I-TEAM: 2nd Burke County DUI case never makes it to court

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A second DUI case in Burke County has not shown up in the court system after the suspect was arrested and booked by Burke County deputies.

Just last week the I-TEAM uncovered Sheriff Alfonzo Williams did not send the Assistant Recreation Director’s DUI case forward for prosecution. The I-TEAM found that the county employee’s case wasn’t the only DUI case the Burke County courthouse doesn’t have a record of.

Deputies on the scene of a December night in 2021 say the driver, Derrell Tucker Jr., could’ve killed somebody.

Body cam walks us through the entire traffic stop.

Sgt. South: “We’re slowly rolling through the ditch.”

On December 18, 2021, Sgt. Rob South with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office tries to stop a white Ford pickup truck.

Sgt. South: “What’s going on buddy? Oh, you’ve had that much to drink? Go ahead and step out for me buddy.”

Tucker: Unintelligible


Sgt. South: “Huh? I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

Tucker: “Don’t hurt me.”

Sgt. South: “What? Don’t hurt you?”

Tucker: Unintelligible

At this point, Tucker stumbles out of his vehicle while losing his balance.

Sgt. South: “I don’t understand... Oh, watch out. You alright?”

Tucker: “Yeah, I’m good.”

Sgt. South: “Ok.”

Tucker: “Don’t hurt me.”

Sgt. South: “Just stay right there. Just hold tight right there.”

Tucker: Unintelligible.

Sgt. South: “Ah, I’m not going to hurt you, buddy. I’m just, you were all over the road.”

Tucker: Unintelligible.

Sgt. South calls for other deputies to the scene.

Sgt. South: “He’s 5A, like, he can barely talk.”

Sgt. South: “Dude, you were all over the road. Dude, he was all over the ditch and everything. Yeah, you were everywhere.”

Even after Sgt. South stops Tucker, he’s still in shock he got behind the wheel that night.

Sgt. South: “Man, he was all in the ditch. I don’t know how he didn’t wreck. I mean he’s in the ditch now, but he was in the ditch back there.”

Sgt. South: “Mr. Tucker how much have you drank, bud?”

Tucker: “Huh?”

Sgt. South: “How much have you drunk? I mean I see you have some open containers in there now.”

Deputies see that there are several open containers in the front and back seat with medication nearby and a shotgun sitting in the passenger seat.

Sgt. South: “Dude, he can barely talk. He’s so under the influence of alcohol and most likely some medicine. I saw some medicine next to it. It’s Derrell Tucker. As soon as I saw him, I recognized him. Dude, he was all over. Dude, he almost went up over the hill down there by Dollar General when I got behind him. And then he was driving through this ditch.”

Deputy Murphy: “Hey Derrell. How you doing, buddy?”

Tucker: “Sup.”

Deputy Murphy: “You had anything to drink tonight?”

Tucker: “Yes.”

Deputy Murphy: “How much?”

Tucker: “A lot.”

Deputy Murphy: “A lot? How much is a lot?”

Tucker: “A lot.”

Again, the State Solicitor’s Office has no record of Tucker’s case or Assistant Rec. Director Robert Allen’s case.

It was the first time their office was looking at the paperwork when we showed the case manager the booking report from the sheriff’s office. According to citations we received from the sheriff’s office, Tucker’s court date was scheduled for March 3, 2022.

During the traffic stop, Tucker tells deputies he’d been drinking for several hours and was on his way home.

Deputy Murphy: “On a scale of one to 10, 10 being the drunkest you’ve ever been and one never been drunk. How do you feel right now?”

Tucker: “Five.”

Deputy Murphy: “About a five? Again, a 10 being drunk and a one being sober. You feel about a five?”

Tucker: “Yes, sir.”

Deputy Murphy: “You think you’re under the influence too much to be driving?”

Tucker: “No, well...” Unintelligible.

Deputies try to get Tucker up to the road for a field sobriety test, but the body cam shows he can barely keep his balance. Tucker falls down after taking some steps backward towards his truck.

Sgt. South: “Derrell, my man, just stand right there in front of my vehicle.”

Tucker: Unintelligible.

Sgt. South: “Oh, my goodness.”

Deputies eventually get Tucker up to their patrol car.

Tucker: “Can you take me home? Listen, I own a big construction company. I don’t want to be embarrassed. I’m drunk.”

Sgt. South: “I can’t take you home, Mr. Tucker.”

Tucker: “I live right there.”

Instead of going home, Tucker was arrested and booked into the Burke County Detention Center for DUI, open container, and failure to maintain lane.

Sgt. South: “You could’ve easily killed yourself or somebody the way you were driving.”

Tucker is the second driver arrested for DUI in Burke County the I-TEAM has uncovered where Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams appears to not have sent the case forward to be prosecuted.

The I-TEAM reached out to Tucker, but he has not returned our call.

Both drivers, though arrested, were never charged and never went to court to face DUI charges. As for Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams, the I-TEAM would like to ask him some questions, but he has stopped answering our emails.

There’s more to the story ...