Originally created 06/19/02

Across Georgia



Toddler survives alone after mother's death

ATLANTA -A 22-month old girl named Miracle survived for up to 10 days on whatever food she could find in a pantry and cabinets after her pregnant mother died in their apartment, police said.

Police, responding to a report of a foul odor and a swarm of large flies, found the child Sunday standing next to her mother's body, which had decomposed so much that police were forced to obtain fingerprints to establish identity. The child was malnourished and dehydrated when discovered, but recovered quickly.

Officials at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital released Miracle Michelle Stevenson on Tuesday.

Governor suspends sheriff with MS

SAVANNAH -Gov. Roy Barnes on Tuesday suspended Effingham County Sheriff Jay Space from office for 60 days after an investigation determined Sheriff Space's battle with multiple sclerosis has affected his ability to serve as sheriff.

Sheriff Space, 40, has continued working as sheriff in Effingham County, 20 miles northwest of Savannah, since he was diagnosed last year.

Mr. Barnes ordered an investigation of Sheriff Space's fitness for office last month at the urging of the Effingham County Board of Commissioners and the Georgia Sheriffs' Association. Commissioners said the disease had affected Sheriff Space's ability to drive and made him emotionally erratic.

Judge halts killer's scheduled execution

ATLANTA -A Superior Court judge halted the execution of Wallace Fugate just hours before he was to die Tuesday, saying the convicted killer deserves another clemency hearing before a full parole board.

Mr. Fugate, 52, was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the 1991 shooting death of his ex-wife, Pattie.

On Tuesday, Fulton Superior Court Judge John J. Goger issued the order to stay the execution after a morning teleconference with opposing attorneys.

Defendant in sheriff's slaying refuses to eat

ALBANY -Sidney Dorsey, the former DeKalb County sheriff accused of ordering the assassination of his successor, has been refusing to eat while in jail, the judge in his murder trial said Tuesday.

Judge Cynthia J. Becker said before afternoon testimony that she had been told Mr. Dorsey was not eating. She threatened to have him "physically examined and pumped full of whatever it takes" to get proper nutrition.

Mr. Dorsey told the judge the reports were a misunderstanding. He is charged with murder in the death of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown, who was gunned down in his driveway on Dec. 15, 2000, three days before he was to take office.

Man sponsors ads targeting lawmaker

LaFAYETTE -A man whose mother was among the hundreds of bodies recovered from Tri-State Crematory has formed a political action committee to defeat Rep. Mike Snow, the local representative some blame for helping the crematory avoid inspections.

Rock Thomas, of Lookout Mountain, said the committee will raise money for ads targeting the Chickamauga Democrat.