Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 3, 2014

DA files suit against club

HOMERVILLE — The Alapaha district attorney has filed a public nuisance suit against the owners and operators of a Homerville nightclub that was the site of the deadly shooting of a Morehouse College student in May.

Alapaha District Attorney Richard “Dick” Perryman filed a complaint to abate public nuisance against Jarvis Thomas and Darryl Thomas, the owners and operators of the 912 Social Club, 418 Reddick St., in an unincorporated area of Clinch County, according to court documents.

The complaint claims that the club has been selling alcohol without a license for at least the past three years. Darryl Thomas has two prior arrests and convictions for violations of beer and liquor laws; in April 2013, Darryl was convicted of selling alcohol without a license and selling distilled spirits in a dry county, according to the DA’s suit and Clinch County Sheriff's Office reports.

The 912 Club is situated in an area known as Pearidge near the now-closed Homerville State Prison. The complaint accuses the club of encouraging “idleness” and “loitering” and that the establishment “has a tendency to breed crime and debauch the morals of the community.”

The complaint asks the court to prohibit its owners from operating the business and to padlock the premises. It also includes documents from the Clinch County Sheriff’s Office detailing several illegal activities that have taken place at the 912 Club, including murders, shootings, fights, drunkenness and narcotics and alcohol violations.

Clayton “Clay” Rolland Cross, 22, was shot to death inside the 912 Club on May 10 after sudden gunfire.

Cross was a Morehouse College student and stepson of University of Georgia football star Lindsey Scott. He was in Clinch County to visit family during the Mother’s Day weekend and had visited the club to inquire about work as a DJ. Cross was talking to friends when he was shot, and investigators do not believe he was a target of the shooting.

Dominique Ellis, 23, was also shot during the incident but was released from the hospital after treatment, reports stated.

Three men, Steven Maurice Monroe, 25, Trevor Denard Posley, 22, and Dexter Jamal Freeney, 18, have been arrested and charged in connection with Cross’s death, reports stated.

Valdosta lawyer Byron Watson represents both Jarvis Thomas and Darryl Thomas and said the complaint mirrors a separate complaint filed by the Clinch County Board of Commissioners two weeks ago. Watson issued the following statement: “This establishment has been in business (under different ownership) for more than 30 years. The current owners, Darryl Thomas and Jarvis Thomas, are being unfairly targeted because of a tragic shooting that happened on the premises earlier this year. Clay Cross was like a brother to Jarvis Thomas and a son to Darryl Thomas. They both deeply regret what happened that night. However, the persons responsible have been arrested and will be prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office. Darryl Thomas nor Jarvis Thomas are responsible for the criminal acts of a third party on the night Clay was killed. Shutting down the 912 Club would in effect hold Darryl and Jarvis responsible for the acts of a known convicted criminal wielding a gun and shooting into a crowd of people. If we shut down every business where crime occurs on the premises, not many businesses would be left.”

Rhonda Cross, Clay’s mother, is a former Clinch County commissioner and believes that the 912 Club should have been closed long before her son was killed. She issued the following statement: “The multiple 911 calls concerning the club establishment clearly show this was a premises liability and public nuisance matter long in the making. The owners and local law enforcement should have taken steps to prevent what happened to my son, Clay. Those persons and public officials, in addition to the murder suspects, should be held accountable for their negligent and reckless actions. ... The family of Clay Cross desires the club be leveled to the ground. It can no longer be business as usual on Pearidge, that I once represented as a former county commissioner. If anyone has been unfairly targeted in Clinch County, consider the family of the deceased, Clay Cross. I am currently banished from Clinch County and cannot visit the grave site of my son or take care of my grieving mother.”

Cross said she has served eight years of a 10-year banishment from Clinch County as the result of a court case involving her residency while serving as a county commissioner.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results