Probable cause for charges found in hit-and-run that severely injured two construction workers in Cobb County

Doorway to magistrate court, the court which conducts eviction hearings

by Caleb Groves

On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, a Cobb County Magistrate Court Judge found probable cause for a Dallas man to be charged with severely injuring two construction workers while drunk driving without a seatbelt on a suspended license.

The man was charged with four felonies, including two counts of hit and run and two counts of serious injury by a vehicle, as well as seven misdemeanors, such as driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.

The man is accused of hitting two construction workers with his car while drunk driving on March 12, 2023, breaking one construction worker’s arm and hip as well as leaving him unconscious. The construction worker was sent to the hospital. The construction worker is now released but is still recovering from the incident.

Another construction worker had both legs broken and is now relearning how to walk.

After hitting the construction workers preparing for a road closure, he fled the scene, leaving his car behind.

The Dallas man has an extensive criminal history for a 24-year-old, with nine arrest cycles and 22 misdemeanors. He has been in jail several times, Judge Michael McLaughlin said.

“He is building a record that will put him in prison,” McLaughlin said.

Judge McLaughlin’s Decision

Leah Madden, the defendant’s attorney proposed $25,000 bond and the state proposed $50,000. Eventually, McLaughlin set the bond for an amendable $50,000 if the family finds a facility for the man to receive treatment to get his alcohol consumption under control.

McLaughlin added the condition of no driving until taking a Georgia Department of Driver Services certified defensive driving course and no driving until his license is reinstated.

With the man’s extensive criminal history, the bond should have been set closer to $100,000, McLaughlin said. However, Mclaughlin wants to give him a chance to turn around his life, considering his young age. He worked with the Dallas man and his family to come to a more affordable bond, along with a plan for rehabilitating the man’s life.

After discussing the bond, the Dallas man’s mother spoke up to thank Judge McLaughlin for his reasonability and compassion over the case.

The man’s alcohol issues started after watching three of his friends die in front of him in high school. Prior to this incident, he was an A/B student in high school and on the Paulding County varsity football team. The incident took a toll on his school work and life as a whole, the Dallas man’s mother said.

“He’s not a bad kid,” she said.

The case is under investigation and once indictments are drafted, it will be presented to a Grand Jury, according to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

Caleb Groves is a Journalism student at Kennesaw State University, where he is a junior.

Originally from Minnesota, Caleb moved to Georgia with his family, where he now lives in Woodstock with his Father, Stepmom and numerous pets.

When he is not in writing, in class or coaching rock climbing, he spends his time listening to music and rock climbing both indoors and out