Notable Cases

U.S.A. v. CLIFFORD “T.I.” HARRIS (2008)

The Government charged internationally known rapper T.I. with unlawfully possessing silencers, machine guns and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

T.I. was arrested on the night he was to receive Grammy Awards in Atlanta. The Government opposed bond. The defense team included Attorneys Steve Sadow and Ed Garland.

Over the Government’s objection bond was set at two (2) million dollars cash secured by property and included home detention.

After intense and lengthy negotiations the Government agreed to a sentence not to exceed one (1) year to begin one (1) year later after 1000 hours of community service.

This has been considered the deal of the century and the most creative federal sentencing ever and T.I. did not have to snitch on anyone.

Attorney Dwight L. Thomas has represented T.I since 2003 on several prior cases obtaining dismissal of felony drug charges, dismissal of a two (2) state felony gun charges, and dismissal of two (2) felony aggravated assault charges.

T.I. and Attorney Dwight L. Thomas have a special professional relationship of mutual respect, mutual admiration and mutual understanding.

Please also see the The Scales of Justice article for more information.

Bair v. State, (City Court of Atlanta, 2001, 250 Ga. App. 226 (2001))

Bair was tried on seven (7) offenses arising out of a traffic stop getting out of hand.

The jury announced it had reached a unanimous verdict on three (3) of the counts. After further deliberations, the jury was deadlocked on the remaining counts. Bair requested that the court receive the verdicts on the three (3) counts the jury agreed on. The State balked, and the court declared a mistrial as to all seven (7) counts. (The record showed that the jury had acquitted Bair of simple battery, failure to carry a license, and speeding). The Court of Appeals held that once the jury had sworn, jeopardy had attached, and Bair was entitled to whatever verdicts the jury had reached. The Court found that the State could not overcome its heavy burden of showing that there had been a manifest necessity to declare, over objection, a mistrial as to the three counts, and held that the trial court should be granted Bair’s plea of former jeopardy as to those counts. The remaining four counts (obstruction, eluding, reckless driving, and improper stopping) could be re-tried. Bair was represented at trial and on appeal by Dwight L. Thomas, Jo Ann Fields, and Caprice R. Jenerson.

U.S. v. H. Tucker, (M.D. Ga. 1995)

The Defendant and two other persons were driving north on I-75 from Florida. A Lowndes County (Valdosta) deputy stopped the vehicle, conducted a drug dog search and found 6 kilograms of cocaine, weapons, and money. A suppression hearing was conducted before the legendary Judge Wilbur Owens. Owens granted the motion to suppress based on an illegal stop, search and seizure thereby causing the case to be dismissed.

Benton v. State, (Georgia Supreme Court, 1995)

Benton was convicted at trial of kidnapping, aggravated assault and incest. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Following the denial of his motion for new trial, he appealed. The alleged victim testified at a pretrial hearing that on a prior occasion, her former boyfriend attempted to pull her into a vacant apartment against her will and that he tried to have sex with her. Later, she admitted she voluntarily accompanied him into the vacant apartment and that she was pressured by her mother to pursue charges against him. The trial court held that the evidence of the false allegation against another was inadmissible. The Supreme Court held that the exclusion of such evidence was reversible error. Benton was released from prison.

State v. Ramirez, (DeKalb County Superior Court, 2003)

The DeKalb County District Attorney sought the death penalty against Ramirez, a 25 years old Mexican citizen and illegal alien who admittedly shot a Doraville police officer killing him as they struggled when the officer was trying to arrest Ramirez for possession of the weapon. The trial received much media attention and lasted for 2 1⁄2 months with the jury acquitting the Defendant of murder but finding the Defendant guilty of felony murder. In the sentencing phase the jury rejected the death penalty and life without parole and sentenced the Defendant to life with parole. The Defendant spoke no English when the incident occurred but three (3) years later had learned proficient English in jail and was able to testify at trial and did an excellent job of saving his own life. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas, Tom West, and Keith Adams.

U.S. v. R. Bonds, District of South Carolina, 2003)

The Defendant was accused of conspiring with at least ten other defendants to possess with the intent to distribute at least fifty (50) kilograms of cocaine in Charleston, South Carolina. Two of his co-defendants (both of whom were related to the Defendant) agreed to testify against him at trial. Following a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for less than forty-five (45) minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty on all counts. The Defendant was represented at trial by Dwight L. Thomas and Brad Gardner.

King v. State, (Georgia Supreme Court, 1998)

The Defendant pled guilty, without counsel, to two misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. The Defendant retained Dwight L. Thomas, P.C. and filed a motion to withdraw her guilty plea on her behalf. The trial judge in the State Court of Clayton County denied the motion and the Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 226 GA App. 576. A petition for writ of certiorari was filed and granted. The Supreme Court reversed and held that (1) a preprinted guilty plea form that was completed by the prosecutor and resulted in a term of imprisonment did not constitute an adequate record of the guilty plea hearing; (2) withdrawal of the Defendant’s guilty pleas was necessary to correct a manifest injustice; and (3) state courts must produce a verbatim record of the guilty plea hearing when a Defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment (thus, creating a new statewide rule). The case was remanded to the trial court, where the Defendant entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 12 months probation. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and Caprice R. Jenerson, who argued the case before the Georgia Supreme Court.

State v. A. Cartman, (Dekalb County Superior Court, 1985)

The victim, a Dekalb County high school student, was found in his home dead of a gunshot wound to his head. His parents were out of town and the victim was in his bathrobe. There were no signs of forced entry or struggle. The Dekalb police arrested an acquaintance of the Defendant and charged him with approximately 20 burglaries and that person told police that he, the Defendant, and two others had killed the victim. There was evidence that the Defendants and the victim had a confrontation at a skating rink one week before the killing. The Defendant’s mother was a well-known Dekalb music teacher and had also taught music to the Jackson Five in Indiana. The trial lasted one month. The jury deliberated for three hours and acquitted the three defendants. The prosecutor, Bob Coker, later lost an aggravated assault shooting case to Dwight L. Thomas. Mr. Coker was transferred out of the trial division to the appellate division where he still remains today. (The presiding Superior Court Judge, Judge Hunstein, is now a Justice for the Georgia Supreme Court).

Rawls v. Hunter, (Georgia Supreme Court, 267 Ga. 109 (1996))

Police officers conducted a search of Rawls’ home and confiscated 8 kilos of cocaine and $90,000.00 in cash. Dwight Thomas filed a mandamus and habeas action against Dekalb County Judges contending that Rawls was illegally denied bond after being incarcerated more than 90 days with out indictment. The trial court denied the petition based on the State’s argument that the indictment of Rawls on the 91st day mooted the statute’s requirement of bond. The Supreme Court reversed and held that Rawls was entitled to have bond set and remanded the case to the trial court for the setting of bond. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and Caprice R. Jenerson.

  • Page 2

  • Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact our office at 404.522.1400 for a consultation on your particular criminal defense matter.