Originally created 01/19/03

Across Georgia



Doctor pleads guilty to murder of ex-wife

MARIETTA -A Cobb County doctor has been convicted of stabbing his ex-wife to death and then wrapping her body in a blanket and stuffing it in the crawl space of his Mableton home.

Eric Wooten, 36, pleaded guilty to the murder of Phyllis Wooten, the mother of his two children. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Police found the body of Mrs. Wooten, 38, in the crawl space July 10. Dr. Wooten and his ex-wife frequently argued over custody of their two sons, who were 4 and 5 at the time of the murder.

Mrs. Wooten was seen arguing with the doctor in the parking lot of his office July 9, 2001. The doctor had disappeared with the two children. He turned himself in to the FBI in Baltimore on July 20 after 11 days as a fugitive.

Two adult businesses will challenge closure

MARIETTA -Two adult night clubs this week will challenge Marietta's claim in court that they can't sell sex toys and X-rated films.

Boomers and Cyprus Lounge were temporarily forced to close their adult novelty businesses last week. Both establishments quickly reopened because they contend the sale of adult novelties is legal under city code, said Alan Begner, who represents both clubs.

In Marietta, it isn't illegal to sell sexually explicit items, but several criteria must be met for a license to be approved. For example, the business must not be within 1,000 feet of a library, church or school.

Enrollment is halved at Morris Brown College

ATLANTA -About half of financially battered Morris Brown College's students returned to class this week.

On Friday, enrollment on the college's third day of classes stood at 1,300 - down from 2,500 last semester, said Charlyn Harper Browne, the school's vice president of academic affairs.

"We expected about a 50 percent decrease," she said. "It wasn't a surprise."

Last month, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked accreditation at the private, historically black college. Morris Brown is $27 million in debt.

An appeals committee will hear the school's case. The hearing is expected to be held in March.