A Tallapoosa man will spend at least the next 10 years behind bars after he was sentenced on several charges stemming from a 2023 hit and run incident on Highway 27.

James Ray Watkins, 38, took a guilty plea in the Tallapoosa Circuit Superior Court in Haralson County on Monday on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and hit and run after a road rage incident took place on Highway 27 close to the Walmart.

The Haralson County Sheriffs Office found during their investigation that Watkins and the victim had gotten into a verbal altercation and then “used his vehicle to strike the victim, causing serious injuries,” per a release about the sentencing from the HCSO.

They added that the victim ultimately recovered from the injuries sustained.

Watkins in the plea will serve 10 out of the 20 years of sentence he received during proceedings on Monday, June 10.

Sheriff Williams emphasized in the release that, “We as the motoring public have a responsibility to operate our motor vehicles with safety for the protection of all citizens on the highway. We commend Sgt. Jason Bowman and the District Attorney’s Office for securing this plea to ensure justice for the victim.”

“We will continue to enforce and investigate violations of Georgia law, including traffic related offenses, to protect our citizens of Haralson County as well as individuals who are just passing through.”

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