Originally created 05/12/05

Across the area



Man admits lesser charge

An Augusta man accused of killing an acquaintance was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday.

Pedro J. Pereira was originally charged and indicted on murder charges in the Dec. 31, 2003, shooting death of Tremmelyn L. McFadden, 39, at a west Augusta convenience store parking lot.

Mr. Pereira pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet imposed the sentence that calls for 10 years for the manslaughter charge and an additional five years for a weapons violation.

Man charged in threat against VA worker

An Augusta man remained in custody Wednesday at the Richmond County Law Enforcement Center after being arrested on charges of threatening an employee of the Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Downtown Divison.

Kerry Allen Keller, 54, of the 3600 block of Washington Road, was arrested Tuesday by a VA police officer before being taken to the Richmond County jail, said VA spokesperson Rosalie Bell.

She said Mr. Keller made a threat against a VA employee who works in a clinical or medical rank.

"You can't make a threat against government employees," she said.

Mr. Keller was arrested at about 2:30 p.m. He is charged with felony terroristic threats, a jail report showed.

Driver says man tried to run her off road

A 24-year-old woman told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that a man driving a 2005 Pontiac Grand Am tried to run her off the road Tuesday.

The woman reported that she was driving west on Bobby Jones Expressway at the Mike Padgett Highway exit when a man driving a rental car pulled up beside her and looked at her before steering his car toward her. The vehicles never made contact.

The man was last seen heading west on Bobby Jones just before 5 p.m., a police report states.

MCG leader will head task force on health

Medical College of Georgia President Daniel W. Rahn will be the chairman of a state task force looking at the efficiency of a state license system for new health care services and expensive equipment, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday.

As chairman of the Health Strategies Council, Dr. Rahn will head up the State Commission on the Efficacy of the Certificate of Need Program. Georgia requires health care facilities wanting to significantly expand certain services, such as heart surgery, or buy expensive equipment, such as an MRI over a certain amount, to be justified in order to receive a certificate of need.

The commission to study how the program is working was created by House Bill 390 this legislative session. The commission must issue a report before it is abolished on June 30, 2007, according to the legislation.

Restaurant server says customer took cash

A server at the Huddle House restaurant on Ellis Street told police a man leaped over the counter and took money from the cash register late Tuesday.

The server told Richmond County police that the man had been sitting at the counter drinking a soft drink while waiting for his ride at about 10 p.m. While she was counting money at the register, the man tried to grab cash from her, eventually jumping over the counter to get it. Witnesses said the unarmed man fled on foot.

He is described as a black male with short black hair who is about 5 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. On Tuesday night, the man was reportedly wearing white shorts and a blue T-shirt that said "South Pole."

If you have any information about his identity, please call 821-1080.

Woman reports rape by hospital worker

A 39-year-old Augusta woman told police she was raped inside her home by an employee of the Medical College of Georgia Hospital whom she met while being treated at the hospital last week, according to officials.

Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Jimmy Young said the woman first reported to MCG police on Monday that she had been raped the afternoon before. MCG officers then notified sheriff's deputies Tuesday.

According to the lieutenant, the woman said the man came by her residence the day she was released from the hospital and that after conversing for a while in her kitchen, he exposed himself to her and then made her have sex with him.

She told police the two met at MCG, where he works.

Man says pedestrian fired shots at his car

An Augusta man told police he was driving late Tuesday when a man walking with a group of friends fired eight shots at him, a report states.

Carl Joseph Holling said he was turning into an entrance on Vandivere Road just before midnight when the man began shooting a pistol at his car.

According to the report, officers noticed four bullet holes in the passenger side of Mr. Holling's car, three in the front door and one in the rear fender.

Computer problems stall DMVS operations

Inactive computer equipment caused services to be interrupted for a couple of hours Wednesday morning at two Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety offices.

At the Columbia County office in Evans, the problem was with a computer that is involved in taking motorists' pictures, said Susan Sports, a spokeswoman for the DMVS office in Atlanta. She said the computer was fixed within a couple of hours.

In the meantime, customers were told to go to the Thomson office because the computer system at the Augusta DMVS office on Mike Padgett Highway also was down between 9 and 11 a.m. Ms. Sports said the offices' problems were not related.

She said computer service was down at the Augusta office for only a couple of hours in the morning as a result of a lightning strike to a router.

- From staff reports