Code officer fired for entering woman’s home
A Columbia County Code Compliance officer accused of going into a Martinez woman’s home uninvited on July 2 was fired Monday.
The Columbia County sheriff’s investigators completed an investigation Friday into the incident in which Code Compliance Officer Jimmy Vowell was accused of entering a Martinez woman’s home without permission.
Capt. Steve Morris said Vowell won’t be charged because of a lack of criminal intent in Vowell’s entry into the home. The findings of the investigation were released to Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson, who announced on Monday that Vowell was terminated for violating policy and making false statements to his supervisor.
Erica Masters said she woke July to Vowell talking to her from her bedroom doorway.
Vowell was there to serve a violation notice to Masters for having overgrown grass. He claimed he smelled something coming from the house and called out several times, according to a Facebook message Vowell sent to News-Times Publisher Barry Paschal. Vowell said he sensed something was wrong and that the door swung open when he knocked.
Vowell asked Masters to come outside to sign the notice and waited in her living room as she dressed. Masters said she called 911, but when the dispatcher found out the man inside her home was a county employee, the dispatcher transferred her to Vowell’s supervisor and didn’t send a deputy to her home.
Masters said she left a message with the supervisor, and the sheriff’s office contacted her for a statement the next morning. Masters also provided footage of the incident from surveillance video cameras inside and outside of her home.
Driver arrested after chase
Columbia County authorities arrested on drugs and weapons charges a driver who led deputies on a high-speed chase in Martinez on Friday.
Shortly before 2 p.m., Columbia and Richmond County deputies went to the home of Joshua David Chosewood, 22, off Old Trail Road West, after receiving a tip about methamphetamine, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Staff Sgt. Mike Williamson.
Before the deputies approached him, Chosewood got in his Pontiac Vibe and drove away at speeds up to 100 mph, Williamson said.
Chosewood eventually drove into the Hillbrook neighborhood and into the driveway of his mother’s home on Forest Drive, where he was taken into custody.
Deputies found about two grams of methamphetamine and a handgun among items they say Chosewood threw from his vehicle during the chase, Williamson said.
He has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and theft by receiving stolen property, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
Chosewood, who also is charged with two probation violations, is being held without bond in the Columbia County Detention Center, Morris said.
Judge denies bond for teens
An Evans teen charged with raping and molesting a 12-year-old girl will remain in jail, as will a 19-year-old Grovetown teen accused of kidnapping and raping at 13-year-old girl.
During hearings Friday in Evans, Superior Court Senior Judge Albert M. Pickett refused to grant a bond for Blake Davis Weems, 17, of Quinn Drive, who is charged with rape and aggravated child molestation.
He was arrested June 12 after a 13-year-old girl told her parents that he molested her beginning last summer, when she was 12.
The girl said Weems forced her to have sex and commit other sex acts with him, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s office incident report.
Pickett denied bond, but said he’d reconsider it if a proposal involved an electronic monitoring device.
Weems is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center.
Pickett also denied bond for Ismail Asad Jenkins, 19, of Felmellow Drive in Grovetown, who is charged with rape, child molestation and kidnapping.
On June 1, a 13-year-old Grovetown girl was walking her dogs on Second Avenue, when she said Jenkins began following her.
Jenkins forced the mentally-challenged girl into a abandoned mobile home on Second Avenue where he raped her, said Grovetown Department of Public Safety Investigator James Tredore.
Jenkins is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Soccer player attacked referee
A soccer referee called authorities Sunday afternoon claiming a player attacked him during a game.
The 27-year-old referee said he was working a soccer game at Patriot’s Park in Grovetown just before 4 p.m., when he made a call a particular player didn’t like. The player yelled at the referee, stomped on his feet and kicked his shins.
As the referee pulled a red flag on him, the player pushed his arm away and did it again as the referee attempted to raise the red flag a second time.
The player grabbed the referee’s neck and choked him. Other players broke up the scuffle. The referee said he began coughing up blood and went to a hospital to be checked, then called authorities.
The referee said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to prosecute.
Man finds bullet hole in house
A Harlem man told deputies Sunday that someone shot his house.
The 62-year-old man said he was sitting in his living room at about 8:30 p.m., when he heard a loud pop against the wall of his house. When he looked to see what caused the sound, the man said he found a bullet hole beside his front porch light.
The man tried to dig the bullet out from inside the house, but was unable to.
Neighbors told deputies they didn’t hear gunshots.
Man, son see would-be burglar
A Grovetown man called authorities late Saturday after his son found a would-be burglar sneaking away from their home.
The 47-year-old man said his son told him that at about 11:45 p.m., someone rang the doorbell of their Parham Road home. When the man’s son looked outside, he didn’t see anyone. But the boy woke up his father, who also didn’t see anyone.
The man went back to bed, but his son woke him up again claiming someone was on the porch. The boy said after his father went back to bed, he heard rustling in the bushes and saw a person dressed in all black and wearing a ski mask. The intruder walked off the porch and through the yard to the road.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue activity report for July 1-7:
Medical calls, 23; investigations, nine; wood/brush/grass fires, nine; activated fire alarms, eight; vehicle wrecks, seven; damage from inclement weather, six; structure fires, five; controlled/unauthorized burns, four; electrical incidents, three; mutual aid/public safety assistance, two; activated carbon monoxide detector, one; CPR in progress, one; other fires, one; ruptured gas line, one; assist citizens, one; and rescue incidents, one.