Originally created 08/25/04

Across the area



2 are indicted in mom's death

Two men accused of killing a woman in front of two of her children were indicted Tuesday.

The Richmond County grand jury returned an indictment accusing Ernest Bussey III, 21, and Cardale D. Gibbons, 22, of two counts murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to children, and one count each of theft, solicitation of arson, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and concealing a death.

The pair is accused of killing 24-year-old Shanequa Carpenter on June 4 at Mr. Bussey's home, while her 2-year-old and an infant were present.

Firefighters discovered Ms. Carpenter's body two days later off Pebble Creek Drive.

Ex-bar owner admits guilt in serving minor

A former bar owner accused of giving alcohol to a minor pleaded guilty Tuesday, receiving probation and a fine.

Chip Melton, 32, was sentenced to one year of probation and was fined $108 in Richmond County State Court for one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The minor was a 19-year-old woman who has three drunken-driving charges pending, according to court records.

The woman also accused Mr. Melton of sexual battery. A hearing to determine whether a warrant for the misdemeanor offense should be issued will be Sept. 3.

Store clerk is charged with drug trafficking

Authorities arrested a woman in Burke County on Tuesday on charges that she was trafficking about 20 pounds of marijuana, officials said.

Burke County sheriff's Capt. Frankie Parker said Shernita Williams, 34, was charged with trafficking marijuana Tuesday afternoon at her employer, Radio Shack, at 245 Hopkins Corner Drive in Waynesboro.

He said officials did surveillance after authorities found that someone had shipped the marijuana via United Parcel Service.

The Richmond County Drug Task Force, the Richmond County sheriff's K-9 Unit and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation, Capt. Parker said.

He said more arrests are possible.

Assailant claimed to be an investigator

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating an incident in which an Augusta woman told police she was sexually assaulted by a man who said he was an investigator, a police report states.

Officers were called to the woman's residence early Tuesday morning as she threatened to stab herself with a fork. After she was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for an evaluation, she told authorities that she had earlier accepted a ride from a motorist.

The 25-year-old woman said the man later raped her in the back seat of his car, and then took her back to her residence and sexually assaulted her again.

The man told the woman that he was an investigator, and that if she told anyone about what happened, he would have her arrested, the report states.

3 are arrested in string of vehicle break-ins

North Augusta police have arrested three people they say are connected to at least 15 motor vehicle break-ins in the city, officials said Tuesday.

According to a departmental news release, police arrested 18-year-old Chad L. Sitton, of North Augusta, and two 16-year-olds who were not identified.

The wave of break-ins occurred in the Rapids, the River Club, Knollwood and the Summit subdivisions.

Investigators with the North Augusta Department of Public Safety say they think similar crimes might have occurred but have gone unreported. Authorities expect more arrests and additional charges in the case.

Any North Augusta resident who thinks his vehicle was illegally entered during the past few months is asked to report the activity to the police department at (803) 279-2121.

Victim says woman stabbed her in car

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested a woman after another woman reported that she stabbed her with a knife during an argument, authorities said Tuesday.

Henrietta Mae Adams, 38, of the 2700 block of Blossom Drive, was charged with aggravated assault and booked into the Richmond County jail, said Richmond County sheriff's Lt. James Young.

A police report states that Ife Latonya Harris, 23, reported that she got into an argument with Ms. Adams on Monday afternoon on Blossom Drive.

Ms. Harris told police that Ms. Adams threatened to throw a brick through her windshield as she tried to drive away, but as she pulled away, Ms. Adams reached into her window and swung a 7-inch knife at her. Ms. Harris was stabbed once in the left hip.

Shopper is sought in identity theft case

Aiken County Sheriff's officials are looking for a woman who used a stolen identity to purchase plants and home electronics valued at more than $1,000 from Badcock Home Furnishings Center on Richland Avenue in Aiken.

Authorities say the woman bought the items in March using a fake Georgia identification card, Social Security card and stolen paycheck stub to establish credit.

The woman, described as a black female, age 20 to 25, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, is wanted on charges of identity theft and forgery.

Anyone with information about the woman pictured is asked to call Aiken County Sheriff's Investigator Viktoria Bargmann at (800) 922-9709.

Woman reports seeing indecent act in car

An Augusta woman told police Monday night that a man performed an indecent act while parked in a vehicle outside of a Washington Road convenience store.

The woman told police that she saw the man sitting in a 2002 Honda Accord at 10:17 p.m. at the Raceway station in the 3000 block of Washington Road. She said the man was masturbating, and when she called 911, he drove west on Washington Road.

The woman was able to give a license plate number to authorities, who traced the plate to a Martinez man. No arrests were immediately made.

Suspicious fire is second in two days

A Tuesday night fire at a west Augusta apartment complex has been ruled suspicious by a Richmond County Fire investigator.

The fire was at Towne Club Apartments off Berckmans Road and was the second at the complex in two nights.

The unit that burned Tuesday and the one damaged Monday were both being renovated to be sold as condominiums.

Lt. G.B. Hannan, with the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department, said both fires started at about 9 p.m. He said Monday's blaze was intentional and started in a front room.

Lt. Hannan said a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrests of the person or people responsible for the fires.