Judge appointed to Macon confederate statue case

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The lawsuit against Macon for the relocation of its two downtown confederate statues has been approved.

The original case was filed by Macon native, Martin Bell, and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars Georgia Society Inc. on July 27. The complaint was filed in response to Macon-Bibb County commissioners approving a plan to move the confederate statues to Rose Hill Cemetary. Bell and his organization are suing Macon Mayor Robert Reichert and five commissioners for the protection of the confederate statues.

Bell feels the city should not be allowed to move the statues, or be allowed to grant citizens permission to cover them up. The Military Order has pays $677 annually to host events at the statue since 2016. Bell also paid about $500 to have lights installed around the statue on Cotton Avenue, and is seeking damages to repay the costs.

Each judge in the Bibb County Superior Court reviewed the case and passed it to Judge W. Hames Sizemore Jr. to appoint another Superior Court Judge to preside over the case.

Judge Sizemore chose Judge R. Rucker Smith to preside over the case. Smith is from the Southwestern Judicial Circuit and usually serves Sumter County.

As of Monday, August 3, there are no court dates scheduled.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.