The defendant accused of killing 19-year-old Kaleb Duckworth was recently released from the Dawson County Detention Center.
On Dec. 23, Daniel Lee Roberts, 20, of Dawsonville, got out of jail on a $100,000 bail, according to documents filed with the court on Dec. 30. With fees, the total bond amount was $110,200.
During a Dec. 14 hearing, Roberts was granted bond for his 2021 pending criminal case, and bond for his earlier case was reinstated, contingent on several conditions.
According to the new bond documents, Roberts may not violate laws while out on pretrial release (PTR). He will have to wear a GPS ankle monitor and have monthly reviews with a judge as set by the PTR program to ensure compliance with all bond conditions.
Roberts allegedly caused Duckworth’s death because of a fight at the Dawson County Applebee’s on July 25, 2021. The indictment for that case alleges that Roberts punched the younger teen with a closed fist, causing serious brain damage.
After the fight, Duckworth was taken to a hospital with severe brain trauma and died on July 27.
Roberts has since been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and two counts of felony murder. Bond for the 2021 case was initially denied.
When the incident with Kaleb Duckworth happened, Roberts was actually out on a $20,200 bond for another case from 2019.
Documents for that older case alleged that after getting in a verbal disagreement with one victim, he hit them while leaving a Dawson-area parking lot on Oct. 23, 2019.
After being arrested that same night, Roberts was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and carrying a concealed weapon and reckless driving.
Following his July 2021 arrest, bond for the older case was subsequently revoked on Aug. 31. Court documents from that time cited that he violated conditions of the 2019 bond by allegedly committing new offenses.
On Sept. 14, defense attorneys for Roberts rescinded a gag order that they had previously filed for the case on Aug. 27.
In October, Roberts was indicted on two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery for the newer case.
Then in a document filed in November, his attorney argued that if released, Robert would be better able to assist in preparing his own defense for the 2021 case and would not be a risk to the community.
Kaleb’s father, Tommy Duckworth, expressed his disappointment in a written statement to DCN after the bond documents were made public on Dec. 20.
“I don’t claim to be the smartest individual in the room, but I don’t need a law degree to understand that something doesn’t make sense…and the same court system that let him out the first time has decided that he deserves to be released again,” Tommy Duckworth said. “At some point, the safety of the community must outweigh the rights of the individual.”
Kaleb’s mother, Amanda Duckworth added that the court was “not only letting Kaleb down but letting the whole community down” concerning Roberts getting bond.
Any comments from the presiding judge, Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin, would be made in an open hearing or a written order, stated Court Administrator Jason Stephenson in a previous email.
DCN will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.