A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty Thursday to two charges of child molestation and received a five-year prison sentence followed by five years of probation.
Randy Lavert Carthern, who was 13 when arrested in August, faced charges of aggravated child molestation as an adult in Richmond County Superior Court. He was accused of sexually molesting a younger boy on two occasions.
Judge Carl C. Brown was asked by defense attorney Pete Theodocion, Mr. Carthern's parents and the parents of the victim to show leniency for the youth, who had been held at the Augusta Regional Youth Detention Center since last fall.
"The great fear we all have is that this could happen again," Judge Brown said, noting Mr. Carthern had been accused of a similar crime with another child once before but the charges were dropped. Mr. Carthern will serve his sentence at a youth facility, but could be housed in an adult facility after he turns 17.
Girl gets year in detention center
A 17-year-old girl was sentenced Thursday to a year in a detention center after she was convicted of entering T.W. Josey High School to argue with a student, the last time while carrying a box cutter.
Boutique Mahoghmey Green, who was not enrolled at the school, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a charge of carrying a weapon on school property. Although Ms. Green had no prior convictions, Judge Carl C. Brown said he believed he had to structure a sentence that would get Ms. Green's attention. He sentenced her to five years' probation, with the first year to be spent at the local detention center.
Ms. Green was told to leave Josey High three times Oct. 9 after getting into arguments and slapping a student at the school. Ms. Green returned Oct. 20 and was arrested. A box cutter was found in her pocket.
As part of her sentence, Judge Brown banned Ms. Green from all Richmond County schools unless given permission by school officials. He ordered her to get a job and to pay a $1,000 fine.
Mayor begins cleanup campaign
Augusta Mayor Bob Young's campaign to clean up Augusta will start around his own back door, and he wants help.
Today, Mr. Young is asking all government agencies in the city to clean up the grounds around their facilities. On May 7, he wants all schools -- public and private -- to clean their campuses. Beginning May 14, business and industry will be asked to clean up their areas and job sites.
The mayor is asking residents to clean up their own property and neighborhoods May 22.
Mr. Young said he wants representatives from schools, businesses, industries and neighborhood groups to call his office at 821-1831 to add their names to the list of participants.
The cleanup effort is threefold: clean up the city, enforce the laws and educate the public, he said.
"Augusta has long been known as the Garden City, but lately we've looked like anything but a garden," Mr. Young said. "Problems with litter, dumping and abandoned autos have become too commonplace. As a community, we have got to do better."
Industry to pay $500 fine
A Columbia County industry has agreed to pay fines totaling $500 after a January inspection by environmental regulators found violations related to the company's hazardous waste storage areas.
A May inspection found deficiencies in areas where hydrochloric acid, mercury and other materials are stored, according to a Georgia Environmental Protection Division consent order signed by Greenfield Industries in Evans.
Although company officials responded that the required weekly inspections of the hazardous-waste area were being performed and proper records were being maintained, a follow-up inspection Jan. 28 revealed the same deficiencies.
Under terms of the consent order signed earlier this month, Greenfield Industries agreed to pay $500 in fines and comply with regulations for storage of hazardous waste.
Ex-principal's death investigated
SALUDA -- The death of a former Saluda County school principal whose body was found in his ransacked home is being treated as a homicide by investigators.
The body of Bankston Derrick, 66, was found Wednesday by his sister, who went to check on him when he did not show up for his daily visit to her. Mr. Derrick had no obvious injuries, said Saluda County sheriff's Chief Deputy Chuck Collard.
Someone had forced open the back door of the home and went through the house's contents. Mr. Derrick might have died of a heart attack when the intruder broke in, the deputy said.
"If he died of a heart attack, it's still a homicide because they came in on him," Chief Deputy Collard said.
Mr. Derrick, who taught his students to appreciate art, music and travel, retired 12 years ago from Saluda Elementary.
Victims' rights dinner scheduled
To commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the Augusta organization Blacks Against Black Crimes Inc. will hold a victims' rights dinner at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Peter S. Knox Center, 326 Greene St.
The group is among more than 10,000 organizations nationwide that provide services and assistance to crime victims, group President Barbara Thurmond said.
The guest speaker will be the Rev. Denise Freeman, a Lincoln County Democrat who ran for Congress last year. The Howard Scholarship Award will be given during the dinner. The cost is $15. For information, contact Ms. Thurmond at (706) 737-0054.
NRA fund-raiser set for tonight
The newly established Savannah River Friends of the NRA Committee will hold a dinner and fund-raiser at 7 p.m. today at Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. in Aiken.
Money raised will be used to promote National Rifle Association projects such as youth firearms safety and education, hunter training, shooting range development, marksmanship training and conservation research. For tickets or more information, call David Bean at (803) 642-9961 or Jim Samsel at (803) 648-3174.
Governor signs taxpayer bill
ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on Thursday began his fourth state tour since the 1999 General Assembly session ended last month, signing into law legislation forcing local officials to roll back millage when property assessments increase.
The "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" is the third major tax measure Mr. Barnes has signed in recent weeks.
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