GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — Action News Jax has some significant updates on the Trent Lehrkamp case out of Glynn County.
The case drew broad attention on social media with many allegations of abuse and suspected hazing. He was taken to a Brunswick hospital on March 21 with a blood alcohol level six times the legal limit.
But according to the Brunswick District Attorney and Glynn County Police, much of what was alleged and suspected in the case was due to misinformation.
Glynn County Interim Police Chief O’Neal Jackson and District Attorney Keith Higgins provided updates on the case on Monday afternoon and clarified quite a bit.
A lot of what we thought we knew about this case, according to police, was simply the result of bad information and rumors spread on social media. Police made clear on Monday that 19-year-old Lehrkamp was not forced to drink until he passed out, for example, and was a willing participant in all the events that took place.
“But with the instantaneous use of social media and in light seconds, all that misinformation’s out there, it’s hard to pull it back once its out there,” Jackson said.
Police and the DA said Lehrkamp willingly drank until he blacked out and was not force-fed alcohol. They say he willingly sat in the chair in the photos commonly shared on social media as the case gained national attention. He was not urinated or defecated on, Higgins said Monday, and the eggs on him were from an “egg fight” that he also willingly took part in and then he agreed to be hosed off afterward.
However, Carlton J. Strother, 46, and Lauren C. Strother, 56, of Glynn County, the owners of the home where this all happened back in March, are facing charges of maintaining a disorderly house and contributing to the delinquency of dependency of a minor.
Jackson said a situation like this was entirely preventable.
“If parents are a little bit more attentive to what’s going on in their house, being mindful that teens can get their hands on alcohol,” Jackson said.
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Rooker Hobby, 17, is also facing a charge of battery. He was identified, Jackson said, because under Georgia law, Hobby could be tried as an adult. Jackson said in a statement that Hobby’s arrest “stemmed from an investigation in connection with the Lehrkamp case.”
Both the Strothers and the boy were booked into the Glynn County Detention Center on Monday morning.
Jackson said investigators also filed separate juvenile complaints in Juvenile Court against two juveniles involved in this case.
The juveniles are not being identified in accordance with state law, Jackson said. Juvenile #1 was charged with Simple Battery and Criminal Trespass. Juvenile #2 was charged with Possession and Use of Drug Related Objects.
Higgins said the misinformation caused a huge strain on resources that could have been used elsewhere.
“It has taken up an inordinate amount of time of both investigative resources as well as prosecution resources in this county in a time when very serious crimes have also been committed,” Higgins said.
Jackson said GCPD is continuing to investigate this matter, along with assisting law enforcement agencies, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, and the Glynn County District Attorney’s Office.
Anyone with any information, video, photographs, or other potential evidence is asked to contact the Glynn County Police Department via Silent Witness at 912-264-1333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.