Across the area

Mistrial is declared in beating of elderly man


A mistrial was declared Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a mother and son accused of brutally beating an elderly man.

The Richmond County Superior Court jury deliberated several hours without reaching a unanimous verdict in the case of Mary J. Deloatch, 65, and Troy W. Deloatch, 42.

The two were arrested after an Aug. 29 attack on William Palmer, 82, who was found locked in his south Augusta home two days later.

Mr. Palmer suffered broken facial bones, head injuries, a broken arm and internal injuries.

Mr. Palmer testified that the mother and son beat him with a baseball bat and iron tool during a robbery at his home.

Ms. Deloatch and her son, currently held in jail without bond, could face a retrial later this year.

Man was killed by blow to head, coroner finds

A man found dead Tuesday beneath a city bridge was killed by a blow to the head, the Richmond County coroner said Wednesday.

Coroner Grover Tuten said David Dunaway, 48, of Carrollton, Ga., was killed recently, but officials have yet to determine a specific day.

His body was found beneath a River Watch Parkway bridge west of 15th Street by a man fishing in the Augusta Canal, authorities said.

No arrest in Augusta in child porn dragnet

Richmond County investigators said Wednesday that no arrests had been made in Richmond County as part of the recent child pornography roundup by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Bonnie Basile participated in the roundup -- dubbed Operation Shattered Innocence -- and said that at least one of the warrants served by the GBI was in the downtown Augusta area.

Investigator Basile said her office seized a computer in west Augusta on Tuesday but that this case is being handled by the sheriff's office, not the GBI.

GBI agents and local authorities executed 40 search warrants, made 16 arrests and seized about 60 computers across the state by Tuesday afternoon.

Police hunt man after car moved with forklift

Police are looking for an Augusta man who used a forklift to move his co-worker's car Tuesday.

David Johnson, of the 2000 block of Country Place Drive, told a witness that the victim had taken his parking spot and that "he better come and move it" or that he would "move it for him," according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The witness told police that Mr. Johnson lifted the vehicle, which was parked at Southeastern Equipment Co. on Mike Padgett Highway, off the ground twice and then let it fall.

Mr. Johnson is wanted on charges of second-degree criminal damage to property, the report said.

Laney students face tribunal over charges

Two Laney High School students will face tribunal hearings after their suspensions for trespassing at Tubman Middle School, school officials said Wednesday. One of the students was also found carrying knives, officials said.

The two were arrested after they entered Tubman Middle School's campus, in the 1700 block of Walton Way, about noon Tuesday, according to Louis Svehla, Richmond Coun- ty Board of Education spokesman.

A board of education police officer stopped them from entering the school, Mr. Svehla said.

After a search, the officer found two steak knives on one of the teens.

She faces charges of criminal trespassing and possession of a weapon.

The other teen, also female, faces a criminal trespass charge.

Sex offender's trial is delayed in Brunswick

The trial of a convicted sex offender accused of molesting a pre-teen girl near Brunswick, Ga., has been postponed, a representative of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

William Archer Stulb, 24, formerly of the 2800 block of Lombardy Court in Augusta, is accused of molesting an 11-year-old Augusta girl dur- ing a trip to Sea Island, Ga., in June.

The trial, scheduled to start Monday, was continued.

It was the second incident involving Mr. Stulb, who was convicted of statutory rape in 2005 but was not required to register as a sex offender until the law changed in 2006.

Mr. Stulb is being held in the Glynn County Detention Center.

Father tells jury about finding his dying son

Rodney McGhee Sr. told a jury Wednesday how he found his namesake dying on the side of the road on May 3, 2006.

Mr. McGhee was among the first witnesses to testify in Richmond County Superior Court in the murder trial of Johnny Dinh.

Mr. Dinh was 14 when he was arrested for killing 20-year-old Rodney McGhee Jr., who lived next door on Keron Way in Hephzibah.

Shortly before finding his son, Mr. McGhee had waved to Mr. Dinh as he passed him in the yard, Mr. McGhee testified.

He didn't respond, the father said.

Testimony continues at 9:30 a.m. today.