Trial to begin in plant shooting
The trial of a Hephzibah man accused of shooting a Columbia County wastewater treatment plant employee is expected to start Monday.
Thomas Eugene Bradford, 43, is accused of fatally shooting 38-year-old Raymond V. Lee, of Grovetown, at a Martinez wastewater treatment plant.
Authorities say Bradford, a driver for Thomson-based Hudsons Grassing Co. Inc., and Lee argued at the Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Martinez on April 1. Witnesses said that during the argument and fight between the men, Bradford brandished a pistol and shot Lee.
Bradford called 911 and waited at the scene until he was arrested.
In May, Bradford was indicted for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He pled not guilty to those charges in June.
Charges dropped in knife attack
Aggravated assault charges against an Evans man were dropped Monday during a preliminary hearing.
Caleb John Schafner, 26, of the 500 block of Edgecliff Lane, was arrested Jan. 16 and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Schafner’s 25-year-old girlfriend accused him of stabbing her in the upper leg with a knife. A friend called 911, and sheriff’s deputies found a trail of blood from the front door to where the victim was sitting in the living room of the home.
The charges against Schafner were dropped at a preliminary hearing Monday, said Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ashley Wright.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Teens arrested on theft charge
Two Martinez teens were arrested Tuesday morning after a Martinez woman found them digging through items in her golf car.
Logan Chandler Morris, 17, and a 15-year-old, both of Martinez, were charged with theft by taking and criminal trespass.
Morris, who also was charged with driving without a license, was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a $4,800 bond, according to jail records.
The 15-year-old was sent to the Regional Youth Detention Center.
A 49-year-old woman told deputies that someone knocked on the door of her Old Ferry Road home at about 10 a.m. She didn’t answer, but saw Morris and the 15-year-old standing on her porch.
She said that after a few minutes the pair walked under her carport, where the 15-year-old lifted the seat of her golf car and rifled through items placed there.
The woman confronted the teens, who tried to leave in a Chevrolet S-10 truck. The woman flagged down a nearby deputy, who stopped the truck.
When asked why they were at the house, Morris said they were looking for a black dog that jumped out of the truck. Morris became very nervous when the deputy said he didn’t see any dog in the truck when it passed his patrol car on Old Ferry Road.
In the truck, the deputy found a weed trimmer and blower stolen from an Evans home on Dunes Drive on Monday. Morris claimed he didn’t know who the items belonged to.
Man threated on Facebook
An Evans man told deputies Wednesday that a friend and several other people threatened to hurt him on Facebook.
The 29-year-old said he commented on a friend’s post on the social networking Web site. His friend responded with a threat to “break his bones.” Her threat led to several others making threats against the man.
The deputy saw the threat from the man’s friend and more than 30 people making more than 150 comments replying to her comment. Many posters called the man vulgar names and wrote that they wanted to beat him up.
The report provided no details on the Facebook comments.
Man is accused of stealing van
A Grovetown woman called deputies Tuesday after a man stole a junk van he was supposed to purchase.
The woman said that just before 3 p.m., a man offered to buy the van for scrap, agreeing to pay $200. The man then towed the van away without paying. She said he drove a black pickup and pulled the van with a tow strap.