A former Habersham County Sheriff’s Deputy is charged in the 2014 incident that left a toddler critically injured. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, 29 year old Nikki Autry has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of providing false information in a search warrant affidavit and providing the same false information to obtain an arrest warrant.

It was May 27, 2014 when, the Phonesavanh family, during a visit to Habersham County, Georgia, had their lives changed forever. Members of the Mountain Judicial Circuit Criminal Investigation and Suppression Team (“NCIS”) were attempting to execute a search warrant at the home, when they tossed a flash bang grenade through a side door. Little Bounkham Phonesavanh was sleeping inside a crib in the room. The explosive device landed in his crib, and left the then-18 month old critically injured.

According to acting U.S. Attorney John Horn, Autry provided false information to the judge in order to obtain the search and arrest warrants. The federal indictment alleges that Autry knew the NCIS informant had not purchased any methamphetamine from anyone at the residence and the NCIS informant had not proven himself to be reliable in the past. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Autry had not confirmed that there was heavy traffic in and out of the residence. Based on this false information, the magistrate judge issued a “no-knock” search warrant for the residence and an arrest warrant for W. T., who allegedly sold the methamphetamine. The warrant obtained by Autry was executed approximately two hours later, during the early morning hours of May 28, 2014.

Autry is to be arraigned in U.S. Federal Court in Cartersville later this week.

-Maria Boynton, CBS Local


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