Originally created 09/19/06

Across Georgia



Man is charged in fatal home invasion

RIVERDALE - Authorities have arrested a College Park man after a home invasion that left a Riverdale mother dead.

Leon Phillips Jr., 36, was charged with five felonies, including murder and burglary, in the death of Rhonda Rucker, 34, according to Riverdale Assistant Police Chief Samuel Patterson.

Ms. Rucker's 15-year-old son found her body Friday afternoon, lying face down on the floor on a lower level of the family's home. Her head was covered with a white plastic kitchen trash bag, and her neck was bound with a telephone cord. She had been shot in the head.

Police said Mr. Phillips and an accomplice took a motorcycle, motorcycle jacket and helmet that belonged to Ms. Rucker's husband, Anthony Rucker, along with a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban, a video game machine and DVDs.

Chief leaves board over recruit's death

KENNESAW - The Kennesaw police chief has resigned from the advisory board of an academy where one of his recruits was accidentally killed, and he said his department will no longer send police recruits there for training.

Chief Tim Callahan said his decision is a response to how the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy handled the shooting death of Tara Drummond, a recruit for the police department.

Chief Callahan said he blamed academy director Carole Morgan's inexperience for its failure to enforce safety policies.

Ms. Drummond, 23, was accidentally shot to death during firearms training last September by her instructor, Cobb County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Albert Jackson.

Sgt. Jackson had placed what he thought were "dummy rounds" into his gun and pointed it at Ms. Drummond. A round went off, hitting her in the chest.

Governor wants more police to troll Internet

DECATUR - Gov. Sonny Perdue on Monday proposed boosting the number of state investigators trolling the Internet for sexual predators who prey on children.

Mr. Perdue said he would add eight agents and five computer forensics specialists.

The state Legislature would have to approve the funding, estimated at $900,000.

Man gets 23 years in drug, firearms cases

ALBANY - A federal judge has sentenced a Sumter County man to nearly 23 years in prison for drug and firearms offenses and for attempting to shoot a U.S. marshal during his arrest last year.

U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands sentenced Darren Cantrell Miller, 23, of Plains, to 188 months for intent to distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine and attempted assault on a federal officer, and 84 months for carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime.

He had been arrested on drug charges in June 2005 and agreed to help agents arrest other drug dealers, but then disappeared.

- Edited from wire reports