Sheriff Book-in Photo
Though his story changed several times, and included a self-defense scenario, in his final statement in court Christopher Byers said he didn’t kill anyone.
After just over an hour of deliberation, a jury found Christopher Byers, 34, guilty on all 14 counts of his indictment including malice and felony murder. Byers was sentenced to life in prison in Pickens County Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 6.
The Gilmer County man was accused of murdering his friend Ray Walnoha, also of Gilmer, in 2014 at a Cove Road residence in Pickens.
The verdict came after five full days of trial, which included testimony from Byers’s friend Arnold Griffith who said he was present when Byers killed Walnoha at Griffith’s Cove Road property. According to Griffith, 59, he helped Byers hide the body in a shallow grave in the woods near his house. In exchange for his testimony, murder charges were dropped against Griffith who served one year for concealing a death, tampering with evidence, and abandonment of a body. He has since been released from jail.
See full story including details of the trial in this week's print or online editions.
Pickens native Amberle Godfrey will temporarily take the Chamber reins.
By Sonny Proctor
Board of Directors
Pickens County Chamber of Commerce
As chairman of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Amberle Godfrey has been appointed as our interim executive director.
Godfrey has served as a member of the Chamber board of directors, including as a member of its executive committee and as chairman. For the last year she has served as interim operations director. During Godfrey’s tenure, the Chamber has seen tremendous financial stabilization and many improvements in other areas.
Spencer Childers and Owen Moss showing some of their fish from the weigh in at the High School Bassmasters on Lake Kentucky.
The Pickens Bass Fishing team of Spencer Childers and Owen Moss wrapped up an amazing season last weekend with a 5th place finish at the Bassmaster High School National Championship on Kentucky Lake.
The event was held over three days on the famed body of water in Paris, Tennessee. The field was comprised of 670 anglers from 337 high schools across the nation. Anglers qualified for the event through various state championships and regional events held throughout the year. Childers and Moss qualified with their win at the Georgia State Championship on Lake Eufaula earlier this summer. This
A month ago nearly to the day, Nichole and Jeremy Carver got news no parent could imagine – they were told their infant son Hudson would not live past the age of two.
“Everything got dark and all I could see was a pinpoint of light,” Nichole told the Progress from Egleston Hospital, where Hudson was scheduled to have surgery on Monday, July 30. “My husband wasn’t home when I got the call from Emory. They said they didn’t want to say over the phone, but I wanted to know. I hyperventilated.”
That was the first week in July when Hudson, now nine months old, was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition - Gaucher (go-SHAY) Disease Type 2. As in Hudson’s case, symptoms become apparent within three to six months of life and can cause death before the age of two. Symptoms include enlarged liver and spleen, seizures, jerking, poor ability to swallow, and poor development.
After working hard for over a year, the Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park (PCVMP) group has reached its goal – to build a memorial to pay tribute to all veterans: those who have fought to protect and serve our nation in the past, those who are serving and those who will serve in the future.
The dedication service for the memorial is scheduled for August 1, at 11 a.m. Dedication activities include a formal military ceremony including the presentation of colors, singing of the national anthem, an Air Force flyover and a 21-gun salute.