Originally created 04/16/04

Across Georgia



Detective's suicide still baffles police

ATLANTA - Atlanta police said Thursday that they don't know why an off-duty detective killed himself Wednesday while Cobb County police were investigating a car accident in which he was involved.

Atlanta police Sgt. John Quigley identified the officer as Michael P. Sequerth, 30, a 10-year veteran of the force.

Cobb County police Cpl. Brody Staud said the officer and another man were in a minor collision while driving northbound on Interstate 75.

Group wants state to investigate deaths

ATLANTA - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is asking the state to investigate the deaths of several black men they say might have been killed unlawfully by law enforcement officials.

Surrounded by the families of men killed either during arrests or while in jail, leaders of the group said Thursday that Georgia needs to do more to get to the bottom of what they call a troubling trend.

The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the group's interim president, called on Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker to create a task force to study deaths in police custody.

Harmful bacteria is found at 8 beaches

BRUNSWICK - A swimming advisory is in place for eight beaches because of high levels of bacteria, Glynn County health officials said.

On Wednesday, the Glynn County Health Department advised swimmers to stay out of the water at all five Jekyll Island beaches, two on St. Simons Island and one on the south end of Sea Island after tests found high levels of enterococcus bacteria, which can cause gastrointestinal illness and other diseases in people with weak immune systems. No one has become ill because of the bacteria, officials said.

Deputy is accused of molesting teen girl

ATHENS - A sheriff's deputy has been arrested and is accused of having a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old girl, Oglethorpe County Sheriff Jason Lowe said.

Deputy Samuel Roy Wilbanks, 31, was charged Wednesday with aggravated child molestation, child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Deputy Wilbanks, who had worked for the sheriff's department since 2001, has also been fired, Sheriff Lowe said.