Originally created 07/06/06

Across Georgia



25 people die during July Fourth weekend

ATLANTA - More people than expected died in traffic-related accidents on Georgia roads over the holiday weekend.

Twenty-five people died and nearly 850 were injured over the 102-hour weekend, which began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at midnight Tuesday. Authorities had predicted 23 fatalities.

Last year, 24 people died during the shorter 78-hour weekend.

ATV driver charged in neglect of passenger

GRAY - Jones County authorities have charged the driver of an all-terrain vehicle with neglecting a passenger who was fatally injured in an accident.

Christopher Mauldin, 18, was being held without bond at the Jones County jail on a charge of failure to render aid, Jones County Sheriff's Sergeant Clay Wiggins said.

The passenger, 17-year-old Cassie Hornsby, died of injuries suffered when she was thrown from the ATV, authorities said.

She was found about 6 p.m. Thursday on the living room floor of the home where she had been baby-sitting her 3-year-old niece, according to a sheriff's department incident report.

JoAnn Smith said her daughter apparently left the house to take a ride on the ATV and was thrown off. She said Mr. Mauldin, one of her daughter's classmates, then took her daughter back to the house and left her.

GBI finishes inquiry of police department

JEFFERSON - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has wrapped up a 10-month investigation of the Jefferson Police Department, and there is a "distinct possibility" the grand jury will lodge criminal charges, according to the special prosecutor handling the case.

GBI agents are drafting a report of their findings, special prosecutor Rick Malone said.

The GBI was asked to investigate allegations of theft of city property, forgery of time cards and misuse of city property within the police department.

Mr. Malone, who was appointed to the case after Jackson County District Attorney Tim Madison recused himself, asked the GBI to help with the investigation.

Rape suspect out on bond accused again

ATLANTA - A man who had been released on bond on accusations of raping a girl has been arrested again and is accused of sexually assaulting another girl.

David DeAngelo McDonald, 27, was arrested Tuesday and charged with rape, aggravated sodomy and false imprisonment, Atlanta police spokeswoman NaTanya Albritton said.

The arrest is related to a Monday incident in which a girl, believed to be 12 to 14 years old, was walking to summer school and was forced into an empty unit of a duplex and raped, according to police and neighborhood residents.

- Edited from wire reports