Across the area

Deputies shoot man to death


A man who tried to hit officers with his vehicle was shot to death by deputies Tuesday night.

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said three narcotics officers went to an address in the 1900 block of Ohio Avenue in an attempt to arrest a man on several felony warrants.

The officers confronted him in the front yard. One officer was standing directly behind the man's vehicle and two officers were on the sides. When the man put the vehicle in reverse and drove in the direction of one of the officers, the deputies fired several shots at him, the sheriff said. The vehicle continued traveling down the road in reverse for about 200 yards before the man got out and collapsed.

He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and was pronounced dead at 9:38 p.m., according to Deputy Coroner Johnny McDonald.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, Sheriff Strength said. The names of the officers and the victim were not released.

Police suspect man held up 2 businesses

Richmond County investigators are looking into whether an attempted robbery of Jo-Ann Fabrics on Wrightsboro Road and the robbery of an Augusta Pizza Hut on Monday were committed by the same man.

At 8:54 p.m., a man came to the checkout counter at the fabric store and demanded cash, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report. The victims said he had his hand in his pocket as if he was carrying a weapon.

The clerk wasn't able to open the register and had to call for help twice. After the manager failed to get it open, the bandit hit her in the head and fled.

About 17 minutes later, a man fitting the same description entered Pizza Hut on Georgetown Drive. As the clerk was taking his order, the man demanded money and had his hand in his pocket as if he was carrying a gun, a sheriff's report said. He stole money from the register and safe.

Sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew said a white, four-door car was seen leaving both locations. The man is described as black, about 6 feet 2 inches and about 175 pounds. He has a light beard and mustache.

Woman is accused of trying to hit officer

A woman accused of trying to run over a police officer last month was arrested Monday.

Merita Stephens Carter, 40, was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center about 10:30 p.m., according to jail records. She is charged with assault with the intent to kill, driving 63 in a 45 mph zone and reckless driving, according to jail records.

Public Safety deputies pulled Ms. Carter over Oct. 17 for speeding, Lt. Turno said. When the officer smelled alcohol and asked her to leave the car, she refused, he said.

"She drove away, turned around and drove back toward the deputy," Lt. Turno said.

She is being held at the jail on a $10,445 bond.

Regents panel backs work on MCG plant

ATLANTA --- A $2.5 million expansion and upgrade of the energy plant at the Medical College of Georgia won initial approval Tuesday from the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents.

The Committee on Real Estate and Facilities recommended the full board approve the project formally today.

The project, funded by the college, includes installation of a gas-fired generator, a centrifugal chiller and underground ducts. The school estimates it will heat and cool the Cancer Research Center, the Sanders Research & Education Building and future buildings for the School of Dentistry, School of Medicine and the Education Commons.