Originally created 05/26/98

Sibling facing charge



Among 62 people set for trial in a four-day trial week in Richmond County Superior Court that is set to begin today is the brother of a man facing capital murder charges.

In a case involving allegations of an abduction of an Augusta woman who was founded slain in Burke County, Ga., Rickey Bernard Johnson is scheduled to stand trial on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Mr. Johnson, 37, is accused of hindering the arrest of his younger brother, Garry D. Johnson, 34, who is accused of kidnapping and killing his ex-girlfriend, 31-year-old Irene Shields.

Investigators believe Ms. Shields was kidnapped from her Hephzibah home and taken to Burke County, where she was killed Dec. 27 when she was run over repeatedly by a vehicle.

Earlier this month, prosecutors announced they will seek the death penalty in Burke County Superior Court if Garry Johnson is convicted of murder. Garry Johnson also faces kidnapping and theft charges in Richmond County Superior Court.

Also scheduled for trial this week on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and weapons violations are two men already convicted in Columbia County Superior Court.

James Rafael Williams, 24, and Michael Ross Jr., 17, both of the 500 block of Williams Street are accused of kidnapping an Augusta woman from her home on Jan. 10. The woman told investigators she was taken to Grovetown and repeatedly assaulted.

In Columbia County, Mr. Williams was convicted of rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Mr. Ross pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of aggravated assault with intent to rape.