Originally created 03/27/04

Across the area



Man sentenced in burglaries

One of two men accused of tearing up the homes of others and stomping turtles to death received a five-year prison sentence Friday.

Tony R. Jones, 22, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of burglary and cruelty to animals for ransacking and destroying property in two homes Sept. 19.

Judge James Blanchard sentenced Mr. Jones to an additional 15-year probation sentence when he is released from prison. He also must make restitution to the victims.

Mr. Jones was arrested with Zachary Williamson, 22, who has pleaded innocent.

School officials say field was vandalized

Richmond County Board of Education officials told sheriff's deputies Thursday that someone broke into the football field at Hephzibah High School and vandalized and took property, a police report states.

Officials reported that between 1 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday, someone jumped the fence to the field and spray painted the outside walls of the locker room and entered the press box area and took two public address systems.

The report also states that someone entered the snack bar, taking $104 worth of snacks and spray painting the building's walls and cabinets.

Third hit list found at school, police say

A third hit list containing death threats was found this week at Columbia Middle School, according to police reports.

School officials reported finding the list Tuesday in a girls' bathroom at the school, at 6000 Columbia Road in Grovetown.

John Leroy Padgett, a Columbia County Board of Education public safety officer, told police that between 7 and 8:30 a.m., someone wrote a hit list containing seven girls' names and the phrase "you must die," according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.

Two other Columbia Middle pupils have been arrested in similar incidents during the past week.

Cave-in repairs will close McDowell Street

Augusta Public Works crews will close McDowell Street at its intersection with Katherine Street next week to repair a road cave-in, stated a news release from the department.

The road will be closed from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Tuesday. Drivers are asked to use Johns Road, Kings Way or Arsenal Avenue as detours to avoid the closure.

Nominees are sought for Best and Brightest

The Augusta Chronicle is seeking nominations for its Best and Brightest Awards recognizing outstanding high school seniors.

Academics, extracurricular activities, community service and character are among the criteria to be considered. Twenty-five students will be selected for recognition in the newspaper's annual graduation section, and they will be honored at a banquet May 24. The deadline for nominations is April 16. A nomination form is available online at www.augustachronicle.com/metro. To request a mailed application, call 823-3646.

Police investigate identity fraud case

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating a case of financial identity fraud after an Augusta man said Thursday that someone using a Canadian address used his personal information to open a checking account, a report states.

Steven Cardo, 48, told deputies that on March 18, someone used his information to open the checking account and obtain a Visa debit card, also using his Bank of America information.

Worker finds damage to Riverwalk bench

An Augusta-Richmond County employee reported that someone damaged a concrete sitting bench on Riverwalk Augusta, a Richmond County sheriff's report states.

The employee said that between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday, someone broke the bench in the Japanese Pocket Garden on the Riverwalk's lower level.

Pizza deliveryman is robbed at gunpoint

An Augusta pizza deliveryman told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that he was robbed at gunpoint while trying to deliver some food Thursday night, a police report states.

The deliveryman said that at 11 p.m. he tried to deliver food to a home on Shirley Avenue, near Olive Road.

He said three men came out from around the residence after he got no answer at the door and that one threatened him with a firearm.

The deliveryman said he gave them the food, money and some other items.

Superior Court judge will serve on board

A Richmond County Superior Court judge has been selected to be a member of the board of a national judicial training project, according to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Judge Duncan Wheale, who deals with domestic relations cases, will be one of 20 people selected for the project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Victims of Crime, the release states.

Judge Wheale has been on the Superior Court bench for more than five years and has served as chairman of the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.

Man faces charges of statutory rape

Richmond County sheriff's investigators arrested a 24-year-old Augusta man Thursday night after they found that he had consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl, a police report states.

Tavon Demetrius Phillips, 24, was charged with one count of statutory rape and also was charged under an outstanding theft by taking warrant, the report states.

Investigators found that Mr. Phillips admitted to sneaking into the window of a 15-year-old girl and having intercourse with her, the report states.