Across the Area

Aiken authorities look into fatal shooting


Investigators were searching for clues in a fatal shooting that occurred about 8:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Abbeville Avenue in Aiken.

Lt. David Turno of the Aiken Department of Public Safety said residents reported hearing gunfire. A gunshot victim was taken to the emergency room at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective David Savage at (803) 642-7687.

Man accused of hitting crowd receives bond

An Augusta man accused of driving into a crowd of people outside Augusta Mall was granted a $30,000 bond Tuesday.

Keith L. Varner, Jr., 19, has been in custody since his arrest for the May 15 incident, which sent four people to the hospital. He faces six counts of aggravated assault.

Richmond County Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. set bond for Mr. Varner, Assistant District Attorney Dana Wolk said. Conditions of the bond include no driving and no violent contact with anyone involved in the case.

Mr. Varner allegedly hit the victims after arguing with Reneshia Williams, the mother of his infant child.

Days of deliberation end in murder mistrial

A judge declared a mistrial in a murder case Tuesday when the jury announced it was deadlocked after hours of deliberations over three days.

Cornelius R. Wright, 30, pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to murder, aggravated assault and weapon charges. He is accused of killing 22-year-old Mitchieano Carmichael near the Mom and Pop's store on Broad Street on Dec. 17, 2006.

Mr. Wright testified that he shot Mr. Carmichael in self-defense.

The pathologist testified that Mr. Carmichael was shot three times from behind. Evidence supported the state's theory that the fatal gunshot to the chest was fired as the victim lay on his back, the pathologist said.

2 accused of having stolen trailer, camper

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is looking for two men accused of possessing a stolen trailer and camper.

Steven Maurice Burton, 38, of the 100 block of Scrub Oak Road, Ridge Spring, and Clyde James Hendley, 24, of the 100 block of Front Street, Bath, are wanted on two counts of receiving stolen goods, the sheriff's office said.

The men are accused of having a stolen trailer from a North Augusta business and a camper stolen from Richmond County.

The white trailer is valued at $4,200 and was reported stolen in June, and the white Denali camper is valued at $45,000 and was reported stolen last month.

Anyone with information is asked to call (800) 922-9709 or (888) CRIME-SC. Callers are eligible for a cash reward.

Bank deposit bag is stolen from auto shop

A bank deposit bag was stolen from Precision Tune Auto Care at 1652 Gordon Highway during the holiday weekend.

A Richmond County sheriff's report says that between 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:55 a.m. Tuesday, someone broke a pane in a door to enter and remove the bag. The alarm did not activate during the burglary.

Richmond County DUI arrests increase by 15

Richmond County deputies more than doubled their arrests of drunken drivers this Labor Day weekend over last year.

Twenty-eight people were arrested on DUI charges Friday and Saturday, compared with 13 last year, according to Richmond County sheriff's Special Operations statistics. No DUI arrests were made Sunday and Monday.