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Former lawman charged with stalking ex-wife

POSTED: April 29, 2009 5:30 a.m.

A former Dawson County sheriff's investigator remained in custody Tuesday, four days after he was arrested on charges of stalking his ex-wife.

Kenneth Cannon, who resigned from the department in February, was being held without bond in Lumpkin County Jail pending a first appearance hearing in Magistrate Court.

Cannon, a 40-year-old Murrayville resident, was arrested Friday after a traffic stop on Thompson Bridge Road in northern Hall County. The incident prompted officials to lock down nearby Lanier Elementary School.

Cannon, who authorities said was not armed and did not resist arrest, is charged with aggravated stalking, impersonating a police officer and computer invasion of privacy. All three charges are felonies.

Lumpkin County Sheriff's Sgt. Wesley Bennett said the arrest stemmed from a March 20 incident when Cannon reportedly posed as a Georgia State Patrol trooper to check his ex-wife's car tag.

"He called the Banks County Communications Center to run her tag number from his cell phone from a location in Lumpkin County," Bennett said.

The woman, who works at the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, has a temporary protective order against Cannon.

The arrest comes two months after Cannon resigned from the department amid an internal affairs investigation into workplace harassment.

The investigation began after his wife, who had begun divorce proceedings, filed a workplace harassment complaint against him, said Sheriff's Lt. Tony Wooten.

While on paid administrative leave, Cannon continued to make attempts to contact the woman at work, violating the protective order she had against him, Wooten said.

A veteran law enforcement officer who also served in the military, Cannon is no stranger to media attention.

In 2000, Cannon's killing of a neighbor's dog while employed as a Gainesville police officer drew national attention.

According to court records, Cannon shot a neighbor's German shepherd with an assault rifle 10 days after the dog attacked one of his children.

A jury later acquitted him on a charge of cruelty to animals.

Cannon joined the Dawson County Sheriff's Office in January 2006, rising from jailer to patrol officer and then investigator.

Recommendations from officers and superiors with whom Cannon worked prior to coming to the department were positive, said Sheriff Billy Carlisle.

"He did a good job while he was here," Carlisle said. "We never had any problems with him until his personal issues began to interfere."

 

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