Originally created 01/06/02

Across the area



Man still sought in armed robbery

Police are still searching for an Augusta man wanted in the Nov. 7 armed robbery of a Deans Bridge Road restaurant.

John Earl Williams, 21, is accused of pistol-whipping the manager of a Wendy's restaurant around midnight when the store closed.

Richmond County investigator Jo Ann Nutter said the suspect has three outstanding felony warrants including on charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mr. Williams is known to frequent a house in the 2500 block of Andorra Drive in south Augusta and various locations near Dover and Mill streets. He is considered armed and dangerous, the investigator said.

Anyone with information on the suspect can call 821-1020.

Women use glass to fight each other

An argument between neighbors turned ugly early Saturday morning when two women used glass shards to attack each other, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Marion Annette Hall, of the 1300 block of Baker Avenue, told police that Debra Ann Gaines, who lives in a nearby apartment, came over and started a fight about 2 a.m., the report states.

Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Scott White said both women had returned from a night club and were intoxicated.

Ms. Hall, 37, reported that Ms. Gaines, 33, cut her several times with a shard of glass from a broken window. Ms. Hall also picked up a shard of glass and cut Ms. Gaines, according to the report.

Both women were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released for minor cuts, Investigator White said.

Bedroom space heater blamed for house fire

A faulty space heater was to blame for a fire that gutted a house Saturday night, according to a fire department battalion chief.

Shortly before 6 p.m., firefighters arrived at a one-story house consumed by flames in the 1600 block of 12th Street. The fire started in the bedroom and spread to the rest of the house, said Battalion Chief James Freeman of the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department.

He said the two people who were inside when the fire started escaped without injury.

Police charge man in child-sex crime

Police arrested an Augusta man Saturday morning on charges of having inappropriate sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl.

Maurice Lejuan Ponder, 21, of the 600 block of Gilbert Manor, is charged with one felony count of statutory rape, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. Mr. Ponder and the girl have been having sexual relations since August 2000, the report states.

Mr. Ponder was arrested at his home at about 1:50 a.m. by a sheriff's office investigator and remained in custody Saturday evening at the law enforcement center.

Martin Luther King's daughter set to speak

Bernice A. King will be the guest speaker for this year's annual Tri-College Celebration honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., at noon Jan. 18 at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.

Admission is free to the program, which is sponsored each year by Augusta State University, Paine College and the Medical College of Georgia.

The speaker is the youngest daughter of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King. She is a well-known motivational speaker, minister, orator, attorney and author.

County schools stay closed another day

Richmond County pupils will enjoy their holiday vacations for another day.

After the two snow days last week, they also will have Monday off. Monday is a staff development day.