Evans student charged with attacking teacher
An Evans High School student was arrested Wednesday after a teacher said he assaulted her.
Brandon Manuel, 18, of Branford Drive in Martinez, was charged with simply battery of a public school employee. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Wednesday after posting a $1,600 bond, according to jailers.
A 55-year-old teacher said she walked into a colleague’s room to check on the students and asked Manuel to put his bookbag on the floor, according to a sheriff’s office incident report. He threw it on the floor and the teacher said he needed to show respect for his teacher. She said Manuel said, “You’re not my teacher,” and to get out of his face. He then pushed the teacher twice in the chest and left the room.
The teacher was not injured.
Man gets prison for fatal wreck
The man charged in the Sept. 12 traffic death of 19-year-old Jordan Elizabeth White was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in the case Thursday in Columbia County Superior Court.
Lucky Wade Jackson, 43, of Evans, pled guilty to first degree vehicular homicide and running a red light. Following the recommendation of prosecutors, Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Jackson to 12 years in prison, followed by four years of probation, along with alcohol treatment and restitution. Brown also ordered Jackson to serve 500 hours of community service speaking publicly about the consequences of substance abuse and intoxicated driving.
Jackson was intoxicated when his truck hit and killed White, of Martinez, on Sept. 12. His blood-alcohol concentration was .281, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Jackson was driving his Ford F-250 pickup west on Washington Road shortly before midnight when he ran the red light at Ronald Reagan Drive and slammed into the driver’s side of the 2001 Honda Accord driven by White, who was turning left to head east on Washington Road, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office accident report.
White was airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she later died. Her two passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Dean’s daughter allegedly recants allegations
Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean’s daughter testified in that he molested her, but allegedly recanted that story recently in a letter to his wife.
Scott Dean was convicted of two counts of child molestation in December 2011. He’s serving a 20-year prison sentence at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga.
He was accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his teenage daughter, then 15. She is one of five children Scott Dean and his wife, Renee, adopted from Guatemala in 2008. The girl claimed Scott Dean entered her room at night and touched her. He denied the charges when he testified at the trial.
Renee Dean said she received a letter in mid-February from the now 18-year-old girl, who was living in foster care, recanting the allegations she made against Scott Dean. A copy of the letter also was sent to Scott Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion. The girl has since moved back into the Dean home.
Renee Dean and Theodocion did not provide a copy of the letter, and District Attorney Ashley Wright said Wednesday that she had not been made aware of such a letter or any alleged recantations.
Theodocion, who said he’s confirmed with the girl that she wrote the letter, argued at Scott Dean’s trial and at a June 2012 hearing for a motion for a new trial that the allegations against Dean were fabricated.
Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. didn’t allow testimony that the girl previously lied by telling a Guatemalan judge her biological father killed her brother. The oldest of the adopted children, Marlin Dean, testified that the false testimony was an attempt to get the children out of an abusive home and into an orphanage.
At the June hearing, a prosecutor said the testimony wasn’t allowed because it didn’t involve a sex crime and the law allows attorneys to only present testimony of false accusations involving sexual misconduct.
Theodocion’s appeal of Dean’s motion for a retrial to the Court of Appeals of Georgia has not yet been decided. State Appeals Court Clerk Holly Sparrow said she expects a judgment to be handed down before the end of July.
Theodocion said he plans to ask the Appeals Court to remand Scott Dean’s case back to the trial court, where Theodocion plans to file an extraordinary motion for a new trial. That motion is one typically filed when new evidence is presented after a conviction.
Former deputy’s trial ended in mistrial
The trial of a former Columbia County sheriff’s deputy accused of inappropriately touching an inmate ended in a mistrial Tuesday.
Dererk Wayne McClure, 42, was indicted for sexual assault against a person in custody in February 2011.
The trial began Monday and ended when Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. declared a mistrial Tuesday afternoon, according to Assistant District Attorney Laura Stewart, who prosecuted the case.
“They got a mistrial while they were playing a (videotaped) statement of the defendant, where it was discussed whether or not he would take a polygraph,” District Attorney Ashley Wright said.
Brown made what Wright called a “standard” ruling not to allow polygraph results as evidence unless it was agreed to by the prosecution and the defense. Any reference to them would cause a mistrial. Allowing the taped interview to mention the polygraph to the jurors was “inadvertent,” Wright said.
McClure’s trial will be rescheduled.
He was fired and arrested Nov. 3. A female inmate of the Columbia County Detention Center told police on Oct. 27 that McClure sexually assaulted her while transporting her from her home to the jail the previous night.
The indictment accuses McClure of touching her breast.
Former deputy arrested
A former Columbia County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Tuesday after he was caught soliciting business for personal injury attorneys.
Former Staff Sgt. David Ronald Kitchens, 48, was charged with computer theft and violation of oath by a public officer.
On Feb. 22, a concerned citizen alerted Columbia County Sheriff’s Office officials that Kitchens was soliciting business for personal injury attorneys, according to a statement from Capt. Steve Morris. An internal investigation revealed Kitchens also was using the sheriff’s office computer system to print accident reports for private citizens and attorneys, which is a violation of sheriff’s office policies.
Kitchens was fired on Feb. 25 and arrested on Tuesday
Kitchens, a former Burke County Sheriff’s office employee, worked for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office since December 1994.
Kitchens was booked into and released from the Columbia County Detention Center Tuesday evening after posting a $10,000 bond, according to jail records.
Appling man sentenced for attacking women
An Appling man accused of attacking women in three counties in 2010 was sentenced to prison Monday.
Just before jury selection began in the trial of Michael Claude Maxwell, 47, he pled guilty to several charges connected to assaults of women in Columbia and Richmond as part of a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office, according to Assistant District Attorney Grant Usry.
The incidents including a third in Edgefield County happened on July 23, 2010.
Maxwell pled guilty to kidnapping and aggravated assault for Columbia County incident where he assaulted and attempted to kidnap a woman from her Evans driveway. He also pled guilty to criminal attempt to commit kidnapping with bodily injury, criminal attempt to commit robbery and aggravated assault for attacking a woman in the Augusta Mall parking lot.
Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Maxwell to 90 years with the first 20 to be served in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Usry.
Maxwell also faces the possibility of life in prison in South Carolina for criminal attempt to commit murder, kidnapping, and breaking and entering with bodily injury. Usry said. He’s accused of breaking into a home, beating a man and kidnapping his wife.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office:
Men break into couple’s home
A Martinez couple told authorities Monday that they awoke to two men kicking in their door.
The couple said they were in bed just before noon and woke to the sound of two men kicking in their side door. The intruders came inside and asked for “James.” The couple said they didn’t know a James and were the only two in the house.
The intruders looked around the house briefly then ran out the door.
A neighbor said he saw two men walk across his lawn before hearing a loud banging. About 15 minutes later, the woman came to his home asking if he’d seen the incident.
Motorist brandished gun
A woman said a fellow motorist pointed a gun at her because she wouldn’t let him out in traffic Monday.
A passenger in the car with a 22-year-old woman said they were headed west on Washington Road near near Wendy’s in Martinez at about 2:50 p.m., when traffic in the outside lane stopped and a green Buick was trying to exit Wendy’s and cross the road. The woman said her friend wasn’t able to stop and let the vehicle through, making the Buick driver angry because he had to slam on brakes. The driver yelled at the women.
At the intersection of Washington Road at Bobby Jones, the Buick pulled up next to the women in the car. The driver pointed a gun at the women and and threatened them. The woman pulled forward and as her passenger called 911.
The Buick turned north off Washington Road. The women said they were scared and pulled in behind a nearby building, but the Buick was already parked there. The driver pointed the gun at her a second time, then left.
Men break into woman’s bedroom
A Grovetown woman called authorities Monday after she said three men broke into her daughter’s bedroom.
The 48-year-old woman said her daughter said three men came into their Huntington Drive home through an unlocked door and used a knife to pry open the locked door of the bedroom she was in. The intruders yelled at her using profane language, then left.