Updated 3/18/15 @ 11:03 PM
A Walker County Sheriff’s Office sergeant found himself in jail and out of a job Tuesday after a weekend incident of domestic violence.
The GBI launched an investigation of Detective Sergeant Dewayne Llewellyn after he was involved in a domestic dispute. A call about the incident came in to Walker 911 late Sunday and the GBI was called in Monday as part of standard procedure when an officer is accused of a crime.
It’s unclear who exactly called GBI in, but under state law the investigative agency can only be contacted by elected leaders of law enforcement agencies, cities, and counties – so it was very likely Sheriff Wilson himself who requested the investigation.
The GBI didn’t mess around; Tuesday Detective Llewellyn was arrested and subsequently fired from the Sheriff’s Office.
(Detective Llewellyn’s ethics have come into question at least once before; back in 1999 while serving as a deputy for Catoosa County, Llewellyn allowed a Walker County Sheriff’s captain to drive home drunk after being pulled over for driving 85 in a 55 on highway 27. That officer was fired, but Dewayne Llewellyn ended up with a job in Walker County and moved through the ranks to become a detective – hopefully in spite of his “professional courtesy” for the drunk captain, and not because of it.)
Walker County’s Sheriff Office and Sheriff Wilson have a terrible history of not investigating officers in abusive relationships. A deputy sleeping with a minor several years ago was allowed to resign and not prosecuted; in 2010 a recently-retired (now deceased) department leader threatened to shoot family members and caused an entire neighborhood to be evacuated, but faced no criminal charges.
And of course there’s the notorious case of Theresa Parker, the 911 dispatcher who talked to Sheriff Wilson directly about her abusive police officer husband Sam, then ended up dead when Wilson took no action. (One of LU’s sources on this matter stated they reached out to the blog specifically hoping to prevent another Sam Parker type incident.)
Hopefully this investigation and termination indicate a new attitude towards domestic violence and officer-involved crime within the Sheriff’s Office – but it’s only one of several examples in recent weeks.
The GBI has also investigated an unrelated incident that happened around the same time; a Walker County Deputy was accused of making violent threats against his now-ex wife. That investigation was ruled inconclusive since it was a matter of his word vs. her word. That officer was not charged and remains on the force. For now.
This developing report is based off information from four sources with close ties to local law enforcement. When more details of this incident are made available the article will be updated.
The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release Wednesday afternoon verifying Llewellyn’s arrest and termination.
Per that statement, now-ex-Detective Llewellyn struck his wife with his hand. She “sustained discoloration and swelling to the area of the cheek and eye.” He was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor battery, released on $1,000 bond, and subsequently fired.
Independent sources tell LU that officer Llewellyn was immediately notified of his spouse’s 911 call by a girlfriend working at the county dispatch center – potentially putting the woman in more danger. That highlights again the need for a firm fraternization policy covering employees of the Sheriff’s Office, 911 center, city police, and county fire/rescue agencies.
This issue isn’t resolved until any woman, child, friend, or neighbor in the county aware of abuse can confidently report that abuse to law enforcement without fear of making it worse.