Originally created 06/20/03

Across the Southeast



Attorney admits to drinking during trial

JACKSON, Ga. -A defense attorney testified that he was drinking a quart of vodka a day during a 1997 murder trial.

Robert Wayne Holsey was sentenced to death in 1997 for the fatal shooting of a Baldwin County sheriff's deputy in December 1995. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld Mr. Holsey's death sentence in December 1999 and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Mr. Holsey's new attorneys are challenging the constitutionality of the trial by attempting to prove he had ineffective counsel and that he is mentally retarded.

In Wednesday's hearing before Augusta Superior Court Judge Neal Dickert, attorney Andy Prince testified that during the trial, he would go back to his hotel room and drink until he "couldn't drink anymore."

Jailer charged in rape of 21-year-old woman

ATHENS, Ga. -A Gwinnett County jailer was being held without bond Thursday on charges he raped a 21-year-old woman in her Athens home.

Derrick McGriff, 25, of Duluth, was being held at the Clarke County jail.

The woman told investigators that she met Mr. McGriff at a restaurant June 9. After dinner, he invited himself into her car, pulled a gun and ordered her to drive home, she said. She said Mr. McGriff then raped her in her home.

Mr. McGriff never gave the woman his real name, but made references to his job as a deputy, allowing investigators to track him down, said Athens-Clarke police Lt. Clarence Holeman.

Teenager is killed in hit-and-run accident

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -One teenager was killed and another wounded in a hit-and-run accident Thursday.

Gwinnett County police were looking for the driver who struck the two teens from behind as they walked along a narrow road to a friend's house in Lawrenceville.

There is no sidewalk along that stretch of road, but the Lawrenceville teens were "clearly off the roadway" when they were struck about 12:30 a.m., said Gwinnett police Cpl. Dan Huggins.

A 14-year-old boy died at the scene; his friend was treated at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite for a broken leg. Their names were not immediately released.

Police say drugs may have led to slaying

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. -A fight over drugs may have led to a shooting that left a 17-year-old St. Stephen boy dead, authorities say.

Thomas Fillingame was shot once in the head early Wednesday morning and his body was found on the front lawn of the home he lived in, Berkley County deputies said.

Authorities released few details about the case but said they believe Thomas knew his killers and drugs were involved.

Investigators have arrested four people in connection with the case.

Body of newborn girl found at trash depot

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. -The body of a newborn girl has been found at a trash depot in Marlboro County.

Sanitation workers found the infant at a garbage transfer station Tuesday afternoon, sheriff's Sgt. Marlboro Terry said.

"They were loading the trash from a smaller truck on to a larger truck to go dispose of it when they found the body, which appeared to have been in a plastic bag," Sgt. Terry said.

An autopsy Wednesday found the girl weighed about 8 pounds. Pathologists are performing more tests to determine the cause of death, Coroner Tim Brown said.

Deputies worry the mother's health also could be in danger if she hasn't sought medical attention after giving birth, Sgt. Terry said.