ALBANY, Ga. -- A transcript of a November probation revocation hearing contains an ominous statement from a Dougherty Superior Court judge that foreshadowed criminal activity that authorities say to the shooting death of a Dougherty County police officer on Dec. 21.
According to the transcript, which has been posted at albanyherald.com, Senior Judge Loring Gray commented that Dontravius Thomas -- the man now accused of killing Dougherty County Police Lt. Cliff Rouse while out on probation for a felony -- would likely violate the terms of his probation again.
To see the transcript Click Here.
"Oh, it's going to happen. It's going to happen. I've been doing this for 26 years now. (I have) some ability to look into the future," Gray said, according to the court transcript.
The statement came after Thomas's lawyer, Ifuero Obaseki, asked Gray to suspend any jail time for the sake of the defendant's 1-year-old daughter, saying that "God forbid" Thomas would violate his terms of probation a third time.
Gray sentenced Thomas to a suspended 24-month jail term and four years on probation based on the recommendation by Obaseki.
Thomas was subsequently released from custody and into probation, and less than 60 days later, is accused of attempting to rob the Pitt Stop Convenience store where, as he was attempting to flee apprehension from police, shot and killed Rouse.
In two separate instances, Thomas twice stipulated to violating terms of his probation -- which he received after pleading guilty to a felony burglary charge stemming from a 2009 burglary of the Pitt Stop convenience store.
The first time, probation officers petitioned the court for a revocation hearing before Chief Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette after Thomas failed to report to his officer, had failed to attend any responsibility classes, failed to pay his fine and had failed his drug test.
Lockette ordered Thomas to additional classes, to pay his fine, to be drug tested twice per month for two years and gave him credit for the five days he stayed in jail before the hearing, but decided against revoking his first-offender status or adjudicating him guilty.
Two months after the Lockette hearing, probation officers issued another warrant for Thomas' arrest for violating the terms of his probation after he again failed to report, failed to complete community service, failed to attend his classes, failed to properly drug test and fail to pay his fine. That resulted in the Nov. 4 hearing before Gray.
In the final lines of the transcript, Gray expresses pessimism that Thomas would change his ways.
"And we'll just wait for him to come back, because, mark my words, he will, and then we'll impose the two-year sentence at that time," Gray said. "I hope you prove me wrong, Mr. Thomas, but my experience tells me that you won't."