Tipsters offer leads in slaying
Police said Tuesday they had developed a "substantial lead" in the 3-year-old unsolved slaying of Daniel "Mack" Smith Jr. after recent calls from tipsters to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The calls came after the victim's widow, Ashley Smith, attracted nationwide attention this past weekend as the hostage of Brian Nichols, who is accused of killing a judge, a court reporter, a deputy and a customs agent in Atlanta.
Before leading police to her captor, Smith said she spent seven hours talking to him in her Duluth, Ga., apartment, at one point mentioning her husband's unsolved homicide.
Mr. Smith died in August 2001 after he was stabbed in the heart during a brawl outside Applecross Apartments in Martinez.
Police estimate the brawl involved 10 to 15 people, including Mrs. Smith. Two people were charged with voluntary manslaughter, but investigators were unable to establish a clear chain of events or find a witness to testify.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Principal reports damage to cable
The principal of Evans Middle School told police Monday someone damaged an Internet cable line that was connected to one of the school's portable buildings.
The principal said he discovered the cable line down March 12.
On Monday, authorities said the wire had been intentionally pulled down and that its damage was not weather-related.
The total estimated value of damage was $300.
Blanchard Park urinals damaged
Urinals in the men's bathrooms at Blanchard Park were found damaged Monday.
A Martinez employee for the county's recreation department said the incident at the 4541 Dewey Drive park seemed to have occurred as the result of someone using a hammer to break the urinals.
A Columbia County Sheriff's Office report stated that the problem is ongoing at the park. The total estimated value of the damage was $400.
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