Originally created 06/03/01

Across the area



GEORGIA
Doctor charged with molestation

ATLANTA - Prosecutors in South Carolina have charged a pediatrician also licensed in Georgia with molesting at least eight of his patients since 1973.

Robert Francis Marion Jr., a native of Augusta and a graduate of the University of Georgia, is awaiting trial.

One of his alleged victims is from Atlanta, said Debbie Herring-Lash, assistant solicitor for Charleston County. The man, now a 32-year-old businessman, was 11 when authorities say Dr. Marion allegedly began molesting him.

Ms. Herring-Lash says there could be more victims in Atlanta who have not come forward.

Dr. Marion was arrested in February and charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and six counts of a lewd act on a minor. He is free on $405,000 bail but under house arrest with orders not to contact the alleged victims, Ms. Herring-Lash said.

Six males and two females have filed complaints against Dr. Marion, 62, now retired. Accusations include oral sex and fondling that took place at his home and office, investigators said.

AUGUSTA
Boy is OK after being hit by car

A 7-year-old boy has been discharged from Medical College of Georgia Hospital after being struck by a car Friday night.

The Augusta boy was hit on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at about 9 p.m., according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office accident report.

The boy was crossing at the intersection of Steed Street where police were directing traffic, the report stated.

Franklin Hinton Clark, of the 1900 block of Haynie Drive, told police that when he saw the stoplight turn green and cars in front of him did not move, he changed lanes and tried to pass the stopped cars. Police had already motioned for the pedestrians to cross.

Mr. Clark, driving a 1994 Plymouth Voyager, hit the boy with the minivan's front bumper.

AUGUSTA
Car rolls into Augusta Canal

An oily film and a pair of tennis shoes were floating down the Augusta Canal on Saturday after a car ran off a dirt road and into the water near King's Mill.

By the time Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene at about 7 p.m., the driver was gone and the gray Oldsmobile was under water. A dive team was called to assist the wrecker service in pulling the car out of the canal. Sgt. D.A. Harris said it appeared that the driver lost control on the dirt road and ran over the bank.

GEORGIA
Woman leads police to newborn's body

SWAINSBORO - A Swainsboro woman led police to the body of her newborn baby Friday, weeks after being charged in the infant's death.

The body was in the woods and so badly decomposed investigators could not immediately tell what sex it was.

The mother, 23-year-old Twanna Kalisha Brown of Swainsboro, was charged with murder May 21 for allegedly killing the child who investigators said had been born four days earlier at her home.

Although investigators had no body, they said Ms. Brown had been seen with a newborn and that evidence supported the murder charge.

Ms. Brown initially was charged with cruelty to children, The Macon Telegraph reported.

Emanuel County Sheriff Tyson Stephens said the charge was upgraded after "what began as a purported miscarriage escalated into a missing child/homicide investigation."

After Ms. Brown's arrest, authorities launched an extensive search of her home and the surrounding area, but came up empty.

Information from Ms. Brown led officials to resume the search Friday, shifting the focus on the rural area, where the body was found.

The child's remains will be sent to the state crime lab in Atlanta to try to determine a cause of death.

AUGUSTA
Coach was foul, police say

A coach for the Kannapolis Intimidators baseball team was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of disorderly conduct.

Kenneth Wayne Dominguez, a 43-year-old hitting coach for the minor league team, was taken into custody shortly after 2 a.m., according to records at the Richmond County Jail.

Deputy Joel Danko of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said Mr. Dominguez was arrested at Surrey Tavern on the 400 block of Highland Avenue.

A manager at Surrey Tavern said Saturday he remembered a baseball player being in the bar Friday night. A game scheduled for earlier in the day between the Intimidators, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and the Augusta GreenJackets was postponed because of rain.

The manager said he saw a man he believed was Mr. Dominguez get into an argument with another patron about that person taking too long in the bathroom.

"He had gotten into an argument, and he had provoked a police officer," the manager said. "The police officer asked him to stop, and he kept going."

Mr. Dominguez was taken to the Richmond County Jail and was later released. His court date is scheduled for June 28.

The GreenJackets play host to the Intimidators in a doubleheader today and complete the four-game series with one game Monday.

AUGUSTA
High school graduations slated

Graduations for Richmond County high schools are scheduled for this week. All of the ceremonies will be at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center unless otherwise noted.

Monday: George P. Butler High School, 3:30 p.m.; Glenn Hills High School, 5:30 p.m.; Academy of Richmond County, 8 p.m.

Tuesday: Hephzibah High School, 3:30 p.m.; Lucy C. Laney High School, 5:30 p.m., Westside High School, 8 p.m.

Wednesday: John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, 3:30 p.m., Bell Auditorium; A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School, 5:30 p.m., Bell Auditorium; Cross Creek High School, 8 p.m.

Thursday: T.W. Josey High School, 3:30 p.m.

AUGUSTA
Pro wrestlers play to crowd

While the pomp and circumstance of high school graduations filled the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center arena, there was a spectacle of a different sort outside.

World Wrestling Federation wrestlers Raven and Faarooq were mobbed by autograph-seeking fans. The two were making a special appearance to boost ticket sales for WWF Live, scheduled for July 8.

SALUDA COUNTY
Sheriff is healing from wound

SALUDA - Saluda County Sheriff Jason Booth is recovering from a superficial wound suffered when he accidentally shot himself last week.

The sheriff was treated at Lexington Medical Center after a .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol malfunctioned while being removed from his pocket, according to a statement issued by his office.

Hospitalization was not required.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Woman gets life sentence

CHARLESTON - A North Charleston woman will spend her life in prison for killing a video gambling parlor employee who used to let her sleep in the parlor when she could not get a ride home.

Prosecutors said Kandy Gilliard, 23, talked a friend with an IQ of 66 into strangling 43-year-old Dawn Russ to death with a garbage bag and extension cord when she fell asleep while working the night shift at the Game Room in January 2000.

Ms. Gilliard spent many nights at the parlor, playing video poker and watching television with Ms. Russ, witnesses said.