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Man dies in crash after car crosses median, hits rail

An Augusta man died Monday afternoon in a single-car wreck on Bobby Jones Expressway near Laney-Walker Boulevard.

George Hoffman, 63, of Boykin Road, was heading west on the expressway after entering the highway from Laney-Walker Boulevard when his car struck a guard-rail, crossed over a grassy median and struck another guard-rail before sliding down an embankment, said Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.

The wreck happened at 4:54 p.m. Mr. Bowen said he pronounced Mr. Hoffman dead at 5:22 p.m. at University Hospital.

A witness said Mr. Hoffman appeared to be hunched over and reaching for something on the floorboard just before losing control of his 2000 Toyota Camry.

Mr. Bowen said a cause of death was not apparent Monday night and an autopsy is scheduled today at the GBI Crime Lab on Phinizy Road.

Mr. Bowen said Mr. Hoffman had just completed his shift at DSM Chemicals on Columbia Nitrogen Road.

State high court overturns man's murder conviction

ATLANTA --- The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously decided Monday to overturn the murder conviction of a Burke County man because of the way the judge instructed the jury.

Lawyers for Jeffrey Daniel "Sug" Lewis had argued that he deserved a new trial because of the way Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet laid out the choices for the jury of malice murder, felony murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. The seven Supreme Court Justices agreed.

The justices also concluded that the jury had ample reason to find Lewis guilty in the May 2004, shooting death of Richard Golden while the pair argued about their year-earlier knife fight.

Wounded West Lake intruder is still sought by authorities

Columbia County authorities say they are still looking for a man they think was wounded last Monday when he was caught breaking into a vehicle in the West Lake neighborhood.

A Medical College of Georgia police officer said he thought he shot a gun from the man's hand. Blood was found at the scene.

The West Lake Property Owners Association is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the intruder, described as a black man, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, and about 160 pounds. Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at (706) 541-2800.

Ex-Laney athlete gets 10 years in jail for robbery

A former Lucy C. Laney High School football star who joined in an armed robbery plot was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday.

Marquise D. Taylor, 19, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and two weapon violations for the April 11, 2006, robbery of the Wendy's on Walton Way, near the sheriff's department.

Mr. Taylor drove two other young men to the fast food restaurant, where they held employees at gunpoint and stole $800.

Once released from prison, where he must remain for at least 10 years without parole, Mr. Taylor must serve an additional 15 years on probation.

Teachers can apply for Richmond County

Richmond County will hold a job fair for anyone interested in transferring to the school system and anyone interested in becoming a teacher.

The job fair will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.

Glenn Hills offering special family night

Glenn Hills Middle School will hold an extended family night Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to present information on state standardized tests.

The event, open to families of Glenn Hills Middle, Glenn Hills High and Morgan Road Middle schools, will include door prizes, interactive activities and a free dinner.

An athletic booth will have information on requirements for high school and middle school teams. Other booths will offer information about clubs and organizations.

Voter drive scheduled at Hains Elementary

A voter-registration drive will be held at A. Dorothy Hains Elementary School from 1:45 to 5 p.m. March 4 and 5.

The Richmond County Board of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Center is sponsoring the voter drive.

For more information, call Cheryl Price (706) 796-3819 or Nolan Goss, (706) 796-3766.

School board plans to hold blood drive

The Richmond County school board will hold a blood drive for Shepeard Community Blood Center at its central offices, 864 Broad St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Davidson to be host of student drama festival

John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School will play host to the 2008 Junior Thespian Festival next month.

The event takes place March 7-9. Davidson students, under the direction of Junior Thespian Troupe Director Heather Davidson, will perform Bridge to Terabithia on March 8.

Burn aims to reduce risk of forest fires

Another scheduled burn-off of vegetation and underbrush on Fort Gordon property produced a smoky haze Monday over parts of Columbia, Jefferson, McDuffie and Richmond counties.

According to a press release, the Fort Gordon forestry unit was burning about 399 acres in an attempt to reduce the chance of dangerous forest fires.

Mortgage fraud earns man 6 months in jail

An Evans man must serve six months in federal prison for mortgage fraud, a judge ruled Monday.

Daniel Goodwin, 42, must pay $25,710 in restitution, spend four months in home detention once he is released and serve three years on probation, U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. said.

Mr. Goodwin and Marilyn Swan conspired in a scheme to defraud mortgage companies by falsely claiming expenses for maintenance and repairs. Ms. Swan pleaded guilty to knowing about the crime and not reporting it.

She was sentenced in December to three years' probation. She must pay $84,630 in restitution.

Fourth burn patient released from hospital

A patient who underwent treatment for burns suffered in the Imperial Sugar Co. explosion was discharged Monday from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital.

Center Spokeswoman Beth Frits confirmed that Gene Bryan was the fourth patient to be released from the hospital.

Twelve patients from the Feb. 7 disaster at the plant near Savannah remain in critical condition at the hospital, according to Ms. Frits. Two remain in serious condition.

Drug use in dementia patients is questioned

Road closure

Officials will close Greenville Road in Graniteville for more than a month beginning Monday as part of bridge replacement project. The road will remain closed until May 16, according to a South Carolina Department of Transportation news release.

-- From staff reports

Comments (43) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 07:16 am
0
0
Overstreet makes the paper

Overstreet makes the paper again. How did he get to be a judge?

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 02/26/08 - 08:08 am
0
0
hmmm..let's see, a 19yr old

hmmm..let's see, a 19yr old male robs a place for $800 and a man from Evans robs a company of $25,000 plus....the 19 yr. old gets 10 years without parole and then 15 on probation...the 42 yr. old from Evans gets 4 months on home detention and pay back the money....

can someone say race is not an issue? Our justice system is a joke.

badmoon
0
Points
badmoon 02/26/08 - 08:17 am
0
0
jillian, you are really

jillian, you are really stupid, aren't you? Was a gun involved in the 42 year olds crime. Some of you are the best at playing the race card.

darktall
0
Points
darktall 02/26/08 - 08:52 am
0
0
Correct badmoon making a

Correct badmoon making a group of workers think they are about to die gets you more time than swindling money from a company does.

dani
12
Points
dani 02/26/08 - 09:01 am
0
0
Something must be missing

Something must be missing from Jillian's AC this mrning. My edition says the Evans man must first serve 6 months in a federal prison, then make restitution, home detention and finally probation.
It looks like the woman got off light. Where is her jail time?

betterme706
0
Points
betterme706 02/26/08 - 09:24 am
0
0
JILLIAN okay i agree with you

JILLIAN okay i agree with you if you are from evans it also makes a big difference and i see badmoons comment you are right he should of gotten a year for pointing a gun at another:) let a white evans man do it he wouldof only gotten house arrest!

rufus
2
Points
rufus 02/26/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
It's not a black and white

It's not a black and white issue. It's a violent and non-violent issue. I was the victim of an armed robbery and I can tell you it's not pretty.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 02/26/08 - 10:24 am
0
0
Patricia Thomas, Carlisle

Patricia Thomas, Carlisle Overstreet joined Carl Sanders' old law firm here right out of law school. A connection to the former governor has probably never hurt his prospects.

augusta49
0
Points
augusta49 02/26/08 - 10:24 am
0
0
I'm pretty tired of the

I'm pretty tired of the Westlake intruder story. Just because it's WESTLAKE it is such a high profile story. If there was blood found at the scene, then why are they "describing" the intruder? DON'T THEY KNOW WHO IT IS?? BLOOD IS DNA!!!!

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 02/26/08 - 10:46 am
0
0
Hey if you can see parity or

Hey if you can see parity or justice in those sentences more power to ya. I don't. There are crimes and there are crimes the minorities and the poor commit. Look at the statistics on how the amount of people in prison break down according to racial, economic status, guidelines and you will see my point.

I agree about the westlake story...it's overkill.

egan
0
Points
egan 02/26/08 - 11:15 am
0
0
Jillian,No one is threatened

Jillian,No one is threatened with a gun in a fraud case.

Its 5oclock somewhere
0
Points
Its 5oclock somewhere 02/26/08 - 12:19 pm
0
0
They don't lock you up for

They don't lock you up for pooting in church.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 02/26/08 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Jillian & betterme would you

Jillian & betterme would you rather be secretly ripped off of money or have a gun put against your forehead with someone telling you they will kill you??? Now I 100% agree the embezzelment guy should have been hit way harder, he should be pulling time, but I think the victims should have a say in whether they want to allow him to work to pay them back and if he doesnt pay he goes to jail then still pays or goes back etc...but his straight out sentence should have been at least 3 years with the aboved condition if the victims requests so. But the punk who robbed someone at gunpoint deserves everything he got!!!!!! he may have unintentionally killed someone by getting spooked by a noise or just hairy trigger, w/e.... I have no sympathy for that lil jerk!! And it has nothing at all to do with race!!! Then you throw in the kidnapping and assault..... I mean please... he's lucky he didn't get more lol !!!

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 02/26/08 - 12:50 pm
0
0
Gosh Jillian, since the guy

Gosh Jillian, since the guy who rolled his car was black, do you supposed if he were white he'd lived? Certainly autoworkers are ALL WHITE MALES. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." The impediments to that dream are no longer the white race.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 02/26/08 - 01:03 pm
0
0
lmaooo Tall1. You are

lmaooo Tall1. You are absolutely 100% correct!!!

whyme
1475
Points
whyme 02/26/08 - 01:36 pm
0
0
You know, it's that Westlake

You know, it's that Westlake homeowner's word against...nobody's! They haven't caught the alleged perpetrator, they assume he's the same one who broke into other cars...sounds fishy to me! I know, I watch too many movies! But only a $1000 reward for that pricey neighborhood? Hm.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 02/26/08 - 02:34 pm
0
0
It isn't about what crime I

It isn't about what crime I prefer. It's about social injustice in our penal system. These 2 cases prove it is alive and well. Like I said look up the stats to how many white males are in prison and how many black males....or how many rich versus poor....Do you think only black males or low-income people committed crimes?

fields7
0
Points
fields7 02/26/08 - 02:37 pm
0
0
To everyone who wants to

To everyone who wants to comment on the mortgage fraud case, if you knew what actually took place you would see the the woman involved was the won who got off way to easy. You see she is having to pay back 4x as much as the guy, but received no time in jail. Seems to me that is the true injustice.

pablanco
0
Points
pablanco 02/26/08 - 02:44 pm
0
0
jillians, black males are

jillians, black males are statistically way more violent than any other race. Everyone knows this, whether or not they want to admit it or state it.

dani
12
Points
dani 02/26/08 - 03:03 pm
0
0
fields7 You are so right!!

fields7 You are so right!! And A nut case

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 02/26/08 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Yes Pablanco, I recall all

Yes Pablanco, I recall all the Black serial killers, serial rapists, and bombers.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
0
Points
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 02/26/08 - 03:15 pm
0
0
fields7 sounds right to me!

fields7 sounds right to me! seems like there would be others in this mix too.

muddbutt
0
Points
muddbutt 02/26/08 - 03:28 pm
0
0
I am so tired of everyone

I am so tired of everyone crying when there is a difference in someone's sentence in a criminal case. What the public fails to comprehend there maybe other circumstances surrounding the sentence. Race is not a factor believe it or not. Grow up no today owes anyone an apology for what people did in the past.

muddbutt
0
Points
muddbutt 02/26/08 - 03:30 pm
0
0
I am so tired of everyone

I am so tired of everyone crying when there is a difference in someone's sentence in a criminal case. What the public fails to comprehend there maybe other circumstances surrounding the sentence. Race is not a factor believe it or not. Grow up no one today owes anyone an apology for what people did in the past.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 02/26/08 - 04:00 pm
0
0
I understand your point

I understand your point jillian, that you think you are trying to make, but it would be more valid on a different comparison. Not that the embezzelment guy shouldnt have gotten a stiffer sentence, but if you dont see the difference in a violent crime and one that isn't, I don't think you understand the concept of your own point you are trying to make. Just MHO!!! =)

MartinezWest Augusta
2
Points
MartinezWest Augusta 02/26/08 - 04:22 pm
0
0
You people are full of crap.

You people are full of crap. Race is always a factor. Crack gets 40 years while cocaine gets probation. Even poor black males get longer sentences than poor white males. That's bull black males more than anybody are sentenced longer for the same crimes other get. And to pablanco black males are more violent than any other. You sound like a person who has been brainwashed. Most people in prison are there for non-violent offenses i.e drug cases. So you have no idea what you are talking about. You always wonder why muderers, and child rapist usually white always get out. Because they want to get prison 60% black and hispanic and only 40% white. Why are most black men in prison for non-violent drug cases. It seem since their so violent according to you it would be full of muderers or rapist not for selling drugs. The highest murder rates in the world are in counties where its white. All of them in europe.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 02/26/08 - 04:57 pm
0
0
you people?

you people?

thugskin
2
Points
thugskin 02/26/08 - 05:01 pm
0
0
Which counties in Europe are

Which counties in Europe are white?

pablanco
0
Points
pablanco 02/26/08 - 05:15 pm
0
0
black men often have priors.

black men often have priors.

dani
12
Points
dani 02/26/08 - 06:15 pm
0
0
Crack, Meth..it's considered

Crack, Meth..it's considered a drug for the lower-class. They get no respect. Doesn't make sense, does it? People should be allowed to use whichever poison they choose.

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Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty will be assigned commanding general at the center and of Fort Gordon, replacing Maj. Gen. Lawarren Patterson.
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