Martin Man Sentenced for Threatening Franklin Co. Deputies

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

A Martin man will spend 10 years behind bars after being convicted of threatening to shoot and kill Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies.

Last month, a jury found Donald Jaynes guilty on six counts of aggravated assault against a police officer and four counts of felony obstruction in connection to a June 2013 standoff at Jaynes’ Pleasant Hill Drive home.

On June 11, 2013, Jaynes called Franklin County 911 complaining about four-wheelers driving down the road in front of his house.

During the 911 call, Jaynes threatened to shoot the deputies if they came on to his property or attempted to take away his guns.

When officers arrived at his Pleasant Hill Drive home, Jaynes pointed a rifle at them and threatened to kill all of them.

Officers were eventually able to subdue Jaynes and arrest him.

At Jaynes’ sentencing hearing Thursday in Franklin County Superior Court in Carnesville, one of those officers, Chris Buffington, told the judge having his life threatened by Jaynes last year is still fresh in his mind.

Meanwhile, Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White said that incident was not the first time officers had been called to Jaynes’ home.

White said it was officers’ restraint that day that kept them from shooting and killing Jaynes.

At that point, Jaynes shouted out in the courtroom that he wanted them to kill him and that he wanted to die.

Jaynes’ attorney, Harvey Wasserman, cited his client’s low IQ and the fact that he had never before been in trouble with the law.

Wasserman then asked that Jaynes get the psychological help he needs and a sentence of two to three years.

In delivering his sentence, Superior Court Judge John Bailey called Jaynes’ case one of the saddest and scariest he had ever presided over.

Bailey said because it is clear Jaynes needs help, he recommended he get counseling at the Georgia Diagnostic Class Prison in Jackson for an initial mental evaluation and if needed, be hospitalized.

Wasserman said he feels the sentence was fair.

” I think it was reasonable. I understand it,” he said. “I think Mr. Jaynes has some serious psychological problems that explains a lot of what he did, but in the court’s eyes he still has some danger to the community. The judge recommended that his incarceration be in a hospital or medical setting and we all hope that is what’s going to happen.”

Jaynes was also sentenced to five years on the obstruction charges to be served concurrently with the aggravated assault conviction.

Once released, Jaynes will serve 50 years on probation.