Originally created 10/18/01

RICO trial tackles fake bills



Testimony turned to counterfeiting in the racketeering trial for six Augusta men Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators testified that Carlston W. Coleman's McDowell Street home was searched in September 1997 after he was identified as a suspect in the passing of 15 phony $20 bills at a city convenience store.

Mr. Coleman, 30, Ronald Coleman Jr., 29, Kendric Dudley, 30, Ronnie B. Overton Jr., 22, Charles D. Winters, 29, and Jarman L. Harold, 25, have pleaded innocent to violating the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law.

The allegation of counterfeiting is an element of the RICO charge. When Carlston Coleman's home was searched, he was there with Ronald Coleman, who is not related, and with Mr. Harold. The only counterfeit money found was one fake $20 bill in the pocket of another man.

The trial has been recessed until Nov. 5, Senior Judge Bernard J. Mulherin Sr. told the jury Wednesday.

Prosecutors have not yet presented witnesses to address the robbery and kidnapping charges against the two Colemans in the June 21, 1998, abduction of Sam's Club Manager David Holt, 45. His body was found in the trunk of his burning car in Aiken County after the store was robbed.

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