Man sentenced in Cobb County to 10 years for aggravated stalking

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

Michael Lydon Strong, 43, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated stalking (a felony), and disorderly conduct.

Georgia law defines aggravated stalking as follows:

A person commits the offense of aggravated stalking when such person, in violation of a bond to

keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-110, temporary restraining order,

temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order,

preliminary injunction, good behavior bond, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial

release, condition of probation, or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the behavior described

in this subsection, follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a

place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and

intimidating the other person.

Strong was convicted by jury trial on April 25, and the sentence was handed down by Cobb County Superior Court Judge Jason D. Marbutt.

A public information release from Cobb District Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr. described the events leading to the arrest and conviction as follows:

On Sept. 21, 2020, the victim and her 13-year-old son applied for a protection order against the defendant, who was the victim’s live-in boyfriend at the time. In the months leading up to the victim seeking protection, the defendant would have fits of rage and anger in which he would yell and throw things. 

Evidence presented to the jury included instances where Strong threw a propane tank, damaged property, destroyed food, and physically assaulted the victim. The victim and her son testified that these incidents grew increasingly frequent. Both the victim and her son were afraid that calling 911 would enrage the defendant even more and lead to worse repercussions.

A Family Violence Ex Parte Protection Order was issued on Sept. 21, 2020. The defendant later violated the terms of the order by unlawfully entering the victim’s residence on October 12, 2020. The defendant broke into the victim’s bedroom while she and her son were asleep. 

The victim’s juvenile son woke to his mother’s screams and stepped out of his room to see the defendant coming towards him and telling him not to call 911. The juvenile went back into his room, locked his door, as the defendant tried to force his way into the juvenile’s room. The juvenile called 911 and officers were dispatched to the victim’s location. Officers arrived at the house while the defendant was still inside the residence. 

“The jury’s decision highlights our office’s dedication to protecting and advocating for victims of domestic violence,” said Broady.

Assistant District Attorneys Holly Morgan and Dallas Cox led the prosecution. 

The defendant was represented by Marietta attorney Brian A. Hobbs.

What is Cobb County Superior Court?

In Georgia, the Superior Court is one of three trial courts found in each judicial circuit.  The other two trial courts are State Courts and Probate Courts.

If you watch TV or movie courtroom dramas, you’ll be familiar with the most high-profile role of the court. Superior Court in Georgia is where a murder trial would be conducted.

So the Superior Court conducts felony trials.

But it also handles a number of other types of cases.

The Georgia Superior Court website describes the varied functions as follows:

The Superior Courts of Georgia is a court of general jurisdiction handling both civil and criminal law actions. Superior Court Judges preside over cases involving misdemeanors, contract disputes, premises liability, and various other actions. In addition, the Superior Court has exclusive equity jurisdiction over all cases of divorce, title to land, and felonies involving jury trials, including death penalty cases.

How are Superior Court judges chosen?

Superior Court judges are elected for four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.  If a judge resigns or retires the governor appoints a replacement to serve out the judge’s unexpired term.

The requirements to run for a Superior Court seat are that the candidate be at least thirty years old, has been a Georgia citizen for at least three years, and the candidate has practiced law for at least seven years.

How do I learn about Superior Court judges before elections?

Judicial races are among the most difficult races for the public to research, but the internet has made it easier.

For Cobb County judicial elections, there are a number of media that cover the courts and candidates, including here at the Cobb County Courier, the Marietta Daily Journal, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and East Cobb News.

For biographies of judicial candidates, you can also visit the campaign web pages of the candidates.  Those biographies are, of course, written to put the candidate in the best light, but they are a good starting point for determining the candidate’s educational and employment background.

To get a list of the candidates, visit the Georgia Secretary of State page for qualified candidate information at

Superior Court is considered a state office so that you would select “State” on the Office Type pulldown menu, the General Primary/Special Election under the Election menu, and “Non Partisan” under the Party menu.  Then under Offices scroll down the pulldown menu until you find the race you are looking for.