Originally created 02/13/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Registered offender caught near schools

Police have arrested a registered sex offender who acknowledged ogling young girls at Richmond County high schools for sexual purposes, said a Richmond County Sheriff's Office major.

Police arrested Michle Antonio Hill, 36, of the 3000 block of Libby Drive, and charged him with public indecency Sunday, Maj. Ken Autry said.

Authorities had been holding Mr. Hill for investigative purposes since Thursday after someone told a deputy a man driving a green Ford Expedition was trying to pick up young girls in the area of Lucy C. Laney and A.R. Johnson high schools on Laney-Walker Boulevard. The deputy located the vehicle and Mr. Hill a few minutes later near Laney High, Maj. Autry said.

Mr. Hill was formally charged after investigators located two 16-year-old girls who identified a photograph of his vehicle as the one driven by the man who tried to pick them up, Maj. Autry said.

Mr. Hill was convicted of a rape and burglary at Fort Gordon in 1990 while he was in the Army. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and paroled in July 1999. He registered as a sex offender with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office in August 1999, Maj. Autry said.

Police ask that anyone else who might have been approached around the schools call 821-1080.

AUGUSTA
Man who killed wife gets parole

A former Augusta man who shot his wife to death in their south Augusta home has been paroled after 11 years in prison.

Luis F. Marrero, 47, pleaded guilty but mentally ill in November 1989 after an initial murder charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter in Richmond County Superior Court.

Mr. Marrero, who had a history of mental illness and was diagnosed as a chronic paranoid schizophrenic, shot June Suk Marrero, 26, Nov. 18, 1987. Mrs. Marrero, who had divorced her husband but remarried him about two weeks before her death, was found at the apartment with two gunshot wounds to her head and one to her chest.

Mr. Marrero was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison, but Judge Albert M. Pickett agreed to reduced the sentence to 15 years in prison in January 1990. Mr. Marrero now lives in Muscogee County.

AUGUSTA
Woman receives prison sentence

An Augusta woman who seriously wounded a teen-ager and hurt a good Samaritan who tried to break up the fight received a seven-year prison sentence Monday.

Julia Turner, 43, was set to stand trial in Richmond County Superior Court on two counts of aggravated assault. After urging from Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet to settle the case, attorneys negotiated and Mr. Turner agreed to plead guilty to one count of aggravated assault. Judge Overstreet sentenced her to seven years in prison, followed by five years on probation.

Ms. Turner seriously wounded Rayshaw Boyd in a fight Sept. 9 and slashed Sharon Sapp with the same weapon, a razor, when Ms. Sapp tried to intervene, Assistant District Attorney Willie Saunders said. The teen-ager was prosecuted in Juvenile Court in the incident, and Ms. Turner agreed Monday to plead guilty only to the aggravated assault on Ms. Sapp, Ms. Turner's attorney, Peter Flanagan, told the judge.

Ms. Turner had no prior felony convictions, although she had a number of misdemeanor offense on her record, attorneys said Monday.

COLUMBIA COUNTY
Deputies seek stolen radios

Columbia County deputies were trying Monday to track down two police radios stolen from Greenbrier High School on Friday.

Capt. Steve Morris said the theft of the radios and one charger was reported to the sheriff's office Monday. The items were taken from the school's public safety office and cafeteria, he said.

Throughout the weeked and Monday, regular police radio use was intermittently interrupted by expletive-filled shouts and blaring rap music. Capt. Morris said the biggest problem created by the missing radios is the potential that renegade radio users could interrupt emergency traffic.

"Although we have experienced a few disruptions during the last few days, deputies and dispatchers continued to communicate without delays," Capt. Morris said.

He said the people using the radios could face state and federal charges for improper radio use.

COLUMBIA COUNTY
No interim administrator named

Columbia County commissioners decided Monday not to appoint an interim administrator to run the county while current Administrator Steve Szablewski recovers from heart surgery.

"We've got such great division directors, we feel like they are capable of handling what needs to be done," Commissioner Frank Spears said.

Until Mr. Szablewski does return, county department directors - along with commissioners - will pick up the slack, commission Chairman Barry Fleming said.

"We expect Steve to be back in a limited capacity in a few weeks and move back up to full speed in a few months," Mr. Fleming said.

AUGUSTA
INFOLINE will get renovations

The Augusta Chronicle's INFOLINE service will be down for a few days while a new hard drive is installed in the computer that runs it.

Much of the information available through INFOLINE, such as lottery numbers and sports scores, can be found at www.augustachronicle.com.

GEORGIA
House again rejects strong beer

ATLANTA - The Georgia House voted Monday against reconsidering a bill that would have allowed restaurants and liquor stores to sell beer with a higher alcohol content. The vote was 89-73.

The bill, sponsored on behalf of beer connoisseurs by Rep. Stephanie Stuckey, D-Decatur, would have raised the maximum alcohol content in beer to 14 percent and thereby allowed the sale of sophisticated European beers in Georgia.

Georgia allows beer to contain no more than 6 percent alcohol.

The House rejected Ms. Stuckey's bill Friday, 108-60, with opponents charging it would worsen the problems of teen-age drinking and drunken driving. Ms. Stuckey said Monday she will not try to reintroduce the bill.