John Fanning, 34, and Lesley Fanning, 31, still face charges stemming from a domestic violence incident at their Dacula home on Bold Springs Road earlier this year.
John Fanning was arraigned Oct. 3 in Gwinnett State Court on a misdemeanor battery charge and interfering with a 911 call as a result of the incident. Lesley Fanning waived arraignment in Gwinnett Superior Court Sept. 11 on a felony charge of aggravated assault and had her attorney request a jury trial. Gwinnett Police had filed the charges against both of them following the Jan. 31 incident.
The Fannings, who have been married for 14 years, are in the process of obtaining a divorce and are involved in a custody dispute over their three children.
A Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman reported that the department had responded to about 20 calls at that address since the beginning of 2009. "These were for various things: animal complaints, a fire, a traffic accident, and domestic disputes," he said.
John Fanning, the son of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, recently was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for bribery and drug trafficking. Lasseter is due to report to federal prison soon to start serving her 33-month term for accepting bribes for her favorable vote on a proposed development in her commission district. Fanning is scheduled to voluntarily report to the prison in two weeks or so.
The federal charges against John Fanning and Lasseter resulted from an FBI sting operation in 2011.
John Fanning currently was being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond on charges of aggravated assault, cruelty to children (third degree), and false imprisonment after a new incident at the home Friday, Oct. 5, FOX5 News reported.
A spokesman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department said John Fanning became involved in an altercation with his estranged wife then fled the scene. He was taken into custody in woods near the home. Fanning allegedly assaulted his wife with a wooden table and its legs in front of their children.
John Fanning was booked into the jail at 11:28 a.m. Friday, according to jail records.
In a separate incident, Lesley Fanning was charged Sept. 12 by the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department with carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a concealed weapon to a gathering after a handgun was discovered in her purse/laptop bag at Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center security checkpoint.
The handgun discovery occurred following lunch break. The Fannings had been at a custody hearing concerning their children in court that morning. Lesley Fanning was returning to the center for her appointment that afternoon with a court-appointed guardian ad litem.
Lesley Fanning reportedly borrowed the gun from a friend for protection against her husband, had planned to return it during lunch, but forgot it was in her purse/laptop bag.
She was also charged with not having the original container for a prescription bottle of varied drugs found in her possession. The gun, 10 rounds of ammunition and the medications were confiscated as evidence.
In the late January domestic dispute in which the Fannings were subsequently charged and released on bond from the Gwinnett County Jail, police had not been called to the residence. A Gwinnett Police officer patrolling observed a visibly upset Lesley Fanning near her vehicle parked in the driveway of the Harbins Community House on Feb. 1.
According to the GCPD incident report, she told the officer that her husband John Fanning had thrown her purse and cell phone out of his car window the previous night following an argument and she was walking along along Harbins Road trying to find them. Her husband had started the argument over a text message he had found on her cell phone, she said.
During the argument, her husband had become violent, slapped her, hit her, kicked her, and whipped her over her buttocks, Lesley Fanning informed the officer. She had bitten him in the arm while they wrestled over their son's cell phone, she said. The officer reported that he photographed the injuries and bruises she had sustained from the altercation with her husband the night before.
When John pushed her against the kitchen island, Lesley told the officer she grabbed a pair of shears, swung them at him and cut his hand. He was bleeding badly and left for the hospital where his hand required six stitches, she said.
After later interviewing John to obtain his version of the incident, the officer decided to obtain warrants and arrest them both. The officer also photographed John Fanning’s injuries.
When John Fanning was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. Sept. 18 for bribery and drug trafficking in federal district court in Atlanta, the judge considered ordering that John immediately be taken into custody for his own protection after learning that Lesley had brought a gun into the Gwinnett court building earlier in the month.
John Fanning told the judge that he needed time to work out custody arrangements for their children, and that he and his wife were making progress. Another hearing was scheduled in three weeks, he said.
The judge then gave him about four weeks to work out the custody issue.