A Walker County trial jury convicted Michael James Gobert of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and multiple other counts related to an October 19, 2015 incident on Straight Gut Road in Rock Springs. On that date in the late evening hours, Gobert heard voices arguing at the single-wide trailer residence of Nicole Carroll, his stepdaughter. The residence was located immediately behind his residence. Gobert grabbed a fully loaded Glock 22 and went outside to find three men getting into a vehicle in front of his stepdaughter’s residence. Mary Ann Gobert, the Defendant’s wife, came out with her own gun shortly after. The Defendant yelled at the men to leave and fired a warning shot. One of the three men yelled an insult back at the Defendant that he was weak and wouldn’t shoot them. Ms. Gobert fired a shot into the ground and yelled, “I can shoot.”
As the three men got in their car to leave, Gobert claimed he viewed this as an “aggressive maneuver” so he began to fire in rapid succession as the car backed away. Gobert advanced on the car as he shot. Gobert took a position along the drive, the only means of exit, and continued firing shots at the car as it veered sharply to the left to avoid Gobert. One of the shots struck Johnny Montgomery, the driver, in the head. Montgomery slumped over the steering wheel and the car crashed into an outbuilding. One of the shots struck Edrius Putnam, the front seat passenger, in his right leg. Putnam jumped from the vehicle after it came to a stop and fled behind the outbuilding. The Defendant fired shots at Putnam as he fled. Deisman Harrison was located in the rear seat and was not struck by any of the 15 bullets which were fired at the car. The Defendant raced to car and demanded that Harrison get out of the car and on his knees. The Defendant berated Harrison as he begged for his life.
Ms. Gobert went to her daughter’s residence to discover Carroll had been in a physical altercation with Putnam. Carroll’s chin had been cut when Putnam had thrown a dehumidifier at her as he left her trailer. Ms. Gobert returned to the location where the Defendant was holding Harrison at gunpoint. When informed of the injuries to his stepdaughter, the Defendant began to angrily yell at Harrison.
Ms. Gobert and several of the neighbors called 911. Sgt. Kevin Denny of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office was the first officer on the scene. The Defendant and his wife were still holding Harrison on the ground at gunpoint. Sgt. Denny demanded that the Goberts drop their weapons and get on the ground. They both complied. As other officers arrived, Putnam came out from the area behind the outbuilding.
Montgomery died shortly from his gunshot wound. The Defendant was arrested and charged with murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault. Putnam was charged with simple battery. His case is still pending. The matter was investigated by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Judge Ralph Van Pelt presided over the trial. The Defendant was represented by David Dunn and Robert Patten. The State was represented by District Attorney Herbert (Buzz) Franklin.
The Defendant is being held in the Walker County Jail for a sentencing hearing.