Across Georgia

Man on trial for taking teen is found hanged

CANTON - A man apparently killed himself after leaving the courthouse in the middle of his kidnapping trial.

Authorities found the body of Ruben Manuel Lopez, 32, hanging from a tree Wednesday near Lake Allatoona.

Mr. Lopez had been out on bond since his June 2003 arrest on accusations of kidnapping and choking a 17-year-old girl.

He was not in custody at the time he left the courthouse, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

Nine charged in scam on shopping networks

ATLANTA - Nine Georgia residents with ties to Nigeria were charged Thursday with stealing hundreds of personal computers, digital cameras and other electronic devices worth nearly $1 million from three television shopping networks, authorities said.

Moyo Akeen Kasim, Abioye Kassim, Tunde Ayinla Moshud, Hameed Adage Osiefa, Godwin Stephen, Babru Okoya and Moriamoh Ojikuta were arrested Thursday.

Two of the defendants, Moukarim Adegbayi and Hope Lashawn Smith have not been arrested and are considered fugitives.

The indictment says they used credit cards to order electronic goods sold on payment plans from the Home Shopping Network, the Shop At Home Network and the QVC Network.

The defendants would then report their credit cards lost or stolen, authorities said. Prosecutors said the defendants placed 424 orders for more than $640,000.

Roof of business caves in from rain

SAVANNAH - Flash rainstorms flooded Savannah streets Wednesday and sent the roof of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow antiques shop on Victory Drive crashing to the floor.

No injuries were reported from the storms, but several stranded motorists had to be pulled from water-filled vehicles, emergency officials said.

The rain ripped through Savannah at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, carried by wind that reached more than 25 mph. As the rain grew heavier, drivers' visibility decreased and traffic slowed, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Wilson said.

Welfare official faces child abuse charges

FAYETTEVILLE - A Fulton County child welfare official has been indicted on child abuse charges.

Cylenthia Clark, is due in Fayette County court July 31 for arraignment on a felony charge of first-degree child cruelty. She is assistant director of the Fulton County Department of Family and Children's Services.

The June 5 indictment says Ms. Clark beat her oldest child, an 8-year-old girl, 34 times with a leather belt after ordering her to strip to her underwear.

- Edited from wire reports