Bond denied in murder
A Superior Court judge Tuesday denied bond to an Augusta man charged in the fatal shooting of his mother last year.
Tom Edwin Chumley, 54, of the 300 block of Angela Street, pleaded innocent to murder and a weapons charge during his arraignment in a Columbia County courtroom Tuesday, District Attorney Danny Craig said. The charges stem from the February 2003 shooting death of Chumley's mother, 74-year-old Merideth Guy, who was found dead by a relative in her Martinez home. An autopsy found that Guy died from gunshots to the back of her head and upper back.
Chumley surrendered to Columbia County authorities in March and confessed to the shooting. Craig said it is typical for defendants to enter pleas of innocence so their defense attorneys are given more time to prepare a case.
Chief Superior Court Judge William M. Fleming Jr. refused Chumley's request for bond pending the results of Chumley's mental evaluation.
Grovetown city officials are offering a reward for information leading to the person or people who vandalized Liberty Park in January.
On Jan. 21, city maintenance workers discovered all eight windows broken out of the announcer's booth at the park at 1040 Newmantown Road, according to a Grovetown Department of Public Safety report. The dollar bill slot on a soda machine and two loud speakers on the ball field fences were also damaged.
Police found broken cinder blocks near the damage, the report stated.
Public Safety Director A.L. Robinson said there are suspects in the case, but no arrests have been made.
The Grovetown City Council has approved a $200 reward paid to anyone with information leading to an arrest of the vandals, Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Columbia County and Grovetown authorities arrested a former church bus driver for child molestation last week.
Before his arrest by the Grovetown Department of Public Safety on Wednesday, Jimmie Lee Mills, 69, posted a $50,100 bond Tuesday at the Columbia County Detention Center on two counts of child molestation.
Grovetown police said they also arrested Mills' and charged him with a child molestation in connection with an incident that happened in Grovetown, Grovetown Capt. Gary Owens said. Further details were being withheld pending completion of the report, Owens said.
Mills' bond was set for $25,050, and he remained in custody Thursday but was being transported to the Columbia County Detention Center the same day, Owens said.
Mills is accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl in Columbia County, sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
At least one incident occurred on the Providence Baptist Church bus Mills drove as a volunteer, Morris said.
Mills, of the 1300 block of Old Louisville Road, Grovetown, attended Providence, but has since been banned, church Pastor Don Prosser said.
The Augusta church, located at 3850 Wrightsboro Road, recently closed a private school it operated for children up to sixth grade, but the school closing and Mills' arrest are unrelated, Prosser said.
Police are investigating the possibility that Mills may have committed other sex offenses in Richmond County.
An Aiken woman was arrested last week after an attack on a Martinez couple.
Stephanie Velez, 18, and her boyfriend, Richard Manuel Jara, 21, told police they were outside of a friend's residence on the 3700 block of Madison Drive at about 10 p.m. when an acquaintance, Tammy Lynn Carroll, pulled up in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse with two men.
Velez said one of the men exited the car with a baseball bat and struck Jara when Jara tried to shield Velez. Jara then struck the assailant with a stick, according to a sheriff's office report. The bat wielder than started trading blows with one of Velez's friends.
Velez, Jara and their friends ran inside the residence, and later attempted to return to their home on the 700 block of Thoroughbred Lane. They found Carroll had blocked the intersection of Blackstone Camp Road at Furys Ferry Road with her car, and Velez and Jara retreated to Madison Drive when two men with bats got out of Carroll's vehicle and ran toward them.
Carroll told police she went to the Madison Drive home to find out about someone who assaulted her May 23, when one of her friends was struck on the head with a crowbar.
No one was arrested at that time due to conflicting statements, according to the police report.
Carroll, 32, of the 500 block of J. Green Circle in Aiken, later was arrested and charged with terroristic acts or threats and harassing phone calls, according to jail records.
She posted a $6,100 bond and was released early Wednesday.
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