Originally created 11/07/02

Across Georgia

Jury convicts man of four hotel slayings

ATLANTA -A Fulton County jury convicted a 42-year-old man of murder Wednesday in the slayings of four men at two hotels in 1998.

Timothy Dawson had been on trial since Oct. 15 in the shooting deaths of three men in the Atlanta Hilton & Towers hotel and another man at a Days Inn in College Park.

The sentencing phase will begin today and is expected to last until next week. He could receive the death penalty.

Mr. Dawson was charged with killing Ronald Gutkowski, 51, of Leesburg, Fla.; Phillip Dover, 31, of Gainesville, Ga.; and Gerrold Shropshire, 50, of Altamonte Springs, Fla., at the Hilton on Oct. 18, 1998. The three were in Atlanta to attend a Falcons football game.

LaDarius Hawkins, 19, was killed in College Park a few days earlier.

The three Hilton victims were forced to lie on the floor of their room and were shot in the head.

A maid at the Atlanta Hilton found the three men's bodies, dressed only in underwear, in their blood-splattered 24th-floor room. Mr. Dawson was arrested outside Memphis, Tenn., two weeks later.

Brown's daughters say suing him is hard

ATLANTA -James Brown's daughters said they agonized over suing their father on allegations that they were not paid royalties on songs made popular by The Godfather of Soul.

"We knew the consequences of bringing all this out - all the publicity this would get," daughter Yamma Brown Lumar told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in her first public statement about the lawsuit.

"We love our father ... It's been extremely difficult. This is family. This is our father. It's taken a lot of soul-searching and digging deep."

Ms. Lumar, 29, and Deanna Brown Thomas, 33, filed suit in September in federal court in Atlanta, contending they co-own the copyrights to 23 songs, including the 1976 hit Get Up Offa That Thing.

The lawsuit against Mr. Brown and his record labels, Warner Chappell Music and Dynatone, seeks more than $1 million and alleges breach of contract, negligence and racketeering.

The musician and his record labels, in court papers filed Monday, denied the allegations and asked for dismissal of the complaint. They noted that a similar Michigan suit filed by Mr. Brown's daughters was dismissed in the spring.


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