Last witness called in robbery cases
The prosecution finished calling witnesses Tuesday in the Richmond County Superior Court trial of a man accused of committing multiple robberies less than a year after being paroled from prison.
Willie T. Lampkin, 38, has pleaded not guilty to four armed robbery charges, one charge of aggravated assault, one charge of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and two charges of possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.
The crimes occurred in Richmond County between May 20 and June 5. Mr. Lampkin is also accused of a June 3 kidnapping, rape and robbery in Columbia County.
Mr. Lampkin was paroled from prison last year. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 1993 for a Columbia County robbery, his second robbery conviction.
Headless body found by police
MACON -- The discovery of a headless body found stuffed into a cement culvert Monday has Bibb County authorities wondering whether they are investigating an isolated slaying or possibly a serial killing.
"I've never seen a decapitation like this," said Macon-Bibb County Coroner Ed Bond. "Whoever did it did not want authorities to know who it was."
Investigators are searching for any possible links between this slaying and the Dec. 1 killing of Latoya M. Berrian, 19. Ms. Berrian's killer apparently bashed in her head before laying her on a trash pile and lighting her on fire, authorities said.
"The similarities are both victims were young, black females and the mutilation of the bodies," said Bibb County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Smallwood. "We are working with the Macon Police Department to see if the two homicides have any other similarities."
The headless body was found by a man Monday morning. Authorities believe the woman was 20 to 25 years of age.
Powell, Carter to monitor vote
ATLANTA -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell will help former President Jimmy Carter monitor next week's elections in Jamaica.
Mr. Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff whose parents were born in Jamaica, said he is looking forward to returning "to work with all Jamaicans in raising their confidence in the electoral process and to discourage political violence and acts of intimidation."
In addition, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, leaves Tuesday to check Jamaica's progress toward the Dec. 18 elections.
Officer charged with offenses
MARIETTA -- A Marietta police officer was charged Monday with child sex offenses.
Officer Kenneth Henderson was charged with child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and distribution of obscene materials, Marietta police said.
Officer Henderson was arrested in Paulding County, where the incidents allegedly occurred, but the county's sheriff's department refused to comment.
Following an administrative investigation, Officer Henderson was placed on leave with pay last Friday, Marietta Lt. Wayne Kennedy said.
Lt. Kennedy said Officer Henderson resigned Monday and surrendered in Paulding.
Schools win building approval
ATLANTA -- Clayton College and State University won approval Tuesday from the Board of Regents to continue assessing a proposal to contract with a private developer for student housing.
Under the plan, a private builder would construct about 90 apartment units on land near the college. The college would lease the units and then sublease them to students.
A final decision on the project would require further board action.
Airline committee requested
ALBANY -- A city commissioner wants to create a committee to study high fares and the lack of airline competition at Albany's Southwest Georgia Regional Airport. The mayor says the issue is already being looked into.
Commissioner Davis Williams said Monday the airport's only airline, Delta-affiliate Atlantic Southeast Airlines, charges up to $700 for a round-trip flight to Atlanta.
The high fares are stifling local economic development, and Albany residents are using the Columbus and Tallahassee airports instead, he said.
"We need to do something about it," he said, suggesting that a committee be formed to make recommendations.
Mayor Tommy Coleman said a special Chamber of Commerce committee is already looking for solutions.
No charges filed in shooting
SPARTANBURG -- No charges will be filed against a Jonesville police officer in the fatal shooting of a Spartanburg man during an incident last summer.
Deputy Solicitor Anthony Mabry said Officer James Holt, 27, acted in self-defense in the June 22 shooting of Reginald Jermaine Canty.
Mr. Mabry laid the blame on two men riding in Mr. Canty's sport utility vehicle and discounted their claims that Officer Holt fired first.
Mr. Canty, 22, was driving through a neighborhood about 9 p.m. while others in the vehicle fired gunshots into the air, authorities said.
Officer Holt heard the shots, saw the passing vehicle and gave chase in his father-in-law's truck, despite being off duty. He was trying to roust help and track the vehicle as a friend drove, Mr. Mabry said.
The pursuit ended when Mr. Canty turned into a driveway in Spartanburg County and gunfire erupted. Mr. Canty was shot in the back of the head, apparently by Officer Holt's .40-caliber service pistol.
Boles named budget director
COLUMBIA -- Les Boles has been named South Carolina's new budget director, replacing George Dorn, who is retiring on Jan. 1.
The announcement was made during Tuesday's Budget and Control Board meeting.
Mr. Boles, 47, has been acting assistant director for budget development at the director's office. He has worked at the Budget and Control Board since 1988, executive director Fred Carter said.
"Over the past nine years, Les Boles has earned the respect not only of the leadership of the board but also that of the General Assembly and the governor's office," Mr. Carter said.