The Office of Eastern Judicial Circuit/Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap announced that on August 14, 2013, Alex Zipperer, an Attorney representing William ‘Billy' Currington, entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Hamrick ‘Rick' Gnann to the charges of making terroristic threats and elder abuse.
Zipperer also waived formalities, as well as Currington's appearance in court to face the charges. Chief Assistan District Attorney Greg McConnell, representing the State in this case, was on hand for the arraignment.
Currington's next scheduled court appearance is October 4, 2013.
WSAV.com will have a crew at the courthouse and will bring you the latest information.
Country music star and Rincon, GA native Billy Currington has been indicted on charges of 'Terroristic threats' and abuse of an elderly person. Documents show the indictment stems from an incident on April 15th involving Charles Harvey Ferrelle on Tybee Island. Currington turned himself in to the Chatham County Jail shortly after 4:30 Thursday, sources say.
Check the 'associated links' section to connect with fan support pages, and listen to a Savannah radio station's lightehearted take on the controversy.
WSAV.com has obtained the police reports from the Tybee police department, and it reads like something out of a reality show. According to the documents, one of the witnesses heard Currington say to the victim, Harvey Ferrelle, "Me and my brother[s] will find you and [blank] you up!" Three different witnesses all had similar recollections of the incident, causing police to categorize it as an "open and close case." Witnesses report loud yelling, and a clear consistent recollection of the event.
Police Narrative: "I was dispatched to A.J's Dockside about an altercation on the water with verbal threats on April 1 5th, 2013. I arrived, A.J's was closed but I was granted access. I walked through the restaurant and onto the dock. I was greeted by three people, 2 white males and '1 white female. Mr. Ferrelle, the victim, explained that as he was motoring his boat through the middle of the river, a white male, stocky build with curly hair and a white, long sleeve T-shirt was hollering and screaming at him from the shore of a home off the Catalina Drive area. The screaming was vulgar and threatening to include the statements " Me and my brother[s] will find you and f**k you up! We will finish you off if we catch you alone."
This unnerved him and he proceeded away from the irate person who was hollering from shore. Mr. Ferrelle finished his boat tour with the couple from Canada. As he swung through the middle of the river, the abuse started again. The party was now holding a video camera. Mr. Ferrelle pulled into the A.J's dock. The party from shore then motored up in a boat with a red base. He was stating that Mr. Ferrelle had no permit. The abuse increased with more threats of physical violence and the threat to "finish him off' Mr. Ferrelle stated he was calling the police."
The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say the incident occurred while Currington was on his boat in the waters off Tybee Island. The accuser claims Currington and his party were 'flocking' to his docks located off the island, a Metro Police spokesperson confirmed to WSAV.com . Police say Currington was NOT arrested as a result of the incident. Tybee Island police were also involved in the investigation. A bench warrant was issued for Currington's arrest.
News of the Currington incident went nationwide Wednesday night, with many fans siding with the singer. WSAV.com spoke with several Tybee neighbors who describe Currington as 'friendly and very polite'. Several residents we spoke with were surprised by the charges.
Many loyal fans immediately took to Twitter:
Jleighanson: "I am just having such a hard time thinking about this Billy Currington situation. I met him a few years ago and he was so sweet! Still a fan"
BarronSheila @billycurrington "Don't let this mess get u down!! We love and support you!!"
Currington Tweeted Wednesday: "hey guys, I wanted to thank everyone for the huge amount of support that I have received already. Unfortunately, I can't comment on this ... harassing artists often at their home by boat should be illegal. thas all i know." His account has remained silenced since.
Police tell WSAV.com on April 15th a verbal confrontation occurred between Currington and Ferrelle at dock owned by Currington. At some point, Currington is reported to have boarded his boat and followed Farrell to another nearby dock, where police became involved.
Daniel Baxter with the Chatham County District Attorney's Office confirms William Matthew 'Billy' Currington was indicted by a Grand Jury Wednesday in Chatham County, GA.
Actual Police Narrative: Metro Police -
"Sir, On 04/15/2013 1300hrs I was contacted by dispatch and was advised to contact Cpl. E. Randolph with Tybee Island Police Department. I made contact with him and he advised me of a call that one of his officers was on at AJ's dock, and that he wanted to make Marine Patrol aware of the Incident that the Reporting party (Mr. Ferrelle) reported to his officer since it involved a boat and partially occurred in Savannah-Chatham's Jurisdiction. I got a brief summary from Cpl Randolph and he advised me that Mr. Ferrelle is a Charter Captain and that he had two paying fares on board giving them a tour when a male subject began screaming at them from what is now identified as San Marco Dr. He then advised me that Mr Ferrelle reported that when he came back by the property the same male subject was in his boat with a camera and that the subject followed Mr Ferrelle to AJ's Dock and that the male suspect got out of his boat and the verbal abuse started again along with threats that he was going to "f***" Mr Ferrelle up. I thanked Cpl Randolph for the information and I advised that we would monitor the situation. Cpl Randolph advised that he thinks the suspect involved was Mr. William Currington of San Marco Dr. Tybee advised that they were filing a report and I ended the conversation with Cpl Randolph. Later in the afternoon Mr. Ferrelle contacted dispatch again and advised dispatch that he needed to file a report of the incident and SCpl. Greg Friday responded and cleared the call.
04/16/2013 0800hrs. Upon arrival at work for my shift I checked the office answering machine and there was a message on the machine from Mr. Ferrelle. Mr. Ferrelle stated that he feared for his life because of what occurred the day before and wanted to speak to someone about the incident because he had another tour he needed to complete today and would have to pass the suspect's property again. I called Mr Ferrelle and spoke with him personally and he wanted to know what he could do in reference to the incident and what his next step was. I asked Mr Ferrelle for the Case Report Number that SCpl. Friday provide him and he advised me that he didn't get one, and that SCpl. Friday advised him that he was waiting on the report from Tybee Police before writing his own report. I directed Mr Ferrelle to the Detectives office who could offer him the proper procedures to follow for warrant procedures. Mr Ferrelle then got into a conversation with me as to what happened and his statement to me was that he was on a paid tour with two passengers and that while in front of San Marco Drive, well off of the docks and only floating with the current, his passengers advised him that the suspect (Currington) was threatening him from the property. Ferrelle advised that he didn't hear at first, but after the passengers pointed it out to him, he made the decision to go ahead and leave and that he waved as he increased the throttle. I asked him if he knew why the suspect was yelling threats and profanity towards him, and he stated he had no idea.
Ferrelle then stated that he took his passengers to Cock Spur Island to show them the light house and then he started back to AJ's to end the tour. Ferrelle advised that when he passed by Currington's property again the Currington was in his boat with a camera and that Currington came after him. Mr. Ferrelle's statement to me was "If I hadn't gotten into my slip fast enough I believe he (Currington) would have run me over." Ferrelle then stated to me that Currington again began threatening his life in front of his passengers (Witness 2 & 3) I again asked if he knew what would have provoked the actions of the suspect and he advised I don't know. In an attempt to ease Mr. Ferrelle's concerns for his tour that he had scheduled for 11am and any other incident occurring, I advised him that I would be in the area of San Marco Drive in my patrol boat so that he could pass and avoid another incident.
04/16/2013 1100 hrs. I received a phone call from Det. Rice and she advised me that Mr. Ferrelle contacted her about warrant procedures and she was unable to assist Mr. Ferrelle at the time due to the fact that SCpl. Friday didn't write a report. When SCpl. Friday was contacted by Det. Rice, he advised her that Marine Patrol was writing the report. Detective Rice contacted me and I am subsequently writing this report. 04/16/2013 1326 hrs after returning to my office to complete this report, there was another message on the answering machine that was from a Mrs. Muscleman and that she wanted to file an incident report and talk to someone. I called her and she advised me that she was the care taker of an elderly man on Tybee Island at San Marco Drive and that yesterday while he was on the dock a boat went by and almost knocked the man in the water and she wanted to file a report. I asked her who the owner of the property was and she advised a Trust Company and I asked if this was Mr. Currington's house and she advised yes. I advised her that we were already filing a report in reference to allegations that Mr. Currington was belligerent towards a Charter Boat Captain and his paying customers and that when the Captain came back by Mr. Currington got in his boat and chased them to AJ's. I asked if this was the same incident she was referring to and she stated yes. She then asked "Well what is it we can do to keep people from coming up on our docks or swamping our docks" I advised her that I had already
I had a conversation with Mr. Currington at Octoberfest when he approached me and asked me the same question. I also advised her that if the boat was more that 100 feet away from their dock, then the boat could pass at speed, but that the operator would still be responsible for the wake. I advised her that a 100ft violation is not as bad as threatening someone's life and that Mr. Ferrelle was wanting to sign warrants against Mr. Currington and she stated that "It goes both ways". I questioned her as to what she meant, and she stated Mr. Currington also wanted to sign a warrant for Mr. Ferrelle. I advised her that I have yet to speak to Mr. Currington about this incident to get his side of the story and she advised that she could arrange a meeting to accomplish this. I advised her that I would contact Detective Rice and see how she wanted to proceed with the meeting."
Currington attended Effingham County High School in Effingham County. In his young career, he has earned seven #1 hits.
The photo gallery above chronicles Currington's Effingham County roots.
His official biography states: "He's garnered an impressive ten Top 10 hits, with six of those hitting No. 1 – "Pretty Good At Drinkin' Beer," "That's How Country Boys Roll," "People Are Crazy," "Don't," "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right" and "Good Directions." He's sold millions of albums and has been selected to tour with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Sugarland. Tour mate Carrie Underwood notes that Billy's "talent and charm" have made crowds fall in love with him. He also received the compliment of a lifetime from David Letterman, who said about Billy's "People Are Crazy" performance, "This song will change your life. You're not going to do any better than this song here."
His multiple nominations include two 2010 Grammy nominations (Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song) for "People Are Crazy," which also received nominations for Single and Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, as well as Single, Song and Video of the Year from the Country Music Association. He was honored with a 2006 nomination for Top New Male Vocalist at the ACMS, which followed 2005 ACM and CMA nominations for "Party For Two," his duet with Shania Twain."
This story is developing. WSAV.com will have more details shortly.
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