Originally created 04/25/06

Across the region



Woman found tied up with throat slashed

JONESBORO, Ga. - Clayton County police are looking for a motive as they investigate the death of a woman found tied up in her home.

The fiance of Demetrice Chantell Potts, 28, found her body early Saturday. Police said the woman was tied up in the basement and her throat had been cut.

Ms. Potts' 5-month-old son was found unhurt in an upstairs bedroom.

Investigators said they found signs of a break-in with a glass door broken at the back of the house. Police are not sure whether anything was stolen from the house.

Clayton County Assistant Police Chief Jeff Turner said that the woman's fiance, 28-year-old Makal Roland, had been at a birthday party the night before and that his whereabouts are accounted for.

Charges not filed yet in stabbing of brother

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Police say a man fatally stabbed his brother, but no one has been charged in the death.

Investigators said they are treating the death of Steven Cheatwood, 48, as a homicide.

Deputies and emergency workers found Mr. Cheatwood at his parents' home Sunday afternoon. He had two wounds to his upper chest and cuts on the inside of three fingers on one hand. An autopsy was planned.

Barbara Cheatwood said that her sons argued but that the death was an accident. The other son was not identified.

Fondling suit against Wal-Mart goes to trial

COLUMBIA - A South Carolina girl began her fight against the nation's largest retailer in court Monday after her family filed a lawsuit five years ago claiming Wal-Mart failed to protect children from sexual predators because it didn't require criminal background checks on its employees.

The girl, who was 10 years old when she was fondled by a Wal-Mart employee in September 2000, is seeking unspecified damages from the retailer.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., has said that it was not legally required to do background checks and that the employee who fondled the girl lied about his criminal past on his job application.

In 2001, the girl's mother sued Wal-Mart, claiming the retailer should have known Bobby Devon Randall was a convicted sex offender, with past convictions for indecent exposure.

He pleaded guilty in 2002 to committing a lewd act on a minor and received a 10-year sentence but died about six months later after an apparent heart attack.

- Edited from wire reports