Originally created 11/27/03

Across Georgia



COLUMBUS -A Georgia judge ruled Wednesday there's enough evidence against a former Army private accused of killing a fellow soldier to bind him over to Superior Court.

The decision by Judge James Messner after a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court means Alberto Martinez's case can proceed to a grand jury, said his lawyer, Richard Zimmerman.

Mr. Martinez, who left the Army after returning from Iraq, is accused of killing 24-year-old Spc. Richard Thomas Davis, of St. Charles, Mo. Mr. Martinez remains held without bail. He entered a plea of innocence.

Three other fellow soldiers are charged with concealing Spc. Davis' death. Prosecutor Gray Conger said Wednesday he might seek murder indictments against several of the suspects, but he hasn't decided which ones.

Official challenges addition to UGA suit

ATLANTA -Georgia's attorney general is challenging an addition to the lawsuit filed by a former University of Georgia student who says she was sexually assaulted on campus by three UGA athletes.

In the federal lawsuit, filed in August, the student said she was sexually assaulted in January 2002 by basketball teammates Tony Cole and Steven Thomas and football player Brandon Williams in Mr. Cole's McWhorter Hall dorm room.

A Clarke County jury found Mr. Williams innocent of rape charges in August 2002. Criminal charges against Mr. Cole and Mr. Thomas were then dropped.

An amendment to the lawsuit argued that UGA President Michael Adams and Athletics Director Vince Dooley were responsible for the alleged attack and that the university erred in offering a scholarship to Mr. Cole - who had a history that involved sexual misconduct.

The state's response, filed Monday, calls the amended complaint "redundant, immaterial, impertinent, scandalous and futile."

Former jewelry store worker arrested again

ATHENS -A former jewelry store employee arrested in September for a $200,000 diamond heist has been arrested again for creating, then using, phony credit cards from the store.

Athens police charged Kawanda Lashay Clark, 21, and an alleged accomplice, 21-year-old Tammy Stephens, with burglary in September.

On Monday, they were charged with one count of theft by deception and 23 counts of financial identification fraud.

Police say Ms. Clark created fraudulent credit cards for Gordon's Jewelers that were issued to Ms. Stephens under false names.

The pair then used the cards to purchase jewelry and withdraw cash from ATMs, running up a total of $30,000 in charges.