An arson case involving a former Long County law-enforcement officer has been continued by a superior-court judge.
According to Long County Superior Court Clerk Sherry Long, First District Atlantic Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert Russell III on Thursday approved a request by Robert Parker to continue his scheduled hearing at a later date. Parker was arrested June 29, 2010, for his alleged involvement in setting fire to his home in Ludowici. He was indicted and faces charges of arson in the first degree, insurance fraud and violation of a public officer. Parker was a deputy with the Long County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the fire but was terminated after his arrest.
Long said the Atlantic Judicial Circuit district attorney’s office will reschedule the hearing, in which Parker will have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty.
This is the second notable arson case in Long County to go before the courts this year, with the case against former Georgia Forestry Commission Ranger Paul Robertson coming to a close earlier this year.
On March 4, Atlantic Judicial Circuit Chief Judge David Cavender accepted a negotiated plea offered by the district attorney’s office against Robertson. According to Long, in the agreement Robertson pleaded guilty to obstruction of a firefighter and criminal trespassing, was fined a total of $1,000, $500 per charge, and was placed on probation for 12 months, six months per charge.
On the charge of making a false statement, Cavender accepted an agreement from the DA to not prosecute at this time.
Robertson was indicted in August 2011 for one count of arson of lands and two counts of making a false statement to investigators. The charges stemmed from a fire that occurred June 15, 2011, on Holmes Theus Road. During the investigation, Robertson was terminated by the GFC.