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Lasseter's son accused of beating wife with table

DACULA -- Legal woes for John Fanning, a disgraced former county official and the son of Shirley Lasseter, deepened Friday when police charged him with beating his wife in an incident that triggered a SWAT response.

Scheduled to begin a federal prison stint soon, Fanning, 34, is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond. Authorities said Fanning assaulted his wife Friday morning with a table and table leg at his Bold Springs Road home near Dacula, then fled into nearby woods.

Fanning is charged with felony aggravated assault and false imprisonment, in addition to misdemeanor charges of interfering with a 911 call and third-degree cruelty to children. The latter charge involves violence committed in front of children.

Gwinnett police and Sheriff's Department units responded to a call Friday that Fanning had hit his wife with the table and was preventing her from leaving or calling for help.

Authorities received information that Fanning had fled into a wooded area near his home and that he may have had a gun with him. Sheriff's SWAT members and police searched the woods, found Fanning hiding in brush and arrested him without further incident, said Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Mike Boyd. Fanning was not armed.

The arrest caps an eventful month for Fanning and his wife, Lesley. She was arrested Sept. 12 for allegedly trying to bring a gun and ammunition into a child-custody hearing. He was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for conspiracy to traffic cocaine and a bribery scheme involving his mother, a former Gwinnett County Commissioner sentenced to 33 months for taking bribes.

Boyd said he had no information Friday afternoon on the extent of Lesley Fanning's injuries. John Fanning's attorney had previously said the couple are estranged and not living together.

Last month, a federal judge ordered John Fanning to report to prison within the next few weeks to serve a sentence of nearly five years. Boyd said federal authorities are aware of his arrest, but whether he'll be turned over to them soon or after he is prosecuted in Gwinnett remains to be seen.

"It's going to require some coordination between the local courts and the feds," Boyd said.

John Fanning, a former landscape business owner, was sentenced alongside Carl "Skip" Cain, 65, a Flowery Branch businessman. Federal prosecutors agreed to lighter sentences for both men after they provided inside information in an ongoing corruption probe in Gwinnett County.

Both pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to sell Lasseter's commission vote on a proposed real estate development project, and for conspiring to traffic cocaine in a related scheme introduced by Cain.

In February 2011, Lasseter appointed Fanning to a one-year term on the county's zoning appeals board.

Within months, according to federal authorities, corruption began when Lasseter and Fanning teamed with Cain to leverage their positions for payoffs.

At last month's sentencing hearing, Fanning's attorney said his client struggles with dependency and would undergo treatment for drug and alcohol issues in prison.

A federal judge weighed the possibility of taking Fanning into custody at the hearing last month as a means to protect him from his wife.

Comments

R 1 year, 6 months ago

Theres bound to be a "fund" collected at a local bank soon enough. ..

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Coolray 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a family in turmoil and they're living it out before the public where everyone gets to kick them when they're down.

I have nothing but pity for the entire family. Yes, they must be held accountable for the crimes they commit. But, you must consider the age ole adage: there but for the grace of God, go I!

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R 1 year, 6 months ago

Children? Absolutely They did NOTHING to put themselves in the limelight, DHCS is in the near future.

The rest? Ah... Maybe not so much.

Carrying a loaded firearm into the court annex before attending a CHILD custody hearing? It doesn't get much worse and yet, somehow, it did...

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rco1847 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah CoolRay - after all they are Republicans which means special treatment before the law and special sympathy from the Republican aristocracy. Sorry, were all out. I saw the people she was willing to hurt with her airport vote. I know the pain she was willing to afflict and the cries she ignored.

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slo2ga 1 year, 6 months ago

I have NO pity on their situation as it was self inflicted. Shirley and her family knew what they were doing and that it was wrong. They were trying to profit on her position of power. I live in her district and can guarantee that she took payments for some other rezoning requests that would never have been approved except for a corrupt official.

Hey rco1847, this is not a republican or democrat issue - it is a power issue and both sides of the aisle are just as guilty

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rco1847 1 year, 6 months ago

really - who's the dems involved? name one

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TOWG 1 year, 6 months ago

At this rate the whole darn family is headed to jail! It'll be nice being that close come the holidays.

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gwinnettisgreat1 1 year, 6 months ago

What a train wreck. Someone is going to end up dead at this rate.

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NewsReader 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, looks like this boy will be headed to the big house for a long long time. He will have plenty of time to reflect and receive a beating in kind. It is indeed a train wreck.

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

Thoughts and prayers for the children of this trainwreck of a so-called family.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

What's new about all this?

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rco1847 1 year, 6 months ago

Well I just love the family values as the Good Republicans always told us about. Maybe they can get a group rate at the prison. When they come out they'll all be born-again and in our face with it.

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CD 1 year, 6 months ago

Possible defense: Mr F, since being removed from the public money spigot, remembers suddenly that he previously hid a few poker chips in a hollow portion of the table leg. Mrs F misunderstood his screams of joy, exacerbated by the remembrance of the good old days, and the wild swings of the table leg as a possible threat. She was dialing 911, but Mr F tried to scoop the chips up, while in a hurried frenzy, before the GCSD arrived and he realized that he needed to bury the loot out in the woods. After all, stolen or not, a Gluttonous Heathen is entitled to any and all property they set eyes on, regardless of who actually holds legal title or what actions need to be taken to secure such property.

You see, just a big ole misunderstanding.

The truth is that his values are reflective of those put forward by his parents. Those that voted for Mayor Shirley should have their citizenship revoked. Were it not for the citizens that voted for Shirley, the rest of us would not have to deal with this foolishness now.

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rco1847 1 year, 6 months ago

The Republicans had to empty out the trailer parks to find these two scum bags. Family values at their very best.

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gwinnettisgreat1 1 year, 5 months ago

Does that mean that DemocRATS had to empty out Chicago to find the loser we have in the White House too?

John is an idiot and everyone in Dacula knows that. I find it funny how they covered up his wife stabbing him in the hand a couple of years ago with a screw driver. That whole bunch is nuts. They need to get away from each other and I feel sorry for their kids. Rednecks who got a little power and a little money and you see where John the Genius is now.

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