Originally created 01/13/04

Across the area



Guard faces drug charges

A guard at a state prison in Edgefield County was arrested on charges that he tried to smuggle marijuana for an inmate.

According to arrest warrants issued Monday, Patrick D. Bouttry, 36, of Augusta, is charged with misconduct in office, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and violation of the state contraband law.

Mr. Bouttry, a guard at the Trenton Correctional Institution, was arrested Sunday at about 6:40 p.m. at an undisclosed location in Aiken County after he purchased 114 grams - about a half-pound - of marijuana from an undercover agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He remained in the Aiken County Detention Center on Monday with bond set at $80,000.

Police charge student with carrying gun

Police charged a 15-year-old boy Monday with bringing a gun to Glenn Hills High School.

The gun was retrieved at about 2 p.m. by the school's principal, Jessie Chambers, who saw the boy walking down a hall while placing an object in his pocket, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Jo Ann Nutter.

Mr. Chambers detained the boy in his office before contacting Board of Education Public Safety, but the student handed over the gun to the principal before school security arrived, Investigator Nutter said.

The student, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center, police said.

Blood infection led to death of 9-year-old

A 9-year-old Thomson girl who suddenly became ill and died this weekend had complications from a blood infection, the coroner said.

An autopsy of Brittany Cartledge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab in Atlanta put the cause of death as multisystem organ failure, in which one organ shutting down causes others to shut down, because of the blood infection, said McDuffie County Coroner Donnie Crawford. State law requires an autopsy in the death of a child younger than 16 who did not have an underlying medical condition, Mr. Crawford said.

The girl got sick about noon Saturday while at choir practice and died in her sleep early Sunday, he said.

High court upholds liquor license denial

ATLANTA -The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Augusta-Richmond County Commission's denial of a liquor license for a convenience store.

The commission denied Chong Suk Lee's application to sell beer and wine at her store after holding a hearing, and it denied the application again when she requested a second vote. Then she convinced a Richmond County Superior Court judge that the commission had not used specific, objective criteria. The judge ordered the commission to grant the license.

But the commission took the matter to the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously Monday that the commission had acted properly.

Lieberman will stop in Aiken on Sunday

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., will be the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit Aiken when he makes a 3:30 p.m. campaign stop Sunday at Newberry Hall, Aiken County Democratic Party officials said Monday. Mr. Lieberman, the party's 2002 vice presidential nominee, is one of nine Democrats competing in South Carolina's Feb. 3 presidential preference primary, the first contest in the South.

Man reported missing is sought by police

An Aiken man who was last seen in October is being sought by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Jonathon J. Craig Sr., 28, of the 1800 block of West Richland Avenue, was reported missing Oct. 1 by a former girlfriend, who said he showed up at her home and took her black 1997 Dodge Stratus. The car's license tag number is South Carolina 690-RDM.

Mr. Craig, 28, is described as white, weighing about 270 pounds and about 6 feet 5 inches tall. He has a gamecock tattoo on his shoulder, police said.

Anyone with information leading to the whereabouts of Mr. Craig should call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (800) 922-9709.

High court rejects man's second appeal

ATLANTA -The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected a second appeal from Derrick Levert Collins, of Augusta, who was convicted of the 1997 murder of 25-year-old James Jackson III.

Mr. Collins and LeKendrick B. Passmore, of Hephzibah, fired a handgun through an apartment window at Glenwood II Apartments on Lumpkin Road. They were tried together in Richmond County Superior Court and convicted. Both are serving life sentences in prison.

The Supreme Court initially upheld Mr. Collins' conviction in 2000. He appealed again, this time acting as his own attorney and arguing that the jury received improper instructions. But the high court dismissed the appeal.

Authorities search for elderly black man

Police are looking for an elderly black man who has been missing from his south Augusta residence since late November, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Joseph Jakes, 83, of Golden Camp Road, was last seen leaving his home on or about Nov. 30. He drives a champagne-colored 1998 Toyota Camry with a Georgia license tag number of 8501ADH.

He is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 165 pounds and has gray hair and brown eyes, police said.

Anyone with information leading to the whereabouts of Mr. Jakes should call the sheriff's office at 821-1020 or 821-1080.

Grovetown to retain water, sewer systems

The Grovetown City Council voted Monday not to hand over its water and sewer systems to Columbia County to manage.

City officials had considered the move as Grovetown's continued growth puts a strain on its infrastructure.

In a 3-1 vote with Councilman David Daughtry dissenting, the board decided to retain ownership of its systems rather than give assets and billing control to the county.

Councilman Bruce Stoddard said he felt that, while infrastructure costs will continue to grow, keeping the city as the owner of the systems would be cheaper for residents than if the county became involved.

The city will likely have to borrow $3 million for improvements and might adjust rates.

Three hotel guests report being robbed

Three hotel guests at Knights Inn on Boy Scout Road reported a robbery Sunday night by men identifying themselves as police, a Richmond County sheriff's report states.

Jose Aguilera, 26, told police that two men knocked on the hotel room door late Sunday and yelled "this is the police." When the door was opened, the robbers ordered everyone to lie on the bed as they took their cash and wallets, which totaled $2,350, a report states.

The robbers then ran from the hotel room. Both suspects were wearing dark clothing and carrying portable radios, but they did not show weapons, the report states.