August 5, 2020

Jury finds Joe Randall Bryan guilty of Enticing a Minor

(Franklin, GA) — A jury found defendant Joe Randall Bryan guilty of enticing a child for indecent purposes Monday in Heard County Superior Court.

Bryan was investigated by Investigator Dan Boswell with the Heard County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Paul Spann.

Joe Randall Bryan (Photo: HCSO)

This was the first jury trial held in Heard County’s newly renovated courthouse, and it was the first criminal jury trial to be held in Heard County in several years.

According to a press release issued by Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herb Cranford, the DA’s office was pleased by the outcome of the case.

“The District Attorney’s office commends the excellent investigation in this case by Investigator Boswell. The work of Investigator Boswell and ADA Spann to protect the community brought the child and her family justice,” stated Cranford.

“The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the attention and time of the jurors who served in this trial and whose verdict held this defendant accountable for his actions.”

According to the press release, the evidence revealed that the then 56 year-old Bryan met a 15 year-old child over the internet and secretly communicated with her over several months.

These communications included explicit discussions of sexual acts. The child ultimately revealed where she lived, and the defendant discreetly began dropping off gifts at her residence, and eventually arranged a time to pick up the child near her home.

That morning, the child’s father became concerned when he looked out and saw his daughter walking towards the end of the driveway as a strange car slowed down. He saw his daughter walk out of sight in the direction where the car slowed down, according to reports.

The child’s father quickly got into his truck to locate where his daughter had gone as fast as possible.

A short distance from the residence, out of the corner of his eye, the child’s father came upon a vehicle parked on a secluded hunting road, with his daughter seated in the passenger seat and the defendant, a stranger, in the driver’s seat.

The child’s father prevented Joe Randall Bryan from leaving and called 911. Bryan claimed he was just there to talk with the child and to bring her some Skittles.

Cranford commended investigator Boswell’s work in the case as well as the quick-thinking father of the young victim.

“Investigator Boswell’s investigation as judged by this jury proved the defendant’s intentions were criminal. The paternal instinct of the child’s father and his quick reaction time fortunately prevented anything further from happening in the defendant’s car,” said Crandford.

“This case shows that the parents, community, law enforcement, and District Attorney’s Office of Heard County will do all that can be done to protect our children from predators.”

In his statement, the Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney also invited the local community’s input in all criminal justice proceedings.

“The District Attorney’s Office wishes to make the Heard County community aware that criminal justice proceedings are open to public should anyone wish to attend any trial or court date. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office welcomes input from the public about the prosecution of criminal matters,” Cranford added.

Upon receiving the jury’s verdict, Judge Dennis Blackmon scheduled the defendant’s sentencing hearing for January 7, 2020.

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