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GOP squabble turns physical

Friction between the two competing factions of the Fayette County Republican Party in a March incident has led to misdemeanor simple battery charges being levied last week against Peachtree City resident Jim Richter for “grabbing” longtime Republican mainstay Marilyn Watts.

The March incident occurred at the Fayette County Republican Party breakfast at the IHOP restaurant in Fayetteville.

The incident involved documents that Richter had produced. Watts picked up one or more of the documents and Richter is said to have grabbed her shoulders while retrieving the documents.

Det. Mike Whitlow said the warrant on charges of simple battery was issued by a magistrate judge in Spalding County after Fayette County judges recused themselves.

Whitlow said the Spalding County judge viewed the restaurant’s video and determined that there was probable cause that a simple battery occurred. The video showed that Richter grabbed Watts’ shoulders, Whitlow said.

Whitlow in commenting on the video said it was clear that it was a contentious situation and that the restaurant manager intervened.

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