Originally created 08/25/06

Across the area



Suspect in robberies jailed in Augusta

An Augusta woman accused of committing several armed robberies earlier this year, is now behind bars in Augusta.

Sandy Dawn Akin, 27, of the 2000 block of Clark Street, was extradited from the Aiken County jail to Augusta on Wednesday, according to Richmond County sheriff's jail records.

Sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said Ms. Akin is suspected in two armed robberies at Family Dollar stores on Sand Bar Ferry Road and Broad Street, and at a convenience store in Harrisburg.

Two of the robberies occurred Jan. 17, police said. At about 7 p.m., an armed woman fitting Ms. Akin's description walked into Family Dollar, 206 Sand Bar Ferry Road, and took cash from a register.

Later, at 8:19 p.m., a woman wearing a ski mask and ponytail, told employees at The Corner Store in Harrisburg, "Don't be stupid, give me the money," a victim said.

Ms. Akin faces three counts of armed robbery and three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to jail records.

Man acquitted in shooting

An Augusta man was acquitted of criminal charges in a shooting that left another man paralyzed.

William L. Hudson, 33, fired in self-defense, defense attorney Travers Chance said this week in his opening statement to the Richmond County Superior Court.

Carlos Jackson testified from his motorized wheelchair that Mr. Hudson had no reason to want to harm him the night of Dec. 12, 2004, outside of a Deans Bridge Road nightclub. But Mr. Hudson pulled a gun and shot him in the chest, Mr. Jackson testified.

Employee charged in forgery of check

An Augusta man was arrested after attempting to cash a stolen check.

Errol Scott Williams, 37, of School House Road, was charged with felony first-degree forgery, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Mike Lanham.

On Tuesday, his employer, Annie Mae Powell, 82, of Mars Trailer Park, provided Mr. Williams with her vehicle so he could run errands, police said.

After he failed to return the car after several hours, the woman notified police.

Meanwhile, Ms. Powell received a call from the Check Exchange on Peach Orchard Road informing her that Mr. Williams had forged her name and endorsed a $300 check.

Guilty plea withdrawn in molestation trial

A child molestation trial continues today for an Augusta man who withdrew his guilty plea earlier this week.

Roger Judge, 58, had been willing to plead guilty to a single count of child molestation, but he changed his mind Wednesday in Richmond County Superior Court when the judge said he would have to spend some time in prison.

Mr. Judge has pleaded not guilty to three counts children molestation and two counts aggravated child molestation. The case has been pending since 2003 when a teenage girl reported Mr. Judge had molested her from ages 8 to 13.

Classes begin at USC Aiken, Aiken Tech

Aiken County college students began the first days of fall classes this week at Aiken Technical College and the University of South Carolina Aiken. USC Aiken began classes Thursday. Aiken Technical College started class Monday.

USC Aiken Admissions Director Andrew Hendrix said freshman enrollment is the highest in school history, with almost 675 students starting their college careers. USC Aiken has slightly more than 3,200 students enrolled.

Aiken Technical College enrollment is about the same as last year with 2,500 students, Tom Slizewski, public relations and marketing director, said.

Today is the last day to drop Term 1 classes at Aiken Technical College. Registration for Term 3 begins Aug. 29. Term 3 starts Oct. 3.

Copper cable, wire stolen from work site

Someone stole several thousands of dollars in wire from a work site in downtown Augusta, a Richmond County sheriff's report states.

An employee of Mastec, a company that has been working on traffic signals downtown, said Wednesday that someone took the wire from the 1100 block of Telfair Street.

Taken was 1,200 feet of copper cable, worth $3,600 and $5,000 worth of scrap wire, the report states.

Traffic signal work to affect intersection

Weather permitting, traffic signal work will occur at the intersection of Evans to Locks Road and Industrial Park Drive from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

The work, which is part of a North Belair Road connector project, will include changing out some traffic signal heads and changing hardware, a county government release states.

The signal might be in a flashing mode and might be turned off intermittently while the work is occurring.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office will monitor traffic in the area, but motorists are asked to take an alternate route or allow more time for commuting.

Men sought in theft at mobile home park

Aiken authorities are looking for two men they say robbed the Pineacres Mobile Home Park on U.S. Highway 1 just east of Aiken late Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff's spokesman Troy Elwell said the two men stole a tackle box full of keys and a cell phone and drove away in a gray, older model Mercury toward Aiken.

They were both wearing ski masks, he said, and one was armed with a small caliber, silver handgun during the robbery.

Officers seek suspect in Avondale burglary

Aiken sheriff's investigators are looking for a 48-year-old Graniteville man suspected of taking part in breaking into the Avondale Mills offices in Warrenville.

Wanted on burglary charges is Robert Lee Derrick, who is described as being 6 feet tall and weighing 185 pounds.

Mr. Derrick has brown eyes and brown hair, according to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's authorities say that on Thursday, police were called about a burglary in progress at the offices on the 1000 block of Augusta Highway.

Officers arrested David John Rodgers, 34, of the 300 block of Hope Lane in Graniteville, at the scene, but investigators learned that Mr. Derrick fled before police arrived, according to the sheriff's office.

- From staff reports