DEVELOPING ON 6: Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten Appears Be - WNCT

DEVELOPING ON 6: Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten Released From Jail After Posting Bond

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Augusta, GA -

 

***UPDATED at 5:13 P.M. on Friday, December 20th***

(From the Associated Press)

Prosecutors say Richmond County Coroner Grover tuten stole a car belonging to a dead man.

District Attorney Ashley Wright says Tuten is suspected of keeping a 2004 Nissan Altima belonging to a man who died in April and using it as his personal vehicle. Wright says Tuten paid to have the car serviced in May and was using a tag issued for a trailer he owns.

Prosecutors say Tuten is supposed to secure any property and turn it over to the Richmond County Board of Education if no one claims it after four years.

A phone message left for Tuten's attorney was not immediately returned.

We wanted to know what the protocol is in cases like this of an elected official being arrested.

According to Georgia Code, once that official is indicted - which Tuten has not yet been - the Governor appoints a commission that will consist of the state Attorney General and two other coroners.

That commission will review the indictment and has 14 days to report back to the Governor.

If the commission determines that the indictment is related to, or impacts, Tuten's job performance, it will recommend a suspension. The Governor then reviews that report and decides whether he will issue the suspension.

If the charges are dropped, or Tuten is acquitted, he will be immediately reinstated.

If Tuten is convicted, the office of richmond County Coroner will be vacated and the Governor will either appoint a coroner to fill his term or a special election will be held.

In the mean time, Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen says the office will operate as usual and take care of the families of those who die.

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***UPDATED at 4:01 P.M. on Friday, December 20th***

WJBF News Channel 6 has confirmed Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten has been released from jail on $3,000 bond on a state felony Theft By Taking charge.

Tuten was released after posting under the following conditions:

  • He can cave no access to firearms
  • He can have no contact with any employee at the Richmond County Coroner's Office
  • He can have no access to the Richmond County Coroner's Office
  • He can have no access to county owned or operated IT accounts
  • He has tio surrender and county/state owned property

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***UPDATED at 2:43 P.M. on Friday, December 20th***

WJBF News Channel 6 has learned Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten was granted bond of $3,000 at a Friday morning bond hearing.

As of this posting, we do not know if Tuten has posted the bond to be released from jail

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***UPDATED at 11:28 A.M. on Friday, December 20th***

WJBF News Channel is learning new information in the arrest of Richmond County coroner Grover Tuten.

We are told Tuten appeared at a bond hearing Friday morning after being arrested Thursday by FBI agents and Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigators on a state Theft by Taking arrest warrant.

We spoke with Richmond County's Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen a short time ago. He told us he was "shocked" by Tuten's arrest.

Bowen says the Richmond County Coroner's Office will operate as usual and take care of the families of those who die.

What is still unknown is what happens next. We are told the District Attorney's office is looking into the legalities of who gets appointed to the office and when.

We will continue to follow this developing story and provide the latest information as it becomes available.

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***POSTED at 9:31 A.M. on Friday, December 20th***

WJBF News Channel 6 has learned Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten, who was arrested Thursday on a felony Theft by Taking charge, made an appearance before a judge Friday morning.

We are told Tuten had a bond hearing, but there is not much information beyond that, right now.

We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest information as it becomes available.

To read our story from Thursday concerning Tuten's arrest, click here.

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