Across the area

Neighbor shoots robbery suspect


An Augusta man who attempted to rob his 56-year-old neighbor was in the hospital Thursday after she shot him in the chest with a .357 Magnum, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Greg Newsome.

Justin Brent Haynie, 19, of Lexington Drive, is charged with burglary, aggravated assault, kidnapping and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. His condition was unclear, but police said they do not believe his injuries were life-threatening.

Investigator Newsome said Mr. Haynie broke into the victim's home in the 3700 block of Lexington Drive just before 4 a.m. and entered her bedroom. The two had a brief struggle, during which the victim grabbed the gun from her night stand and shot Mr. Haynie once in the right side of his chest.

Man who dragged ex gets 2-year sentence

A 36-year-old Aiken man was convicted Thursday of nearly killing his ex-girlfriend last year by dragging her with his truck.

Charles D. Johnson, of Diane Street, was found guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He was sentenced to five years in prison, reduced to a two-year jail sentence and three years on probation.

Assistant Solicitor Lauren Maurice said that on Oct. 6, Mr. Johnson's ex-girlfriend tried to retrieve some of her personal belongings from his truck when he grabbed her and dragged her along the pavement while he was driving.

Police seek suspect in Aiken sex assault

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office on Thursday continued to look for a man believed to have sexually assaulted a 35-year-old Aiken woman with a broom handle Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Michael Frank, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said the incident occurred at approximately 1:10 p.m. at the woman's home in the Summer Lake subdivision off of U.S. Highway 1 north heading toward Interstate 20.

The suspect is described as a white male, 20 to 30 years old, about 6 feet in height, with brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing a baseball cap, a red T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this individual is asked to contact Investigator Charles Cain at (800) 922-9709 or call Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) 559-TIPS. Callers will remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

Brothers sent to jail for armed robbery

Two Martinez men charged in connection with a May armed robbery of a Dollar General in Martinez were sentenced to prison Thursday.

Brothers Isaac Hurst Jr., 19, and Felix Tamaris Hurst, 18, both of the 200 block of Weldon Drive in Martinez, pleaded guilty to armed robbery at a Thursday sentencing hearing in Columbia County. Superior Court Judge Duncan D. Wheale sentenced Isaac Hurst to seven years in prison, and Felix Hurst received 10 years in prison, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Nicastro said.

The robbery occurred May 8 at the discount store at 4115 Old Petersburg Road.

Anthony Jerome Brown, 25, also of Weldon Drive, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in the case on Feb. 23 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Isaac Deon Thompkins is expected to plead guilty to armed robbery and be sentenced today, Mr. Nicastro said.

Bank chairman will speak at graduation

Paine College will hold its graduation ceremonies May 6.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will be held at Bell Auditorium and will feature a commencement speech by Ray Robinson, the chairman of the board of Citizens Trust Bank, the sixth-largest black-owned bank in the nation.

The college will hold its baccalaureate program at 4 p.m. May 5 at Gilbert Lambuth Memorial Chapel.

Abstinence event at Butler High will be free

Parents and children are invited to attend the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Coalition's 11th Annual Sexual Abstinence event.

The free event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Butler High School, 2011 Lumpkin Road. The event will have free food, contests, door prizes and presentations for children and adults.

For more information, call Mary Stacy at (706) 721-5853 or Sandra Heard at (706) 721-5857.

Man gets 12 years in restaurant robbery

An 18-year-old Aiken man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to robbing Sonic Drive-In last year.

Tristan Frazier, formerly of the 100 block of Lane Street, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in Aiken County 2nd Judicial Circuit Court. Judge John Milling sentenced him to 12 years in prison after hearing that Mr. Frazier used a gun to rob the Richland Avenue eatery on Aug. 9. Mr. Frazier was wearing a bandanna over his face during the robbery.

Second Judicial Circuit Solicitor Barbara Morgan said authorities were never able to identify a second gunman in the robbery, who was captured on surveillance footage.

Millbrook teacher is honored at ceremony

A veteran Aiken County educator was honored Thursday night as the recipient of the CSRA Environmental Science Education Cooperative's Environmental Educator of the Year Award.

Karey M. Santos, who teaches fourth grade at Millbrook Elementary School, received the award - and a $500 prize - during a ceremony at Enterprise Mill in Augusta.

Ms. Santos teaches environmental workshops and courses for other teachers, and she participates with her students and the Savannah River Ecology Lab in ongoing studies of a local Carolina Bay formation.

Academy VP to leave for marketing firm

The executive vice president of Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy is leaving the organization to join an Augusta-based publishing and marketing firm.

Jackie Maryak, who joined the academy in 1999 and helped oversee its growth and the construction of a new research and education campus at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, will assume duties May 7 as general manager of The Mitchell Group, composed of Mitchell Restaurant Group LLC and Mitchell Publishing Group Inc.

A replacement for Ms. Maryak at the academy has not been named.

- From staff reports