Drugs taken in robbery
Columbia County deputies Friday were searching for an armed man who stole drugs from an Evans pharmacy.
A man wearing camoflage clothing, with a net over his head, brandished a handgun at the CVS Pharmacy on North Belair Road at Furys Ferry Road just as the store opened, said Sheriff’s Capt. Sharif Chochol.
The man vaulted the pharmacy counter, took an undetermined number of prescription medications and then fled the store on foot, Chochol said.
He was described as white, about 6-foot-2, wearing woodland camoflage and a ball cap.
An Evans man was sentenced to prison Thursday after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide for a 2010 wreck that killed a Grovetown woman.
Daniel Edwin Morales, 40, pled guilty to first degree vehicular homicide related to reckless driving and serious injury by vehicle in connection to the November 2010 wreck in which Phyllis Autry, 54, died and her husband, Paul Autry, was seriously injured.
Superior Court Judge J. David Roper sentenced Morales to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years on probation, per a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.
At about 9:30 a.m. on November 20, 2010, the Autrys were driving east on Washington Road near Blanchard Road, when they were hit head on by Morales. He was driving between 74 and 94 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road.
He was indicted on nine charges including vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and driving too fast for conditions.
Mrs. Autry died at the hospital from blunt force injuries. Her husband was seriously injured and is still unable to walk and requires more surgeries.
As part of the plea agreement, Morales will have to pay the restitution above and beyond what medical costs his insurance company would pay to Mr. Autry. That amount will be determined at a later hearing.
5th student charged
A fifth Greenbrier High School student was arrested Thursday for involvement in the May 11 incident in which the school’s exterior door locks were filled with glue.
The student, a 15-year-old male, was booked into the Columbia County Detention Center on a charge of second-degree criminal damage to property, a felony, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris in an email.
The name of the student, an Evans resident, was not released “based on his age, charge and the fact that he has no prior criminal history,” Morris said.
Morris also would not disclose details of the boy’s involvement in the incident, or whether he is related to any of the four female Greenbrier seniors previously charged in the case.The boy later was released to the custody of his parents.
Depicted as a “senior prank,” the case arose when Greenbrier staffers arrived at school May 11 and found the locks on 43 exterior doors had been filled with Super glue.
School officials suspended senior privileges that had been planned for that day and offered a reward for information leading to the culprits. Other students provided information that led to the arrests of four girls on charges of second-degree criminal damage to property, a felony.
Brooklyn Leigh Bella, 17, Elizabeth Sutton Metz, 17, Dynisha Antoinette Clemons, 17, and Kristin Arey Tannehill, 18, all were booked into the Columbia County Detention Center and later released after each posted $2,600 bonds, officials said.
The girls were not allowed to march in Saturday’s graduation ceremonies, and will not be allowed to pick up their high school diplomas until they repay the more than $5,100 cost to repair the locks at the school.
A Grovetown man was recently arrested after his stepson accused him of molestation.
Ronald Wade Stanley, 44, of the 400 block of Millwater Court, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sexual exploitation of children.
On March 29, a Decatur, Ga., man told Columbia County deputies that his 13-year-old son confided in his psychologist that Stanley, his stepfather, sexually assaulted him. The boy told the psychologist that starting in 2007, Stanley involved him in sexual activity and introduced him to pornography, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
The psychologist immediately contacted the Dekalb County Department of Family and Children Services. The boy hasn’t been back to the home shared by Stanley and his mother since his admission.
Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said the sheriff’s office is part of a multi-agency Cyber-Crime and Computer Exploitation Task Force that last month seized several items, including a laptop computer and external hard drive, from Stanley’s home. Stanley was arrested the same day.
Stanley is being held without bond in the Columbia County Detention Center, according to jail records. He was scheduled for a bond hearing Friday.
Inmate assaults jailer
An inmate at the Columbia County jail was charged Tuesday for assaulting a jailer.
Dennis Joe Tilley, 23, of Grovetown, was charged with willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer after he lunged at and punched a deputy jailer when told to pack his property and move to a different section of the jail, according to a sheriff’s office report.
The incident started at about 8 p.m. when the jailer told Tilley to remain on his bunk for failing to make his bed. Tilley instead walked out of his cell to get juice.
The jailer then told Tilley he was being moved to another area of the jail and to pack his belongings.
Tilley threw his property box against the wall before charging at the jailer and hitting his jaw.
The jailer struck Tilley in the face to stop the attack. He and another jailer took Tilley to the ground, where he was handcuffed and placed on lock-down.
Tilley has been at the jail since April 4, charged with simple battery. He initially was arrested for pinning his father to the ground and hitting him repeatedly.
Bond for Tilley is set at $3,200.
An Evans-based contractor was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Tuesday for harboring illegal immigrants and using them in his construction business.
Hugo Diaz will get credit for the six months he’s already served and will be recommended for deportation to his native Mexico upon his release early next year.
Diaz’s attorney, Brian McEvoy, requested a departure from the sentence guidelines and the U.S. Attorney’s Office had no objection to a sentence at the lower end of the recommended 12 to 18 months confinement. But U.S. District Judge Randal Hall said from the bench that a reduced sentence wouldn’t convey the seriousness of the charge.
“This is a practice that cannot be tolerated,” Hall said.
Wednesday’s sentencing caps a saga that started in November, when federal and local law enforcement swarmed on the home Diaz shared with his wife, Blanca.
An indictment charged the couple with harboring aliens, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Diaz and his wife both pled guilty in February in exchange for the U.S. Attorney’s Office dropping all but one of their charges. Blanca Diaz was sentenced a few days later, received credit for time served and was deported.
At the sentence hearing Wednesday, neighbors and business partners praised Diaz as a “good man” and a loving father and husband. They said he was living the American dream by building up a business from scratch after coming to the United States illegally in 2004.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Man makes sons stand outside naked, yells at them as punishment
An Evans woman called authorities to her apartment complex Monday after seeing her neighbor yell at his sons, who were standing naked in the breezeway.
The woman said she looked through her door’s peephole at about 11:30 p.m. at Westwood Club Apartments and saw her neighbor yelling at his naked sons, who were crying and standing next to each other.
When she opened the door, the man sent his children inside and said he was teaching them a lesson for leaving a jacket at school. The man asked that she not call the sheriff’s office.
He initially told deputies that he, his wife and two sons were playing “truth or dare.” He said the boys, ages 7 and 8, were wearing shorts while standing outside.
One of the boys admitted that his father was mad at him for leaving his jacket at school.
The man later said that his sons were helping him move furniture and took off their clothes because they were hot in the home.
After finding out about the jacket, he said he made them step outside so he could teach them a lesson about the value of clothing.
No further action was taken.
Appling boy attacked by neighbor’s dog
An Appling boy was attacked by a neighbor’s dog while walking home from his uncle’s house.
The boy said he and his brother were walking on the 3200 block of Jacqueline Drive when the dog jumped on him, knocking him to the ground.
The dog bit his left arm and scratched him before his neighbor called the dog and put it in his truck.
The boy had cuts on his left and right arm as well as small scratches on his neck, cheek and abdomen.
The dog’s owner had already left the scene when deputies arrived.