A man jailed on multiple charges stemming from a 2019 armed robbery of the Cowboys Food Mart will spend at least the next 20 years in prison and her plead guilty in court during the latest round of jury trials week, per a release from the Tallapoosa Circuit District Attorney’s office.

The release stated that Brandon Earl Preston will spend at least 20 years in prison after he took a guilty plea before Senior Judge Adele Grubbs (who is serving to help Polk County’s backlog of cases continue to catch up) and was sentence to 40 years on charges stemming from the armed robbery, which also included aggravated sexual battery.

He was convicted for the December 2019 armed robbery of the Cowboys Food Mart on Highway 278 between Cedartown and Rockmart when he entered the store on December 11 with a sawed-off shotgun and while holding the clerk at gunpoint committed sexual battery against her.

Per the release, Assistant District Attorney Crystal Burkhalter prosecuted the case and stated, “The District Attorney’s Office is committed to keeping dangerous criminals out of our community, and this was one of the most chilling crimes of late.” 

At least of the other cases that were cleared off the docket this week included some items reported here on Polk.Today in 2020.

Included among other cases announced was that of Trintis Hodges, who will be spending at least the next five years in jail on a 25 year sentence for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute.

Hodges was jailed in October 2020 on multiple felony charges when he was arrested in a bust in the Van Wert community with marijuana, methamphetamine, pills, cocaine, handguns and more than $1,600 in cash.

Here’s the full release from the District Attorney’s office:

Preston and Others Sentenced This Week

Brandon Earl Preston was arrested on December 11, 2019 for Armed Robbery, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of an Illegal Weapon.  The day prior, Mr. Preston robbed Cowboys Food Mart with a sawed-off shotgun, where he also committed a sexual battery against the store clerk, while holding her at gunpoint.



Mr. Preston’s case came to a close during the Honorable Mark Murphy’s jury trials this week, where he plead guilty to Armed Robbery and Aggravated Sexual Battery. 

Senior Judge Adele Grubbs sentenced Mr. Preston to forty years, with twenty of those years to serve in prison.  Upon completion of his twenty years in prison, Mr. Preston will be a registered sex offender, with fully restrictive conditions, which are strictly reserved for offenses classified as dangerous sexual offenses under the Georgia Code. Mr. Preston had been held without bond since the date of his arrest in 2019.

Assistant District Attorney Crystal Burkhalter prosecuted the case and stated, “The District Attorney’s Office is committed to keeping dangerous criminals out of our community, and this was one of the most chilling crimes of late.” 

Other cases of note which were disposed of during Judge Murphy’s trial week include:

Trintis Hodges was sentence to twenty years with five years to serve in Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) custody for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Billy Williams, Jr. was sentenced to twenty years with five years to serve in GDC custody for theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Tiffany Scoggins was sentence to serve two years in GDC custody for possession of a controlled substance.

Matthew Stroup was sentenced to fifteen years with the first two years in GDC custody for aggravated assault.

“Our Office is pleased with the successful resolution of these cases, which protects the citizens here in Polk County,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Jaeson Smith.



Kevin The Editor

The former Editor of The Polk County Standard Journal and a journalist with more than a decade of experience in Northwest Georgia, Kevin Myrick is the Editor and Publisher of Polk.Today. An Auburn graduate,...