Accuser of former Murray Co. judge cleared - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Accuser of former Murray Co. judge cleared

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MURRAY COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Murray County authorities are speaking out about the arrest of Angela Garmley.

Garmley is accusing former Murray County Chief Magistrate Bryant Cochran of propositioning her for sex while he worked on her case. Soon after the allegations surfaced, she was arrested on drug charges.

GBI investigators say Garmley should never have been arrested and charged.

The day before Bryant Cochran resigned as Chief Magistrate of Murray County, Angela Garmley was arrested for meth possession. An incident report shows she was riding passenger while a friend drove her car.

A Murray County deputy pulled them over for driving with bright lights on. She agreed to a search of her car.A drug-sniffing dog located a magnetic container under the car that apparently had crystal meth inside.

She told the deputy it was a 'set up' and the dope was not hers.

"The whole reason that she was set up was to silence her and send a message to any other women out here, who potentially could come forward and describe their experiences with this rogue former judge," says McCracken Poston, Angela Garmley's attorney.

"We gleaned information during our investigation that those charges against her should be dismissed immediately," says GBI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Scott.

GBI investigators say they cannot go into much detail, citing an on-going investigation into both Garmley's arrest and Bryant Cochran's possible ties to her accusations.

They say they are taking a hard look at Cochran, as well as the sheriff's office, calling this a 'multi-faceted' investigation.

"We are cooperating, working everyday with the GBI in this operation, hopefully that we'll come to end to it soon," says Murray County Sheriff Howard Ensley. "We'll all want to know the facts. I want to know the facts. I want to get to the bottom of it."

"It seemed like the matter, perhaps, could be over with his resignation. But suddenly, now, it could be a criminal case," says Poston.

The GBI and District Attorney Bert Poston say it is pre-mature to say if criminal charges could come from this investigation.

Angela's attorney, McCracken Poston, says he would not be surprised, saying his client's arrest brings into question where the drugs came from in the first place and if the sheriff's office was in on the alleged set up.

We reached out to Cochran's attorney, Chris Townley, for comment and have not heard back.

We asked Sheriff Ensley if he plans on conducting a separate investigation. He said no.

Cochran resigned last week.

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