published Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

North Georgia mom found guilty in Facebook photo case

  • photo
    The Catoosa County Courthouse opens its door for session Monday morning. Davida Caylor was scheduled to appear in court on charges of making false statements to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office on March 17, 2014.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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A jury found a North Georgia mother guilty today on felony charges of making false statements to law enforcement, tampering with evidence and obstructing law enforcement officials in connection with a February 2013 incident at her son's high school.

The Catoosa County Sheriff's Office arrested Davida Kaye Caylor, 33, in February 2013 after she complained that an assistant principal abused her 15-year-old son. Police arrested her because they said a picture posted on her Facebook page showing the boy's supposedly bruised hand was falsified.

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Chris Arnt argued that the picture in question showed more severe injuries than were actually present. Other photos do not show a blue bruise.

The case stems from a confrontation on Feb. 6, 2013, when Caylor's son was in the office of Eric Beagles, the Heritage High School assistant principal and baseball coach. When Beagles told Gregory Aaron Black that he would be suspended for three days, Black said that he reached for the principal's phone.

Black says Beagles grabbed his hand, twisted his hand and slammed it on a desk. Beagles says he grabbed the phone Black had just picked up and set it back on its base.

Three weeks after the incident, the Sheriff's Office arrested Caylor.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Arnt told the jury that the picture in question would have led to Beagles' arrest. But, Arnt said, that picture is not true.

"This part represents a lie," he said, pointing to the bruises on the picture. "This is the sort of thing that gets someone arrested for cruelty to children."

Caylor's attorney, Richard Murray, argued that Arnt never proved that the picture was doctored. Also, Murray said, no Sheriff's Office investigator questioned Caylor about the photo, so even if the photo is fake, she never lied to officers about it.

"[Roden] never asked her about it," Murray told the jury. "[Caylor] never made a false claim. ... He just has a vague impression that Davida did something."

The trial started Monday.

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