Originally created 08/14/97

Local and area briefs



Inmate arrested after escaping

A Saluda County, S.C., escapee turned up at the sheriff's department Wednesday, escorted by two unidentified adults who may get to claim the $1,000 reward offered for his capture.

John Richardson, 18, was arrested again about midday at the Saluda County Sheriff's Department and charged with escaping from jail, said Capt. Larry Chapman of the Saluda/Edgefield/McCormick Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force.

Mr. Richardson had been in jail charged with murder in connection with the March death of Amos Fields.

On Monday he escaped by posing as another inmate, Brandon West, who was scheduled to be released, Capt. Chapman said. The two men exchanged clothes, and Mr. Richardson signed himself out using the other inmate's name, the captain said.

Mr. West, who was serving a 20-day jail sentence for a misdemeanor, has now been charged with aiding an escape, conspiracy to escape and misprision of a felony, he said.

Capt. Chapman declined to name the two people who brought Mr. Richardson in. Police had talked to them earlier about Mr. Richardson's whereabouts but Capt. Chapman said they weren't suspected of harboring the escapee.

The reward probably prompted them to bring him in, he said.

Union ex-official sentenced

AIKEN - The former business agent for an Aiken union received a four-month sentence Tuesday for embezzling about $11,000 in pension funds.

Charles E. Brewer, 74, had pleaded guilty to the charge in April in U.S. District Court in Aiken.

Upon his release from federal prison, Mr. Brewer also must serve three years on probation, which will include four months of house arrest with electronic monitoring. District Judge Charles Simons recommended that Mr. Brewer serve his prison sentence at a community corrections facility in St. Augustine, Fla.

Mr. Brewer also must make restitution of $5,107 to Local 537 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, and $6,500 to the local union's pension and apprenticeship fund. Local 537 represents carpenters who work at Savannah River Site.

The union provided Mr. Brewer with a car as part of his compensation as business agent. The car was in an accident, and the union paid Johnson Motor Co. of Augusta for repairs. Mr. Brewer filed a claim with his insurance company and kept $5,107 instead of reimbursing Local 537, federal prosecutors said.

In other instances, Mr. Brewer was reimbursed for travel expenses which the local already had paid, they said.

Exhibit to be dedicated

The National Science Center's Fort Discovery will dedicate a new exhibit Friday to honor the man credited with conceiving the interactive museum on Augusta's Riverwalk.

William J. Hilsman, the retired Army lieutenant general and former Fort Gordon commander, will be honored with an outdoor exhibit called a "Torsional Wave." The 72-foot structure is designed to dramatically demonstrate wave action. Ceremonies begin at 11 a.m.

Members to join coliseum board

Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority will have two new board members when it meets Tuesday to consider a proposal for constructing an ice floor in the civic center.

Belle B. Clark and Marlene T. Watkins were named to the board Aug. 5 by Augusta Commission. They replace Henry Ingram and Thomasina Ketch, whose terms had expired. The new members will serve four-year terms.

Ms. Clark, a retired technician at the Medical College of Georgia, was nominated by Mayor Pro Tem Freddie Handy. Ms. Watkins, a florist, was nominated by Commissioner Moses Todd.

Nominations sought for awards

Nominations are being accepted for the annual Women of Excellence Awards, sponsored by Central Savannah River Girl Scout Council. The awards honor women in arts, community service, education, health, government, professions and youth.

Recipients are chosen from nominations made by members of the community based on accomplishments, leadership qualities, impact on others in the community and their serving as role models for women and girls.

For more information or to obtain nomination forms, contact the Girl Scout Service Center at 774-0505 or (803) 648-0984. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, Aug. 19. Awards will be presented Friday, Oct. 24.

Teen charged with killing baby

REIDSVILLE - An 18-year-old Reidsville man is charged with murder in the death of his infant daughter.

Bryan Sanders is charged in the death of Brianna Sanders, who died Saturday; she would have been 3 months old Aug. 18.

An autopsy performed Monday showed that Brianna died of injuries caused by severe shaking.

Men sentenced in coolant case

SAVANNAH Ä Two brothers will spend nearly four years in federal prison for smuggling a banned coolant suspected of damaging the Earth's ozone layer.

Mark and Johnny Simpson were convicted May 31 of conspiring with Port Wentworth businessman William Morris and Jerral Mayes of Wilmington Island of trying to smuggle chlorofluorocarbons from Mexico. The conspiracy collapsed when a client that Mr. Morris defrauded out of $20.3 million, Airgas Specialty Gases of Radnor, Pa., pressured him to return the money or produce the coolant.

Clues sought in baby's death

COLUMBIA - A baby boy has been found in a Tupperware container under a Columbia house, and authorities are trying to figure out how it got there.

The baby was found Saturday morning when homeowner Jack Gary and a friend were digging drainage lines under Mr. Gary's home, Richland County Sheriff's Lt. Joseph Pellicci said. The men found the box and called 911.

Deputies opened the box and found a black trash bag. Inside the trash bag was what appeared to be a human fetus that county Coroner Frank Barron III said is actually a fully developed baby boy.

Mr. Barron is awaiting test results to determine the cause of death.

Lt. Pellicci said authorities do not know how long the baby was under the house.