Three juveniles caught shoplifting at Walmart led to the arrest of their mother and stepfather late Thursday night.
The three boys – who ranged in age from 11-13 – were caught shoplifting socks, shoes and candy from the store. When the officer called out to the store attempting to contact the boy’s mother, he was unsuccessful.
The boys also initially refused to tell authorities their mother’s name, saying that “they were instructed by their mother not to provide law enforcement with her name; in case she may have an outstanding warrant for her arrest.”
They did admit to taking the merchandise, reportedly telling officers that their mother did not have the money or resources to provide for them. They eventually identified their mother as 36-year-old Janni Diana Samuel and their stepfather as 24-year-old Nicholas Germaude Clark.
Walmart declined to prosecute the three boys and they were released to officers who drove the children home. On the way the boys told officers that both their mother and stepfather were at home.
When officers arrived at the children’s home, the boys stayed in the patrol vehicle with one officer, while another officer knocked on the door of the home. The door was answered by a man, later identified as Paul Michael Keavy, who reeked of alcohol and reportedly told them that neither Samuel nor Clark were home.
He allowed the officer to enter and they encountered a woman who also appeared to have been drinking. She backed up the man’s story that Samuel and Clark weren’t at home and they had left about an hour earlier “to handle errands.”
Keavy told officers that he did not live at the residence but that he had been asked by the boy’s mother to watch her children while she was gone. The woman said she had come to the home to visit with Keavy and wash her clothes. She also reportedly told officers that she didn’t personally know Clark or Samuel.
Although he told officers earlier that Samuel had asked him to watch her children, he now told them that he didn’t know her that well and didn’t know her last name until they told him. Keavy said he did know Clark but had no way of getting in touch with him. The officer informed the two why he was looking for Clark and Samuel and walked back to the patrol vehicle.
Moments later, Keavy came outside with a cell phone in hand and said that Samuel was on the phone and wanted to speak with him. The woman on the other end of the phone identified herself as Samuel, but when officers told her she needed to come pick her three children up she refused, saying that she was called into work (she told officers that she cleaned houses) for an emergency. She said she didn’t know where Clark was. Officers told Samuel that the boys would be at the police department and she needed to pick them up within 30 minutes.
While at the police station officers received a call from a Samuel. She said her boss would not let her leave work early and if she did she would loose her job. She again refused to come pick her children up, allegedly saying she “didn’t want to risk loosing her job.” She also once again refused to provide the whereabouts of Clark.
Less than 10 minutes later, officers received a call from the same number as Samuel. This time it was Clark. He reportedly told officers that he didn’t know where Samuel was and that he had not seen her in several days. He told officers that he hadn’t been staying with her but with his grandmother out of town. When asked why he was calling from the same number as Samuel had moments earlier, he hung up.
While officers remained with the three children at the police department, a Department of Family and Children Services worker arrived. He told them Samuel had called him and given a family member permission to take custody because she was unable to make it.
Around midnight the officers met with the family member who turned out to be Keavy. He still reeked of alcohol and had with a handwritten note allegedly signed by Samuel that authorized him or another man to take custody of the boys. He said they drove to Conyers where she was working to get the note.
Eventually he admitted to not only knowing Samuel, but to be related to her and also to living in the home with her and Clark. He apologized for lying and said that both Samuel and Clark had been in the home when officers were there three hours before and were still there hiding. Keavy was arrested and charged with obstruction.
At nearly 1 a.m. officers arrived at the home where Clark and Samuel were reportedly hiding. When they pulled up a man exited through the carport door and started walking away. Officers stopped him and he was identified as Clark. He allegedly reeked of alcohol and as officers arrested him, reportedly said “don’t lock my wife up, she’s a good mother.”
Officers entered the home and found Samuel sitting on the couch with the woman they spoke with earlier who had denied knowing her. Samuel, who reportedly smelled of alcohol, came to the officers saying “I knew you were coming. Sorry for lying on the phone.” She was also arrested.
At 3:20 a.m., the three boys were turned over to DFACS – six hours after initially being caught shoplifting. They were released to the temporary care of foster parents since both Samuel and Clark had refused to take responsibility for them.
Samuel was charged with obstruction and three counts to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Clark was charged with obstruction. Both also have outstanding warrants from other counties.