Teen’s murder trial continues
The trial of a Harlem teen charged in the murder of his neighbor is expected to wrap up this week.
Prosecutors Tuesday began a second day of presenting evidence in the murder trial of Lacy Aaron Schmidt, the 15-year-old accused in the Jan. 31, 2011 shooting death of his 14-year-old neighbor, Alana Calahan.
As a jury was seated for the trial Monday, prosecutors portrayed Schmidt as a cold-blooded killer with an ever-shifting story, while his defense attorney said he should be guilty only of manslaughter in the death of Alana Calahan.
The first witnesses in the case included Calahan’s parents.
Calahan was shot in the back of the head with a gun belonging to her father. Schmidt, a family friend, had been ordered to stay away from the home after Calahan had found him inside when she came home from school, according to tearful testimony from her mother, BettyJo Calahan.
Prior to that incident, she said, Schmidt was treated like a member of the family - often having meals and taking trips with them.
On Tuesday, prosecution witnesses included a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office technician who narrated a video of the bloody crime scene, and the 911 dispatcher who took the frantic call from Calahan’s sister and heard Schmidt’s claim that he had chased an inturder from the Miles Road home.
Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine and Schmidt’s defense attorney, Penelope Donkar, said they expect testimony and closing arguments to continue into Thursday. Then, the jury of seven women and eight men will begin their deliberations.
For live Twitter updates in the case, follow @ValerieRowell or the Twitter feed on www.newstimesonline.com.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org.
Boy claims he was kidnapped
A 9-year-old boy who had been reported missing Saturday told family members that he was held against his will at a friend’s house.
The boy said he was held down by his “shirt and hair” when he tried to leave the house on the 1600 block of Sweet Meadow Lane near Grovetown. He said he was held down by five men, who offered him cake and a “drink in a sippy cup.”
The boy had no signs of an injury.
Authorities contacted the father of the boy’s friend. The father said the boys were playing outside. When they came inside, his wife asked the boy if his parents knew he was at their house and he said yes.
The boy left when the family sat down to dinner but didn’t go home. He later returned to play video games.
After realizing there were several patrol cars in the area, the man’s wife again asked if his parents knew where he was, and he said they didn’t. She took the boy home.
The boy’s mother said her son has ADHD and has lied in the past.
Two 18-year-olds found with drugs
Two Grovetown teens were arrested Friday near the Gateway shopping center for having marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Dylan Drew Weeks, 18, of the 4100 block of Nicoles Way, was charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after deputies found him with 43.6 grams of the drug in addition to a glass smoking pipe, digital scale, grinder and a metal container.
Kasey Melissa Newman, 18, of the 100 block of Pauline Street, was carrying 3.5 grams of marijuana and was charged with simple possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
They both bonded out from the jail Feb. 4. Weeks was released on a $7,600 bond, and Newman’s bond was set at $1,600.
Woman threatens suicide on overpass
Deputies were able to keep a woman from jumping off an overpass above Interstate 20 on Saturday.
The 20-year-old was threatening to commit suicide at about 4 p.m. by jumping off the Baker Place Road overpass.
Authorities arrived at the scene and saw the woman, who was visibly upset, sitting on the overpass with both legs over the edge.
When they tried to get closer to her, she would move closer to the edge. The woman also had a knife in her hand.
As one deputy talked to her to, trying to calm her down, two others walked behind her and pulled her from the edge.
She was taken to Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center for evaluation.
Woman’s ex says he slashed tires
A woman called deputies early Saturday when she saw two tires on her SUV had been punctured.
The woman’s ex-boyfriend admitted to puncturing the tires with a screwdriver. The 25-year-old said he was intoxicated and angry with his ex-girlfriend.
The vehicle was parked on the 3100 block of Gordon Highway near Grovetown.
The woman said she only wanted her tires replaced and didn’t wish to prosecute her ex-boyfriend.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue activity report for Jan. 29 through Feb. 4:
Alarm out of service, three; CPR in progress, one; activated fire alarm, eight; investigations, five; medical incidents, 19; vehicle accident, seven; controlled/unauthorized burn, five; assist citizens, one; structure fire, three; test, three; wood/brush/grass fire, six.