District Attorney's Office


  

Conasauga Judicial Circuit of Georgia




   Serving Murray & Whitfield Counties

FOLLOWING DRUG CASE ACQUITTAL, CO-DEFENDANTS CONVICTED OF INFLUENCING WITNESS, PERJURY

August 31, 2017 (Dalton) Ė Kayla Marlane Kemp, 29, of 409 E. Hawthorne St. B, Dalton, pled guilty today to perjury and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge William T. Boyett to serve two years in prison without the possibility of parole. Kempís charges arose from sworn testimony she gave during the drug trial of Ronnie Ray Morgan on June 21st and her plea and sentencing today concluded an investigation that began almost immediately after that trial. Morgan and Kemp were jointly charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in the prior case while Morgan was charged separately with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Kemp testified falsely during the trial resulting in Morganís acquittal on the felony methamphetamine charge. Shortly after the trial, Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer, became aware that Morgan and Kemp had coordinated the false testimony in advance.

District Attorney Bert Poston then requested that the Whitfield County Sheriffís Office, as an independent agency, conduct an investigation. The original drug case had been made by the Dalton Police Department. Detective Jose Rivera (WCSO) was assigned to investigate and quickly built a case resulting in the indictment of Kemp and Morgan, a mere eight days after Morganís acquittal in the drug case. Morgan, 38, formerly of 141 Harris Street, Chatsworth pled guilty on August 1st to two separate counts of felony influencing a witness (Kemp) and was sentenced by Judge Boyett to serve four years in prison without the possibility of parole followed by ten years on probation. Morgan had previously been sentenced to 172 days in jail (time he had already served) on the misdemeanor marijuana charge. Kemp was sentenced on May 18th on the drug case to serve 2 years in prison (parole eligible) followed by 6 years on probation after entering guilty pleas to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, driving without a license and improper lane use.

Because or Morganís prior criminal history, including two prior felony convictions for drug possession and two for forgery, he will have to serve the four years in prison without the possibility of parole. Kemp also had four prior felony convictions including three for drug possession and one for credit card fraud. She will also serve her time without the possibility of parole. Had both merely entered guilty pleas on the drug charge they would have spent less total time in prison. Both the original drug case and the subsequent indictment were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer.



Bert Poston
District Attorney
Conasauga Judicial Circuit


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Bert Poston,
District Attorney


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