Across Georgia

Police officers to be charged in shooting


ATLANTA - Fulton County prosecutors said they intend to seek murder charges against three Atlanta police officers involved in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman, according to the lawyer for one of the officers.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard sent a letter that said he will ask a grand jury Feb. 26 to deliver a murder indictment against officers Gregg Junnier, J.R. Smith and Arthur Tesler, said Rand Csehy, Mr. Junnier's attorney.

Kathryn Johnston died and three officers were wounded in the Nov. 21 shootout when police used a no-knock warrant to search for drugs in Ms. Johnston's northwest Atlanta home. Narcotics officers said an informant had claimed there was cocaine in the home, but none was found.

Lawyer blames mercury for crematory's crimes

RINGGOLD - The lawyer for the operator of a crematory where more than 300 uncremated human remains were found said he believes the situation can be blamed on exposure to mercury his client suffered.

McCracken Poston said he believes Ray Brent Marsh was suffering the effects of long-term exposure to mercury vapors from a poorly built ventilation system that vented gas and particles from cremations into the room where Mr. Marsh worked.

Mr. Poston said Mr. Marsh's behavior and health problems suffered by his late father, crematory founder Ray Marsh, match the effects of long-term exposure to mercury vapors caused by burning dental fillings during cremation.

A test on Mr. Marsh's hair in 2004 indicated elevated mercury, Mr. Poston said.

Mr. Marsh is serving a 12-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 787 counts of theft, abuse of a corpse, burial service fraud and making false statements.

Man admits poisoning his children's soup

ATLANTA - A Georgia man admitted Tuesday that he tampered with his children's soup in an attempt to get money from the Campbell Soup Co., U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said.

William Allen Cunningham, 41, of Stockbridge, pleaded guilty to communicating false claims, Mr. Nahmias said.

"He admitted that he put potentially life-threatening foreign substances into soup, which he fed to his two young children and then placed a call to Campbell Soup Co. falsely claiming that the soup had been contaminated," the prosecutor said.

Mr. Nahmias said that under terms of a plea agreement, Mr. Cunningham could be sentenced to up to five years in federal prison April 19 by U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes.

Mr. Cunningham's 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter were hospitalized twice in January 2006.

- Edited from wire reports