Man with long criminal history arrested for violating sex offender requirements in Chatham County

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - A sex offender unit from the Chatham County Sheriff's Office arrested Bobby Buckner on Wednesday for staying at a residence other than what is specified on his sex offender registry.

The unit arrested Buckner on Gulfstream Road around 11 a.m. Wednesday, and charged him with failure to comply with sex offender requirements. Chatham County has more than 700 sex offenders, but only three of them are level three predators - including Buckner. A level three is the highest rating on the sex offender registry. The state of Georgia requires law enforcement to check the accuracy of the residence listed for offenders once a year. The Chatham County Sheriff's Office says they do this and more.

"We visit them four times a year instead of one time," said Sheriff John Wilcher. "All this is mandated by the government, who didn't give us any money to do this. We pull people aside to do it because I'm very interested in that because I want people in this community to be safe and think they're safe."

The sheriff's office received information that Buckner was allegedly living at the home of his girlfriend and her two children without proper notification of a change of address. Buckner is considered a level three predator, which is the highest rating on the sex offender registry.

Bucker has a long criminal history. Here's a timeline:

  • March 1996 - Buckner pleaded guilty to child molestation and statutory rape charges in March of 1996. A court sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Buckner served one year in prison and was released on probation.
  • April 2003 - In April of 2003, 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore went missing. The last person to see her was Buckner, who at the time was the live-in boyfriend of Moore's mother. The mother met Buckner while she was a corrections officer at the Chatham Co. Detention Center and he was serving time. A month later, Moore's body was found.
  • April 2004 - A year later, Buckner went to prison for violating his probation. He was arrested when he reported Moore missing because he wasn't supposed to be in the presence of females under 16 without an adult present.
  • December 2007 - Almost five years after Moore's death, a Chatham County grand jury indicted Buckner on murder and kidnapping charges.
  • May 2012 - In May 2012, the case against Buckner was dismissed on the grounds that it violated his right to a speedy trial since Buckner was not indicted until five years after Ashleigh's death.

Buckner left prison in the spring of 2016. In 2003, a Chatham County grand jury indicted him on murder and kidnapping charges for the death and disappearance of a 12-year-old girl.

You can watch WTOC's previous coverage of Buckner's release here:

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