Georgia sheriff charged with elder abuse over assault of 75-year-old man

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Bacon County sheriff Mark Cothren has been arrested for assaulting a 75-year-old man in front of the Bacon County Sheriff’s Office.

The agency said in a press release that it was contacted by the Waycross Judicial Circuit district attorney last week requesting the GBI investigate claims that Bacon County Sheriff Mark Cothren attacked John Daniel Melton in front of the sheriff’s office.

Mark Cothren, 50, has been charged with one count each of elder abuse, violation of oath of office, and battery, according to the GBI.

Cothren turned himself into authorities without incident on May 29. Cothren’s photo and headshot were still on the Bacon County Sheriff’s Office website Wednesday evening. His statement says:

I began my career with the Bacon County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. I have served as a member of each Sheriff’s administration. I have worked as a Jail Officer, Chief Jailer, Patrolman, Investigator, and Chief Deputy. I am well versed in my profession. With 26 years of service, I have the experience to lead the Sheriff’s Office.I am a man of the people, for the people, and by the people. I will serve each citizen with the compassion, dignity, and respect that they deserve. As the Sheriff of Bacon County, my office will be open to address any concerns of the citizens of Bacon County. I have, and will remain helpful and courteous to our citizens in their time of need. I want every citizen to feel comfortable when they interact with the Bacon County Sheriff’s Office. I look forward to leading the Sheriff’s Office into the future with compassion, loyalty, and dedication that you have come to know from me, Mark Cothren.


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