Plea leads to negotiated sentence
A 39-year old man admitted guilt in the Oconee General Sessions Court to taking indecent liberties with a teenage girl. The court was told that Jamie Garner Smith’s involvement with the girl started when he began to attend her church and escalated as he became youth minister for the church. Smith pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon to assault and battery second degree. Judge Alex Macaulay accepted a negotiated sentence, as recommended by assistant solicitor Lindsey Simmons, which amounted to a three-year prison sentence, suspended to three years probation, along with requirements that Smith register as a sex offender and undergo mental health counseling. Speaking for the victim, Patricia Ragsdale asked the judge to send a message.