based Sagal Radio AM 1420 with host Erica Hensley.   The topics ranged from law enforcement/civilian interactions to juvenile crime prevention and safety plann ing.   
In September, Deputy Chief ADA Kamilah Miller served as a  panelist for Berean Christian Church's Legal Ministry's forum, Child Support: Moving in the Right  Direction. She and the other panelists answered audi ence questions about child support laws in Georgia.
Awards and Recognition
District Attorney Boston ended the year in celebration and appreciation for the hard work and commitment of her staff. Congratulations are in order for several notable staff awards and achievements including Trial Division, Special Unit(s), and Employees of the Year. 
Staff Member of the Year: Troy Cost
Paralegal of the Year: Jolene DeVries
Trial Assistant of the Year: Terena Lott
Victim Advocate of the Year: Peggy Remy
Investigator of the Year: Pat Cook 
Attorney of the Year: Lance Cross

Employees of the Year

Trial Division of the Year: Division 7

Special Unit of the Year: Diversion and Community Alternatives Programs (DCAP)
Special Unit of the Year: Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Chilren (SECAC)

In November, DA Investigator Jennifer Waindle received the 2017 Gender Justice Award from the Georgia Commission Family Violence. The award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to ending gender inequality in Georgia by increasing safety for domestic violence victims and survivors, enhancing accountability of batterers, and making systemic changes to state laws. 

In December, Assistant District Attorney Simone Hylton was elected as the new Pres ident of  the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the National Black Prosecutors Association.  Simone is assigned to the District Attorney's Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children Unit. 
DA Boston is the proud recipient of the  Excellence in Civic Engagement Award presented during Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's South Atlantic Region Cluster V conference. Boston is a member of AKA's  Tau Pi Omega Chapter  in Stone Mountain.
  Love Run 2018


If you are interested in getting a jump start on registration for next year's  Love Run 5K, special early bird rates of $25 are available for a limited time until December 31, 2017. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 24, 2018.  Register Today
 Building Bridges, Raising Awareness

In October, dozens of  citizens, law enforcement representatives, advocacy groups, and survivors joined forces with District Attorney Boston for her 7th Annual Domestic Violence Symposium and Resource Fair: Building Bridges, Making Connections, Coordinating a Community Response to Domestic Violence sponsored by The Panitch Law  Group and The Law Office of Rachel St. Fleur.


The event is held  each year in commemoration of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the national statistics, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. In 2016, there were 121 domestic violence related deaths in Georgia, six in DeKalb County alone. DA Boston's goal is to stem the  tide of domestic violence by creating a vehicle for awareness and resource accessibility.  

During the  p rogram, keynot e speaker Lindsay Harris shared her powerful s tory of survival and her journey from pain to purpose after escaping an abusive marriage. Domestic violence, she proclaimed, is everyone's problem.

The DeKalb County Solicitor-General's Office, DeKalb Poli ce Department, DeKalb County She ri ff's Department, The International Women's House, Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, Raksha DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, GAIN, and the Latin American Association were among the many program partners offering resources and information to participants.

The program was live-streamed on the District Attorney's social media platforms and on DeKalb County Television. Stay tuned to DCTV Channel 23  for repeat broadcasts of  the symposium and other exciting programming. 


A Community Dialogue 

District Attorney Boston spearheaded community dialogue of another sort at the Porter Sanford  III Performing Arts & Community Center in Decatur.  The  Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, DeKalb  Chamber of Commerce, Leadership DeKalb, and the Metro Atlanta Reentry Coalition, teamed  to host a reception and  public screening of the re-entry-themed documentary, 
Released: When Does the Sentence End?

The 45-minute documentary, produced by the  U.S. Attorney's Office, under the leadership of former Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney John Horn, highlights the hopes and challenges of  returning citizens in their efforts to reintegrate into their communities following incarceration.


During a post-screening panel discussion, Omar Howard and Colleen Higgins, both profiled in the documentary, shared their re-entry struggles related to obtaining housing and sustainable employment. Now gainfully employed, each uses their platforms to redirect and motivate others.

In a rare appearance, Director Forrest Tuff also attended the DeKalb premiere to engage with the audience and garner feedback on the widely acclaimed project.

For more information regarding upcoming screening opportunities, or to view the documentary trailer, visit: .

Supporting Partners

In July, DA Boston joined law enforcement colleagues at the opening session of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement 
Executives  41st Annual Training Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Pete Johnson and Chief Investigator Alan Traylor,  along with other members of the DeKalb delegation, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new FBI Atlanta Field Office in October and the dedication of the DeKalb County Law Enforcement Memorial in Chamblee in November.

In June, members of the DA's Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit attended the   Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence 's 2017 Champions for Change Luncheon  in celebration of 31 yea rs of service to the DeKalb County community.

Community Affairs Director Sonja Brown and VWAP Director Chastity Rogers braved the cold November temps during Covenant House of Georgia's annual Sleep Out campaign to ra ise money and awareness about the issue of youth homelessness.

Meanwhile, members of the D A's team participated in a fun and competitive game of flag football in support of RED Incorporated, a non-profit organization that creates rehabilitation programs for first-time, nonviolent, youthful offenders.
Criminal Justice Collaborations 

In August, DA Boston and members of her Executive team joined prosecution partners from around Metro Atlanta to discuss the gang epidemic with United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during his visit to Atlanta. 

District Attorney  Boston has been an active participant in the national dialogue regarding smart justice and progressive prosecution. The ACLU cited DA Boston in a national video highlighting the power of local prosecutors to effectuate criminal justice reform.

 In October, DA Boston participated in the Fair and Just Prosecution's  Re-Imagining the 21st Century Prosecutor panel at the Stanford Criminal Justice Center where she joined other prosecutors with a new and inspired vision for criminal justice reform that includes innovation in prosecution and smart justice strategies.

In July, District Attorney Boston attended the National Black Prosecutors Association's Annual Conference along with other elected prosecutors from around the country including  Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Aramis Ayala, Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis Kimberly Gardner, and DeKalb County Solicitor-General Donna Cole man-Stribling.

In August, DA Boston served on the Prosecutor Accountability panel during the national Netroots conference in Atlanta highlighting criminal justice reform and community engagement strategies which were carry-over themes for Georgia State University College of Law's panel on the Prosecutor's Role in Access to Justice panel on which she served in September.
DA Case Files 
Guilty Plea in Brutal Slaying of Pregnant Woman
A man charged in the fatal attack of a pregnant woman will serve two consecutive life terms in prison after pleading guilty to the crime.  In October, 25-year-old Terique Dwayne Hall entered a guilty plea to charges of murder, rape, and weapons offenses in connection with the strangulation death of 20-year-old Ashley Mays and sexual assault crimes against two other women. The victim's body was discovered in a hotel room by cleaning staff at the Quality Inn and Suites on Snapfinger Park Drive in Lithonia in November 2016. Mays was nine weeks pregnant at the time of her death. Crime Stoppers tips led to Hall's identification and subsequent arrest.

Tucker Parents Convicted of Child Cruelty for Starving, Beating Children
Two parents accused of starving and beating their four children have been convicted of child cruelty and sentenced to prison. According to the investigation, 49-year-old Darrow Brown and his wife, Laura Whitesell, 33, beat and starved their four children as a form of punishment. The couple's 13-year-old daughter weighed only 52 pounds when she was rescued by emergency crews. The children were removed from the home by the Department of Family and Children's Services and are now thriving.

Caregiver Pleads Guilty to Stealing Thousands from Alzheimer's Patient
A former health care provider accused of stealing more than $50, 000 from an elderly Alzheimer's client has been ordered to pay restitution. 41-year-old Diandra Abernathy was also sentenced to three years behind bars after entering a guilty plea to charges of elder exploitation and identity fraud in connection with financial crimes against Sue Walker, now 90-years-old.
According to the terms of her plea agreement, Abernathy is also prohibited from working with the elderly.