Grandmother pleaded guilty
HARTWELL, Georgia––Receiving the stiffest sentence for a dog attack reported during Dog Bite Prevention Week 2018 so far, former Century 21 real estate agent Sandra Bowers Adams, 71, may spend the rest of her life in prison––but only if she violates probation––for the August 1, 2017 pit bull mauling death of her 20-month-old grandson Paris Adams.
Pleading guilty to third degree murder, Sandra Bowers Adams was also indicted by grand jury on August 24, 2017 for second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to children.
Reported Wayne Ford for OnlineAthens.com, “Jury selection for a trial had begun in late March 2018, when Sandra Bowers Adams entered a plea to the charge, which is a form of involuntary manslaughter, Northern Circuit District Attorney Parks White said Tuesday. The judge imposed a sentence of 10 years on probation, a $2,500 fine, and she is not allowed to have any pets other than the cats she currently owns, according to court records.”
Why was the sentence probated?
Posted William Kareem Mattox, 31, father of the victim, to Facebook on April 2, 2018, “How u get probation like u stole candy for neglect of a child? Accident or not, my child still not here and [Sandra Adams] still a hoarder. Justice wasn’t served,” Mattox alleged, “because [Sandra Adams] still got a million cats,” including “40 cats in one room,” Mattox charged in a later posting, “so she still has the same issues.”
Mattox, who said he had filed a civil suit against Sandra Adams, speculated that if Sandra Adams had “been my mother or anybody black” she would be serving the whole 10 years.
Mattox is of African-American ancestry; Sandra Adams and Amy Elizabeth Adams, 38, mother of Paris Adams, are Caucasian.
Though race may have had little or nothing to do with the circumstances leading to the death of Paris Adams, racial epithets flew during ensuing Facebook exchanges among family and friends, including between Mattox and Amy Adams, who are estranged.
The epithets from Mattox were often direct; those from Amy Adams more veiled and subject to interpretation.
Both Mattox and Adams were cautioned by others to use restraint in what they said.
How the case broke
Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis told media on August 2, 2017 that officers responding the day before to a call from a walk-in clinic, Reddy Urgent Care, expected to be handling a routine dog bite case, but instead found Paris Adams already dead, and summoned deputy coroner Scott Boleman.
Boleman formally pronounced Paris Adams dead from multiple bites to his head and neck about half an hour after the pit bull attack occurred.
A Georgia Bureau of Investigation news release said that Sandra Adams, babysitting Paris Adams in her yard, had opened a door for both to enter her home.
Two pit bulls, a white male named Whiteboy and a brown-and-white female named Babygirl, burst out through the door, knocking Sandra Adams to the ground before mauling Paris Adams.
Victim had often visited the home before
Victim Paris Adams had often visited the home before, and had apparently even lived there.
Eventually managing to get the pit bulls off of Paris Adams and back inside, Sandra Adams––instead of summoning an ambulance––took the victim to Reddy Urgent Care herself, stopping along the way to pick up Amy Adams, her daughter and Paris Adams’ mother.
Multiple previous incidents
Hartwell police chief Davis told Sierra Hancock of Fox Carolina television that Sandra Adams had been cited at least six times for incidents involving pit bulls between 2013 and 2015.
“According to a January 2013 incident report,” recounted Hancock, “a concerned citizen contacted police in regards to two dogs on Adams’ property. When officers arrived on scene, they said they found a dog whose tether was tangled in debris and vegetation, preventing the dog from reaching water or its dog house. The temperature was below freezing at the time, police said. A second dog was walking around unleashed, the report states.
“Police were called to another incident in May 2013 after a caller reported dogs running on the loose,” Hancock continued. “Officers again said they found a pit bull tangled up without food or water, two pit bulls running at large, and two pit bulls in a fenced area. According to the police report, Adams told officers the dogs belonged to a friend, but investigators said they learned Adams and her daughter had not had contact with the man for several weeks. They were issued a warning.
Police were next sent to Sandra Adams’ home about four months later, Hancock said, “after a woman said a white pit bull charged her while she was walking and tried to bite her. Adams told officers the dog had escaped its pen again. She was issued a citation.
This was around the time, on September 15, 2014, that Amy Adams posted a photo of Whiteboy captioned, “Now his face looks like a hot mess, but that’s from his many failed escape attempts by digging under the fence and forcing himself through the many concrete blocks I’ve piled inside and out attempting to block his way!!!”
And still more priors
“In October 2014,” Hancock narrated, “two women who were jogging filed a complaint about a dog who aggressively ran and barked at them. Police said when they arrived, Adams was putting the dog inside and said the dog had pulled out of his collar before running at the joggers. A citation was issued and animal control was called.
“In March 2015,” Hancock went on, “officers were called to Adams’ home after a woman said she was walking her dogs and they were attacked by a white pit bull at large. Officers said Adams told them she was walking her daughter’s two dogs when their leashes became crossed and she dropped one of them. She was issued a warning.
“Large male without a collar”
“In December 2015,” Hancock finished, “two victims contacted police and said a white pit bull ‘charged at them and was acting vicious’ while they were on a run. The incident report states that ‘they and the neighborhood have had problems with this dog before running loose… They both advised that they feel that the dog is too aggressive toward people.’
“Officers described the dog as a large male without a collar and said it resided with Adams. Police said Adams told them the dog ran out the door before she could grab him and she was sorry. A citation was issued.”
Sandra Adams accepted the previous citations issued in response to the behavior of pit bulls matching the descriptions of Whiteboy and Babygirl, and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after they killed Paris Adams. But whose pit bulls they actually were remains in question.
“Oldest trick in the book”
Commented Dogsbite.org founder Colleen Lynn, “It’s the oldest trick in the book to claim someone else owns the dogs when being given a citation.
“The grandmother [Sandra Adams] did this several times,” Lynn pointed out. “First she blamed an unknown man, then claimed her daughter owns the dogs.
“This was not only to deny responsibility,” Lynn alleged, “but to deliberately confuse law enforcement. As noted in the incident reports, the officer had not checked to see if there were more citations about these same dogs under the daughter’s name.”
Lacked stable home
Amy and Paris Adams, during the years preceding the fatal attack, apparently did not have a stable home.
Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis told media that Amy and Paris Adams had sometimes lived with Sandra Adams and sometimes lived with Amy Adams’ twin sister, Laura Rosemary Adams, also a pit bull owner.
“Look at my best friend Whiteboy”
Amy Adams on many occasions indicated that Whiteboy and Babygirl were her pit bulls.
On October 9, 2014, for instance, Amy Adams posted to Facebook a photo of herself with Whiteboy, captioned “Look at my best friend Whiteboy.”
After Paris Adams’ death, Dogsbite.org founder Colleen Lynn noted “A curious post by Amy on October 13, 2014, seven days after Whiteboy was issued his first citation for being at large.”
Said the posting, “I just found out that i CAME CLOSE to not being able to breed him anymore! But moms slick when she needs to be- shhhh- its a secret!!”
On October 16, 2014, Laura Adams sought a new home for Babygirl, who had “already been fixed” by that time, saying “My mom just cannot keep her any more. I would take her myself,” Laura Adams added, “but I already have 2 pits in my small apartment. I have this dog’s brother and her son.”
Bred litter mates
Amy Adams often boasted about descendants of Whiteboy and Babygirl, who though bred together, were litter mates.
On January 6, 2015, for instance, Amy Adams said of a pit bull named Kracker Jax, “He came from the bloodline Kareem and I (Kareem mostly-lol) perfected!! My bub knew what he was doing and putting together!!”
On September 22. 2015, commenting on a Facebook meme saying “Don’t judge my pit bull & I won’t judge your children,” Amy Adams wrote, “I LOVE this!! Anyone who ‘knows’ my pit bulls knows totally WHY this is so perfect for me/them!”
On August 7, 2016, just under a year before Whiteboy and Babygirl killed Paris Adams, Amy Adams posted a photo of Paris Adams and a white pit bull captioned “Blueboy kissing Paris. If only Blueboy’s parents (Whiteboy & Babygirl) were like him!!!”
This could be read as an admission that Amy Adams knew Whiteboy and Babygirl were dangerous.
Amy Adams had received many warnings. On April 5, 2014, for instance, her friend Jessica Truitt mentioned “bitey Whitey.”
But Amy Adams in a March 31, 2014 Facebook photo caption had already indicated that “White Boy” often received “calming pills.”
Amy Adams re-shared that posting and photo on March 31, 2017.
The back-and-forth between Kareem Mattox and Amy Adams on April 2, 2018 focused on allegations each directed at the other concerning drug abuse, theft of funds said to have belonged to their deceased child, sexually licentious behavior, and general irresponsibility.
Responded Amy Adams, after Mattox’s initial complaint that Sandra Adams’ sentence has apparently been probated, “BOO @#$%ING HOO!!! Your dumbass was only around ‘his precious boy’ for 2 1/2 months man. Paris’ first 28 days of life and about 45 days of the end of his life.”
Dared Mattox, “Tell them how you smoked your baby 15,000 dollars up all u got was false teeth out the deal.”
Replied Adams, “Its funny that he wasn’t even yours till he died!!! You are such a bitch- steal my dead babies piggy bank that had coins in it that hos ACTUAL precious little hands touched and counted with me- and spends the $ in it. But blames it on his mom and bro!!”
Teeth & “bad genes”
Mattox’s remark about false teeth was an apparent reference to a GoFundMe appeal posted by Laura Adams at Christmas 2017 on behalf of Amy Adams.
Wrote Laura Adams, “Bad genes over the years has caused her teeth to break away. Her self-esteem and confidence would be greatly improved if she could get dentures.”
As well as keeping pit bulls, Mattox, Amy Adams, and Laura Adams have in common extensive arrest records associated with substance abuse.
Amy and Laura Adams’ father, Donald L. Adams, worked 42 years for Rich’s, an Atlanta-based department store chain that was absorbed by Macy’s in 2005.
Divorced from Sandra Adams, Donald L. Adams remarried in 1999 and remained married to his second spouse until his death at age 72 in November 2011.
Five times busted
Amy Adams’ arrest record appears to have begun soon after her father’s second marriage, but any arrest history going back very much farther would be hidden because she was still a juvenile until 1998.
According to public records, Amy Adams was booked in September 2000 for possession of marijuana, in September 2001 for possession of cocaine, in January 2004 for possession of drugs by an inmate and two related offenses, and in May 2005 and February 2018 for violations of probation.
The men in her life
Amy Adams circa 2002 had a son with Jamie Bubba Brown, of Newnan, Georgia. Responding to a Newnan Times Herald article entitled “Parolee charged with meth sales,” Brown on July 7, 2017 posted four comments arguing that arresting people for substance abuse “is a waste of taxpayer money,” citing Ron Paul, a retired libertarian Republican politician from Texas who has made similar arguments.
William Kareem Mattox, according to public records, was incarcerated in Georgia from December 2006 to October 2007 for carrying a concealed weapon and obstruction of a law enforcement officer; was booked for vehicular offenses in South Carolina in March 2014; and was incarcerated in Georgia for credit card fraud from January 2016 to June 2017.
Laura Rosemary Adams, according to public records, served time in Georgia from May 2006 to November 2009 for possession of methamphetamine, and from February 2012 to January 2014 for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, plus possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
Laura Rosemary Adams was arrested again with Brett “Bravo” Sheridan Lavallais, 23, on March 31, 2017.
“Lavallais and Adams share a home,” reported Chelsea Prince of the Henry Herald. “Officers reportedly discovered a handgun in the driver-side door pocket” of the car they were in, plus “16 grams of suspected marijuana, and other drug-related objects. Upon further inspection, police later found suspected methamphetamine and oxycodone pills among the confiscated materials, according to the police report. Lavallais allegedly owned up to the suspected drugs, but he told officers that the gun wasn’t his.
“Police learned that Adams was wanted by the State Board of Pardons & Paroles and Lavallais was wanted on a probation violation,” Prince continued. “Both were arrested and transported to the Henry County Jail, where intake officers reportedly found an additional two grams of marijuana in Lavallais’ jean pockets.
“Adams was charged with obstruction of a police officer for providing a false name,” Prince said. “Her bond was set at $1,000. Lavallais was also charged with obstruction, as well as a weapons charge and several drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. His bond was set at $36,500.”
All charges related to that incident are still pending.
Taking the rap
In view that both of her daughters and both daughters’ boyfriends are multi-time convicted lawbreakers, at potential risk of receiving life sentences as habitual offenders if convicted of any further felonies, Sandra Bowers Adams might have preferred to take the whole rap for Paris Adams’ fatal mauling by pit bull herself, rather than spread the blame, at risk of further fracturing her already fractured and dysfunctional family.
But the circumstances suggest there was plenty of blame to share.
Some blame might even accrue to Georgia state legislation, which quite sensibly criminalizes possession of firearms by convicted felons, but allows felons to possess and even breed pit bulls, including in proximity to toddlers and senior citizens.