The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Man gets life for murder of Augusta woman
A Martinez man received a life sentence in the murder of an Augusta woman two years ago.
Richmond County Superior Court Judge Carlisle Overstreet handed down the sentence to Michael Wayne Bryant Jr. for the murder of 57-year-old Edith Ann Haynes.
Bryant also was sentenced concurrently to 20 years for burglary and 20 years for arson in the first degree.
During the trial, prosecutors said Bryant murdered Haynes because he did not have the final $25,000 payment on the Smith Drive home he was purchasing from her. Bryant already had recorded a fake deed with Haynes' knowledge, which would have been revealed when she did not receive the payment by Nov. 15, 2000.
An autopsy revealed Haynes had been strangled before the fire was set at her home in Windsor Court Mobile Home Park, where she was found Nov. 15.
Bryant has 30 days to appeal. If the conviction is upheld, he will be eligible for parole in 32 years.
Student fraud asking for money
Two Martinez residents fell victim to a person posing as an Evans High School student asking for money for a school trip.
Patricia Sue Dominy, 39, of 432 Wade Plantation Road, Martinez, answered a knock at her door, where stood a young black female claiming to be Precious Bratts, who was a member of the school debate team. Bratts told Dominy she was raising money for a team trip, so Dominy gave her a $30 check made out to United Family Circulations Inc.
Dominy later found out from her son that the team was planning no trip and no one by Bratts' name or description is a member of the team.
A neighbor, Mark Mitchell Blanchard, 45, of 428 South Old Belair Road, also believed the young woman who approached him at his residence on the same afternoon. He wrote a $90 check made out to the same organization. Blanchard found out later that day from Dominy that Bratts was a fraud and canceled his check.
Burglary attempted on neighboring Martinez homes
Burglars attempted to get inside two neighboring homes on Boulder Trail in Martinez recently.
Geraldine Ruth Lobb, 65, of 3766 Boulder Trail, reported $150 damage to the back glass door, where burglars attempted, but did not gain, entry to her home, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident report stated. Lobb found nothing missing and nothing else damaged.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a residential alarm at 3768 Boulder Trail, owned by William Charles Bohling, 68, the same day. Deputies found the front window screen and the interior draperies in that window hanging through the window, the report said.
Upon further investigation, deputies found a ladder placed against the back of the house to access a top-floor balcony only accessible from inside the home, and a damaged birdfeeder.
Owner found horse shot
An Augusta horse owner visited her horse in Grovetown to find it had been shot.
Brenda Lynn Boswell, 34, of Augusta, was brushing her yellow Palomino horse at 5046 Wells St., Grovetown, when she noticed three separate gunshot wounds near the horse's neck and shoulder, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident report stated.
Caller harasses veterinarian
An Augusta man who brought in an deathly ill dog last month is suspected of harassing a Martinez veterinarian at her office.
Tammy Hux, veterinarian at Columbia Road Veterinary Centre on Columbia Road, has received many harassing phone calls from someone she thinks is the man.
The man brought in a very ill dog Oct. 18, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident report stated. The staff treated the dog Oct. 18, but was doubtful the dog would recover. It died Oct. 21, which is when the harassing calls began, the report stated.
Recently, while Hux checked her e-mail, she received an instant message from a screen name she believes is the man. The message was "Animal Murders."
The Martinez Fire Department responded to the following calls during the week of Nov. 17-Nov. 23: structure fires, four; vehicle fires, three; controlled burn, one; fire alarms, 10; carbon monoxide, one; medical calls, 11; rescue calls, four; public service, four; public safety assistance, one.
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