Happy 2024! As we settle into the new year, we are celebrating the successes of 2023, reflecting on the challenges, and planning for what is sure to be a busy year ahead.  

In 2023, our amazing team of attorneys, investigators, victim-witness advocates and administrative staff continued their dedicated service to securing justice, supporting victims, and engaging with the community. 

Despite trials being on hold at the beginning of the year due to a flood in the Courthouse, our team tried 86 cases and earned an 82% conviction rate. 18 of these trials resulted in guilty verdicts for defendants charged with murder. 

But our work reaches far beyond the Courthouse. Our community partnerships unit continues to help us strengthen current ties and forge new relationships with people from Dunwoody to Tucker to Lithonia and more. My staff and I participated in more than 160 community events and speaking engagements in 2023!

With lawmakers back at the State Capitol, we are keeping a close eye on any proposed changes to the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PAQC). The commission was created last year through Senate Bill 92 and the body was given the power to investigate, discipline, and remove elected prosecutors from office. I, along with a bipartisan group of district attorneys, filed a legal challenge to the new law. We believe it is unconstitutional and takes power away from the voters. 

Late last year, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to approve the rules for the PAQC, meaning they could not operate in 2023 and we formally dismissed our lawsuit. But some legislators plan to make changes to the law to make it functional, and we stand ready to file a new challenge to defend democracy and stand up for prosecutorial independence. 

Meanwhile, January is recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. On January 31, my office is hosting a forum about the emerging threat of labor trafficking. The event, in partnership with the Latin American Association, is free and open to the public. We hope you will join us for that event and others throughout 2024 as we work to make DeKalb County a safer place for everyone.  


District Attorney
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Senate Bill 92 Update

In December, DA Boston and the bipartisan group of district attorneys who filed a legal challenge to Senate Bill 92 (SB 92) officially dismissed the lawsuit following the November decision by the Georgia Supreme Court that effectively paused the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PAQC). 

The Georgia General Assembly passed SB 92 during the 2023 legislative session and it was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in May. The new law established a politically appointed body with the power to investigate, discipline, and possibly remove Georgia’s elected district attorneys and solicitors-general. Under the statute, anyone the PAQC removes from office would be ineligible to serve again for 10 years. 

Working with the Public Rights Project (PRP); Washington, Dreyer, and Associates; and Bruce P. Brown Law; DA Boston; Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jared Williams; Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady, Jr.; and Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia on August 2 challenging the law as unconstitutional. 

Citing concerns about the constitutionality of SB 92, the Georgia Supreme Court issued an order on November 22 stating that it would not review the proposed rules for the PAQC. Because the terms of the statute required Supreme Court approval of their rules, the PAQC is now unable to take any further action. 

However, DA Boston, PRP, and those who oppose the law recognize the fight will likely continue. 

“We appreciate that the Georgia Supreme Court shares some of the same concerns we have raised since this law’s inception. While their decision means we do not need to move forward with this current legal challenge, we know some at the state Capitol have already signaled they plan to try again. We stand ready to fight any new efforts to undermine the work of Georgia’s district attorneys and silence the voters who elected us,” said DA Boston.  

In the News

Portia Appearance

FOX 5, October 5, 2023

DA Boston was featured as an expert guest on the Atlanta-based talk show Portia in October as part of an episode dedicated to domestic violence awareness. The program also included April Ross, a DV survivor and executive director of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. 

October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Addressing DV has been a priority for DA Boston throughout her career as a prosecutor.

“We have all been touched by domestic violence in our lives,” said DA Boston. “We all have a personal story to share whether it’s ourselves, a family member, a friend, a loved one. You don’t have to go far into your tree or your village to find someone that’s being affected by domestic violence.” 

Watch the story.

Dunwoody day care owner sentenced after infant's 2021 death

11Alive, October 13, 2023

A judge sentenced 48-year-old Amanda Hickey to 35 years, with 30 years to be served behind bars and five on probation. A grand jury indicted Hickey on murder charges after a 4-month-old child was found dead in his crib on Feb. 3, 2021, at her Little Lovey home day care.

Watch the story.

Woman serving life sentence for killing wife convicted in 2nd murder

AJC, December 5, 2023

A woman already serving a life sentence for stabbing her wife to death in 2018 was convicted in DeKalb County of murdering a former girlfriend years earlier, officials said.

Joyce Marie Pelzer, 47, was found guilty of malice murder and felony murder in the 2011 kidnapping and death of her girlfriend, DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston said in a statement.

Read the story.

Deidra Dukes Reports

FOX 5, December 11, 2023

In December, Deidra Dukes showcased DeKalb County’s new Community-Based Violence Intervention Plan in a special report. The District Attorney's Office is proud to partner with DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb County Human Services Department, Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory Hillendale and Georgia State University in this work. Interrupting the cycle of violence by offering support services to shooting victims will make our community a safer place for everyone. Watch the story.

Indictments & Dispositions

Man Pleads Guilty 29 Years After Sexual Assault of Teenage Girl 

Charlie Scott, 59, pleaded guilty as indicted to charges of Rape, Kidnapping and Aggravated Assault in connection with the assault of a 15-year-old female victim walking near her home 29 years ago. The incident occurred on August 6, 1994 at the Colony Ridge Apartment complex on Glenwood Road in unincorporated Decatur. Read more.

Stockbridge Man Sentenced to Life Plus Five Years in Fatal Armed Robbery

Joshua Cortez Ellis, 25, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, plus five years, after jurors returned guilty verdicts against him on charges of Malice Murder, three counts of Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a First Offender Probationer, for the death of Ronald Peters, 28. Read more.

Two Brothers Sentenced to Life in Prison After Violent Armed Robberies in Brookhaven

Two brothers were sentenced to life in prison after their convictions for a series of violent robberies in Brookhaven from December 13, 2019 through January 24, 2020. Jurors found Edrick Agee, 35, of Forest Park guilty of two counts of Armed Robbery, Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault. Jurors also found Avonte Treon Fortson, 41, of Riverdale guilty on two charges of Armed Robbery. Read more.

Lithonia Man Sentenced to Life Plus 65 Years in Murder of Girlfriend and Shooting of DKPD Officer 

Jurors returned guilty verdicts against Otis Dennis Walker, 32, on charges of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, three counts of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, in connection with the murder of his girlfriend, Aleka Simmons, 27, and the shooting of DKPD Officer Derek Nunn, who was 48 at the time. Read more.

Teen Indicted in Shooting Death of Classmate Outside Restaurant 

Jakari Childs, 17, was indicted by a DeKalb County Grand Jury on charges of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. The charges stem from the July 15, 2023 shooting of Jacob Johnson, 16, outside the IHOP located at 3020 Panola Road. Read more.

Man Found Guilty in Shooting Incident Inside Perimeter Mall 

A jury found Raymon Pierre, 22, guilty on a charge of Aggravated Assault stemming from a confrontation that led to gunfire inside Perimeter Mall on January 6, 2023. When officers with the Dunwoody Police Department responded to a call of shots fired at Perimeter Mall, they saw people running from the building and found Che’saun Lacey, 20, lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to his chest. Read more.

To read more about recent dispositions and news from the DA’s Office, visit the News section of the website.

In the Community

The DA's Office participated in the Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence’s 32nd Annual Candlelight Vigil. Hearing the names of all those who lost their lives to domestic violence last year is a powerful reminder of why we must continue to raise awareness and offer support to survivors. 

In recognition of Domestic Violence

Awareness Month, the DA's Office joined the #PurpleThursday movement to honor victims, take a stand against domestic violence, and express solidarity with survivors.

DA Boston was invited to a holiday reception at the home of Vice President Kamala Harris and Mr. Doug Emhoff.

DA Boston is proud to serve as the 104th President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. She had the honor of hosting the annual Holiday Party for 1,200 members of the Atlanta legal community.

DA Boston spoke with the Chamblee

Police Department Citizens Academy about

the court system and the work of the

District Attorney’s Office. 

DA Boston spent time with Spelman College students in their “Civil Liberties and the Constitution” class. She shared her experiences as a Black female District Attorney, and answered questions about the criminal justice system.

Investigator Edwin Perkins competed in

the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival. He brought

home First Place - Best Overall: Chili

and Chicken, and won the coveted First Responders Champion Overall award!

Senior Assistant District Attorney Latonia

Hines took part in the first-ever

Brookhaven International Festival along the Peachtree Creek Greenway.

Team members enjoyed the 28th Annual Cheer for Children Ball hosted by the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. The event raised awareness and funds to combat the long-lasting traumatic effects of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, trafficking and witnessing violence. 

Probate Court Judge Bedelia C Hargrove hosted her annual Mental Health Symposium. The event educates attorneys and community members about the role of law enforcement in mental health crises and how to find resources for those in need of help. Deputy Chief ADA Jeanne Canavan shared critical information about elder abuse.

DA Boston visited the Moreland Avenue location of Hibbett to discuss how retailers can be proactive with strategies to combat organized retail crime, and how the DA’s Office is working to address this issue.

The team enjoyed a “Night for New Beginnings” in celebration of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking at the International Women's House annual gala. Board Chair Joanna Helsby also serves as the Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney for our Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit.

The DA's Office participated in Faith & Blue Weekend. The team appreciates the

opportunity to build impactful relationships with community members and law enforcement partners during this annual event. 

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the DA's Office donated essential supplies to the Women's Resource Center

to End Domestic Violence and International Women's House.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Dionne

McGee spent time with participants of the DeKalb County Police Department’s

PAL Career Academy to give them a crash course in Criminal Justice 101. 

Lisa Moultrie, Deputy Chief Assistant

District Attorney of the Diversion and

Community Alternatives Programs, attended

the inaugural DeKalb County Social Media

and Mental Health Youth Summit.

DA Boston and Angel Riley, Deputy

Chief Assistant District Attorney with the

Crime Strategies & Community Partnerships Unit, attended the DeKalb Pastors Christian Alliance’s holiday luncheon.

Jeanne Canavan, Deputy Chief Assistant

District Attorney with the Crimes Against

Elder Persons & Adults with Disabilities

Unit, visited the Central DeKalb

Senior Center to talk about holiday scams. 

People & Accomplishments


DA Boston was honored to accept an award from the Georgia Association of Black County Officials (GABCO) as co-District Attorney of the Year!

The mission of GABCO is to advocate on behalf of Georgians living and working in underserved communities throughout the state and provide resources and environments conducive to building safe, strong, healthy and thriving communities, county by county.

Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force Member Spotlight

Peggy Rémy, Supervising Victim Advocate in the Sexual Exploitation & Crimes Against Children Unit, was honored by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. She was recognized in a Member Spotlight for her dedication and exemplary service to her working group on the Task Force. Peggy was lauded for her commitment to survivor-centered service and her invaluable contributions.

Congratulations, Peggy!

Service Awards

In December, DA Boston honored the hard work and dedication of several team members celebrating years of service ranging from 10 to 25 years with DeKalb County!

Thank you all for your service!

Annual Staff Awards

At the end of each year, the District Attorney's Office takes time to celebrate accomplishments and honor the hard-working staff of dedicated professionals who serve the citizens of DeKalb County.

Congratulations to these amazing employees who were nominated by their peers for their work in 2023!

Coming Up

Labor Trafficking: Hiding in Plain Sight

Wednesday, January 31, 6 p.m.

Latin American Association

Atlanta Outreach Center

2750 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30324   

In recognition of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the community is invited to a Labor Trafficking Forum hosted by District Attorney Sherry Boston. Please join us for a conversation about labor trafficking warning signs, how to protect your community, and resources for victims.

Speaker: Maja Hasic, Anti-Human Trafficking Program Director, Tapestri

9th Annual Love Run 5K

Saturday, February 24, 8:30 a.m. start

The Square in Downtown Decatur

1 Courthouse Square    

Join DA Boston for the 9th Annual Love Run 5K, in commemoration of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

All proceeds benefit the Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence (WRC). Since its inception, the event has raised more than $80,000 for WRC!

This Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race Qualifier race is electronically chip-timed as participants follow a fast-paced course through historic downtown Decatur. All participants will receive a signature long sleeve shirt and race medal, as well as a $10 off coupon to Big Peach. Don’t forget to invite your friends to join you…a 10% discount is available for groups of 10 or more! 

Register here.

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