District Attorney's Office


Conasauga Judicial Circuit of Georgia

   Serving Murray & Whitfield Counties


July 2, 2019 (Dalton) – Robin Harper (33), formerly of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced today to serve twenty years in prison without the possibility of parole for a December 26, 2018 assault on two detention officers at the Whitfield County Jail. Harper was convicted by a Whitfield County jury on May 22, 2019 following a one-day trial and 45 minutes of deliberation. Harper was specifically convicted of Aggravated Assault upon a Peace Officer, Unlawful Acts of Violence in a Penal Institution (2 counts), and Felony Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer (2 counts). Superior Court Judge William T. Boyett presided over the trial and pronounced sentence. The State’s case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Christina Antalis. Ms. Harper was represented by Assistant Public Defender’s Radford Bunker and David Tatum. Harper today also pled guilty to unrelated charges of misdemeanor battery and obstruction of a law enforcement officer and received twelve months concurrent time.

The felony assaults occurred on December 26, 2018 when detention officers with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office were escorting Harper to a padded cell. Upon approaching the cell, Harper pulled away and then kicked a female officer in the stomach. She then struck a male officer before striking the female officer again, this time with her arms and handcuffs which she was wearing. As the struggle ensued, she further kicked the female officer in the head after the officer fell to the ground during the struggle. The officer received treatment for her injuries at the Hamilton Medical Center E.R. Harper was eventually tased before she began to comply with officer’s instructions.

Harper had three prior felony convictions, all from Texas, including a prior aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two prior cases which involved felony assaults on detention officers. It is because of these prior felony convictions that Harper will not be eligible for parole. Harper also had prior misdemeanor convictions, including for resisting arrest, criminal trespass and misdemeanor assaults.

At sentencing, Mr. Tatum argued in mitigation that Harper had prior trauma and psychiatric issues as a result. Harper did not testify at trial or present any evidence and did not seek a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill. At defense counsel’s request, Harper was evaluated pre-trial by Dr. Samuel Perri of the Georgia Department of Behavior Health and Developmental Disabilities and found to be competent to stand trial although the District Attorney’s Office was not provided a copy of that report. By law, such reports are only provided to defense counsel unless or until the defense files a notice of its intent to present a defense such as not guilty by reason of insanity or if the defense contends that the client is not competent to stand trial. Part of the evidence at trial was that Harper had made statements at the jail that she knew what she did was wrong.

Robin Denise Harper, December 26, 2018

Bert Poston
District Attorney
Conasauga Judicial Circuit

News Archive

Bert Poston,
District Attorney

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