Originally created 01/16/04

Across the area



Man is indicted in slaying case

A man charged in the shotgun slaying of a wheelchair-bound invalid was indicted by an Aiken County grand jury on a murder charge Thursday, according to court documents.

Gregory Dean Martin, 41, remains in the Aiken County Detention Center after bond was denied in a November hearing in Aiken County General Sessions Court.

Authorities say Mr. Martin shot 38-year-old Patrick Scott Shirah at the victim's Mockingbird Lane home in Aiken on Sept. 22 during a domestic dispute. Mr. Shirah, who was paralyzed at the age of 15 from a motorcycle accident, died from a single gunshot wound to the head from a 20-gauge shotgun, authorities said.

No trial date has been set.

Augusta resident is shot outside home

A man was shot in the shoulder Thursday evening outside his South Augusta home, according to police.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital after the shooting, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m., Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Dan Carrier said.

The man, who police said is about 18 years old, was near his mailbox on the 4100 block of Mack Lane, near Tobacco Road, when he was shot.

Man faces charges after police standoff

Columbia County authorities spent most of the pre-dawn hours Thursday outside a Grovetown man's house after he reportedly fired a gun during a domestic dispute with his wife.

Roy Thomas Lawson, 48, was drunk when he shot at least one round into the floor of his home on the 5000 block of Columbia Road shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

His wife and two children, ages 11 and 14, left the house after calling 911. When police showed up, Mr. Lawson refused to cooperate, Capt. Morris said.

He said that, after more than five hours, the sheriff's office's special response team entered the home, and Mr. Lawson was taken into custody without incident.

Mr. Lawson was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center and charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of cruelty to children in the second degree, aggravated assault and simple assault.

Aiken traffic stop leads to charges

An Aiken man faces drugs and weapons charges after being stopped by sheriff's deputies for speeding early Thursday.

Aiken County sheriff's officials said Johnny L. Frazier, 25, was pulled over at about 1 a.m. Thursday at Trolley Line Road and Robert Bell Parkway. A search of his car turned up a small amount of the designer drug Ecstacy, marijuana, two handguns and almost $5,000 in cash, authorities said.

Mr. Frazier, of the 800 block of Brandt Court, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and two counts of unlawful possession of a pistol. He remained in the Aiken County Detention Center on Thursday.

Police seek woman in check forgeries

Richmond County authorities are looking for a woman on charges of creating fake checks and cashing them at an Augusta convenience store.

Cindy Johnson, 31, is wanted for generating fake checks at Cool Spot on Laney-Walker Boulevard, sheriff's Investigator Shane McDaniel said. The checks were written in the name of Bessie Child Care and Learning Center, which is listed as the victim in the scheme.

Police say the woman returned to the store to cash another fake check Wednesday, but the store realized the scheme, kept the check and called police. Anyone with information on Ms. Johnson's whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 828-3851.

Fort Gordon to enforce seat belt regulations

Starting today, Fort Gordon military police will operate random traffic control points to enforce seat belt regulations, according to the post's public affairs office.

Those who violate the seat belt regulation will receive a citation from the military police, but the control points will be well marked so that motorists can quickly find them, a news release states.

The traffic operation will continue through Monday. For more information, call 791-4380.

Home invasion is reported in Thomson

A Thomson man told McDuffie County sheriff's officers that he was the victim of a home invasion Wednesday night.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Mike Seigler said Marquise Lamar Blount, 22, of the 200 block of Viola Abeny Street, reported that, between 7 and 8 p.m., four men wearing masks kicked in his front door, entered his residence and fired a shot into the air. The men left with a small amount of cash.

Agent Seigler said the men were described as wearing white cloth masks.

The GBI will help the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office investigate the case.

Man says guns were stolen from his home

An Augusta man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that someone entered his house and took more than $2,000 worth of firearms early Thursday morning, a police report states.

Claud Reid Caldwell Jr., 59, of Hemlock Hill Road, said that at 3:13 a.m. someone entered his residence and took a double-barrel shotgun, a .455-caliber weapon and a pistol, along with two figurines, from his residence.

Police were unable to determine a point of entry into Mr. Caldwell's residence, the report states.