Alan Judd and Carrie Teegardin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 31, 2018
The private organization that supervised a teenager now accused of murder claimed Monday it has an unblemished record of reforming young, often violent criminals.
But just one day before police charged Jayden Myrick, 17, with killing a man shot during a robbery outside an Atlanta country club, a judge revoked the probation of Myrick’s co-defendant in an earlier crime. Like Myrick, that teenager allegedly committed more crimes after leaving a juvenile detention center.
And like Myrick, Kolby Price, also 17, was arrested while assigned to the rehabilitation program Visions Unlimited.
The arrests call into question decisions by Fulton County judges to assign teenagers charged with adult crimes to the organization and its founder, a self-described visionary named Gwendolyn Sands. Visions Unlimited has no office, no paid employees and no funding. Sands lacks formal training in social work or criminology. She has a history of financial troubles, including an arrest for passing a bad check.
But in a news conference Monday, Sands’ son, Leonard Dungee, said judges knew the organization has no residential facility and does not operate around the clock.
But Dungee would not reconcile inconsistencies in his version of work his organization did with Myrick, who is charged with killing 34-year-old Christian Broder of Washington, D.C. On July 8, Broder, an Atlanta native, was shot during a robbery while he and three others waited for an Uber outside the Capital City Club in north Atlanta. He died July 20.
Dungee said no one expected Myrick to live with Sands, even though she twice acquiesced to a judge’s order to take in the teen. He also said Visions Unlimited never claimed it would monitor Myrick around the clock, even though Sands promised the judge the organization would provide “24/7 supervision.”
Dungee spoke outside a house he is renovating in Atlanta’s Adamsville neighborhood – a project that doubles as “career readiness” training for Vision Unlimited participants.
Dungee gave few details about Visions Unlimited, other than to say it is “self-funded.” In the late 2000s, the organization received several million dollars from non-profit foundations, but its fundraising dried up after the IRS revoked its tax-exempt status.