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Airman court-martialed in shooting

The A-10 Warthog. (U.S. Air Force/Released)

A Moody AFB airman has been sentenced following a court-martial connected to the shooting of another service member in North Georgia, according to a base spokesman.

Tech. Sgt. Jacob A. Ralston was charged with three specifications of aggravated assault for pointing a loaded firearm at two airmen and shooting a third in the upper thigh, said Lt. Kaitlin Toner of Moody’s Public Affairs Office.

Ralston pleaded guilty earlier this month to the three specifications and was sentenced to 18 months confinement, a bad-conduct discharge and reduction in grade to E-1, or airman basic, the Air Force’s lowest rank, Toner said.

The incident occurred in Fannin County at a cabin the group rented Dec. 15, she said.

At 10:56 p.m., the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the cabin on Robinson Thomas Road on a shooting report, according to sheriff’s investigators’ reports. Dispatchers advised Ralston was in a rage, throwing furniture from a balcony, the reports state.

At the scene, people told deputies the gunshot victim was upstairs while Ralston was downstairs with a gun; the witnesses were moved to the third floor while deputies headed for the basement, where they found furniture strewn about, according to the reports.

Officers found a closed door and called for Ralston to come out; he finally said “I am in bed, you come in,” stated reports. He never responded after that, and the witnesses were evacuated while deputies surrounded the building, reports state.

Eventually Ralston was arrested and taken into custody, according to reports. The victim suffered a non-life threatening leg wound, reports state. Investigators searching the scene of the shooting found a Glock 9mm pistol next to a bottle of prescription medication belonging to Ralston, reports state.

Reports also state the sheriff’s office charged Ralston with aggravated assault before turning him over to military authorities.

“The Air Force does not condone violence of any kind and we have every faith in our legal system to act quickly and appropriately in response,” Toner said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.


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