Cases still going: Man pleads in golf club beating

Published 9:05 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Several cases on the December Circuit Court docket were disposed of early in the session with other cases continued until the beginning of the new year.

Jeffrey Scott Puckett, who was originally charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree assault on a motion from the State, court officials said.

According to court records, Puckett was order to serve a reverse split sentence with three years incarceration in the Alabama Department of Corrections and serve five years of probation. The sentence will be reviewed in six months before Puckett is remanded into custody to begin serving his time in prison.

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Puckett, 47, of Uriah, was indicted by an Escambia County Grand Jury in October 2011 when he was accused of beating a male victim with a golf club during an argument.

The victim, Gregory Gainey, was allegedly attacked with a golf club and knife by Puckett, according to officials with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department at the time of Puckett’s arrest.

Investigator Preston Hill, said the Aug. 26, 2011 incident was reported to dispatchers with the department just before 2 a.m. leading officers to the scene of the crime.

“The sheriff’s office received a call about 1:48 a.m. on that date that a man had been struck several times with a golf club and then stabbed five times in the neck,” Hill said. “The incident occurred on Burlington Street in Atmore.”

Hill said witnesses at the scene said the incident occurred in the midst of a domestic disturbance between Puckett and his girlfriend.

“According to several witnesses, Puckett was abusing his girl friend and she called on a friend of hers, Gregory Gainey, to help her. Puckett attacked Gainey with a golf club until he was on the ground. Then he took a knife and stabbed Gainey five times in the neck. I don’t know how he survived.”

In the case of ethics violation and theft involving Rita Bell Folmar, a request for a continuation was granted with a trail date set for January 2013.

Folmar was scheduled to appear before a judge on charges of ethics violation and theft of property.

Folmar was suspended of her duties in July as a custodian with the Escambia County Board of Education after an incident occurred accusing her of taking cash from a teacher’s personal belongings while working at Flomaton High School.

Evidence concerning the allegations of an ethics violation and theft of property was presented to a grand jury in August. She remains on administrative leave from her position.

The charges against Folmar came after she informed school officials of her discovery of a handgun in the band room which she is believed to have uncovered as she searched through the personal belongings of then-band director John Lambert. Lambert was terminated as a result of the incident in July.

Former Brewton attorney Sara (Sally) Oswald Stoddard was also scheduled to face a judge and jury this week, however, a continuance was granted in the case. The charges are expected to be heard in court in January 2013.

Stoddard was arrested at her downtown office April 5 after an undercover operation was conducted at the location.

As a result, she was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and attempting to commit a controlled substance crime — both felony charges. She was suspended from practicing law by the Alabama Bar Association April 18.