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Eric Sheppard violates probation, in custody

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Michaela Leung, Web Editor

Former VSU student Eric Sheppard was taken into custody for violating probation, according to Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

The warrants said that Sheppard violated his probation in taking a trip to Texas and making harassing phone calls while there.

Sheppard first made headlines in April 2015 after an encounter with former Air Force trainer Michelle Manhart at a protest on campus. During the demonstration, Sheppard walked across the American flag. Manhart attempted to end the protest by taking the flag but was detained by campus police. Manhart was not arrested and the flag was returned to the protesters.

Authorities discovered a gun on campus a few days later. After an investigation, the gun was tied back to Sheppard from pawn shop receipts. The police then issued a warrant.

Sheppard evaded arrest for weeks and was then arrested in Tampa. He was later extradited to Lowndes County.

He pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a weapon in a school safety zone. Sheppard was granted bond and sentenced to three years of probation in addition to: a $32 per month supervision fee, $50 crime lab fee, $2,000 fine and reimbursement of $1,036 to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office for the extradition expenses.

Update as of 1/10/2017:

According to Sheriff Ashley Paulk, Sheppard was arrested in Belton, Texas after making harassing phone calls to the unnamed mother of his child.

Sheppard made bond but was later arrested by the FBI in Cobb County for the probation violation.

“As soon as we hear back from Cobb County he will either be picked up later today or first thing in the morning. A probation hearing will be set and it will determine what will be done next,” said Paulk.

We will continue to report updates on the case.

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