Originally created 01/18/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Pair's robbery case goes to grand jury

Two men whose arrests led investigators to a suspect in the execution-style slaying of a convenience store employee will face a Richmond County grand jury for possible indictment.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Richmond County Civil Court on Wednesday, Judge H. Scott Allen ruled probable cause existed to send the case against Edward E. Judkins, 26, and David E. Littlejohn, 19, to the grand jury.

The men each face charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Both are accused of the kidnapping and armed robbery of McDonald's employee Teneshea Williams on Dec. 28, and the attempted robbery of the Washington Road restaurant the same morning.

Mr. Judkins also was charged, along with 17-year-old Curtis M. Woodyard Jr., in the robbery and slaying of Gordon Petty on Nov. 27 at Holiday Market on Wheeler Road. The charges against Mr. Judkins, however, have been dismissed. Mr. Woodyard was indicted in connection with Mr. Petty's killing last week, and, if convicted of murder, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

All three men are being held in jail without bond.

AUGUSTA
Parolee sought in home invasion

Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigators want to question a 21-year-old parolee about one of three home invasions reported in Augusta the night of Jan. 8. Dwayne Dante Shaw also is wanted on outstanding criminal trespass and parole violation warrants.

Investigator William Walker said he might have information about the robbery on the 2200 block of Walden Drive. Three men in black ski masks reportedly burst into a townhome yelling, "Police. Search warrant," then asked for money and drugs. The home was ransacked, and a woman's payroll check and cash were stolen.

Later that night, similar incidents were reported on the 2900 block of Cumberland Drive and the 1800 block of Thompson Drive. Loron Garnett, 25, was shot in the face after he and his wife were kidnapped from their house, then taken to his parents' home, which was also invaded, police said.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections Web site, Mr. Shaw was released July 31 from Rogers State Prison, where he was incarcerated for a 1998 escape charge.

AUGUSTA
Jury indicts man in assaults

A 24-year-old Augusta man accused of sexually assaulting one victim and threatening another person at gunpoint was indicted Wednesday on a number of charges.

Brady L. Moody could face a lifetime behind bars if convicted of the crimes listed in a Richmond County grand jury indictment - kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated sodomy, burglary, aggravated assault and four weapons violations.

Mr. Moody, previously convicted in Aiken for breaking into a motor vehicle, is accused of a Nov. 11 sexual assault and robbery of a woman who had been walking on Greene Street, and of a Nov. 15 assault on a Watkins Street resident who reported Mr. Moody broke into his home, pointed a handgun at him and threatened to kill him.

Mr. Moody is being held in jail without bond.

AUGUSTA
Kitchen fire damages rooms

A fire damaged the interior of a residence Wednesday afternoon after flames from a burning pot spread from the stove to the rest of the kitchen.

The Richmond County Fire Department arrived at 20 Eagle Point shortly after noon and quickly extinguished the fire, Battalion Chief B.W. Taylor said.

The fire extensively damaged the kitchen, where it had burned through the ceiling, and caused smoke damage in several other rooms. No injuries were reported.

AUGUSTA
Utility work will close Broad Street

Broad Street will close at 2 p.m. today between Fourth and East Boundary streets for storm drainage work. The section will remain closed for two weeks.

Motorists will be detoured onto Greene Street along East Boundary Street and Fourth Street.

GEORGIA
Two seek DeKalb sheriff's post

DECATUR - Geraldine Champion, a former Atlanta homicide detective, said Wednesday she plans to run for DeKalb County sheriff in the special election to replace slain Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown.

Sheriff-elect Brown, who was killed Dec. 15 outside his home, had offered Ms. Champion a job as assistant chief deputy in the sheriff's department.

Interim Sheriff Thomas Brown, who is not related to Sheriff-elect Brown, also has announced he will seek the seat permanently.

The special election will be March 20. Police have made no arrests in Sheriff-elect Brown's slaying.

GEORGIA
Body found in burning car's trunk

DECATUR - Firefighters called to douse a burning car discovered a body in the trunk early Wednesday.

Firefighters were called to the River Stone Shoals subdivision, which is under construction in southeast DeKalb County, at 12:45 a.m.

DeKalb County detectives could not immediately determine the victim's gender, police spokeswoman Mikki Jones said. Homicide detectives suspect foul play but are awaiting autopsy results, she said.

The car and body were taken to the DeKalb County medical examiner's office.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Athletes questioned in sex case

GREER - Police are investigating six Greer High School football players and allegations of criminal sexual conduct with a 15-year-old female student.

None of the students, ranging in age from 14 to 18, were identified, but all seven have been suspended, school officials said.

Greer Police Lt. Jolene Vancil said all the students have been interviewed, but no arrests have been made.

The alleged incidents took place on school property, according to Greenville County School District spokesman Oby Lyles.

Mr. Lyles said the female student's mother contacted the school last week. Lt. Vancil said the Greer Police Department received a complaint about the case Tuesday.

Mr. Lyles said he didn't know if any of the players under investigation had signed letters of intent to play college football. He also said that no administrators or teachers would be disciplined as a result of the investigation.

Greer athletics director Steve Woodward refused to comment.

AIKEN COUNTY
Escaped gas sickens inmates

AIKEN -Five inmates at the Aiken County Detention Center were sent to the hospital after carbon monoxide escaped from a steam-cleaning machine and caused them to suffer headaches and nausea, authorities said Wednesday.

Workers were using rented equipment to clean shower stalls in a medium-security cell at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, when several in mates nearby complained of feeling ill, according to Maj. Dan Edwins. Two ambulances were called to transport the inmates to the emergency room at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, where they were given oxygen and tested for carbon monoxide poisoning.

After two hours, the inmates were taken back to jail, Maj. Edwins said. None required hospitalization or medication.

The carbon monoxide was traced to the steam-cleaning equipment, the major said.

"The vent flowed back in when the machine was being used," he said. "It was just an isolated incident where some fumes got in there. And for a precautionary measure, since they did say they had headaches and nausea, we transported them just to make sure."