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Forsyth jury acquits Lumpkin County official of impersonating officer
Sonya Abercrombie

CUMMING — A Forsyth County jury has acquitted a Lumpkin County deputy coroner on charges of impersonating a police officer in a September 2014 incident at a Cumming tavern.

Sonya Abercrombie sat for a four-day trial before the non-guilty verdict was delivered Oct. 29, according to court records. Forsyth County Chief Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley presided.

“We knew our client was not guilty. We knew that all along, and we are very satisfied the jury saw that, as well,” said defense attorney AJ Richman, who represented Abercrombie.

Abercrombie, 48, was arrested on Aug. 30, 2014, after she reportedly refused to show identification to a server at Austin’s Tavern in Lakeland Plaza, saying she was “a police officer” and didn’t have to.

Management alerted the sheriff’s office, which arrested Abercrombie. She was later suspended without pay from her position in Lumpkin.

Another tavern employee stated there was a second badge being shown to patrons.

“We noticed there was a discrepancy in what everybody was saying, between the manager of the bar and what he told 911,” Richman said. “We brought all of that to the District Attorney’s office and said we don’t believe you have a strong enough case. It went to trial anyway, and we exposed all of that.”

He said the case was well handled by all parties.

“The lack of investigation by the officers at the time of the arrest, in conjunction with the witnesses we put on the stand who proved our client’s innocence, helped us to shed light on the truth,” he said.

“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict, and thankful Ms. Abercrombie can now return to her job as a government official.”