Charges dropped, plea deal for two men in Fort Valley State sex investigation

According to Amy Womack with the D.A.'s office, the office dismissed charges against Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard on November 4th.

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FORT VALLEY, Georgia (WMGT/41NBC) – The Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office drops charges against one of the seven defendants charged in the Fort Valley State University sex investigation.

According to Amy Womack with the D.A.’s office, the office dismissed charges against Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard on November 4th.

Howard and five others were charged with pandering and solicitation of sodomy following a GBI prostitution investigation into conduct alleged to have occurred in 2017 and 2018.

Additionally, executive assistant to the FVSU president 48-year-old Alecia Johnson was charged with six counts of pimping on allegations she arranged to provide a prostitute for the co-defendants and she performed, offered or consented to perform sexual acts for money and other items.

According to Womack, Kenneth Howard was considered a first-time offender in the case. He was allowed to enter into a pre-trial diversion agreement that required him to complete 25 hours of community service, attend a class about the dangers of prostitution and pay a $250 fine. The office dismissed the charges against Howard after receiving notice that he had completed his requirements.

Womack also says defendant Devonte Little pleaded guilty to pandering on October 16. This was part of a plea agreement that requires him to serve 12 months on probation, pay a $1,000 fine and attend a class on the dangers of prostitution.

In June, 48-year-old Alecia Johnson pleaded guilty to her six counts of prostitution. As part of the deal, she must serve five years probation, pay a $1,000 fine, serve 180 days of house arrest and give honest testimony in the trial of her co-defendants.

The other defendants include Ernest Harvey, 47; Ryan Jenkins, 35; Charles Jones, 57; and Arthur James Nance Jr., 47.


Top (L to R): Arthur Nance, Alecia Johnson, Charles Jones. Bottom (L to R): Ryan Jenkins, Devonte Little, Kenneth Howard




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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.