Bond granted in sex case
A former Greenbrier High School student accused of sex crimes against three schoolmates was released from jail Tuesday after receiving a $20,000 bond in a Columbia County court.
Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet set the bond amount earlier in the day for Thryshaun Ronta McCladdie, 19, of Appling.
On Aug. 6, a grand jury indicted McCladdie on two counts of sexual battery, one count of child molestation and one count of rape. Judge James G. Blanchard initially denied McCladdie bond pending the results of a psychological evaluation. In another hearing last month, Overstreet decided not to proceed with the mental exam.
Overstreet on Tuesday granted bond on the conditions that McCladdie continue living with his parents, stay off school-owned property, have no contact with the alleged victims and abide by a 7 p.m. curfew unless he is working.
McCladdie was arrested April 28 after a 15-year-old classmate accused him of raping her in the school's gym. While working on the case, Columbia County sheriff's investigators became aware of another sexual assault McCladdie is suspected of committing in March, and a third student later came forward to accuse McCladdie of assaulting her in a girl's bathroom at the school.
Crime largely drops
Burglaries are down, but juvenile offenses continue to climb for 2003, according to updated crime statistics released by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office last week.
Ninety-two burglaries were committed in the county between July and September. There were 119 burglaries committed during the same months last year. There have been 103 fewer burglaries so far this year than there were at the end of September 2002.
Part One crimes - murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and arson - are down by 191 incidents so far for the year. The only increases were in murder, by two, and rape, by five.
Traffic incidents, including DUI arrests and accidents, also are down across the board, dropping by 3.5 percent for the nine months of the year.
Juvenile offenses continue to rise. There were 16 more juvenile offenses in the third quarter of 2003 than there were in 2002. So far this year, there have been 591 reported juvenile offenses, which is 83 more than this time last year.
Category Jan-Sept 2003 Jan-Sept 2002 Percent change
Overall crime totals 3,764 3,562 - 5.1
Battery 125 78 + 60.3
Shoplifting 78 150 - 48.0
DUI Arrests 264 317 - 15.7
Rape 14 9 + 55.6
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
A Grovetown man was beaten at his home and then at a convenience store early Tuesday morning.
Robert Lee Roscoe told police that a man followed him home about 1:15 a.m. Roscoe got out of his car as the man approached him. He described the man as agitated and then began hitting Roscoe, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report. They wrestled for a few minutes, and the man left, the report stated.
Roscoe said he later went to the Circle K store at 398 South Belair Road where another man, sharing the first suspect's last name, asked him about the previous incident, according to the report. Roscoe told him what happened, and then that man began hitting him, the report stated.
While at her father's house collecting money for a job, an Appling woman told police that her cousin stole her truck Monday afternoon.
Tiffany Lynn Eubanks said her cousin, Delmar Leon Richardson, was waiting in Eubanks' 1992 Ford Ranger while she got paid for work they both did for her father, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
While inside, she said Richardson left with the truck, the report stated. Eubanks told police that she and her father then got into his car and chased after Richardson.
Eubanks did not initially call police because her cousin had only recently been released from prison, according to the report. Her father called authorities after Richardson nearly ran him off the road.
Officers caught up with Richardson and stopped him. Eubanks refused to prosecute her cousin for car theft, but police arrested him for driving on a suspended license, DUI and an open-container violation.
Stolen campaign sign
A recent Columbia County Board of Commissioners candidate reported to police that one of his opponents stole a campaign sign just before Election Day.
Sam Jones told deputies that as he passed by an abandoned Humble Gas Station at 543 Lewiston Road in Grovetown on Monday morning, he saw that someone had taken down one of his political signs and put it behind the station.
He said he replaced the sign, but as he passed by the station again two hours later, he said the sign had been stolen, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
In the report, Jones stated that he thought one of his political opponents was responsible for the theft.
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