Originally created 09/14/05

Across the area

Police hunt for missing woman

Grovetown police are asking for help in looking for a missing woman.

Bobbie Jean Young, 40, was last seen at about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the area of VFW Road in Grovetown.

Ms. Young is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. She has green eyes and short red hair and was wearing a purple tank top and yellow shorts.

Ms. Young is mentally disabled and has the mental capacity of a child, her parents said.

Anyone who has seen Ms. Young or has information about her whereabouts should call the Grovetown Department of Public Safety at (706) 863-1212.

Woman with handgun in purse is arrested

Law enforcement officers arrested a 31-year-old Augusta woman who tried to enter the municipal building in Augusta with an unloaded gun Tuesday morning, according to Marshal Steve Smith.

Lareon Michelle Collier, of the 800 block of Spruce Street, was charged with carrying a weapon into a public building and taken to the Richmond County jail.

Marshal Smith said an officer saw that Ms. Collier's purse had a .22-caliber automatic handgun inside as it passed through the building's X-ray machine. The woman told officers that she didn't know the weapon was in her purse, the marshal said.

In addition to the weapon charge, she was wanted on two outstanding bench warrants for failing to appear in court, Marshal Smith said.

Senate hopeful says office was broken into

State Senate District 22 candidate Ben Allen told Richmond County sheriff's deputies Monday that someone broke into his law firm offices earlier this month, a police report states.

Mr. Allen said that sometime between 6 p.m. Sept. 2 and 8 a.m. the next day, someone forced open a rear window and a back door at the offices in the 1100 block of Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Taken were a refrigerator, a paper shredder, a cordless phone, a computer and a city trash can, worth more than $2,000 total, the report states.

Jury finds teen guilty of child molestation

A Martinez teen faces a possible 30 years in prison after he was convicted of aggravated child molestation Tuesday.

A Columbia County Superior Court jury convicted John Michael Morris, 16, of aggravated child molestation and acquitted him on a second charge of child molestation.

Police say between Jan. 1 and Feb. 26, Mr. Morris convinced a 13-year-old boy to engage in a sex act, according to the indictment.

Man is charged with kidnapping 4 children

North Augusta police charged a man with kidnapping after police said he took four juveniles to a boat dock, while intoxicated, without some of their parents' knowledge.

Michael Hammond Johnson, 54, of the 1100 block of Georgia Avenue, was charged with kidnapping Saturday, a police report states.

The report states that the four juveniles and Mr. Johnson's 1987 Mazda B2200 went to the Riverview Park boat landing on Hammonds Ferry Road.

The juveniles said Mr. Johnson said he was a former science teacher who took them to the landing to show them algae and rocks, the report states.

Mr. Johnson came to North Augusta police headquarters, where he voluntarily consented to a breath alcohol test that registered a level of 0.18 percent. The state's legal limit is 0.08.

Aiken resident charged with sexual assault

An Aiken man has been arrested on six counts of sexually assaulting a young girl over a three-year period.

Jerry Hall Jr., 26, of the 800 block of Dogwood Drive, was arrested by Aiken County sheriff's deputies and charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of lewd act on a child.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank said the teenage girl Mr. Hall is accused of assaulting told investigators that she had sex with him at his home June 30, 2001, and two times between Nov. 2, 2001, and Nov. 2, 2003. Lt. Frank said the lewd act charges mirror the criminal sexual conduct counts.

Mr. Hall is free on bond.

Car burglars, vandals strike at college

Richmond County sheriff's deputies investigated car break-ins and vehicle damage last weekend at Augusta Technical College, police reports state.

At least eight reports were filed by the sheriff's office for criminal trespass or criminal damage to property at the college Sunday.

Among the vehicles reported damaged are a Mercedes 300, three Chevrolet S-10s, a Mercury Tracer, a Lincoln Towncar, a Ford Escort and a Dodge Dynasty.

The total damages are estimated at $2,550.

Accident victim dies from head injuries

An Aiken woman died Monday of injuries suffered in a car crash last month.

Gloria Ritchie, 64, of the 200 block of Cooper Drive, died at Medical College of Georgia Hospital from head injuries, according to Aiken Deputy Coroner Jeff Smith.

According to the New Ellenton Police Department, Ms. Ritchie was driving a 1993 Toyota four-door sedan Aug. 25 when she pulled out of the Reid's parking lot on Main Street and into the path of a pickup driven by James Crews, of Beech Island.


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