Originally created 10/31/04

Across Georgia



Man gets four life sentences in rapes

ATLANTA - A Louisiana man dubbed the "Northside rapist" has been given four consecutive life sentences in prison - one life term for each conviction stemming from a series of attacks in Atlanta suburbs six years ago.

Derrick Anthony Robins, 33, robbed and demanded sex from women during a crime spree in 1998 and 1999, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Gayle Abramson told jurors last week. DNA evidence linked him to at least four attacks, she said.

On Friday, Mr. Robins was convicted on 14 counts, including rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated assault, burglary and armed robbery.

Man convicted in nude break-in, stabbing

MARIETTA - A man accused of breaking into a home while nude and stabbing two people in 2003 has been convicted of murder.

Authorities said 41-year-old Rodgerick Dane Swanson burst in on a Marietta family's Sunday dinner in July 2003, naked and wielding two butcher knives.

Mr. Swanson stabbed 47-year-old Ronald Gresham and his sister, 49-year-old Donita Gresham-Banks, then chased another family member and two girls, ages 4 and 6, out of the home.

Mr. Gresham, who was stabbed several times as he confronted the attacker, died of his wounds.

Acquaintance charged in woman's stabbing

BRASELTON - A woman was stabbed to death in her mobile home in front of her children, and a longtime acquaintance was charged Friday with the killing.

At about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, police said, Billy Joe Grizzle, 36, forced his way into the home of Rebecca Lynn Gooch and stabbed her several times in front of her 2-year-old and 12-year-old children.

Mr. Grizzle then tied up the 12-year-old girl with duct tape and put her in his car, police said.

She escaped and ran to a neighbor's house where an off-duty sheriff's deputy lives.

Mr. Grizzle was arrested at his home, police said.

Expensive machine is stolen from UGA

ATHENS - An unusual and expensive machine used to measure bacteria in chicken meat is missing from a lab at the University of Georgia, and authorities say they have no idea what someone would want to do with the $30,000 machine.

The Daikin Dox is used to detect dangerous bacteria in food. The police report says it was stolen between April 10 and Sept. 1.

Scott Russell, an associate professor of poultry processing and products microbiology, said he didn't notice the theft because he completed a project in early April and put the machine away.