Originally created 05/25/05

Across the region



Protests might not spur reopening of Taser case

ATLANTA - Despite demands by a civil rights group that a county prosecutor reopen the case of a jailed man who died after he was stunned with a Taser, the district attorney said Tuesday he is not likely to reopen the case.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter defended his actions in presenting the case of Frederick Williams' death to a grand jury April 27.

On Monday, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference accused Mr. Porter of not presenting specific evidence in the case to the grand jury, including a videotape of sheriff's deputies stunning the 31-year-old.

Mr. Porter said he described the video to the jury and offered to play it, but jurors declined to view it. The jury issued no indictments in the May 2004 death.

Man admits to killing girlfriend's toddler

DECATUR, Ga. - A man on trial in the slaying of his girlfriend's toddler admitted to the killing Tuesday, saying he did it because of a potty-training accident.

The man, 25-year-old Tracey Webb, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter in an agreement with prosecutors on the second day of his murder trial. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Robert Castellani sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Mr. Webb killed 27-month-old James Malik Butler in July by beating the boy and drowning him in either a tub or a toilet.

Family opposes delay of malpractice trial

COLUMBIA - The family of a Minnesota woman has opposed a doctor's attempt to have his malpractice trial delayed while he defends himself in criminal investigations.

Dr. James Shortt of West Columbia is being investigated in the death of Katherine Bibeau, who was in Dr. Shortt's care and died in March 2004 after she was given intravenous hydrogen peroxide to treat her multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Shortt asked earlier this month for federal Judge Matthew Perry to delay the malpractice lawsuit filed by Ms. Bibeau's family or protect him when questioned under oath from self-incrimination.

Ms. Bibeau's death has been ruled a homicide, but no one has been charged in her death.

Investor pleads guilty to securities fraud

BEAUFORT, S.C. - A man who managed an unlicensed investment company has pleaded guilty to withholding money from clients, state Attorney General Henry McMaster said Tuesday.

William P. Garomon, 61, of St. Helena Island, pleaded guilty Monday to eight counts of securities fraud, according to a news release from Mr. McMaster's office. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29.

Mr. Garomon was general manager of The Lowcountry Group LLC when he solicited money from investors.

At least seven investors put $130,000 in The Lowcountry Group, and Mr. Garomon channeled the money to himself through another business he owned, authorities said.

Mr. Garomon was never licensed as a securities broker and was not registered to conduct such business in South Carolina, according to the attorney general.

Partially blind driver gets probation in death

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. - A partially blind driver was sentenced to two years' probation in the death of an aspiring Olympic cyclist after prosecutors learned the driver was legal to drive.

Theodore Borck, 52, pleaded guilty to a count of reckless homicide in the March 2004 death of Garrett Patrick Wonders, who had dreamed of competing in last year's U.S. Olympic Team trials.

Deputy prosecutor Blair Jennings agreed to the plea after a state licensing official said that although Mr. Borck was blind in his right eye, he could legally drive with glasses because he had some vision in his left eye.

Mr. Wonders, 25, was struck by Mr. Borck's truck and, after the collision, Mr. Borck called 911.

Mr. Borck said at the time he accidentally hit the cyclist trying to avoid another car. Later, he told a state trooper he was blind in his right eye and never saw the rider. Mr. Jennings said the Department of Motor Vehicles said Mr. Borck was legal to drive because he has 20/40 corrected vision in his left eye.

If convicted at trial of reckless homicide, Mr. Borck could have received up to 10 years in prison.