Across the area

Judge denies bond for molestation suspect


A man accused of exposing himself to girls on their way to school was denied bond Friday.

Robert Lee Brown, 32, faces five counts of child molestation.

Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers told the judge that the girls said a man had exposed himself several times between Aug. 26 and Sept. 12. The girls were either walking to their school bus stop or, in the case of one 14-year-old, in the parking lot of Murphy Middle School.

Richmond County Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis denied bond. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Brown was on probation for a drug offense.

Bond denied for two suspects in homicide

Bond was denied Friday for two of three suspects in one of Augusta's recent homicides.

Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis denied bond for Kenneth R. Gaines, 26, and Ian G. Bonner, 16.

They and Cornelius Moore, 16, are accused of plotting an armed robbery.

The two teens also face a murder charge in the Oct. 2 fatal shooting of Jezreel Hammond, 23, inside his Royal Street home.

Student denied bond in attack on woman

An Augusta high school student accused of attacking an ex-girlfriend in an attempt to make her drop domestic violence charges was denied bond Friday.

Jamal B. Staten faces charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, aggravated stalking and aggravated battery.

At a Richmond County Superior Court bond hearing, Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers told the judge that Mr. Staten was under a court order to stay away from the victim after an April 21 argument turned physical.

While free on bond in that case, Mr. Staten is accused of attacking the woman, beating her with a metal object, dunking her head in a toilet and sexually assaulting her.

Police say father fled, leaving child in car

A Hephzibah father is in jail after leaving his 2-year-old son in his car while he ran from deputies Thursday morning, police said.

Alfonzo Lee Merriweather, 22, of the 2900 block of Celeste Drive, is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, deprivation of a minor and various traffic charges, according to Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Gay.

A deputy stopped Mr. Merriweather on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Forrest Drive because his vehicle had no license plate. Mr. Merriweather ran from the vehicle, leading deputies on a chase through several backyards before he was caught on Mercer Street, Lt. Gay said.

When police returned to the car, they found the boy alone in the vehicle. Seven grams of cocaine were in the vehicle, and 10 small bags of marijuana weighing 9.4 grams were also seized.

Deputies notified the Department of Family and Child Services, and the child was turned over to his mother, Lt. Gay said.

--From staff reports