The Supreme Court of Georgia on Monday formally terminated the law license of attorney Richard S. Thompson, a former U.S. Legal professional of the Southern District of Georgia, because he is serving three years in prison for irritated stalking.
The high courtroom is known as Thompson’s voluntary surrender of his regulation license “tantamount to disbarment.” Thompson’s loss of his law license stems from two felony convictions in January and consecutive 10-year sentences that encompass 3 years in custody observed with the aid of 17 years on probation. As a condition of the sentences, Thompson can be banished from the Brunswick Circuit, wherein his ex-girlfriend lives and that consists of Thompson’s native land of Vidalia.
Although Thompson—who is presently in custody in Long State Prison in Ludowici—turned into sentenced in February, he will become eligible for parole in two months, said a spokesman for the country Board of Pardons and Paroles. Thompson has been in custody considering closing July and, in sentencing him, Scarlett gave him credit score for time served previous to Thompson’s trial.
Pardons and Paroles spokesman Steve Hayes said that Thompson becomes eligible for parole on July 28 due to the fact he will have served a 3rd of his jail sentence, which officially ends July 27, 2021. But Hayes stated that board parole selections are governed, an element, with the aid of clemency tips. Under those tips, annoyed stalking is a Level 8—the best crime severity degree and consists of a recommendation that a defendant serves 65-90% of his sentence before being paroled.
Hayes stated the board has the discretion to follow the rule advice, require greater time up until Thompson’s court docket-ordered incarceration is whole, lessen time or deny parole. A majority selection of the five contributors is needed, he said.
Meanwhile, the license give up also successfully ends what commenced 37 years ago as a promising prison career in the course of which Thompson—who has practiced regulation in Vidalia, Savannah, and St. Simons Island—twice ran for statewide workplace, co-managed the success 2000 campaign of former Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Georgia, then changed into appointed by means of former President George W. Bush to be the U.S. Legal professional in Savannah.
Thompson served because the Southern District’s chief federal prosecutor from 2001-2004. In 2004, he resigned below an ethics cloud after the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility decided he abused his authority to help a Republican best friend in his state election marketing campaign.
In 2009, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue—now U.S. Secretary of agriculture—appointed Thompson to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, which Thompson chaired before stepping down in 2013.
Thompson’s selection to give up his bar license follows his arrest in 2017 and a 2d arrest final summer time after a police chase that ended whilst Thompson positioned a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself. At the time, law enforcement authorities were looking for Thompson after a choose revoked his bond on a 2017 felony stalking fee for persevering with to stalk his former lady friend. A deputy found several suicide letters in Thompson’s automobile after Thompson surrendered.
Thompson was convicted Jan. 31 on two counts of irritated stalking following a daylong bench trial before Brunswick Circuit Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett. On Feb. 15, Scarlett passed down two consecutive 10-year sentences. The judge ordered Thompson to serve 3 years in prison and the ultimate 17 years on probation.
Scarlett also set special situations of probation that put permanent protecting orders in location barring Thompson from contacting his former lady friend, her husband, their legal professional—Donna Crossland of St. Simons Island company Taylor, Odachowski, Schmidt & Crossland—or any participants of their families.
Thompson changed into additionally ordered to go through mental fitness counseling for the second time. As a circumstance of his bond in 2017, Thompson agreed to file to a personal psychiatric facility in Florida and entire a state-subsidized, 24-week family violence intervention program and ordered to haven’t any in addition contact along with his ex-lady friend or her legal professional.
Thompson changed into also banished from the Brunswick Judicial Circuit for the 17 years he may be on probation.
Scarlett additionally granted Thompson first perpetrator reputation. In Georgia, if a defendant is distinct a first perpetrator, once he completes his sentence, his conviction may be expunged and all information relating the arrest and conviction sealed.
Thompson’s defense counsel, Brunswick legal professional Robert Crowe, became now not inside the workplace and couldn’t be reached for remark.