UPDATE July 7, 2017: Contrary to reports on social media, Judge Odell did not release Jerry Chambers Jr. after he was charged in the 2016 assault and attempted robbery outside the Savannah Mall.
According to District Attorney Meg Heap, that case was tried in juvenile court, where another judge found Chambers, then 16, not to be a delinquent, allowing his release. Chambers, now 17, faces three counts of felony murder in the July 5, 2017 shooting and fatal car crash in downtown Savannah.
Savannah has one of the highest murder rates in Georgia. And last year that number went up by nearly 70 percent. But a spike in crime doesn't happen overnight. City leaders blame years of corruption in the police department. They say it’s bred public distrust. Now they’re working to get it back.