I-TEAM: Burke County DUI case disappears after sheriff steps in
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A county employee’s DUI charge seemingly disappeared more than a year ago after Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams is heard saying he did not send the case forward.
Our I-TEAM is continuing to dig into allegations surrounding the Burke County Sheriff. The I-TEAM has looked into the sheriff’s spending habits, travel expenses, and allegations of cases disappearing.
Now, the I-TEAM was made aware of one county employee’s DUI charge that is nowhere to be found in the Burke County court system.
More than a year ago on July 19, 2022, Deputy Brittany Nelson with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office pulled over a vehicle on Highway 25 in Burke County. The I-TEAM obtained body cam footage of the traffic stop.
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Deputy Nelson: “Hey, good evening, Deputy Nelson with the sheriff’s office. I stopped you for speeding through the construction zone.”
Robert Allen: “I wasn’t doing but 60.”
Deputy Nelson: “You were going 80 when you passed me.”
The driver of the vehicle is Robert Allen. He’s the Assistant Director at the Burke County Recreation Department.
Deputy Nelson: “When I got up behind you there you were weaving in and out of the lane. Is there any reason you weren’t maintaining your lane?”
Robert Allen: “Ok.”
Deputy Nelson: “I’m just asking why. Is there any reason you weren’t able to stay in your lane?”
Robert Allen: “Ok.”
Deputy Nelson: “Ok or yes or...”
Robert Allen: “I’m good.”
Deputy Nelson: “You have anything to drink tonight Mr. Allen?”
Robert Allen: “I had a couple of beers. I’ll be heading home.”
Robert Allen tells Deputy Nelson he was coming from a party in Augusta. He was on his way to home in Waynesboro. At that time, Deputy Richard Few stopped to assist Deputy Nelson with the traffic stop.
Deputy Nelson: “Do you want to do an eval? He admitted to drinking and was blowing past me at 80 and when I got up behind him, he couldn’t maintain his lane.”
Deputy Few approaches Allen’s vehicle on the driver’s side.
Deputy Few: “Deputy Few with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. You had some drinks tonight, sir?”
Robert Allen: “Huh?”
Deputy Few: “Anything to drink tonight?”
Robert Allen: “Some beer.”
Allen says he had those drinks about an hour prior to being stopped. He agrees to do some field sobriety tests to make sure he’s able to drive home safely.
Deputy Few: “You can step back here for me, sir.”
Allen sits down on the front bumper of Deputy Nelson’s patrol car.
Deputy Few: “Did you urinate on yourself?”
Robert Allen: “Huh?”
Deputy Nelson: “Did you urinate on yourself?”
Robert Allen: “Well, I had a bad... I needed to use the bathroom and I did.”
That’s when Deputy Few initiates the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus exam.
Deputy Few: “Follow my finger. Alright?”
Robert Allen: “Mhmm.”
Deputy Few: “You have to follow the tip of my finger.”
Robert Allen: “I did.”
Deputy Few: “No, you look at it and bring your eyes back to me.”
Deputy Few has to re-state the instructions to Allen several times.
Deputy Few: “You’re still doing it. You have to follow my finger.”
That’s when Deputy Few moves on to the walk-and-turn test. Allen failed to follow those instructions, according to the incident report and body cam footage.
Robert Allen: “I’m just trying to get to Waynesboro, me and my brother. We went to a party.”
Deputy Few: “I can tell. I think you had too much to drink too.”
At this point, Allen begins to drop names to the deputies.
Robert Allen: “I know Coach Williams. Coach Williams knows me. I’m the assistant director of Burke County and I was just trying to go home. Why I got to go through all of this? I wasn’t speeding. Call Coach Williams.”
Deputy Few conducts one more test before eventually putting Allen in handcuffs.
Deputy Few: “You can put your hands behind your back for me, sir.”
Deputy Few takes Allen to his patrol car when he begins talking with the deputy.
Robert Allen: “I’m the wrong person you need to be messing with. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Deputy Few: “Sir?”
Robert Allen: “I’m the wrong person you need to be messing with, man.”
Allen tells Deputy Few he refuses to give a blood test after initially saying yes. He’s told by Deputy Few to put his legs in the car and he’s being arrested for DUI Refusal.
At the same time, Deputy Nelson is talking with Allen’s brother. He’s the passenger in the vehicle.
Deputy Nelson: “As long as you’re not intoxicated, I’ll let you drive his car home tonight.”
After Allen’s brother is cleared to drive, Deputy Few lets him talk to Allen while he’s in the back of the patrol car.
Allen’s brother: “Robert, do you want me to let Ryan know?”
More names were dropped, including Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams.
Allen’s brother: “Where y’all going? To Waynesboro?”
Deputy Few: “Yes, sir. Burke County Sheriff’s Office.”
Allen’s brother: “Yeah, Burke County. Ok, where Alfonzo the Sheriff?”
Deputy Few: “Yes, sir.”
Allen’s brother: “Yeah, I know him.”
After speaking with Allen, Allen’s brother makes his way to Deputy Nelson’s patrol car. He tells Deputy Nelson he’ll follow them to the detention center while dropping the sheriff’s name for a second time.
Allen’s brother: “I know Alfonzo and my sister-in-law is Alberta Anderson. You might know her. Alberta Anderson. She’s a State Representative and stuff like that.”
The I-TEAM requested the arrest and booking report from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Allen was arrested at 11:02 p.m. and his mugshot was taken for DUI, failure to maintain lane, and speeding, according to the report.
Allen was later released on bond at 12:47 a.m.
What the I-TEAM found was the sheriff’s office is the only agency that has any information on Allen’s arrest. The reason for this is that Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams didn’t send the case forward for prosecution.
The I-TEAM obtained a recording from a meeting held with his staff addressing questions or recent allegations the I-TEAM previously reported.
This is what the sheriff says about Allen’s DUI case:
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams: “There were some specific questions about a DUI. I think Few and Brittany Nelson got upset because I helped a guy with a DUI back with the Recreation Department. He’s been a coach for 40 years and he’s coached thousands of kids. He was pissy drunk, and I didn’t send the case forward for prosecution. That’s an agreement I have with the Solicitor.”
We checked case management. Nothing shows up for the case number under Allen’s name. The I-TEAM went to the Burke County State Court Office where misdemeanors are handled.
The case manager at the office told the I-TEAM that was the first time they were seeing any paperwork on Allen’s case. They even told us that Solicitor General Matt Franklin did not have information on the case.
According to citations the sheriff’s office sent the I-TEAM, and a court date was set for Allen on October 5, 2022. Still, there are no records of Allen’s case in the court system after more than a year.
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams: “I’m a social worker. That’s what I do.”
The I-TEAM has reached out to Sheriff Williams asking for an interview. We have not heard back yet.
The I-TEAM was able to make contact with Allen over the phone. Allen says he does not remember getting a DUI and that the person in this case is not him.
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