Originally created 08/19/00

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Judge denies bond in three sex cases

Bond was denied Friday for three men facing rape charges, including one who has unrelated child molestation charges pending trial.

Shaun J. Perdue, 19, was free on bond until his arrest on the new charges. After hearing from the prosecutor Friday in Richmond County Superior Court, Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. denied bond for Mr. Perdue, accused of raping a 13-year-old and holding her against her will Aug. 3.

Mr. Perdue also faces charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation for allegedly having consensual sexual relations with two adolescent girls last year.

Judge Brown also denied bond for Hayward Gordon, 44, accused of attacking and raping a woman Aug. 5. Assistant District Attorney Shauna Reeves told the judge that Mr. Gordon had a number of prior convictions and has faced rape charges in the past.

The judge also declined to set bond for a 15-year-old accused of rape Aug. 11. Judge Brown said he would reconsider bond for the youth, however, after a preliminary hearing.

AUGUSTA
Man pleads guilty to robbery

An Augusta man charged with holding up a convenience store at gunpoint and trying to rob a strip club, whose patrons at the time included sheriff's officers, pleaded guilty Friday.

Gregory P. Kirkland, 37, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to reduced charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault, crimes committed April 12 and 13 at a BP convenience store and Baby Dolls nightclub. The bartender at the club was able to disarm Mr. Kirkland, but a gunshot was fired during the struggle for the weapon. No one was wounded by the gunshot.

Mr. Kirkland, who has prior convictions and still faces two criminal charges in South Carolina, received a 25-year prison sentence Friday. He will have to serve at least 15 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Mr. Kirkland has suffered from a mental disability made worse by alcoholism, his attorney Clay Jolly said Friday. At the time of the robbery and attempted robbery he was highly intoxicated, Mr. Jolly said.

COLUMBIA COUNTY
Pet adoption fair continues

The Columbia County Animal Control shelter will be open for an adoption fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today on Range Road in Appling. There are plenty of dogs and cats, puppies and kittens available for adoption. For more information, call 541-4077.

AUGUSTA
Anti-drug program scheduled

The 11th annual Drug Awareness program will be from noon to 5 p.m. today at Savannah Place multipurpose center. There will be food, fun, games and prizes, center Director Lula Bush said.

The Augusta Recreation and Parks Department and Garden City Channel Master, Spring PTS is sponsoring the program that is being presented by Savannah Place Senior Citizens; Lucy Laney Chapter No. 20 Order of the Eastern Star, Key Women of America, Augusta Branch; T.W. Josey Class of 1970; and the Turpin Hill Neighborhood Association.

GEORGIA
Teen indicted in girl's slaying

WOODBINE - A grand jury has indicted a Camden County teen on charges of malice murder, rape, aggravated battery and kidnapping in the May slaying of a 15-year-old St. Marys girl.

James Christopher Miley, 18, is accused of attacking Ashley Nicole Neves, a St. Marys Middle School pupil, May 20 after she allegedly rebuffed his advances.

Prosecutor George Turner Jr. said he hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty against Mr. Miley, who is being held in the Camden County Jail without bail. No trial date has been set.

Ashley was found dead in a wooded area near the Shadowlawn subdivision in St. Marys. She had been slashed in the face and neck with a broken bottle, investigators said.

No documents have been filed with the court indicating the name of Mr. Miley's attorney. Mr. Miley's mother declined to identify her son's lawyer.

GEORGIA
Overturned truck spill stalls traffic

MARIETTA - Five lanes of Interstate 75 were blocked for hours Friday after a tractor-trailer carrying hazardous chemicals overturned in the northbound lanes in Cobb County.

The truck, which was pulling a double trailer, crashed when the driver tried to avoid a car that was careening out of control after striking a median wall. It was carrying a 2,460-pound battery on one trailer and 21 pounds of potassium cyanide on the other, said Cobb County Fire Capt. Mark Gresham.

If the battery acid and potassium cyanide had mixed, lethal gas cyanide could have been created, Capt. Gresham said. But workers were able to remove the potassium cyanide containers, which were intact.

Five of the seven northbound lanes were closed for at least 12 hours. Traffic congestion plagued the area during the morning rush hour.

The driver of the Overnite Trucking Co. truck and the car's driver were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Capt. Gresham said.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Deputy investigated in sex case

YORK - A York County sheriff's deputy is being investigated for possible sexual misconduct with a minor, the State Law Enforcement Division says.

SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson confirmed the investigation, but would not identify the deputy.

Sheriff Bruce Bryant would neither confirm nor deny the investigation.

"If someone makes criminal allegation toward an officer, an outside agency is called," Sheriff Bryant said.

There were no incident reports filed against the deputy at the York County sheriff's office.

No report on the investigation will be released until the matter is resolved, SLED spokesman Mike Brown said.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Student recovers after lab fire

COLUMBIA - A University of South Carolina graduate student was in stable condition after being burned in a fire at a school laboratory.

Chris [filtered word], 28, of Columbia, was being treated at an Augusta hospital Friday for second- and third-degree burns on his right arm and right leg.

Mr. [filtered word] was injured after the mixture of two chemicals started a fire Thursday morning. He was the only person in the lab at the Graduate Research Center at the time.

The building was evacuated for less than an hour, said Battalion Chief David Rusher of the Columbia Fire Department. A sprinkler put out the fire, which caused $12,000 damage, Battalion Chief Rusher said.