John Fanning remains in the Gwinnett County Detention Center Tuesday following a domestic dispute involving his estranged wife Lesley Fanning last Friday (Oct. 5) at their Dacula home. The new incident may delay his going to federal prison for a while.
Fanning was charged with felony aggravated assault and felony false imprisonment. Following a Gwinnett court appearance Saturday, the judge scheduled a bond hearing on these charges for Oct. 17. A bond of $2,000 each was set on charges of misdemeanor cruelty to children and obstructing a call for emergency assistance.
Fanning allegedly confronted his wife at their home on Bold Springs Road about 7:30 a.m. Friday, prevented her from leaving, and beat her with a wooden table and its legs in view of their three children, according to arrest warrants obtained by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department for Fanning. The assault with the table allegedly caused visible bruising and lacerations on Lesley Fanning’s forearms, legs and back. He also reportedly kept two of his children from calling 911.
Fanning, who was wearing an electronic monitoring device, fled the home on foot and was located hiding under some brush and leaves in a wooded area between Jones Phillips and Indian Shoals roads by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT Unit, the Sheriff’s Department incident report stated. He was arrested about 11 a.m. and transported to jail.
The U.S. Marshal’s Office has a hold on Fanning who pleaded guilty in May to federal bribery and drug trafficking charges and was scheduled to report to prison in the near future. He was sentenced to serve 57 months by a judge in U.S. District Court in Atlanta in September.
The charges filed against him in the latest Gwinnett domestic incident may keep him out of federal prison until the local case is resolved.
The U.S. Marshal's Office wouldn't take Fanning into custody to transport him immediately to prison unless he were released on bond from jail on charges in the Gwinnett case, according to a spokesman with the U.S. Marshal's Office. In that instance, the state of Georgia would then probably file a writ of habeas corpus for his return, the spokesman said. The state would be allowed to proceed with its case, he said.
"We wouldn't take custody, the spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Office said, "until the state is done with him."
Fanning is the son of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, who was sentenced to 33 months in September after pleading guilty in May to accepting bribes to vote favorably on a proposed development in her commission district. She is also scheduled to report to federal prison soon.
John Fanning and Lasseter face the federal prison sentences as the result of a 2011 FBI sting operation.
The Fannings are in the process of obtaining a divorce and involved in a custody dispute over their three children.