Originally created 02/25/02

Across Georgia



Ex-official faces suit over cross burning

RICHLAND -A black woman who used to live in Stewart County is suing a former city councilman for burning a cross in her front yard.

LaWanda Holmes is seeking $6 million in damages against former Richland City Councilman Pete Cobb Sr.; his nephew Kenneth Royal; and a friend of Mr. Cobb's, Grady Anderson Jr.

The suit filed last week in U.S. District Court says the men conspired to run Ms. Holmes out of the home she leased in Richland, about 30 miles south of Columbus, because she is black. According to the suit, Ms. Holmes was the only black person living in the neighborhood.

Mr. Cobb, Mr. Royal and Mr. Anderson pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges for setting the gasoline-soaked cross ablaze in February 2000.

Pastor gets probation for sex with minor

MACON -A judge sentenced a Macon pastor to 10 years on probation after the minister pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl in his congregation.

Marcus Little, 29, also must serve nine months in a probation detention center and perform 100 hours of community service, under the sentence delivered Friday.

King widow's stance angers victim's family

ATLANTA -The family of a slain sheriff's deputy has told Coretta Scott King to butt out of the ongoing trial of the man charged with his death.

On Friday, Mrs. King, the widow of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., released a statement that seemed to question the fairness of the trial of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the Muslim cleric and former 1960s radical once known as H. Rap Brown.

Mr. Al-Amin is accused of killing Deputy Ricky Kinchen and wounding Deputy Aldranon English in a gunfight nearly two years ago. Mr. Al-Amin and both deputies are black.

David Kinchen, the 38-year-old brother of the victim, said he was stunned by Mrs. King's statement.

"It's clear that her comments were meant to fuel a conspiracy theory, which to my family is insulting," Mr. Kinchen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a story in Sunday's editions.