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Thomson nightclub to receive protests

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003

 

Aunsharia Moss, the mother of Aunsharia Moss, pleads with members of the McDuffie County Commission to shut down T&W Cafe Lounge Inc. in Thomson, where her 14-year-old daughter was killed Jan. 1.

Photo by Elwood Hamilton

THOMSON - The alcoholic beverage license of T&W Cafe Lounge Inc., will be examined at a public hearing, the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners recommended last week.

The hearing will be at 5 p.m. Thursday at the McDuffie County Courthouse.

The commissioners' unanimous recommendation for a hearing came at a meeting where Thomson residents expressed anger toward the club in the wake of the Jan. 1 shooting death of 14-year-old Aunsharia Moss on the club's premises. Emotions ran high at the meeting as Aunsharia's friends and family members spoke out against the club.

"They need to do something," said a tearful Antonia Moss, Aunsharia's mother. "I lost my baby, my 14-year-old, my first-born. If they (T&W Cafe Lounge) had better security, she'd probably still be here. I just want them to do something better."

The club has a long history of criminal activity, including a killing in 1992. According to the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office, police have reported at least 31 incidents at the club since 1998.

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At the meeting, McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshal presented a police report concerning the club.

"There were five or six citations, during the (recent) murder, of underage people in the club," he said.

Evidence that the club serves alcohol past 2 a.m., or further evidence showing that the club serves underage customers, could lead to a revocation of T&W Cafe Lounge's alcoholic beverages license.

Many Thomson residents have seen enough of the nightclub.

"I used to live in front (of T&W Cafe Lounge)," Nancy Reynolds told commissioners. "I've seen drug thieves pushing dope. I've seen everything. I've called 911 a thousand times. Some other child will die."

"If you're gonna have a club, it shouldn't be in that (residential) area," Rosa Adams said. "I don't want my daughter killed there."

Several residents lamented the lack of activities available for young people in Thomson, saying that bored teenagers often end up at the T&W Cafe Lounge.

McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton urged people to participate in Thursday's hearing, but not with just hearsay evidence.

"(Participants) must be willing to testify under oath that they personally saw things that are contrary to the alcoholic beverage license," he said.

McDuffie County District Attorney Dennis Sanders echoed the community's outrage.

"Any time you've got problems and law enforcement has to come out to one area multiple times, then you have to be concerned with that particular area," he said.



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