Originally created 03/29/98

Local and area briefs



Jury convicts man on murder charges

JONESBORO -- A Decatur man faces a possible death penalty after a Superior Court jury convicted him of the slashing murder of a former girlfriend, whose body was found by her 11-year-old son in December 1995.

Anthony Carruthers, 27, known as "Tiger" for the tattoo on his right arm, showed no reaction Friday as the Clayton County jury found him guilty of slitting Jeanette Williams' throat in her Riverdale apartment after she rebuffed his advances.

Woman guilty in baby's death

CANTON -- A Cherokee County jury deliberated about six hours before convicting a 23-year-old woman in the shaking death of her 2-year-old nephew.

Angela Hope Miller, 23, was found guilty Friday of felony murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Prosecutors said Jacob Miller died of shaken-baby syndrome Nov. 20 at Mrs. Miller's mobile home near Woodstock.

During the four-day trial, doctors testified that Jacob's brain was bruised and swollen and that he had bruises on his cheek, forehead, back and leg.

Mrs. Miller told investigators Jacob hit his head on the kitchen sink while she was giving him a bath.Man dies in truck fireSTARR -- An Anderson County man is dead after his truck got stuck in a ditch on a farm and efforts to get it out caused it and surrounding brush to catch fire.

Glenn Marshall Clark, 67, of Starr died when his pickup caught fire as he tended cattle in a pasture less than a quarter-mile from his home near the Hartwell Dam.

The truck got stuck in the ditch as Mr. Clark was pulling out of the pasture, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.

Revving the engine caused the wheels only to spin in the dirt.

Somehow, further efforts resulted in the truck igniting, which quickly spread to the grassy brush surrounding it.

Actor passes on Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH -- Paul Newman has apparently passed by South Carolina in filming his new movie.

The star was in Georgetown last week scouting locations for Message In A Bottle, a romantic drama featuring Mr. Newman and Kevin Costner.

But the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce was told this week Mr. Newman would take the production to Maine.

"Things like this happen," said Nikki Ewing, communication manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. "We told them to keep us in the back of their minds for the future. We are willing to work with them and want them here."

Two arrested in cocaine bust

GREENVILLE -- Two Florida men have been arrested after authorities seized more than $2 million in cocaine.

"That's about the biggest cocaine bust we've ever done that I remember," said Sgt. Mike Kellett, who has been with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office since 1979.

John J. Wesley Jr., 30, and Craig Jerome Alexander, 23, both of Hallandale, Fla., both were charged with trafficking cocaine in excess of 400 grams. The busts were part of a three-month investigation.

Man accused of shooting cowsP>UNION -- Think a cow eating grass can't cause too much ruckus? Well, what if it were your grass?

Robert Fuller of Union got fed up with his neighbor's cows munching on his law and is accused of shooting two of them.

Both cows survived. But Mr. Fuller was charged with malicious injury to personal property and violation of probation.

Marvin Boler went to check on his cows in a pen near his house Sunday and they were gone, according to a Union County Sheriff's Office report.

Mr. Boler told deputies that Mr. Fuller said the cows were eating his grass and if Mr. Boler did not move them he would kill them.

Ex-firefighter pleads guilty

COLUMBIA -- A Columbia ex-firefighter has pleaded guilty to taking money from a fund to help burned children.

John Behrens, 39, also agreed to refund $1,900, but he won't do time under a plea agreement with the 5th Circuit Solicitor's office.

Prosecutor Robert Elam said a related charge against Mr. Behrens' wife, Paula, has been dropped as part of the plea.

Mr. Behrens, grandson of a former Charleston fire chief, will be barred from being a firefighter again because of the felony conviction, lawyers on both sides said.

El Nino affecting rafting

LONG CREEK -- El Nino has caused problems this winter for farmers with soggy fields, construction crews looking for dry days, and now, rafting companies on the Chattooga River.

Three companies who depend on kayakers and rafters say they are seeing fewer boaters because the wetter-than-normal winter caused by El Nino has raised water levels and made the river more dangerous.

"Because the water table is high, whenever we get rain nearly all of it runs off into the streams and rivers," said Bob Westbrook, general manager of Southeastern Expeditions.

The river has been in the 2 1/2 -foot range, about two feet more than normal depth.

Argument ends in shooting

ROCK HILL -- A fatal shooting stemmed from what police said was an argument over money.

Darryl Thomas Reid, 33, allegedly was shot by Willie Gladden at Mr. Gladden's home Friday night, police said.

Detective Charlene Blackwelder said the two began arguing over money that Mr. Reid said Mr. Gladden owed him for some yard work supposedly done earlier that day.