Cherry Log, Ga. – Amidst allegations and being wanted “in connection with kidnapping and sexual assault,” Bradley Justin Cochran was found dead yesterday in Metter, Ga from an apparent suicide.
Cochran lived in Cherry Log, Ga and was a former student of Pickens County High School, according to his Facebook Profile.
A release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) states the Cochran allegedly forced his way into a vehicle with three women at a grocery store in Statesboro. After they drove into Candler County, Cochran allegedly sexually assaulted two of the women before stealing the car and leaving the females on foot.
The Statesboro Police Department posted on their Facebook Page Monday saying, “As events unfolded, our officers were amazed by their strength and bravery. These women were just minding their own business, trying to leave the parking lot, when a stranger threatened them with a knife and forced his way into their vehicle.”
All three survived the encounter. Police say it is simply because of the quick action in a fight for survival. Hailing the girls as survivors and warriors.
They continued to praise the victims for their action as they “were able to create a diversion so one of them could escape, from a moving vehicle, to get help. She was able to give law enforcement vital information that led to the identification of the suspect and helped locate the other two women, and most likely saved their lives.”
The GBI was requested to join the investigation on Sunday, August 26, by the Candler County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesboro Police Department.
As the search for Cochran grew to include all three agencies, the Candler County Sheriff’s Office stated, “There was an extensive investigation and manhunt throughout the night and into the morning. All agencies and personnel involved demonstrated how a multi-agency operation should be carried out.”
At this time, the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, but the GBI did confirm that Cochran’s body will be sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah, Ga for official cause and manner of death.
JASPER, Ga. – District Attorney Alison Sosebee offered her presentation to parents that she has been showing to students this week. As a part of the chat with the superintendent program on September 24, Sosebee and Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig joined in to inform parents about the vaping trend and the school’s responses.
Going through the same presentation as the one she offers the students, the only alterations came when Sheriff Craig added the Drug Task Forces formal response and when Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson offered the school systems official reply. Following along the same lines of thought, students and parents should begin expecting full repercussions on possession, use, and sharing of vaping devices as drug paraphernalia when viable instead of being treated like possessing cigarettes.
Sosebee also released information about those who came into contact with a substance that hospitalized five in a warrant on A1 Smoke Shop. The substance, identified as “Panaca,” a synthetic cannabinoid substance that is labeled as a “Schedule I Drug.” Sosebee compared this to Methamphetamine, a “Schedule II Drug.” She went on to note that this identifies synthetic marijuana, like that found in the smoke shop, is comparatively worse than Meth.
Wilson noted that the students have also been told that the consequences of vaping in school is increasing, and additional information from Sheriff Craig noted that criminal charges of this caliber could still involve 15 years in prison in the case of Schedule I Drugs.
As seen in the video, much of the night was spent attempting to inform parents and citizens about the issue, it was noted that the school system is taking a hard stance against the trend. Continuing to point to the fact that some may or may not know what is in the vape devices they use, authorities point to the commonality of hard drugs found across the nation in these devices as reasoning to utilize the full consequences made available in both the school’s code of conduct and criminal law to dissuade students from using these devices.
The Pickens County Dragons have poured their hearts into wrestling this season, and it’s certainly been one to remember. But – it’s not over, yet.
Just one week after hosting the Burnt Mountain Classic, where the Dragons finished 2nd overall, the team came together to hit the mats with a lot more on the line this time than just ‘braggin’ rights. Gilmer hosted this year’s AAAA-Region 6 area tournament, and the Dragons were one of the team favorites coming into the competition,
In traditional area wrestling, the top four individual competitors in each class qualify to compete at the GHSA AAAA Sectionals meet next weekend at Woodward Academy. On the other side of Sectional competition, Jefferson will host Area winners from areas 2, 3, 7 and 8. Jefferson won the team dual state championship last month, their 17th straight GHSA state dual championship. Gilmer County finished 2nd in that tournament.
With Pickens wrestling in what is arguably the most competitive region in the state, the team faced off against rival Gilmer, as well as quality wrestlers from Ridgeland, Heritage and more. The day turned out to be one of the best in school history, with a record number of sectional qualifiers and three traditional area champions: Zack Meadows, CJ Murphy and Michael Burrell.
Dalton Brunner also had a big day, finishing 2nd in his class.
Other qualifiers for the Dragons include Michael Hernandez (3rd) and Joseph Ferguson (3rd), as well as 4th-place finishers Nate Davis, Jared Edwards, Kelley Dover and Sam Stout.
The overall performance by the Dragons varsity wrestling squad earned them 6AAAA Area Runner-up honors, behind defending champion Gilmer High.
TeamFYNSports would like to wish the Dragons wrestling program all the best as they prepare for sectional competition this week!
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JASPER, Ga. – Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.
According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were notified Feb. 21 by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram.
The sheriff’s office immediately had detectives on the case investigating the validity of the threat and following up with the student. At this time, Public Information Officer Kris Stancil of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office informs us that the child who made the threat has been taken out of school and the Board of Education “has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school.”
However, according to the press release given by the sheriff’s office, no charges have been made yet. The investigation is continuing into this incident to determine if charges will be brought. The sheriff’s office said they will continue to take all threats seriously, even if the threat was made as a joke: “Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.”
The sheriff’s full press release is as follows:
Pickens County Georgia, February 21, 2018: Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.
On February 21st, deputies were notified by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram. Deputies immediately notified detectives and launched an investigation into the validity of the threat.
In addition to working with the student and his parents, Sheriff’s Office staff members have been working closely with the Pickens County Board of Education to ensure that all students are kept safe. In this case, the parents are working closely with investigators as well.
The Board of Education has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school at this time. Detectives are also continuing to investigate the case to determine if any criminal charges need to be sought as well.
Threats toward the safety of our kids, even if done as a joke, will not be tolerated by the Pickens Sheriff’s Office or the Pickens County Board of Education. Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.
We are extremely grateful for the students and teachers that notified our office of this incident. Due to their willingness to speak up when something didn’t look right, we have been able to act appropriately.
The Burnt Mountain Classic took place on Friday night and Saturday at Pickens Co. High School. The Classic comes with high expectations by the teams attending – and although inclement weather forced school cancellations throughout the week – the tournament still lived up to the bill.
Although the weather was rough all week, 15 of 19 Varsity teams that were scheduled came off the buses ready to strap on their head gear and hit the mat. Fannin County was one of 22 varsity teams scheduled to attend but like a handful of the teams who cancelled, they followed the school cancellation schedule due to potential hazardous road conditions.
The acclaimed Gilmer Bobcats varsity squad, who have been living up to their legacy of absolute domination all season long, was originally scheduled to attend as well. After speaking with head coach Josh Ghobadpor about his decision to give his varsity the weekend off, he stated that with the weather being what it was during the week, they hadn’t been able to practice. Rather than put his varsity in a high-pressure situation so close to area and sectionals, Ghobadpor focused instead on taking his junior varsity team to compete in the JV Scramble.
“We tried to get to the gym to train but with ice on the roads we didn’t want to take any chances. This weekend we decided to bring our JV and let them get the extra work in, though. After all the JV is the future of Bobcat wrestling,” Ghobadpor told TeamFYNSports.
As the wrestlers laced up and shook hands, match-by-match the competition began to heat up right away. Pickens, Lumpkin, Creekview, Etowah, Cherokee High, Calhoun, Alcoa, Milton, Sequoyah, Chestatee, Towns, SE Whitfield, Walker, West Hall and River Ridge all came in pursuit of conquest.
With each win or loss, the cream began to rise to the top. While all in attendance had much to be proud of, two standout teams battled for the heralded prize of tournament champions. As the dust (and sweat) settled, congratulations went to the Creekview High School Grizzlies for capturing the crown in the team scoring with 219 points. Narrowly taking the runner up award in the team points was the host: the Pickens County High School Dragons.
On Saturday, the action heated up with the JV Scramble. The young freshmen and sophomore athletes showed up and showed out on the mats with Calhoun Yellow Jackets taking the JV trophy. Individual award winners from Pickens County included: Zach Meadows(113 lbs) 2nd Place, C.J. Murphy(120 lbs) 2nd Place, Joseph Ferguson(152 lbs) 2nd Place Michael Burrell(160 lbs) 1st Place, Tyler Vreeland(170 lbs), Kellie Dover(182 lbs) 3rd Place and Dalton Bruhner(195 lbs) 4th Place.
Other results were not available at the event. Congratulations to all athletes and best of luck in Area Competition and State!
Pickens County High School has followed Jasper Middle School this year by changing their pickup and drop off routine.
For morning parent drop-off, cars will continue down Dragon Drive and stay in the left lane of the two entering lanes. This will take you to the drop-off loop close to the main entrance, in the loop you will drop your child off and continue back onto Dragon Drive.
At afternoon parent pickup, cars will stay in the far right lane. This is a turn only lane that will take you into the softball field parking lot. After going through the gate, cars will split into two lines for student pickup.
Pickens High School hopes that the new routes will help ease traffic flow.
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During Saturday’s non-conference football game between the Stetson Hatters and the Mercer Bears, former PHS QB Tanner Brumby got in on the action. The redshirt Sophomore played the majority of the 2nd half in what was a big win for Mercer 57-14.
Brumby was 3-9 passing on the night for 31 yards while adding 54 yards rushing on 9 carries and a touchdown. Brumby starred under center at PHS where he set all-time school records with 3,624 passing yards, 294 completions, and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 1,603 yards and 20 scores. Gathering honorable mention honors from the AJC in 2012 and all-state recognition for his punting ability in 2012 and 2013. Brumby was also named to the 7-AAAA all-state teams in ’12 & ’13 at QB.
Not only did Brumby excel on the field, he achieved success in the classroom as well as he was a member of the PHS Academic Honor Roll all four years.
Jordan Shaw, former PHS QB & basketball standout, is making quite the name for himself for the Hawks of Shorter University. After red shirting his freshman year in 2011, Shaw was a backup QB in 2012 before the coaches decided to move him to safety in the spring of 2013.
Shaw excelled at the position, leading the team in tackles during the 2013 season with 69 total tackles, 40 solo, 29 assisted, 6 TFL’s and a sack. Shaw also forced 2 fumbles recovering 1, and led the team in INT’s with 2 including a 70 yard pick which he took to the house. Shaw was then named a 2013 All-NCCAA selection.
2014 would turn out to be an even better year for Shaw as he turned in what many have called the best defensive seasons in the football programs 10-year history. Shaw collected 89 total tackles (team high), 53 solo, 26 assisted, led the team and the GSC with 8 INT’s (team record, ranked 5th nationally), 3 of those 8 picks came against Mars Hill (team record), including a 100-yard return for a touchdown (tied team record), and forced 2 fumbles.
Shaw was named GSC Defensive Player of the Week for his game against Mars Hill and was named GSC Defensive Player of the Year and was the only unanimous selection of the First-Team Defense. Shaw was Shorter’s first ever selection to the AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Team, was also named to the Beyond Sports Network Division 2 Football All-Super Region 2 Team as well as the BSN Division 2 All-America Team. Shaw was also named a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which is given to the nation’s best small college player.
With the 2015 and Shaw’s senior season underway, Shaw was tabbed by many in preseason All-America voting. In Shorter’s first game of the new season, Shaw collected 11 total tackles, 6 solo and 5 assisted.
Last Friday night, the Pickens High School football team traveled to Woodstock to take on the 5-A River Ridge Knights. The Knights are a former region foe of the Dragons and the Dragons were victorious the last time these teams squared off. River Ridge won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. The Dragons defense wasted little time making an impact as Caleb Brooks came up with the interception and almost took it back the other way.
PHS would have to settle for a Ty Chastain field goal however as they went up 3-0 with 8:42 remaining in the 1st quarter. Chris Pittman then would add to that lead for the Dragons as he muscled his way in from 3-yards out to give his team a 10-0 advantage with 5:51 still remaining in the opening quarter. One of the main things to work on early in the season is penalties and it would be some costly penalties by the Dragon defense that would lead to a River Ridge field goal making it 10-3 with 2:27 left in the 1st quarter. As the opening frame came to a close, Dillon Gasaway got in to the end zone from 21-yards out to stretch the lead to 17-3 after one quarter.
The only scoring in the 2nd quarter would be a 1 yard run by the Knights to cut the PHS lead to just 7, 17-10, with 3:15 remaining in the first half. The Dragons were able to pick off River Ridge for the 2nd time in the opening half, but were unable to do anything with it and took a 17-10 lead into the break. The Dragons started the 2nd half with the ball as Michael Casey nearly took the kickoff to the house. Chris Pittman took it in for his 2nd score of the night giving PHS the 23-10 lead with 11:32 left in the 3rd quarter.
To the Knights credit, they came right back and scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 23-17 with 10:39 to go in the 3rd. Dylan Huffman scored on a long touchdown run of 39 yards to bring the Dragon lead back to double digits 30-17 with 2:08 left in the 3rd quarter. PHS then secured it’s third interception of the game just before the 3rd quarter came to a close and looked to add more to their score. Just 7 seconds into the 4th quarter, Freshman Trevon Hawkins got in from 10-yards out, adding to the Dragons lead, 37-17 with 11:53 to go in the game.
Hawkins added a 2nd touchdown run, this time from 3-yards out giving the Dragons a 44-17 lead as that ended up being the final for this scrimmage.
The Dragons will now prepare and work on things for the season/home opener against non-region opponent, White County. This opening game will be on the 28th of this month at 7:30 at Dragons Stadium.
Earlier this morning, Pickens High School Senior Shannon Brooks signed his Letter Of Intent to play running back at the University of Minnesota. (more…)
Last Tuesday, The Nettes were back in action as they hosted the Lady Generals of Heritage in region action in the Dragons Den. Pickens, coming off a non region win against West Hall, looked to continue their good play and move above .500 on the season and stay perfect in region play. The Nettes were able to do just that.
The Picken High School Dragons football team hosted the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield at Dragon Stadium. Coming into this ball game, the Dragons was 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the region while the Raiders was a perfect 5-0 and 2-0 in region play. The Dragons, coming off of a big home win against Northwest Whitfield, looked to continue that momentum and drop the Raiders from the ranks of the unbeaten. The game was the Homecoming at PHS which would only add to the excitement of the night. The Dragons’ offense scorched the Raiders to the tune of 62 points as Pickens picked up the 62-40 win over SEW.
The Pickens High School Dragonettes softball team hosted the Southeast Whitfield Lady Raiders at Nettes Stadium, in what was the final regular season region game for the Nettes. The Nettes fell, 2-1. (more…)
This past Saturday, the PHS Cross Country team hosted the Pickens Preview Invitational at Roper Park and featured 1,257 registered runners. The girls team would finish 8th out of 16 teams with Savannah Rice earning a medal for finishing in 10th place. The boys team would finish 2nd overall out of 17 teams with Sean Parker taking the 1st place medal after missing last year with Planter Fasciitis with a time of 16:45 while Wyatt Ingram got the 9th place medal. Next Saturday, the boys and girls teams will be in Nash Farms for the Saucony Battle of Atlanta.