DA drops jail contraband case over toilet paper wrapper

Rodrequez Burnett
Rodrequez Burnett(Contributed)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta’s district attorney won’t pursue a case against an attorney with the Public Defender’s Office who was arrested giving his client contraband during a meeting in Richmond County jail.

Authorities say during a March 29 meeting, attorney Rodrequez Burnett, 30, entered a closet inside a multipurpose room and removed a roll of toilet paper, which he then handed to the inmate. The inmate, Darnell Evans, removed the outer wrapper, a plastic wax paper, from the toilet paper and concealed the wrapper in his clothing, according to deputies.

Burnett returned the roll of toilet paper to the closet, then the inmate left the room and distributed the wrapper to other inmates. The plastic wax wrapper is considered contraband as it is commonly used to roll tobacco or other substances for smoking, according to officials.

Burnett was arrested and charged with introducing prohibited items to an inmate, a felony.

District Attorney Jared Williams said Tuesday he was dismissing the felony warrant.

He said the felony charge doesn’t apply to a local jail in this circumstance and the conduct is better classified as a misdemeanor. The district attorney doesn’t normally handle misdemeanors, which are prosecuted by the solicitor’s office.

“Your District Attorney’s Office is focused on serious violent felonies,” Williams said in a statement. “While a misdemeanor could be pursued for handing an inmate toilet paper, our limited resources are best devoted to the murders, sexual assaults, and senseless violence that our community is fed up with.”