Originally created 06/12/06

Across the area



Teen wanted in slaying arrested

Fifteen-year-old Antoine Marcus Thaxton, wanted on armed robbery and murder charges, is in custody after being found at his grandmother's home in Milton, N.C., on Sunday, according to Richmond County sheriff's investigators.

Police said they got a tip that his mother, Wanda Thaxton, put him on a bus bound for the North Carolina or Virginia area.

"Our office will be investigating her role in harboring Thaxton, and charges could be brought against her at a later date," Lt. Scott Peebles said in a news release.

Mr. Thaxton was arrested by Caswell County sheriff's deputies at about 1:30 p.m., Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Tom Johnson said. He is being held at the Guilford County Detention Center and faces extradition to Georgia today.

Authorities say Mr. Thaxton shot Jason Harrington, 33, while robbing him in the 2200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on May 28. Mr. Harrington died Friday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Sunday is hottest of 2006, with high of 99

With temperatures just short of 100 degrees, Sunday was Augusta's hottest day so far in 2006, a climatologist said.

Thermometers at Augusta Regional and Bush Field airports reached 99 degrees, and temperatures probably hit 100 degrees in other parts of Richmond County, said Dave Schuetrum of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C. Augusta's record temperature for a spring day is 102 degrees in 1993, he said.

Today's temperatures should reach highs in the lower 90s with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, Mr. Schuetrum said.

Shower incident leads to molestation charge

Richmond County authorities charged a Hephzibah man with child molestation Saturday after accusing him of getting into a shower with his girlfriend's younger sister.

While the 14-year-old girl was showering in the bathroom of his Richmond Hill Road apartment, Jose Miguel Machado, 24, entered the bathroom naked, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report. He then got into the shower and asked the girl about her sexual history and her boyfriend, the girl said in the report.

After asking Mr. Machado to leave, which he refused to do, the girl left the shower and got dressed, the report said. As he drove the girl back to her home, Mr. Machado touched her left leg, according to the report.

The girl told her mother about the incident when she returned home.

Man is charged after fracas with police

An Augusta man was charged with obstruction Saturday after being pulled over by police because he matched the description of someone who had stolen fuel from a BP gas station in Hephzibah, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The man accused police of racism, refused to cooperate and picked up a deputy and threw him on the ground, according to the report.

At about 5 p.m., a deputy stopped Haven Williams, driving on Morgan Road in a white Ford Explorer, which had been reported as the vehicle that had left the Deans Bridge Road gas station without paying.

Mr. Williams got out of his car and told the deputy, "Don't run up on me like that," the report said. The deputy told him to return to his car, but Mr. Williams refused and asked why he had been pulled over.

After hearing the explanation, Mr. Williams said he fit the description because of his race, according to the report. He denied stealing gas and invited the deputy to check his fuel gauge. Mr. Williams continued yelling, and a fight ensued when the deputy approached him with handcuffs. After attempting to run away, Mr. Williams was caught on Saddle Horn Road, the report said.

According to the report, the deputy was cut on his left forearm and bruised on his left wrist.

Waffle House worker threatened, robbed

A Waffle House employee told police she was robbed Sunday morning while taking out trash.

She said she was grabbed from behind at about 8:45 a.m. behind the business at 3417 Wrightsboro Road, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Thomas Johnson said. A man threatened to kill her before grabbing cash from her uniform pocket, the investigator said.

The robber drove off in a dark-colored Ford or Honda with a South Carolina license tag. He was wearing dark clothing and a plaid shirt.

3 people are shot at south Augusta bar

An argument at a popular south Augusta nightspot escalated into gunfire early Saturday, police said. Three men were shot in the parking lot of Gunther's Lounge at 2238 Milledgeville Road.

Richmond County authorities were summoned to the lounge just after midnight. Witnesses "have not been forthcoming," Investigator Brandon Beckman said.

He described the injuries to the three men - Curtis Bell, 17; Latravious Green, 25; and John Dashiells, 29 - as "non-life-threatening." All three were taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital by private cars, he said.

Last November, Steve Martin, 31, and Michael Bogans, 29, were shot and killed in Gunther's parking lot.

2 shot in Southgate shopping center

Two men were shot early Sunday while riding in a car in the Southgate shopping center off Gordon Highway, according to a Richmond County sheriff's investigator.

Lamar King, 20, and Darrell Willingham, 18, were shot at about 4 a.m. near Waffle House, Investigator Brandon Beckman said. The victims drove to a home on Bahama Drive and called for police and an ambulance . They were taken by Gold Cross emergency personnel to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Investigator Beckman said their injuries were not life-threatening.

Fire appears to be arson, police say

A fire that gutted a church building Sunday night in the 1900 block of Broad Street looks like a case of arson, an Augusta-Richmond County fire chief said.

Battalion Chief Michael Weathers said the one-story building appeared to be vacant. He said he believes it is affiliated with a Columbia County-based church. The house has a cross on its upper, front portion and provides shelter for homeless people, he said.

The fire seems suspicious - a back door was ajar - and will be looked into by arson investigators today, the chief said.

The fire was under control within five minutes of firefighters' arrival on the scene at about 9:45 p.m., Chief Weathers said.

- From staff reports