Across Georgia

Law barring killers' inheritances debated


ATLANTA --- After a murder suspect used an inheritance from her alleged victim to pay legal fees, prosecutors cried foul -- and now the Georgia Supreme Court is considering how to apply a law that bars a killer from inheriting money from a victim.

Some of the state's top defense attorneys and prosecutors gathered Monday to hear the argument. Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head likened it to a suspect's attorney being paid with money recently stolen from a bank.

But defense attorneys warned that using the statute to force attorneys to repay legal fees would "eviscerate" the constitutional right to a fair trial with assistance of counsel.

The fight centers on the slaying of Jerry Eugene Post, who was killed in October 2001. His wife, Debra Samples Post, was named executor of his will, but in September 2002 she was charged with murder for arranging his killing.

A week after she was arrested, Ms. Post transferred property from her husband's estate to her defense attorneys, who later sold it for $260,000. Over the next few months, the attorneys paid $125,000 in fees to a law firm with death penalty expertise.

Former TV employee charged with theft

ATLANTA --- State prosecutors say a former Georgia Public Broadcasting employee stole more than $21,000 through a complex fraud scheme.

Belinda Davis was charged Monday with 46 felony counts of theft by taking.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker says she drew funds from GPB accounts and put them in personal accounts.

Each count carries a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison. Ms. Davis was employed in GPB's finance department, and she was fired in February 2008 after the allegations were uncovered.

Mother charged with leaving babies in car

ELLENWOOD --- A Marietta woman faces child cruelty charges after being accused of leaving her 4-month-old twins in a hot car while she shopped.

Police said Janesia Williams, 26, was in Wal-Mart for about 30 minutes Saturday. She left the windows cracked open, which enabled police to get the children out.

They were taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, but doctors said they were OK. The father got them from there.

Publisher will reissue four books by Dr. King

ATLANTA --- Four books by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be published again under a deal with Beacon Press brokered by Dr. King's youngest son.

Dexter King called the deal "an historic partnership."

Beacon, a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association, publishes books on social justice, human rights and racial equality. Among the authors it has published are James Baldwin, Derrick Bell, Cornel West, Howard Thurman, Marian Wright Edelman and Roger Wilkins .

On Jan. 18, 2010 -- the federal holiday observing what would have been Dr. King's 80th birthday -- the Boston-based publisher will release new editions of several of his most important works, which have been unavailable for nearly two decades, including Stride Toward Freedom , Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? , Trumpet of Conscience and Strength to Love .