Originally created 05/23/00

Alleged victim's father testifies in abduction trial



An Augusta resident couldn't hold the man who broke into his home and attempted to abduct his daughter last summer, but he did leave his mark on the assailant, he testified Monday.

"I bit a plug out of him," the father of a then 16-year-old girl testified during the Richmond County Superior Court trial for Roosevelt Palmer, 39, of the 3100 block of Truxton Road.

Mr. Palmer, a former Richmond County employee, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, theft, and three counts of burglary and two counts of criminal attempt to commit rape. Because of the nature of the charges, the alleged victims and the father are not being named.

The Augusta father testified that he woke up at about 2:30 a.m. June 22 to hear his daughter screaming. In the family's den, he found his daughter and a man running out of the door, the father testified. He chased the man outside and struggled to hold onto him until police could arrive, the father testified.

"He said, `I got the wrong house,'ƒ" the father quoted Mr. Palmer as saying. "Yeah, you got the wrong house all right," the father had responded.

The teen-ager testified Monday that she was asleep in her bedroom when she felt hands around her neck as someone choked her. Then the assailant picked her up and carried her in the den toward a door that led out of the house, she continued.

"I was like in shock. I couldn't believe it," testified the teen-ager.

When Richmond County Sheriff detectives began investigating the June 22 attack, the details sounded familiar, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Wright told the jury in her opening statements Monday. They went back to an April 21 burglary and attempted rape of a woman awakened in the middle of the night with a man choking her from behind, Ms. Wright said.

Though the April assault victim never got a look at her attacker's face, investigators found Mr. Palmer's fingerprints on light bulbs that had been loosened the night of the break-in, Ms. Wright said.

Defense attorney Leon Larke told the jury in his opening statements that Mr. Palmer had been invited into the teen-ager's home. And, the attorney said, no one can identify the assailant in the April assault.

Mr. Palmer also is charged in a third assault - the break-in and attempted rape of a woman on June 12. Those charges will be tried at a later date.

Testimony continues today.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or shodson@augustachronicle.com.