Originally created 08/20/04

Across the area



Charges added to sex assault

A man charged in the sexual assault of a McDuffie County woman faces additional charges after authorities determined that the act was committed in the presence of her young child.

Mike Seigler, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Thomson, said Michael R. Morgan, 21, was charged with cruelty to children in the second degree, armed robbery, burglary and kidnapping.

Mr. Morgan was already charged with rape in the Tuesday sexual assault. Agent Seigler said the act was committed in the presence of the child, who is younger than 5.

Mr. Morgan had been out on bond in Richmond County on a kidnapping charge.

Teenager is wounded in drive-by shooting

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting of a 17-year-old Augusta boy early Thursday.

Terrell V. Johnson, of the 2200 block of Leeway Landing, told police that, as he was taking the trash out at 1 a.m., someone in a gray Oldsmobile Cutlass drove by and shot him.

The police report says Terrell's family took him to University Hospital's emergency room.

He had two visible wounds about 3 inches apart on the outside of his upper right arm, according to the report.

Police say boy, 14, had knife at school

Richmond County authorities have charged a Langford Middle School pupil with bringing a large knife to school.

Sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew said an anonymous caller told school officials that the 14-year-old boy had a knife in a bag.

The child was called to the office, Sgt. Chew said, where authorities found the knife.

The sergeant said the boy, who was not named because of his age, was charged as a juvenile with possession of a weapon on school property.

Woman says man tried to assault her

An Augusta woman told police that a man kidnapped her in Richmond County and tried to sexually assault her in Beech Island, Richmond County sheriff's officials said Thursday.

Richmond County sheriff's Lt. James Young said the 30-year-old woman told deputies that she was walking near Wrightsboro Road when a man in a white Ford pickup asked if she wanted a ride.

She accepted, but the man drove past where he was supposed to let her out, removed a black handgun and told her to keep quiet, Lt. Young said.

The woman reported that the man drove her to a dirt road in Beech Island and told her to get into his truck bed.

She said that as he prepared to assault her, they heard another vehicle coming down the road, and the man drove away and stranded her, the lieutenant said.

Man is accused of having 5 library cards

Police have arrested a man who they said defrauded the Augusta-Richmond County Library out of audiovisual materials by fraudulently signing up for multiple library cards under different identities.

Curtis Lapell Barnes, 32, was charged with five counts of theft by deception, Richmond County jail records state.

Sheriff's Investigator Jeff Thompson said authorities found that Mr. Barnes went to five library branches and applied for library cards using fraudulent information.

The investigator said Mr. Barnes had checked out, and never returned, at least 50 DVDs and two books over the past several months.

18-year-old arrested in two burglaries

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested a man who they said burglarized two Augusta businesses.

Sheriff's Lt. C.A. Tony Walden said Robert Willie Dunn, 18, was charged with two counts of burglary Wednesday.

Investigators charged Mr. Dunn in a mid-June burglary at Goody Two Shoes, in the 200 block of Milledge Road, and in an Aug. 5 burglary at CompUSA, in the 200 block of Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway.

Authorities connected Mr. Dunn to the burglaries through forensic evidence, Lt. Walden said.

Ruben is fined $250 for fire violations

While not admitting guilt, the owner of a downtown hotel cited for fire safety violations was fined $250 on Thursday.

Bonnie Ruben presented proof in Richmond County Magistrate Court that all five deficiencies noted in a July inspection at the Ramada Plaza Hotel had been corrected, Chief Judge William D. Jennings III said. The judge accepted an Alford plea from Mrs. Ruben. Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt but concedes that the prosecution could prove the charge.

The fire inspector noted missing ceiling tiles in the hotel's boiler and maintenance rooms; failure to install exit lighting over ballroom exit doors and over the hallway exit; failure to remove combustible materials from hallways; and failure to remove a padlock on a hallway door between the kitchen and ballroom exit doors.

Mrs. Ruben is the president of BR Investment Group, which owns the Ramada Plaza Hotel on Broad Street.

Police say they found 28 pounds of drug

Richmond County narcotics agents said they arrested an Augusta man on a charge of trafficking in marijuana after they found 28 pounds of the drug in his home this week.

Donald E. Foster, 40, of the 2400 block of Juniper Drive, was in jail after his arrest Tuesday night.

Investigator Shane Bailey searched Mr. Foster's home as part of an investigation of an organized group of marijuana dealers, Sgt. Mathue Phares said.

McIntyre's funeral to close lanes on Telfair

The eastbound lanes of the 700 block of Telfair Street will be closed for two hours today for former Augusta Mayor Ed McIntyre's funeral.

According to the Augusta-Richmond Public Works and Engineering Department, the lanes will be closed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drivers should use Greene Street as a detour.

Band booster club is missing $6,000

A Columbia County booster club might ask police to investigate some missing money from the club's fund.

An audit begun in the spring by the Columbia County School System found $6,000 missing from the Lakeside High School Band Booster Club account, Principal Jeff Carney said.

A report on the audit was given to booster club members in a Monday meeting.

Mr. Carney discovered the discrepancy when a T-shirt vendor asked him about an unpaid $1,500 bill. He called for an internal audit, which is ongoing, booster President Nancy Scherer said.

Mr. Carney said he believes the missing $6,000 is the result of sloppy bookkeeping, but he said theft is a possibility.

Club members will decide at their next meeting whether to involve the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Mr. Carney said. That meeting is at least a month away, Ms. Scherer said.

Stockbridge man faces drug charges

Local authorities arrested a Stockbridge, Ga., man Thursday and seized 30 pounds of marijuana from his vehicle during a joint undercover operation with the Columbia and Richmond County sheriff's offices, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Deputies charged Adrian A. Jones, 26, with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, Capt. Morris said.

Police discovered 30 pounds of marijuana hidden in a trash bag in the cab of Mr. Jones' 2001 Chevrolet pickup in the parking lot of Stuckey's near Interstate 20 and Bel Air Road at about 7 p.m., Capt. Morris said.