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Three people accused of serious crimes plead not guilty in Columbia County

Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 5:03 PM
Last updated 9:40 PM
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Three people accused of serious crimes pleaded not guilty Friday at arraignment hearings in Evans.

Landon “Dock” Norman, 40, of Grovetown, is accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl at Riverside Park in June and molesting a 16-year-old girl in the spring. He pleaded not guilty to aggravated sodomy, incest, child molestation and related charges in Columbia County Superior Court.

Norman also faces more recent charges of tampering with a witness.

Michael Claude Maxwell, 46, of Appling, is accused of attacking women in three counties July 23. He pleaded not guilty Oct. 21 to kidnapping with bodily injury and aggravated assault in connection to an assault on an Evans woman in her driveway.

Maxwell pleaded not guilty to similar charges Friday from Richmond County, where he is accused of attacking a woman in the Augus­ta Mall parking lot.

Maxwell also is expected to face charges in Edgefield County, where he is accused of breaking into a home, beating a man and kidnapping his wife.

Also pleading not guilty was Augusta resident Kristine Marie Heath, who is charged in the June 17 wreck in Appling that killed 18-year-old Morgan Renew, of Barnwell, S.C.

Heath, 36, is charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, six counts of serious injury by vehicle, driving under the influence and running a stop sign.

Heath is accused of running a stop sign at Ridge Road and hitting a Jeep Cher­o­kee carrying six people. Heath and her five passengers, along with three passengers in the Cherokee, were injured.

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madgerman 01/08/12 - 09:50 pm
I think that if someone

I think that if someone pleads "not guilty" and later changes their mind, it should be mandatory that they receive the maximum sentence under the law - no plea bargins. Maybe if we had some teeth in our laws these crooks would stop playing with the legal system and wasting everyones (except their taxpayer funded lawyers) time. Who wants to bet that they will try for a plea bargain about the middle of their trial?

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