Originally created 07/13/06

Across the area

2 arrested in meth lab find

A meth lab was discovered in south Augusta on Wednesday night, and a man and woman were taken into custody and are facing charges.

John Charles Hixon and Lisa Marie Smith, of the 3100 block of Mike Padgett Highway, were arrested at about 8:30 p.m. and are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and child endangerment, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Allan Rollins of the narcotics division.

At about 8 p.m., deputies were called to the residence to check on a 12-year-old child who reportedly had been left alone.

When officers arrived, deputies smelled chemical odors and found an active meth lab in a rear bedroom, Sgt. Rollins said. When the couple heard officers were at their home, they turned themselves in to police.

The Richmond County Haz-Mat Team was called to remove the chemicals. Both the child and a deputy were taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for observation.

An Atlanta-based waste management company was on its way late Wednesday to remove the hazardous materials.

Man acquitted in assault on inmate

After deliberating all day, a Richmond County Superior Court jury acquitted a man of aggravated assault.

Albert S. Kimble, 47, told the jury this week that he was defending himself against Oran Wright and Mr. Wright's cousin Aug. 6 at the Augusta Lodge on the Gordon Highway. Mr. Wright was shot in the stomach and head.

Mr. Kimble shot and killed Cicero Wright Jr., 31, in January 1984. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served five years in prison. He was arrested in 1990 for trafficking in cocaine, a crime for which he received a 15-year prison sentence.

While awaiting trial, he and another jail inmate allegedly attacked inmate Roger D. Booker. He suffered a broken neck, an injury that cost taxpayers about half a million dollars in medical expenses.

Charge filed after man gave false identity

A 31-year-old man arrested Tuesday on drug charges by Aiken sheriff's authorities is facing an additional charge after giving investigators the name, age and address of another man.

Teon L. Simmons, of the 1700 block of MacIntyre Boulevard in Augusta, has now been charged with giving false information to a law enforcement officer in addition to distribution of crack cocaine.

Mr. Simmons initially told investigators that his name was Johnny Simmons and that he was 36 years old.

Aiken authorities are unsure how the two men are related, the sheriff's office reported Wednesday.

Mr. Simmons was arrested Tuesday afternoon with three other men after a raid on a home on the 1000 block of Sundy Drive in Aiken.

Suspect arrested in downtown ATM theft

Police arrested an Augusta man Wednesday who was wanted for a robbery at a downtown ATM last month.

Alonzo Ricardo Brown, 17, of Metcalf Street, faces several charges, including robbery by intimidation, criminal attempt and kidnapping in connection with a June 9 incident at a Georgia Bank & Trust automated teller machine on Eighth Street.

Daniel Bussey told police he was accosted at Riverwalk Augusta by Mr. Brown and two other men, who forced him to withdraw money from the ATM.

Mr. Brown was arrested Wednesday afternoon at an apartment on Murphy Road, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Tim Rzasa said.

Police are still seeking two other men for the crime, he said.

Anyone with information should call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1080.

Wreck victim remains in serious condition

A 19-year-old Evans woman who was seriously injured June 29 in a wreck on Owens Road remained in serious condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Jessica Thompson, 19, of Bohler Drive in Evans, was originally listed in critical condition. The day after the wreck, she was upgraded to fair condition but was quickly downgraded to serious condition, where she has since remained, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Ms. Thompson suffered life-threatening injuries when her Ford Explorer veered under the back end of a tractor trailer on Owens Road at Legion Drive in Evans, Columbia County sheriff's Deputy Ted Powers said.

Police say Ms. Thompson, who was traveling east along Owens Road, swerved her SUV off the road's right shoulder at the corner of Legion Drive to avoid a car that had stopped to turn right onto Legion Drive and allowed the tractor trailer to turn from Legion Drive.

Deputy Powers said Ms. Thompson is at fault for driving too fast for conditions.

Deadline is Monday for petitions to ballot

Petitioners hoping to be added to Aiken County's Nov. 7 general election ballot must submit signatures to the Registration and Elections Commission by Monday.

Except for school board hopefuls, who have until Sept. 8 to file petitions, signatures must be filed by noon with the commission, which is located at 916 Vaucluse Road in Aiken.

Petitions must have signatures from at least 5 percent of the registered voters for the office being sought, except for the following:

- Aiken County Soil and Water Conservation Commission: at least 100 signatures from registered voters in the county.

- Bath, Clearwater and Langley water and sewer districts (three different elections): at least 15 signatures of registered voters within the particular district.

For information on an office not listed above, call the commission at (803) 642-1528.

County search for sex offender continues

Columbia County police were continuing to look Wednesday for a registered sex offender who they say might be in the Harlem or Grovetown area.

Police were looking for Jeffrey Jennings, 39, of the 400 block of White Road in Harlem, who is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes.

Mr. Jennings was arrested in 1994 by Grovetown Department of Public Safety on statutory rape involving a 12-year-old girl, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office release. A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Sex offender violates distance requirement

An Augusta sex offender remained in jail on an $11,000 bond after being charged with violating the state's new sex offender distance requirement law.

Patrick Wayne Coker, 27, of the 300 block of Sims Avenue, was arrested after failing to obey a June 27 notice that informed him that he lived within 1,000 feet of Southgate Baptist Church in the 2200 block of Peach Orchard Road, Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said.

Mr. Coker failed to report his change of address to authorities after July 1, which prompted the arrest, Maj. Autry said.

- From staff reports


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