After 114 Arrests, a Career Criminal Faces New Jail Time

Residents are frustrated over a revolving door, criminal justice system.

Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Keith Lamar Jr. gives an update on two accused criminals. PHOTO CREDIT: Péralte Paul
Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Keith Lamar Jr. gives an update on two accused criminals. PHOTO CREDIT: Péralte Paul
INMAN PARK — One longstanding complaint in East Atlanta Patch communities with respect to crime is the seemingly revolving door justice system.

Keith Lamar Jr., the Fulton County assistant district attorney who is community prosecutor for the Atlanta Police Department's Zone 6, wants Inman Park residents to show up at a yet-to-be scheduled hearing for Ronald Lockett who is charged with a entering an automobile.

"I need the community to support me and make sure he gets the full sentence," Lamar said at the Aug. 21 meeting of the Inman Park Neighborhood Association.

He explained if residents show up to impress upon the court how much of an impact these crimes have on their community through the Citizens' CourtWatch program, it will make a difference.

Indeed, Lockett, who faces one to five years in prison if convicted, has been arrested 114 times for various crimes.

"He's never served more than two years," Lamar said. "This time, we've got to make him learn."

The number of arrests underscores a frustration that many Atlantans feel, including Mayor Kasim Reed.

At a recent meeting with residents of East Lake and adjacent communities, Reed told those constituents that Bait Car, a reality TV show, will no longer film in Atlanta.

The program sets up bait cars luring would-be car thieves and vandals, who are then arrested by local law enforcement.

But producers told the city they would no longer film here, Reed said. That's because too many people who had been arrested as a result of the show, were reappearing in subsequent episodes.

Lamar, the assistant district attorney, also updated Inman Park residents on another case involving Marquis Lester, who was arrested on an aggravated assault charge.

Lester was convicted last week and received a 20-year prison sentence. He must serve at least 15 years of that prison term.
Jeremy K Galloway August 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Maybe the 'get tough on crime' attitude isn't working. There are plenty of people who serve lengthy jail/prison terms for property crimes and non-violent drug offenses. With no rehabilitation or educational/training opportunities and little or no resources when they get out, is it any surprise that 67% of those released from prison end up going right back? Throwing these people in cages and expecting them to change obviously isn't working, no matter how long we put them there. Maybe it's time we take a different approach...


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