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Richmond County's youth homicide rate down slightly, but still high

Saturday, July 20, 2013 6:17 PM
Last updated Monday, July 22, 2013 1:24 AM
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Eta Henderson knelt in front of a grave at Mount Olive Memorial Garden in south Augusta on Tuesday and with a bouquet of fresh flowers in her hand, swapped out a wilting floral arrangement on her son’s burial marker.

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Eta Henderson's son, Naquan Henderson, was fatally shot at July 16, 2011, at age 18. Henderson drives to his gravesite once a week to visit and leave flowers and balloons.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Eta Henderson's son, Naquan Henderson, was fatally shot at July 16, 2011, at age 18. Henderson drives to his gravesite once a week to visit and leave flowers and balloons.


Around her, loved ones joined in prayer as they observed the two-year anniversary of the slaying of Naquan Henderson, who at age 18, was shot dead in a hail of gunfire during a neighborhood block party July 16, 2011.

“He was my rock,” Eta Henderson said. “I leaned on him for pretty much everything.”

Such memorials are not uncommon in Richmond Coun­ty.

Homicide tops motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among people ages 5 to 29, according to the county’s 2011 numbers, the latest available. The youth homicide rate improved slightly in 2011 after reaching a 15-year high in 2010.

Records at the Georgia De­part­ment of Public Health show 208 people in Richmond County between ages 5 and 29 have had their lives cut short at the hands of a killer since 1994.

In 2011, the death toll was 15 victims – a decrease of three from 2010, when Richmond County’s youth homicide rate peaked at 23.5 deaths per 100,000 population. Richmond County’s 2011 rate – 19.6 – is significantly higher than Georgia’s.

Motor vehicle crashes claimed 196 young lives in Richmond County between 1994 and 2011, at a rate of 14 deaths per 100,000 population.

“It’s on the downswing, which is good, but drugs, theft, sexual assault and murder are having a negative effect on our community,” the Rev. Larry Fryer, pastor of Hudson Memorial CME Church in east Augusta, said of the youth homicide rate.

Fryer, a leading advocate for criminal justice reform in Augusta, said efforts by law enforcement, school and community groups to combat juvenile violence might be working. But he cautioned that it is too soon to declare victory.

“We need to help our young people become citizens, rather than criminals,” Fryer said Wednesday, as he conducted his regular walk-through of the Cherry Tree Crossing and Turpin Hill neighborhoods to encourage young men and women and their parents to resist crime and violence.

Georgia’s youth homicide rate reached a 20-year low in 2011– going from 350 killings in 1994 to 256 in 2011, lowering the rate from 13 per 100,000 to 7.4.

The national youth homicide rate, which measures the deaths of those between 10 and 24, reached a 20-year low in 2010, dropping from a rate of 15.9 deaths per 100,000 population to 7.5, according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are encouraged to see a decline in the homicide rate among our youth but unfortunately, homicide continues to rank in the top three leading causes of death for our young people,” said Dr. Linda C. Degutis, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

FRYER’S EFFORTS to reduce youth homicides are being recognized as a model for others to follow.

At the end of June, he received a letter from Gov. Na­than Deal that said Deal had established a special counsel to look at an effort Fryer launched in 2008 as a possible statewide model for juvenile crime prevention and youth rehabilitation.

The “Judge Not” program has gained the support of 12 Rich­mond County judges, who volunteer their time in Augusta’s school system to mentor teens.

“Through this commission, we hope to uncover new approaches to make Georgia communities safer, while increasing offender accountability, approving rehabilitation efforts and lowering costs,” Deal wrote in the letter. “While this effort will ultimately uncover strategies that will save taxpayer dollars, we are first and foremost attacking human cost to our society. Georgia has too much crime; too many people behind bars; too many people growing up without a much-needed parent and too many wasted lives.”

Fryer said he has formed a partnership with District Attorney Ashley Wright to develop a program called “One Church, One Goal: A Chance to Change.” The program, designed primarily for nonviolent felons in drug court, will provide young people a second chance by starting intervention and prevention campaigns in churches, communities and schools.

“It is supposed to be individualized to each person’s needs, and it brings community support to someone who may not have experienced that before,” Wright said. She said most homicides in Richmond County appear to be drug related, involve groups of people and are committed by younger defendants.

Wright said the “One Church, One Goal” experience will provide potentially troubled youths a role model who can help them build better decision-making skills.

“Hopefully they will encourage this drug court participant to see the world differently and help make smarter choices,” Wright said. “Successful drug court graduates have their charges dismissed, thus offering them a chance at a future.”

NAQUAN HENDERSON’S future was stolen, his mother said.

At the time of his slaying, his daughter, Kiyah Lanaii Henderson, was 2 months old.

Scared to hold his daughter because of her small size, Naquan used to tell his family how he looked forward to seeing her grow.

“She’s now 2 years old. He never got that chance,” Eta Henderson said.

Kevin Nixon was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Henderson’s death and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The events led Eta Hen­derson to call on parents to be proactive by monitoring parties on social media and, if nothing else, providing security for the gatherings.

She said a new policy should be created that requires young offenders to pass a class or report to a day center to complete probation sentences, whose fines and community service she believes do not provide the deterrent needed to curtail crime.

“We need role models in our community,” Eta Henderson said. “It takes a village to raise child.”

Fryer agrees, saying he plans to present the “One Church, One Goal” concept to Bishop Kenneth Wayne Carter, the head of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, in hopes of making the program national.

Both projects, Fryer said, are aimed at decreasing Georgia’s prison’s population – the fourth-highest in the country – and the cost of youth homicides to the national economy, which the CDC in 2010 estimated to be $9 billion in lost productivity and medical costs.

“We want to build strong leaders who have a strong sense of morality, can find and keep a job and help our community grow,” Fryer said. “Because if today’s youth cannot find work, you know what they will revert to – it’s a revolving cycle.”

RICHMOND COUNTY’S EARLY DEATHS

According to 2011 state health records – the latest data available in Georgia – the top three causes of death of people between the ages of 5 and 29 in Richmond County are homicide, motor vehicle crashes and suicide. The causes, listed in order of severity, and their death rates per 100,000 population:

 HOMICIDESDEATH RATECRASHESDEATH RATESUICIDESDEATH RATE
199412158104
19951113.8911.3911.3
19961822.91822.9911.4
19971316.51215.256.3
19981822.81620.22
19991012.71316.53
200078.9111467.6
2001810.21215.456.4
200256.51012.92
20031215.81013.24
2004911.81418.41013.1
200579.344
2006810.61114.54
20071519.81114.53
2008911.81418.3911.8
20091317.11114.5911.8
20101823.567.867.8
20111519.667.9810.5
Total208 196 102 

Note: The Department of Public Health does not calculate a rate when there are four or fewer incidents.

YOUTH HOMICIDES ACROSS THE REGION

• In Aiken County, 34 people between the ages of 10 to 24 were victims of homicide from 1999 to 2011. Homicide is second only to motor vehicle crashes, which claimed 97 young lives during that time, according to state public health records.

• Burke, Columbia and Mc­Duffie counties averaged one or fewer homicides among people between the ages of 5 and 29 every year from 1994-2011.

– Wesley Brown, staff writer

Comments (23) Add comment
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Pops
10297
Points
Pops 07/20/13 - 07:52 pm
5
0
Who is killing these young people?

Friends, peers, enemies.....?

Who?

Pops
10297
Points
Pops 07/20/13 - 08:48 pm
4
2
So true

“We need role models in our community,” Eta Henderson said. “It takes a village to raise child.”
Pretty much sums it up......not enough money and people have been dedicated to birthing, feeding, housing, teaching and clothing these kids.

mosovich
826
Points
mosovich 07/20/13 - 10:53 pm
8
0
Parents...

Parents need to start being parents not just a person that lives in the household with these kids.. All the money in the world isn't going to solve anything.. Parents need to step up to the plate and be the mentors their children need..

corgimom
33859
Points
corgimom 07/21/13 - 04:54 am
7
4
Those parents love their

Those parents love their children and do their best to raise them.

But when a child is surrounded by crime, drugs, and violence, and wallows in it every day, and lives in a culture that glorifies and glamorizes it, a parent doesn't stand a chance.

seenitB4
90557
Points
seenitB4 07/21/13 - 07:36 am
4
0
surrounded by crime, drugs, and violence, and wallows in it

Especially tough for a 1 parent household & we say that on here almost everyday.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 07/21/13 - 07:39 am
5
0
Corgi that is an assumption

Corgi that is an assumption that does not include all parents. I recall several articles in the past two years about mothers who left young children at home alone to go "party", a mom who beat her son with a belt so hard that it left welts, another young mom who drove drunk with her children in the car almost killing herself and those two children, and countless other stories of neglect. If that is parental "love" then I would sure hate to see how they treat people they don't like. We can not assume that every man and woman who choose to bring a child in this world are loving parents.

redapples
660
Points
redapples 07/21/13 - 09:11 am
7
0
I agree with Corgi that some

I agree with Corgi that some of the parents do the best they can, but others are part of the problem, not the solution. Some of the mindset is imbedded from generations of the same behavior and it will take generations to change. For there to be a solution, everyone must buy in and that's a tough task. I believe some people from the Augusta community want a better life and education for their kids and that is why they move OUT of RC. The kids I've taught in CC that came from RC complain about how "lame" we are compared to their previous school, but when I've spoken with the parents they have overwhelmingly been supportive of me and welcome the change in environment!

Bulldog
1333
Points
Bulldog 07/21/13 - 09:15 am
6
0
Culture is the issue

The basic underlying problem is the horrendous culture that surrounds these kids and many of our communities. Until religious and community leaders as well as parents face up to that fact, the kids and others will continue to die. There is a huge resistance to change because it has become a generational issue. A majority of parent(s) have been "living the life" that they learned from whoever raised them. They do not/cannot see that the way they live is hurting everyone including themselves.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 09:16 am
0
0
“It takes a village to raise child.” Hillaryism. Communism.
Unpublished

“It takes a village to raise child.” Hillaryism. Communism.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 09:18 am
0
0
Mrs. Hillary Roosevelt Clinton. Our next QUEEN.
Unpublished

Mrs. Hillary Roosevelt Clinton. Our next QUEEN. Bill can bring Monica back to the White House for a reunion.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 09:19 am
0
0
Somebody needs to do something!!! Where is this somebody?
Unpublished

Somebody needs to do something!!! Where is this somebody?

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 09:20 am
0
0
The Black Preachers are the overseers of the Plantation.
Unpublished

The Black Preachers are the overseers of the Plantation.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 07/21/13 - 10:46 am
8
3
Spirit of death

The parents vote for a party that promotes death in actions ( abortion) and lifestyles (gay) and schools that teach that you evolved from nothing so life means nothing. Teach children they came from a loving creator and they will love each other. Teach them that sin kills and they won't embrace it. We don't need any experts to tell us what is wrong but just promote Christ and His Word. Any other action is just being a fool according to the Word. The answer to all of this is so so simple we need to hire people to help us be confused. When Jesus becomes bigger in your life than race problem is fixed..guaranteed!

itsanotherday1
45231
Points
itsanotherday1 07/21/13 - 11:52 am
3
0
Hats off to Rev Fryar; he

Hats off to Rev Fryar; he seems to have a good plan. Now, we need more community leaders to step up and follow his lead; all over the United States.

nocnoc
44686
Points
nocnoc 07/21/13 - 12:41 pm
5
2
Playing with facts & statistics

I strangely noted the following:

1994-1999 - Higher Murder rates
2000-2002 - lower murder rate
2003 - Higher Murder rate
2004-2006 - Lower Murder rate
2007- Higher Murder rate
2008 - Low Murder rate
2009-2011 - High Murder rate

Now some thinking questions:

What years was Clinton, Bush, Obama in Office?

Which years were election years or a Democrat or Republican Party celebration?

Why are Murders are higher under Gun Control Presidents than those with no gun control agendas?

Why are murders higher in election years when the populous is being stirred up?

Gage Creed
17840
Points
Gage Creed 07/23/13 - 07:34 pm
0
1
Is the 1007 post relevant to

Is the 1007 post relevant to anything in this thread?

Must not of had any conviction to go with the nonsense...

corgimom
33859
Points
corgimom 07/21/13 - 04:21 pm
3
1
Scooby, child abuse cuts

Scooby, child abuse cuts across all races, income levels, education levels, and every kind of family.

But turn on BET, and see what is glorified. It is sickening. Listen to the music, if you can stand it. Look at their pictures on Facebook.

It is horrifying.

corgimom
33859
Points
corgimom 07/21/13 - 04:28 pm
4
3
nocnoc, sorry, you are

nocnoc, sorry, you are blaming the wrong things.

Drugs. Drug wars. That's it. Period.

That's it, they don't care who is the President, they couldn't tell you who the POTUS is. Literally. Those knuckleheads can't read or write past a comic-book level. Most of the gang members are functionally illiterate. They don't do these things because of their high intellect or big job prospects.

It has NOTHING to do with gun control, who is President, or what the laws are or aren't. They are more concerned with people like Flavor Flav, Wacka Flaka Flaka, or grown men that call themselves Diddy and Pit Bull and 50 Cent (pronounced Fiffy Cenz).

I wish you could go live in a housing project, you would never write posts like that again, if you only knew what life is like there.

corgimom
33859
Points
corgimom 07/21/13 - 04:28 pm
1
1
Gage Creed- NO, but it sure

Gage Creed- NO, but it sure was funny.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 07/21/13 - 04:31 pm
4
0
I agree Corgi. I see it all

I agree Corgi. I see it all the time across the races and socioeconomics. A bad parent is a bad parent. I also agree with apples!! I have RC kids say the same thing when they come to my school. They don't realize the effort their parents go through to get them in a better environment.

corgimom
33859
Points
corgimom 07/21/13 - 04:36 pm
1
7
Soldout, excuse me, but you

Soldout, excuse me, but you are flat out wrong.

All those kids that are doing this have been taught right from wrong. They know better. They do it anyway.

To think that those kids have not been taught Christian values is so totally wrong and so insulting to those parents that do the very best they can.

All of those kids have been taken to church. In fact, when it comes to church-going people, black, low-income. single mothers are some of the most devout- because they want to do anything possible to save their kids. They know, better than most, what their kids will face.

Your ignorance is just so sad. Why do you think there are so very many churches in Augusta?

Christ and his Word are promoted all over Augusta. It is one of the most religious places I've ever seen. The churches in Augusta are filled every Sunday. It's the only place I've seen where people ask newcomers, "What church do you belong to" and that is a perfectly normal, acceptable question.

And I don't think, I KNOW that there are kids in your church that get into trouble, too, which blows your theory, right there. Unless you want to tell me that every child in your church leads sinfree lives. I don't think so.

gargoyle
18445
Points
gargoyle 07/21/13 - 10:14 pm
3
0
IMHO if we glorify and

IMHO if we glorify and idolize motor cycle gangs our children would look to the lifestyle to satisfy their self worth, until we are ready to shun the culture that's all about the Benjamin's and words trump actions we're just digging the hole deeper .A good honest hard working man or woman just can't get no love in todays culture, how to treat others with respect and kindness is out of vogue and looked upon as a weakness.

Old School Values
126
Points
Old School Values 07/22/13 - 06:04 am
3
1
@ gargoyle. What does

@ gargoyle. What does "motorcycle gangs" have to do with this? Name one person killed by a member of one. This is mainly Black on Black crimes. Corgimom has it right, Blacks glorify the "thug life" with videos and their music. Democrats have changed Social life in America. They have made a mockery of values/morals being taught in the home. No one dares talk about the real problems for fear of offending someone, remember the adage "You reap what you sow"..

Shortcomment
1163
Points
Shortcomment 07/22/13 - 06:54 am
2
0
Deaths

Whatever the case the numbers are unacceptable.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 07/22/13 - 06:57 am
3
0
Corgimom, you are entitled to

Corgimom, you are entitled to your opinion just as soldout is but you both can't be right. Soldout stated "When Jesus becomes bigger in your life" ....

"All those kids" have not been taught right from wrong. Yes, there are some single mothers who strived to raise their children correctly but there are also those mothers who are more interested in their own well being than to properly mother their children. So No, not all children have been taught right from wrong.

You stated "Your ignorance is just so sad. Why do you think there are so very many churches in Augusta?"

Talk about ignorance. Do you know why there are so many churches in Augusta? Because people are looking for answers and just because there are hundreds of buildings who bear the name of a church does not mean that the Word of God is being taught in all of those places. When you understand what the biblical principals of what a church actually is, then maybe your viewpoint will be more accurate.

As for the kids who attend church that don't always get it right? Isn't that the reason they attend, to better themselves? Isn't that purpose of all who attend, is to try and live better lives according to God's standards. Yes, many fallen and sinful people attend church......As Christ said He comes for the sick. If you are well, you don't go see a doctor do you? If someone is spiritually sick, then go to Christ.

So again, to re-emphasized what soldout stated...."When people seeks Jesus" then people will respect others more, respect theirselves more, and respect life more.

nocnoc
44686
Points
nocnoc 07/22/13 - 08:20 am
2
0
Drugs & Drug wars.

Then we still have a applicable statistical social pattern.
A pattern that seems to generally follow the election cycle and what party is in office.

We constantly read the more liberal minded love their drugs and are pushing for decriminalization.

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 07/22/13 - 09:40 am
2
0
ICL, truer words were never

ICL, truer words were never spoken! Some people tend to “think” with their heart strings, instead of their head. Seen it over and over again.

And I’m sorry but this is pure poppycock!: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Balderdash!!!

It takes one good adult, two is better, but at least one mature, consistently responsible adult. A role model, someone to look up to, someone to emulate. Someone to remind of right and wrong, someone who doesn’t look to excuse because of circumstances, but someone who teaches accepting consequences and responsibility.

All these pop-culture, feel good platitudes don’t mean Jack, Jack! One good man or women is all it takes. At that point it becomes a choice, for the child or young adult, a consciously made choice.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 07/22/13 - 10:38 am
1
0
what you have here are the
Unpublished

what you have here are the so-called "religious and community leaders" they need a populace that consists of the following attributes: uneducated, little or no job skills, 2 parent households non-existent, a violent culture that de-emphasizes education, personal responsibility, repsect for authority, teachers, neighbors, and ones-self, fatherless households, and a high percentage of exisiting households dependent on "da welfare and foo stamps" this is what you have in augusta and all across america, combine all these factors and the end result is what we are seeing, so now in order to enrich themselves these so-called "religious leaders" or as i like to call them "BOTTOM FEEDERS" need to brainwash the black who are uneducated, government dependent, lazy, shiftless, and single parents with children by different men "dat da only way dey can git ahead is wit de welfare and foo stamps cause dey white man is keepin you down and stoppin you from gittin a ed-u-mah-kay-shan cause he be da klan but if you gibbs me you money da lawd will bless you fo sho" and they are stuck in a cycle of dependence, crime, and poverty with so-called leaders doing nothing. for them to stand in their pulpits and preach, expect, and demand (from their church members) personal responsibility, education, gettign a job, respect for themselves, authority, and the law it points right back to the root of the problem which isn't "da white man" but the blacks themselves and the culture of violence that has been grown, nurtured, and encouraged by leaders within the black community and only when it is necessary and to act like they care will they speak out but only in hushed tones becasue they know it is their members donations is what keeps them in their luxury cars, million dollar houses and to criticize their members bor failing to raise their children, failing to place the improtance on education, failing to instill in their children personal responsibility, accountability, respect for authority, teachers, themselves and their parents they know they will lose all of that money they get in the collection plates each and every sunday...but when it all comes out there will be a day reckeoning when they stand before almight god on judgement day and no amount of rationalization for failing to do whats right will change the final judgement god will place on them.....

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 07/22/13 - 10:53 am
1
0
It takes a village
Unpublished

Amen @ young fred

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