Originally created 08/12/05

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Teen is accused of groping girls

A 14-year-old Harlem High School student was arrested Thursday morning at the school on three counts of sexual battery, police said.

The boy, whose name wasn't released because of his age, was charged just before 9 a.m. and taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

Capt. Morris said the boy was accused of groping three female students at the school.

Deputies search for 2 men who robbed driver

Authorities are looking for two men who robbed a truck driver at Pet Dairy's transfer depot in North Augusta early Thursday morning.

According to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, two men walked up to the driver at 3:20 a.m. as he was inspecting his truck at the depot in the 600 block of Edgefield Road.

One pointed a small handgun at the driver's head and the other took his wallet. Both men ran into the surrounding neighborhood.

The Aiken Bloodhound Team searched the area but did not find the robbers.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call the sheriff's office at (800) 922-9709.

Inmate who escaped in truck is still missing

A 28-year-old prison inmate who escaped from a work detail on Wednesday by stealing an Aiken County truck was still on the lam Thursday.

John McCall, the warden of the Lower Savannah Pre-Release Center, where Mack Walker Jr. was serving a four-year sentence for possession of crack cocaine, said authorities are focusing their search on the Anderson County area.

Mr. Walker is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 314 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes and has tattoos on his arms: a bulldog on his left and a rose on his right.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the South Carolina Department of Corrections at (877) 349-2130.

Allegations against chief 'without merit'

The Wrens City Council announced Tuesday that recent allegations against Police Chief David Hannah "are wholly without merit," then voted unanimously to put Lt. Willie Nelson, the author of the complaints, on paid administrative leave until it could determine the extent to which his complaints have disrupted the police department.

"No evidence to support theft by extortion, bribery, violation of oath or sexual harassment (were found)," Mayor Dollye Ward said after a brief closed meeting. "It has come to the council's attention that there exists disruptions in the police department as a result of Lt. Nelson's meritless allegations."

The city plans to hold a meeting Wednesday to decide whether further action is required.

Friend finds Wagener man dead in bedroom

Aiken County sheriff's detectives are investigating the death of a Wagener man found in his home Thursday morning.

Sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank could not identify the man until detectives notify his next of kin.

The man was found lying on his back in the bedroom of a mobile home along the 1100 block of Wagontong Road. There were no obvious signs of trauma, Lt. Frank said. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

The man had been dead for at least a day, Lt. Frank said.

Lt. Frank said the man was found by a friend at about 11:30 a.m. At the time of the discovery, he said, the windows and doors to the mobile home were open.

Former principal will run for commission

A former Richmond County principal and coach has announced his candidacy for the District 5 Augusta Commission seat.

Calvin L. Holland Sr. announced last week that he will seek the seat, currently held by the Rev. Bobby Hankerson, that represents a district in the center of Richmond County.

He said growth and development in south Augusta are priorities, as is creating opportunities for the city's youth.

Mr. Holland is married to Barbara Holland, a retired Richmond County Board of Education special needs social worker, and has a son, Calvin Jr., 35, who is serving on active duty in the Army Reserve as a sergeant, and a daughter, Kellie, 25, who lives in Atlanta and works for Coca-Cola Co.

Marijuana farm found; three men are arrested

Three Hephzibah men were arrested Wednesday after authorities discovered they were growing marijuana at their homes.

James Athon Jr., 48, of the 2300 block of Basswood Drive; Joseph Wayne Martin Jr., 43, of the 900 block of Horseshoe Drive; and Marshall Owen Elmy, 41, of the 2200 block of Brown Road, were charged with manufacturing marijuana after authorities did a helicopter fly-over and discovered the outdoor plants, Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Allan Rollins said Thursday.

His officers were assisted by Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Governor's Marijuana Task Force personnel.

About 50 plants were confiscated, amounting to about $40,000 in street value, said Sgt. Rollins of the narcotics division. Mr. Athon was also growing marijuana inside his home under special growth lights, police said.

All three men remained in the Richmond County jail without bond. Mr. Martin faces an added charge of marijuana possession.

Missing man is found at church in Blythe

A mildly mentally retarded man who was missing for several days has been found, Richmond County sheriff's deputies said Thursday.

Investigator Ron Sylvester said Egan Fagan O'Quist, 39, of the 3100 block of Georgia Highway 88 in Blythe, was found in Blythe on Wednesday night.

A police report states that he was found at Faith Baptist Church in the 3300 block of Georgia Highway 88.

Mr. O'Quist left his home Sunday night, saying he was going to go to a truck stop and get a ride to Florida.

Police arrest suspect; shooting victim critical

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested a man in a shooting earlier this week, officials said Thursday.

Investigator Tim Owen said Willie Adams Jr., 19, of the 3600 block of Monmouth Road in Hephzibah, was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the shooting of Titus Williams, 23.

Authorities said that Mr. Williams drove to a friend's house in the 2000 block of Ashley Drive early Tuesday morning and said he had been shot three times in his neck and head.

The friend, who was not identified, was driving Mr. Williams to a hospital when he found deputies who were responding to an unrelated traffic accident on Richmond Hill Road and told them Mr. Williams had been shot.

Investigator Owen said Mr. Williams was in critical condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Thursday.

Woman, girl accused of falsely calling 911

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested a girl and a woman who are accused of making a fake 911 call for an ambulance, officials said Thursday.

Investigator Blaise Dresser said that Candyce L. Williams, 18, of the 100 block of Dillard Court, and a 12-year-old girl, whose name he did not release because of her age, were charged with requesting ambulance service when not needed.

Investigator Dresser said the girl had called 911 and said her mother had been shot in the chest. Ms. Williams then took the phone while dispatchers were giving her instructions on how to help the supposed gunshot victim until help arrived.

The investigator said Ms. Williams hung up the phone. Deputies traced the number to Ms. Williams' prepaid cell phone.

Man faces charges in children's molestation

A Thomson man has been arrested after being accused of molesting two children during a two-year span, police said.

James Samuel Wiederkehr, 34, was arrested on one charge each of child molestation and aggravated child molestation involving a 7-year-old and 8-year- old child. Mr. Wiederkehr faces an additional rape charge involving the 7-year-old child, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Capt. Morris said Mr. Wiederkehr, who lived at one time in the 300 block of Old Plantation Road in Martinez, knew the victims, who lived in the neighborhood.

Mr. Wiederkehr has since moved to Thomson, Capt. Morris said.

Mr. Wiederkehr was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on Thursday with no bond set.

Police arrest man on year-old accusation

Police arrested an Augusta man who was being sought nearly a year for an indecent exposure accusation.

David Lee Pinkston, 31, of the 4000 block of Brooke Crossing, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the 600 block of Reynolds Street and charged with felony public indecency, said Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Kenneth Autry.

On Oct. 6, 2004, a 22-year-old woman told police she was approached by a man described as Mr. Pinkston.

The Augusta woman said he sat beside her and her dog at the Lake Olmstead Recreation area. After about 15 minutes of conversation, the woman said she noticed the man fondling himself, so she left the scene.

A license tag check of a vehicle at the scene found it was registered to Mr. Pinkston, the police report showed.



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