GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The owners of the Saint Simons Island home where two separate booze-fueled teenage parties happened have been arrested by police. James Carlton Strother (46) and his wife Lauren Strother (57) were booked into jail on charges of maintaining a disorderly house and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both have bonded out on the misdemeanor charges.
Police at a media briefing Monday announced two juveniles are also facing charges. Both will remain unnamed because of Georgia law and the misdemeanor charges they are facing. One teen is charged with simple battery and criminal trespass, and the other is charged with possession and use of drug-related objects.
17-year-old Edward Rooker Hobby, who was seen in a now-viral photo of Trent Lehrkamp passed out in a chair, was charged in a separate investigation involving the Strother’s home. WSAV’s Investigative Unit has learned in the days after Trent Lehrkamp was admitted to the hospital, the parent of a teen girl called the police. According to a Glynn County police incident report, that girl told police Hobby shot her at close range with a toy Orbeez gun.
Glynn County District Attorney Keith Higgins said Monday that investigators were forced to move slowly in their work because of misinformation shared on social media.
The prosecutor presented bullet points showing that investigators believe 19-year-old Trent Lehrkamp voluntarily drank alcohol to the point he blacked out. Higgins said police believe Trent was not beaten, choked, tortured, or funneled alcohol.
The District Attorney said that had the teens, including Rooker Hobby, not taken Trent to the hospital he would have likely died. Trent’s blood alcohol content the night he was put on a ventilator was .474.
One of the teens who were with Trent the night of the most recent party, was in the car the night Trent was taken to the hospital and left his name and number at the emergency room, told Lead Investigative Reporter Brett Buffington that detectives did not call to question him, and only did an interview with police and turned over his phone after a friend’s grandmother called 911. That was five days after the March 21 party.
Police Chief O’Neil Jackson on Monday said he didn’t have any information about that.
Trent Lehrkamp continues to recover at an out-of-state treatment center. His family shared new photos from last week showing Trent on a video call with his brothers and sisters.
The family has not made a comment since the news of the arrest, which they only learned about shortly before Monday’s media briefing.
Trent’s family released a statement following the media briefing:
Today it was evident that they wanted to address and correct what the kids didn’t do, but not recognize or acknowledge the fact of what was done to Trent. At the end of the day, he was mistreated in inhumane ways. Trent was humiliated, being hosed in a chair and the joke of social media videos, and being taped to a chair and posed with in pictures; it is disgusting. We don’t believe that confirming it wasn’t feces on him, urine on him, or no battery acid down his throat makes this any better. A vulnerable 19 year old was made to be a sick joke of someones disgusting fun and games. The family has reached back out to the investigators.
Trent has also since shared other occasions things of this nature have happened. Other parents have also come forward or made contact to inform the family he is not alone, and that their kids have also been in situations with these kids. Today it was shared that one arrest wasn’t even tied to Trent, but to another kid who was able to come forward through this event. Trent was not the only one, we want this to happen to noone else. Through this continued awareness, hopefully this is the end of it.
Trent was visibly taped to the chair, he was visibly spray painted. There also was a video shared with the police from the night when he came home and was once again spray painted, covered in a glue like substance, sprayed with wd-40, and dripping wet from being hosed. It is hard to believe and it was the first the family heard that he consented to being hosed down. He was visibly passed out in that video while being hosed, doesn’t seem to make sense someone would consent. Not sure it’s even considered consent if you are under the influence when someone wants to do a “dude perfect” video.
This is all very upsetting to Trent, to his family, and to the community. So many conversations have come from this – one that comes up constantly is “why would he keep going back there”. So many have shared their stories through this and one statement that stands so true is, “I’ve been there before, maybe not to that extent or that specific type of situation, but can’t many of us ask ourselves why do we keep going back?”
Rest assured Trent is getting good care, however there are bad days filled with anxiety and fear. He is working through the trauma and ptsd, past losses and the grief that comes with that, as well as getting all the recommended care they feel is beneficial to him. He is not being treated for alcohol or drug addiction.
We thank you again on behalf of Trent for all your prayers and continued support.Lehrkamp Family