Originally created 11/21/02

Across Georgia



Judge stays execution scheduled for today

ATLANTA -A judge has issued an indefinite stay on the planned execution of a man convicted of raping and strangling an Atlanta go-go dancer.

Butts County Superior Court Judge Kevin A. Wangerin stopped the execution of James Willie Brown on Wednesday, the day before the killer was scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Based on a contention by Mr. Brown that prosecutors knowingly introduced false testimony against him at trial, Judge Wangerin granted the prisoner's motion for habeas corpus.

Mr. Brown's attorneys also argued that he is insane and unfit to stand trial for the May 12, 1975, killing of Brenda Sue Watson, but Judge Wangerin rejected those arguments.

DNA database leads to rape, murder charges

DECATUR -An Indiana man has been charged with raping one woman and murdering another in DeKalb County more than three years ago.

Police said they are also investigating Samuel Earl McCullum, 38, in the deaths of two other women. Mr. McCullum is in custody in Louisville, Ky., in a rape case.

Authorities in Decatur were led to Mr. McCullum by an expanding national DNA database that can red-flag violent criminals in unsolved crimes.

Atlanta budget cuts will cost 280 jobs

ATLANTA -More than 280 city of Atlanta employees, including 185 in the corrections department, will lose their jobs next month as the city tries to balance its budget.

The job cuts will take effect Dec. 23. More layoffs are expected to be announced later this week, said Sandra Walker, spokeswoman for Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Truck backs over man, kills him at factory

ATHENS -A Winterville man was hit by a truck and killed outside an Athens manufacturing plant.

David Whitley Whitehead, 63, was knocked down and run over by a six-wheel truck Tuesday as it backed up to a loading dock at Carrier Transicold, which manufactures refrigeration units for trucks.

Mr. Whitehead was the son of the late Wesley Whitehead, who had been a longtime mayor of Winterville.

The driver of the truck, Anthony Bernard Giles, of Monroe, was not charged, but an investigation continues, police said.