Across the area

Editor's note: The warrant against Curtis Wheeler was later dismissed by the district attorney on the grounds that 'there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.'  


Police search for bank robber

Police are looking for a man who robbed a south Augusta bank inside a grocery store Friday evening.

Just before 5 p.m., the robber stood in line at the bank in Kroger on Deans Bridge Road and gave a Wachovia teller a note that demanded money, Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Richard Roundtree said.

The robber took the cash and ran out toward the Augusta Tech campus behind the store, Sgt. Roundtree said.

He said the robber never pulled a weapon.

Hunt for drug suspect ends in hotel meth lab

An Augusta man who narcotics officers had been tracking for a week was arrested Thursday night after police found a methamphetamine lab in his Columbia County hotel room, police say.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said narcotics investigators arrested Travis Frederick Lever, 35, of the 3300 block of Lundy Road, at about 11:30 p.m. at Econo Lodge at 4090 Belair Road near Interstate 20.

Mr. Lever was being held Friday in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond after being charged with manufacturing and possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and a probation violation.

Capt. Morris said police discovered a meth lab in room 210 with pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, iodine and hot plates, all used to make meth. The lab and chemicals posed no threat to other hotel guests, Capt Morris said.

Aiken officers look for missing man

Aiken authorities are looking for a 57-year-old man whose family says has been missing since Jan. 17.

Gerald Adkinson, of the 300 block of Talatha Church Road in Aiken, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, according to the sheriff's office.

He has gray hair and hazel eyes.

Mr. Adkinson does not have a driver's license and typically walks everywhere, authorities say, and he walked away from home Jan. 17.

Anyone with information about his location is asked to call Investigator Lynn Ghant at (800) 922-9709 or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) 559-TIPS to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.

Skull found near mill is sent to Atlanta lab

A skull found by a construction crew near Enterprise Mill has been sent to a crime lab in Atlanta to determine its origin, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Tom Johnson.

No other remains were found near the skull, which was discovered Wednesday by crews clearing debris around the mill restored for loft housing and office space on Greene Street.

Investigators think it had been removed from its body for about three years.

Preliminary examinations by a forensic anthropologist with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation indicate that it belonged to a black man older than 20, Investigator Johnson said. The forensic anthropologist told local authorities that teeth had been glued into the skull and that it did not appear to have any stamps or markings identifying it as a medical skull.

One possibility is that it could be a "trophy skull," which Investigator Johnson said gangs have been known to keep when they kill a member of a rival gang.

Man shot in the head; neighbor is charged

A south Augusta man was charged in the shooting of his neighbor Friday night.

Henry Williams, 58, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Brandon Beckman said.

His neighbor, Wilbert Fuller, was shot with a .38-caliber gun and was airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. Fuller was in surgery until late Friday night, the investigator said. A hospital spokeswoman said there was no information listed for him, but police think he will live.

Officers were called to the scene on the 3900 block of Bath-Edie Road around 9 p.m., and investigators were still interviewing the neighbor at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office around midnight.

They could not immediately provide the motive for the shooting. However, Investigator Beckman said the two men were lifelong friends.

Police say teacher called girl many times

The Richmond County high school teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student made more than 170 telephone calls to her and sent several text messages of a sexual nature, authorities say.

The phone contact came during a 10-day period in December, according to a news release Friday from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Curtis Wheeler, 26, was being held without bond Friday in the Richmond County Jail, charged with sexual exploitation of children.

Many of the phone calls by the Glenn Hills High School teacher were placed well after midnight and as late as 3 a.m., according to the news release.

Mr. Wheeler was arrested Thursday at the high school.

No evidence has been found that suggests a physical relationship between the teacher and the student, the news release said.

Food drive will be held at Sam's Club

Southern Siding will hold a food drive today at Sam's Club that will benefit Golden Harvest Food Bank.

Donations of nonperishable, tax-deductible food will be accepted at 596 Bobby Jones Expressway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Golden Harvest helps provide thousands of needy families and individuals with food from partner agencies: nonprofit organizations, church food pantries, senior centers, and Kids Cafes.

- Edited from staff reports