Originally created 04/23/04

Across Georgia



Death penalty sought for child's parents

ATLANTA - The state will seek the death penalty against a man and woman accused of killing their 8-year-old daughter in January to rid her of a demon.

District Attorney Paul Howard believes Christopher Carey, 29, and Valerie Carey, 27, should pay the ultimate price for strangling and stabbing the child, Quimani, in their midtown Atlanta motel room, spokesman Erik Friedly said Wednesday.

Police found the child's body after the Careys were found walking nude along Piedmont Avenue with their other two children early Jan. 19.

She had been strangled and stabbed, and her arms and legs had been broken. Pages ripped from a Bible were strewn on and around the body.

Investigators said Mr. Carey told them he strangled his daughter because she "had a demon in her."

Man stabs officer with screwdriver

WEST POINT - A police officer was stabbed five times in the back by a man the officer had seen walking in and out of traffic.

Lt. Larry Cummings, 54, was assaulted Tuesday with a screwdriver when he approached Gary Sims, 48, of Lanett, Ala., Chief David Kerr said. Mr. Sims is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer.

Two witnesses helped another officer subdue and handcuff Mr. Sims.

Chief Kerr said police have had problems with Mr. Sims before, but "nothing of this severity."

Lt. Cummings was listed in fair condition Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley, Ala., on Thursday morning.

Sect leader gets 135 years for molestation

MACON - The leader of a quasi-religious sect was sentenced Thursday to 135 years in prison for molesting children at the group's compound.

Malachi York, the leader of United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, was sentenced to between 60 months and 240 months each on 11 charges of child molestation and racketeering.

Prosecutors had predicted Mr. York would get between 20 and 30 years, but U.S. District Court Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced him to consecutively serve 1,620 months, or 135 years.

Mr. York, 58, will have to forfeit the 476-acre compound in Putnam County and a home he owns in Athens to the government.

School board leader charged with assault

TIFTON - The president of the Tift County school board has been charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property after being accused of threatening to kill a man fishing on his property and shooting the man's car with a shotgun.

Derek Pettiford, of Tifton, said board President Richard Golden forced him out of his vehicle and made him walk away from a creek off U.S. Highway 319, leaving his car behind.

Mr. Pettiford, 22, said he saw no posted signs.

"I might have been wrong to fish there, because I knew the land had to belong to someone," he said. "But I didn't feel like I was causing any dangerous harm."

Mr. Pettiford said his car was shot in the radiator, windshield, hood and trunk.

Mr. Golden was arrested later and released on a property bond. He said Wednesday that he was "checking into a few things right now" and planned to make a statement later.

Inmates sue sheriff over jail practices

ATLANTA - Four Fulton County Jail inmates have filed a federal lawsuit claiming Sheriff Jackie Barrett allows inmates to be held days after they should be released and permits illegal strip searches of every detainee.

The suit filed Wednesday seeks class-action status on behalf of more than 10,000 people who it claims have been detained too long at the jail and subjected to unjustified searches.

The suit also lists more than 200 people who were released in March and April from one to 12 days later than they should have been.