Originally created 12/16/05

Across the area



Man gets 7 years in rape attempt

A man accused of trying to rape a teenage boy received a seven-year prison sentence Thursday.

Assistant District Attorney Mukti Patel told the judge that Tony Oliphant, 34, was interrupted in an attack on a 15-year-old boy by the teenager's father.

Mr. Oliphant pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to child molestation. He also must serve eight years probation.

Pregnant woman, 19, charged with neglect

A pregnant 19-year-old Warrenville woman was arrested Wednesday by Aiken County sheriff's deputies and charged with unlawful neglect of her unborn child.

Bobbie Jean Murray, of the 1000 block of Monarch Street, is accused of testing positive for cocaine twice between Nov. 10 and Dec. 7, a sheriff's report said. She is in her third trimester, the report said.

Drivers in collision remain hospitalized

A Martinez man airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital after a wreck Monday night on Evans to Locks Road was listed in serious condition Thursday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Police say a Toyota Camry driven by Steven Daniel Moore, 26, of Rabun Valley Lane in Martinez, crossed the center line near The Locks subdivision and collided head-on with a Jeep Cherokee.

The driver of the Jeep, Lisa Ann Baker, 32, of Bay Point Court in Martinez, was in fair condition at MCG, a hospital spokeswoman said. As of Thursday, no charges had been filed in the wreck.

Man pleads guilty to arson over girlfriend

An Augusta man who set fire to another man's home pleaded guilty to arson Thursday.

Michael L. Royal, 40, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to arson in the first degree.

Mr. Royal said he flipped a lighted cigarette at the Second Avenue home where Bryant Bullock lived April 19.

He was angry at Mr. Bullock, who had begun dating his girlfriend.

The cigarette landed in a box of clothes on the front porch, Assistant District Attorney Tom Peterson said.

Judge Duncan D. Wheale sentenced Mr. Royal to a year in jail followed by six years' probation. Mr. Royal is also to pay restitution.

Woman charged with transaction card fraud

A Harlem woman was arrested early Thursday morning by Richmond County sheriff's deputies on charges that she fraudulently used a debit card at area stores, records show.

Amanda Jane Frazier, 25, was charged with felony financial transaction card fraud, jail records show.

A 38-year-old North Augusta woman told deputies that she lost her Visa debit card at Starbucks in the 3000 block of Washington Road, and fraudulent charges of more than $100, were made in Richmond and Columbia counties.

Space heater suspect in North Augusta fire

An electric space heater might have started a fire in North Augusta, officials said Thursday.

Lt. Clay Swann of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety said firefighters responded to the blaze in the 100 block of West Avenue at 11:32 p.m. Wednesday. Heavy smoke and fire, damaged a room and part of the roof.

Someone had left on an electric space heater, the lieutenant said. The owner was not home.

Man reports robbery of ATM card at home

An Augusta man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that someone robbed him at his home, a police report states.

The 32-year-old man said a man knocked on the door about 8 p.m. at his home in the 1000 block of Bertram Court.

He said he let the man in, and the man pointed a 9 mm handgun at his head and demanded to know where his safe was.

The robber took the victim's ATM card and fled.

Deputies arrest man on charge of stalking

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested an Augusta man Thursday on stalking charges, jail records show.

Dwain Glenton Green, 36, of the 1200 block of Azalea Drive, was charged with stalking.

A police report states that a 30-year-old woman said someone called her on the phone Dec. 10 but didn't say anything. She also reported several flat tires on her vehicle.

Wreck cuts power to 1,700 in west Augusta

About 1,700 west Augusta residents were without power Thursday night.

John Sell, a spokesman for Georgia Power, said service was interrupted about 6:30 p.m. after a vehicle hit a pole, cutting service at a substation on Bobby Jones Expressway. The interruption also affected parts of Martinez, Mr. Sell said.

Passenger dies after being thrown from car

Authorities are investigating a one-car fatality that happened Thursday on a rural south Augusta road.

At about 6:33 p.m., the passenger of a 1997 Chevrolet Camaro died after he was thrown from the car, Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said.

The accident happened at the 4400 block of Old Waynesboro Road near Liberty Church Road.

Mr. Bowen said poor visibility and slick road conditions might have contributed to the accident.

The driver failed to make a curve and struck a culvert, he said. Mr. Bowen said he was still trying to contact the family of the deceased man.

The driver was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Alcohol might have contributed to the accident, Mr. Bowen said.

Neither the passenger nor the driver were wearing seat belts, he said.

An autopsy will be performed Saturday, Mr. Bowen said.

Masked man robs discount store

Police investigated an armed robbery at a discount retail outlet Thursday evening.

At about 6 p.m., a man wearing a mask and gloves entered the Family Dollar, 1991 Broad Street.

The robber entered the front door of the business wearing a mask, black Dickie brand pants and white sneakers, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Ernest Furgeison said.

He also had black material over his hands to conceal a gun.

After demanding money from a clerk, the robber learned the register was locked. A manager was forced to open the register as the robber waited to get the money, the clerk said.

The money was placed in a plastic Family Dollar shopping bag, police said.

- From staff reports