Across Georgia

Government revenues stay on steady decline


ATLANTA --- Tax collections in Georgia continue to slide.

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that revenues for January dipped 8.7 percent from January 2009, from $1.6 billion to $1.4 billion.

It's the 14th consecutive month that tax collections in Georgia have dropped. For the fiscal year that ends June 30, revenues are down 12.9 percent.

A slimmed-down $17.4 billion state budget is set to be voted out of committee today.

Alibi argued in case of debutante's slaying

ATLANTA --- The man convicted of driving the stolen getaway car in the Christmas Eve 2005 murder of Savannah debutante Jennifer Ross had an alibi that the trial judge wouldn't let the jury hear, the Georgia Supreme Court heard Tuesday.

Kevin Huckabee's public defenders discovered the alibi, a phone call made during the time of the 19-year-old girl's slaying, on the Friday before jury selection began the following Monday, but Judge Penny Haas Freesemann excluded it from the trial.

The state's highest court is considering whether Freesemann was wrong. If Huckabee loses, he will continue serving his life sentence plus 30 years. If he wins, he will get a new trial.