Guilty verdicts in Travelers Cases
Jun 20, 2014 | 3083 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, two Murray County juries convicted two different men of travelling to Murray County for the purpose of having sex with underage females. On Tuesday, after just twenty minutes of deliberations, the first jury convicted Michael Robert Doan (54) of Ooltewah, Tennessee, of criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation and computer and electronic child exploitation, all felonies. Starting on Thursday and concluding Friday, a separate jury heard evidence and subsequently convicted Sunil Shamji Jungiwalla (49), of Snellville, Georgia, of the same three crimes. Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris presided over both trials which were presented to the jury by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer.

Both cases were made by Detective Brett Morrison of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office in his capacity as a member of the Northwest Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Doan spent two days conversing with Detective Morrison, who was posing as the step-father of two underage step-daughters, before coming to Murray County in January of 2012. He purchased and took Cialis, an erectile dysfunction medication shortly before the pre-arranged meeting at which he was arrested. Once in custody, he admitted to Detective Morrison, consistent with his earlier e-mail communication, that he intended to have sexual relations with females he believed to be underage.

Jungiwalla came to Murray County for the same purpose in July of 2011 after a series of graphic e-mails, text messages and recorded phone calls with Detective Morrison, this time posing as the uncle of an underage niece. Jungiwalla brough alcohol for his intended victim to the meeting location in Murray County where he was arrested and like Doan, admitted his intentions to Detective Morrison when questioned.

Both men presented entrapment defenses through their attorneys, Dan Ripper of Chattanooga for Doan and Charles Brandt of Atlanta for Jungiwalla. The entrapment defense asserts that the idea for the crime originated with law enforcement and that the perpetrator was coerced into committing, or in this case, attempting to commit the crime by undue pressure and influence from the detective. Anticipating the defense, Detective Morrison and other members of the task force employ a variety of techniques to document their communication with the suspect and to give the suspect more than one opportunity to withdraw from the arrangement before any arrest is made. Neither jury believed that the offenders were entrapped.

Jungiwalla will be sentenced on July 16th and faces up to 30 years on the attempted aggravated child molestation, 10 years on attempted child molestation and 20 years on computer and electronic child exploitation. As he is not a United States citizen, Jungiwalla will likely be deported to India after serving his sentence. Due to a scheduling conflict with his attorney, Doan will not be sentenced until August 27th when he will face the same amount of time as Jungiwalla. Both men remain in the custody of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office pending sentencing.

The cases took longer than normal to bring to trial because Detective Morrison was the primary witness in Doan and the only witness in Jungiwalla and he was unavailable from September 2012 through September 2013 serving in Afghanistan. The Superior Court of Murray County convenes for jury trials only three times per year so it has taken some time since Detective Morrison’s return to catch up his caseload. Jury trials resume in Chatsworth on Monday, June 23, 2014 after which the next trial term will be in October.

In between the two Murray County trial weeks this month, Superior Court Judges Cindy Morris and Jack Partain held jury trials in Whitfield County. Judge Partain presided over the murder trial of Frank Scott Bozzie which resulted in a conviction yesterday while Judge Morris presided over a felony drug trial and a driving under the influence trial, both of which ended with guilty verdicts this week.

See more in next week's Chatsworth Times.