Yes, this is a strange case, and we would love to have our readers' input:
First, we usually read the Athens News Courier; you might be surprised at how many from Rogersville are regularly arrested in the fair city of Athens. Recently we read an interesting article about a volunteer firefighter who was on the sex offender registry. It seems he participated in fighting two fires which were close to schools and thus committed a crime. Regular readers know how we feel about those who abuse women and children, especially sexually, but in the case of a fire, wouldn’t we all be happy with any assistance we could get?
Now it gets interesting. We read an article about the firefighter in PNS, and it seems his crime was Second Degree Rape committed with a 15 year old girl when he was 23. The moral here is not to have sex with someone you don’t know well. Yet this man, now 54, stupid as he may have been at the age of 23, is not an ogre. Hadn’t the article in the News Courier depicted him otherwise?
We checked back and found that the Limestone District Attorney’s office had informed the reporter that the man had committed First Degree Rape, attacking a 17 year old girl. Which tale was correct?
We then checked the ALEA records and found that the man was indeed charged with and convicted of only Second Degree Rape. So why did the Limestone district attorney present the story as something more sinister? Somehow the sad case of Joel Moyers comes to mind…
There are still three people from Lauderdale County unaccounted for in the past month, two of them teenagers. The third is 51 year-old Robert DeShawn Childers. After four weeks, we may assume it reasonable to discard “just wanting to spend some time alone” as one possible reason for his leaving his home in northern Lauderdale County.
Unfortunately, foul play now seems the most likely reason for his going missing. If you know anything at all, no matter how small, please call the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department. Shawn may never return to his family, but we can still make sure he receives justice.