A grand jury on Nov. 16, 2012, found evidence that there was enough probable cause to proceed with multiple assault charges against two Liberty County men, according to an indictment filed with the Clerk of Superior Court. Atlantic Judicial Circuit of Georgia District Attorney Tom Durden said one of men since has agreed to testify against the other when the case goes to trial later this summer.
According to the indictment, the grand jury found four counts of aggravated assault, which is a felony, against Robert Clem but did not find sufficient evidence to charge him with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to children for an incident that allegedly took place May 4, 2012, on Butter Blount Road. The indictment alleges that Clem assaulted his neighbors — three men and a woman — with wasp-and-hornet killer, spraying the insecticide in their faces. A posting of “no bill” was noted on the indictment for charges that he reportedly made these assaults knowing that a child younger than 18 was present to witness the aggressive acts.
Following a March 27 hearing, Durden said Clem pleaded guilty to the assault charges listed on the indictment as “true bill.” He said Clem also agreed to testify against his co-defendant, Robert Earl Sauls, who is charged with four counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated battery. All these charges are felonies, the DA said.
The indictment notes that Sauls allegedly sprayed one of his neighbors in the face with mace, threatened three other neighbors with a knife and stabbed another neighbor with a knife. In addition to Clem, other witnesses listed on the indictment include Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Tracy Jennings, LCSO Lt. Ralph Dixon and neighbors William Earl Bates, Alexander Lee Febus, Rhonda Febus, Larry Jason Gleim and John Edward Landon.
“The defendant has been in Liberty County courts on numerous other occasions,” said Susan Bates, wife of the man allegedly stabbed by Sauls. “The residents of our neighborhood have pled with the county to do something about (him) and the things he does.”
She alleged Sauls makes false police reports and accusations against his neighbors, slanders his neighbors, photographs and videotapes children, and calls neighbors’ workplaces in an attempt to get them in trouble with their employers. She said children are “terrified to play outside alone” and elderly neighbors are “scared to come out of their houses because of his antics.”
“There were numerous people involved in the (May 4) incident,” Jennings said. “The majority of those involved live in that particular area, but Mr. Clem does not.”
Jennings said she thinks the man who was stabbed was treated and released at the scene. She said there was a lot of “bad blood” between the individuals involved and added that some residents have expressed frustration that the justice system moves more slowly than they would like.