Originally created 09/27/03

Across the area



Two teens face assault charges

Two Richmond County teenagers have been charged with a gang-related attack on Cross Creek High School athlete that occurred off-campus, authorities said.

Thomas Coleman Jr., 17, of the 2400 block of Crystal Court, was charged Friday with terroristic threats in an assault Monday on 17-year-old Desmond Walters, a basketball player, sheriff's officials said. A 16-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, was also charged.

Police say Desmond was walking home on Fairington Drive on Monday afternoon when a vehicle approached and two teens attacked and threatened him. Desmond told police the teens identified themselves as part of the GDB gang, which feuds with students living in Fairington subdivision.

The juvenile attends school at Cross Creek with Desmond, police said.

Sex offender to serve 18 months in prison

A man who neglected to register for the Georgia sex offender registry was sentenced to 18 months' confinement Friday.

Terry Lynn Tucker was charged with failure to register as a sex offender after he was indicted in April, when Mr. Tucker was between residences, said Lauminnia Nivens, his defense attorney.

Mr. Tucker told Judge William M. Fleming that he had a prior conviction in Arizona for a sex offense.

A search for Mr. Tucker's name conducted Friday night on both the Arizona and Georgia sex offender registries on the Internet returned no results.

Judge Fleming allowed the time Mr. Tucker has served, as he has been in jail since April 5, to count toward his sentence.

Threats at ceremony lead to suspensions

Two freshmen were suspended from A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School for joking about blowing up the school, authorities said Friday.

The threats were overheard Sept. 15 while the school celebrated its 2003 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School award, schools spokeswoman Mechelle Jordan said. As teachers were called to the center of the gymnasium to be honored, an assistant principal overheard two boys say it was the perfect time to blow up the school.

The students were suspended for five days and face a tribunal hearing, where they could be expelled, Ms. Jordan said.

Man is sentenced in deputy assault

A Graniteville man who was accused of fighting with a Richmond County sheriff's deputy in February was sentenced Friday.

Judge William M. Fleming Jr. sentenced Christopher James Nance, 23, to four years' probation and a $1,000 fine and ordered him to pay Richmond County for his court-appointed lawyer's fees.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Mr. Nance was asked by Deputy Gordon Alley to leave Coyote's Nightclub on Peach Orchard Road.

While being escorted out by the deputy after the manager asked Mr. Nance to leave, Mr. Nance struck Deputy Alley in the head and kicked him in the chest, according to the sheriff's office.

Police search for car spotted near burglary

Aiken County sheriff's investigators are looking for a red compact car seen near a Sept. 18 burglary and arson at a North Augusta convenience store.

Authorities said the car, possibly a Geo Prizm or Pontiac Firebird, was seen at about 4 a.m. the day of the break-in, when burglars cut a hole through the roof of the Four Seasons Food and Fuel on Storm Branch Road and took a safe. A fire was set in an office and bathroom at the store.

Bloodhounds tracked the scent of the suspects to a driveway about 50 yards from the scene, where they suspect the burglars left in a car.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (800) 922-9709 or the South Carolina Arson Hotline at (800) 922-7766.

Two teens charged in home burglary

Two teens were charged with burglarizing a Warrenville home after authorities caught them wearing some of the stolen proceeds, Aiken County sheriff's officials said.

According to sheriff's reports, a man arrived at his Saddle Horse home at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday to find guns and jewelry valued at $3,000 missing. Someone had pried open the front door, authorities said.

Members of the Aiken Bloodhound Team were able to track the suspects along Huber Clay Road to South Carolina Highway 421, where deputies confronted the two teens in a convenience store parking lot. Authorities said one of the teens was wearing women's jewelry believed to be taken in the burglary.

Marty G. Britt, 18, of the 2000 block of Cullum Trail Road, Aiken, was charged with first-degree burglary, grand larceny and unlawful possession of liquor.

Fred T. Muller, 17, of the 100 block of Laird Lane, Warrenville, was charged with first-degree burglary, grand larceny, simple possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of liquor.

Augusta man arrested on weapons charges

A 23-year-old Augusta man was arrested early Friday after police say they found a sawed-off shotgun owned by the man.

Maurice Antonio Walker, of the 2000 block of Second Avenue, was charged with possession of certain types of firearms, dangerous weapons and silencers prohibited, according to Richmond County jail records.

Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said the arrest occurred after police searched a car at the 3200 block of Meadowlark Drive. Maj. Autry said police found a shotgun owned by Mr. Walker wrapped in a pillowcase inside the vehicle.

Teen reports being threatened with gun

A 15-year-old Augusta boy told police Thursday someone threatened him with a gun on a downtown Augusta street.

Zachariah Carter said that while he was walking down the 200 block of Magnolia Street, a man stepped out from behind a bush and pointed a handgun at him, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Zachariah said he ran to a nearby house and called police.

Man pleads innocent to sex abuse charges

A man accused of molesting two teenage girls in June, after which more victims were found, pleaded innocent in front of a Richmond County superior court judge Friday.

Molton Robert Jones, 67, of Hephzibah, was charged with six counts of child molestation and six counts of aggravated child molestation, according to Richmond County court records.

The court records indicate that some of the incidents started in 1999.

Authorities accused Mr. Jones of having sex with or molesting a 13-year-old and a 12-year-old in June.

Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet denied bond for Mr. Jones in July.

Man facing charges of murder denies guilt

An Augusta man charged with murder in the death of a 66-year-old man in June pleaded not guilty before a judge Friday.

Melvin Holmes, 56, was charged with malice and felony murder in the death of Robert Brown, who was struck in the head with a golf club, treated at University Hospital and was found dead the next day at his home, authorities said.

Investigators found that Mr. Holmes had cut Mr. Brown's grass, and Mr. Brown argued with Mr. Holmes over the quality of the work done, during which Mr. Holmes hit Mr. Brown in the head with a golf club, officials said.

Augusta resident is charged in robbery

A 29-year-old Augusta man was charged Friday in connection with a Monday armed robbery on Broad Street.

James Scott Brinson, of the 800 block of Wise Street, was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to Richmond County jail records.

Police say the robbery occurred at about 4 a.m. at the 700 block of Broad Street.

John Brooks Maloy, 32, of Trenton, S.C., told police he was waiting for a ride home Monday when a man approached him, pointed a pistol at his stomach and demanded money. Mr. Maloy said he gave the man $21 and a pager, a sheriff's office report states.

Traffic signal is installed on highway

A new traffic signal was installed Friday at the intersection of Mike Padgett Highway and Goshen Road.

The signal will be on temporary flash mode until all signals are fully operational, an Augusta Public Works and Engineering Department news release states.

DOT to provide funds for resurfacing project

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Friday it will provide $57,600 for resurfacing 14 Augusta streets.

The projects, which span a total of 2.3 miles, was approved by the DOT's new commissioner, Harold Linnenkohl, after a meeting with DOT board member Jimmy Lester, who represents the Augusta area.

Two men sentenced in break-in at bar

Two men who pleaded guilty to breaking into a downtown bar and were found by sheriff's deputies on the bar's roof will spend at least two years in jail, an Augusta judge ruled Friday.

Gabriel Nathaniel Orander, 24, and Matthew Brandon Rich, 18, pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal attempt at burglary, and were both sentenced to two years' confinement and three years' probation by Judge William M. Fleming Jr.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, police found the pair on top of the Riverfront Pub in May, and arrested them.

Hazard mitigation plan open for public review

A meeting for public review of Columbia County's draft Hazard Mitigation Plan will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Emergency Services Conference Room, Building E, in the Columbia County Government Complex in Evans. For more information, call 868-3303.

Workshop held to help pupils in library

A Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Contest workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Aiken County Public Library. The workshop will orient pupils to reference materials and electronic/print resources available in the library.

The American History Essay contest is open to all pupils in fifth through eighth grades. The topic is The Louisiana Purchase - Thomas Jefferson's Presidential Legacy.

Substance abuse workshop planned

Hope House Inc. for Women and Augusta Steppingstones to Recovery will hold a substance abuse education assessment screening workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at 1701 Wrightsboro Road.

Professionals will be on hand to assess people who may have an alcohol or drug problem. Pamphlets and information also will be given.

The event is free. For more information, call 733-1935.

Staff offers legal services to seniors

Georgia Legal Services staff will offer free legal help on a first-come, first-served basis to residents 60 years and older. A representative will be at the Bessie Thomas Community Center, 5913 Euchee Creek Drive, Grovetown, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Oct. 8 and at the Grovetown Senior Center, 103 West Robinson St., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24. For more information, call 721-2327.

Student's pants lead to exposure charge

A 17-year-old North Augusta High School student was arrested this week after police say he repeatedly wore his pants too low at school, revealing his buttocks.

Jamichael A. Freeman, of the 200 block of Fairview Street, was charged with indecent dress and exposure, according to a North Augusta Public Safety report.

Police say Mr. Freeman had been warned several times during the past few weeks to pull his pants up. On Wednesday, an officer was called to a hallway at the school on Knob Cone Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. Police say Mr. Freeman again was asked to pull up his pants, but he refused. According to the report, his pants were low enough to expose part of his buttocks and his red underwear.

Prisoner charged with having marijuana

A 35-year-old inmate at the Richmond County Correctional Institute is facing drug charges Friday after police say they found marijuana owned by the man at the facility.

Charles Frye, of the 1100 block of East 32nd Street, Savannah, was charged with felony possession of marijuana by an inmate, according to jail records. The arrest occurred at RCCI on Tobacco Road, authorities said.

Mr. Frye was then transported to the Richmond County jail on Walton Way.