Originally created 08/25/04

Across Georgia



7 of 8 jurors are white in crematory lawsuit

ROME - A jury of five men and three women was selected Tuesday to decide the civil lawsuit against Brent Marsh, the former operator of a northwest Georgia crematory where hundreds of corpses were left to rot.

The jury includes one black woman. She is the only black member of the original 60-person jury pool. Attorneys for the Marsh family, who are black, had voiced concern that blacks were under-represented.

Nearly 1,700 relatives of people who were supposed to be cremated by Mr. Marsh are suing him and the estate of his late father, Ray Marsh. Opening statements begin this morning.

Injured teen testifies at sign throwing trial

GAINESVILLE - A teenager injured when a metal real estate sign was thrown at his passing car has testified in the trial of the man accused in the attack.

The 17-year-old testified in the trial of Marty Szabo, of Flowery Branch. Hall County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver is presiding over the trial in Gainesville.

Dylan Thomas Maehrlein was injured May 16, 2003, in front of Mr. Szabo's home.

Mr. Szabo is accused of throwing the sign at Dylan's car because he was tired of loud, fast cars driving on the street, authorities said.

Hall County Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. Ed Barfield said at the time that Mr. Szabo was standing outside his house smoking a cigarette when he saw a car that he thought was going too fast. Capt. Barfield said the man threw a real estate sign at the car.

The sign sailed through an open window and lodged in the teen's neck, breaking bones in his neck and jaw. Mr. Szabo was charged with aggravated battery and terroristic threats.

Man wanted in police chase turns himself in

ATHENS - A man accused of leading police on a wild chase that caused a four-vehicle pileup has surrendered to authorities.

Jermaine Hamm, 21, of Watkinsville, gave himself up at the Clarke County Jail, where Oconee County deputies were waiting for him.

Mr. Hamm has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, three counts of hit-and-run, fleeing and attempting to elude, and a number of traffic charges, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said. Upon release from the Oconee County jail, he will be brought to Athens, where he faces carjacking and other charges, Sheriff Berry said.