Across the area

'Family Circle' ranks Evans in top 10 towns


Evans has been honored in a national forum by being named one of the 10 Best Towns for Families in Family Circle magazine's August edition.

The edition, which is not yet on newsstands, compares Evans to other communities nationwide based on affordable housing, good neighbors, green space and quality schools.

Arrest made in man's 2007 fatal shooting

Aiken County authorities arrested a man Friday wanted in the murder of an Augusta man two years ago.

Lewis Maurice Wigfall was arrested for possession of crack cocaine in Aiken County, and is also wanted for murder in the death of 25-year-old Marquez Williams, according to an Aiken County Detention Center jail administrator.

In October 2007, Mr. Williams was shot several times in East Augusta Commons. Richmond County Investigator Tom Johnson believed Mr. Wigfall was in the vehicle when Mr. Williams was shot, according to an earlier report.

Mr. Wigfall remained at the Aiken County Detention Center Friday night.

Man fatally shoots himself in standoff

A man wanted by deputies in Richmond and Columbia counties killed himself early Friday during a police standoff in Bath. Aiken Coroner Tim Carlton identified him as Martin Jarrett, 36.

He had barricaded himself at his residence at 130 Railroad St. after deputies attempted to serve a warrant about 3 a.m., according to Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell.

During negotiations, the suspect fired twice from his handgun, Capt. Elwell said. Deputies shot tear-gas into the house and heard a third gunshot, which they believe the suspect fired at himself.

Mr. Jarrett was wanted for burglary, aggravated assault, armed robbery and weapons charges in Columbia County. He had a probation violation in Richmond County, Capt. Elwell said.

Man pleads guilty in Regency copper theft

The second man accused of causing extensive damage to Regency Mall while stealing copper wire pleaded guilty Friday.

Bryant Hobbs, 31, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to 15 of the 57 counts of property damages. Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Mr. Hobbs to eight years in prison followed by 32 on probation.

Mr. Hobbs and Calvin Burnett, 26, were arrested in May 2008. The mall's owners estimated the damage at $2.5 million.

Mr. Burnett pleaded guilty last fall and received a sentence of five years in prison followed by five years on probation.

Suspects still sought in bank armed robbery

Aiken County authorities are asking the public's help in finding two suspects in a Thursday bank robbery in Graniteville.

Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Myers said police on Friday were looking for Javier Hickson, 26, of the 100 block of Woodland Drive Extension, Aiken; and Artrell Jabar Hickson, 19, of the same address.

On Thursday, police arrested David Mark Kearse Jr. in the robbery, which occurred at the Security Federal Bank on Canal Street. Police have said Javier Hickson and Artrell Hickson are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call (800) 922-9709 or (888) CRIME-SC.

2 sought in break-in at Housing Authority

Investigators are looking for two men who broke into an Augusta Housing Authority property on Peters Road on Wednesday and caused thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles parked there.

The men broke windows out of six Ford trucks on the property, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Two men sought in gas station robbery

Aiken County authorities are investigating an armed robbery of a North Augusta gas station Thursday night.

Police say two men entered the Kangaroo Express at 349 Edgefield Road about 10:30 p.m., one pointing a gun at the cashier and demanding money.

Both men, described as black and wearing all black clothing, gloves, ski masks and bandanas, then ran from the store. Police described one of the robbers as between the ages of 20 and 25, about 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds. The second man is described as between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches and weighing about 160 pounds.

Anyone with information can call Aiken County sheriff's Investigator Chuck Cain at (800) 922-9709 or Crime Stoppers of the Midlands at (888) 599-TIPS.

Blaze destroys North Leg Family Restaurant

Fire investigators have deemed the fire that destroyed an Augusta restaurant as arson.

Richmond County Fire Lt. Neal Brown said Friday night that the fire at North Leg Family Restaurant was a cover-up for a burglary that occurred about 2:30 a.m. The burglars got away with meat and other food items, but money and appliances were not taken, Lt. Brown said.

The fire remains under investigation.

Man on bike robs woman at gunpoint

A 20-year-old woman said she was robbed at gunpoint Thursday while checking her vehicle's engine in the 1900 block of Walton Way.

The victim said a man rode up to her and demanded her pocketbook, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report. The two argued, then the man pointed a black handgun at her and said he would kill her, the report said. He grabbed the purse and dumped its contents on the ground. The thief fled with about $15 and other items.