Glynn County Police remained tight-lipped Thursday on the circumstances surrounding “charges related to family violence” they filed this week against attorney Billy Reid Zeh, which resulted in the former State Court Public Defender’s third arrest since March of 2018.
Zeh, 45, remained Thursday in the Glynn County Detention Center, held without bond on two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of robbery, battery and kidnapping, according to jail records. All are felony charges except for the count of battery, which is a misdemeanor. Zeh turned himself in at the jail at around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, roughly eight hours after county police issued a public announcement that he was being sought for arrest on the charges.
County police issued a public appeal around 11 p.m. Tuesday, seeking help locating the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Zeh for arrest. Police noted that warrants had been taken out against Zeh for the above-stated charges. Other than to say these are “charges related to family violence,” police released no further details. Police would not divulge Thursday when or where the alleged incidents took place or when the warrants were obtained, citing the ongoing investigation, county police spokesman Brandon Kondo said Thursday.
County police arrested Zeh in March of 2018 and charged him with simple battery, stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attacked a man at the King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons Island. Zeh allegedly grabbed a man who was seated at the bar, threw him to the floor and kicked him several times, police said.
At the time of his arrest, Zeh was serving as Public Defender for Glynn County’s State Court, which handles misdemeanor crimes and traffic charges.
Zeh was arrested again in June of that year, charged with DUI and damage to property. County police alleged Zeh struck the side of a woman’s home late at night with a vehicle, then drove home. An officer later found Zeh at his home on St. Simons Island, cited him for property damage and warned to remain home due to alleged intoxication. The officer later stopped Zeh shortly after midnight on Frederica Road and arrested him on a charge of DUI.
After his second arrest, Zeh ceased being the State Court Public Defender under a mutual agreement between himself and the court, said Chief Deputy Court Clerk Rodney Bart Bennett.
Zeh settled both of those arrests during an Aug. 2 appearance in Ware County’s State Court, court records show. In a pretrial diversion plea, the simple battery charge was dismissed on 40 hours community service given and Zeh was ordered to seek anger management counseling, court records show.
The DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving, for which Zeh was given 12 months’ probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service, court records show.
The proceedings were conducted in Ware County State Court Judge Douglas L. Gibson’s chambers to avoid conflict with the county court system where Zeh had once served as Public Defender.
Anyone with information about the present charges against Zeh is asked to call the Glynn County Police Investigations Division at 912-554-7802, or Silent Witness hotline at 912-264-1333.