Just over a year ago, on Feb. 5, 2012, 87-year-old Aubrey Hall returned home from church to find two black males in his house at 101 Zorn Road. When he confronted them, one of the men punched him in the nose and the two men fled. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, the first of the two men arrested and charged with burglary and aggravated battery on a person over 65, Terrell Omar Searcy, 25, of Thomaston, goes on trial in Upson County Superior Court.
While it has been 53 weeks since the assault, that the trial is taking place this soon is thanks, in part, to newly elected Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore, who worked with the Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and the Superior Court judge to set up a special trial week in order to get some cases tried. Searcy’s trial is the first of the week.
Searcy and fellow defendant Telly Wyche, 33, also from Thomaston, are accused of breaking into Hall’s house while he was at church. Hall, who retired as a sergeant from the Thomaston Police Department in the 1980’s, came home and surprised the suspects. When he asked what they were doing, one of the men punched him in the nose, fracturing it and causing him to have surgery and months of rehabilitation. Stolen during the burglary were several items, including a gun that Hall received upon his retirement from the police department.
Upson County Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from Thomaston Police officers, arrested Searcy three days later, on Feb. 8, at a house on Fourth Avenue. Wyche was arrested two days later, on Feb. 10.
According to Sheriff Kilgore, assault on a person over the age of 65 carries harsher penalties.
“Punishments are more stringent when the victim is over 65 years of age,” Kilgore said. “That will have a factor on the sentence.”