Two men indicted in 2001 stabbing
Two men have been indicted on murder charges in the 2001 stabbing death of Daniel "Mack" McFarland Smith, whose widow, Ashley Smith, gained nationwide celebrity this year as the hostage who led police to Fulton County courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols.
A Columbia County grand jury handed down the indictments Wednesday afternoon, charging Cory Blaine Coggins, 23, and Barry Keith Tabor Jr., 24, said Columbia County sheriff's Maj. Rick Whitaker.
Four years ago this August, Mr. Smith, 23, was stabbed in the heart during a brawl outside Applecross Apartments in Martinez, a brawl police estimated involved 10 to 15 people.
The next day, Tabor and Jairo Humberto Lopez were charged with voluntary manslaughter. A magistrate judge later dropped the charge against Lopez for lack of evidence, and Tabor was never indicted.
Whitaker said Coggins was arrested at the Augusta Diversion Center on Taylor Street at about 5 p.m. He said Tabor was arrested at about 7 p.m. at a residence on Wrightsboro Road in Grovetown.
Grovetown officer is stabbed
An off-duty Grovetown police officer was airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Wednesday after a man rammed his vehicle and then stabbed him in a confrontation, police said.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Gary Nicholson said that officer Robert Eastman's injuries wer not life-threatening but that he did have to undergo surgery.
Nicholson said Wednesday's incident began at 12:10 p.m. when Bill Charles Pate, 44, of the 100 block of Chinook Circle, Grovetown, confronted Eastman at his home off Salford Place involving a "domestic situation.''
Nicholson said Pate also had confronted Eastman at his home Tuesday regarding the same situation. According to an incident report filed after the first confrontation, Eastman said Pate accused him of "sleeping with his wife." whom Eastman said he did not know. According to the agent, the following day Pate followed Eastman in a van as the officer attempted to leave his house in a Chevrolet Corvette. Pate rammed his van into Eastman's vehicle and a confrontation ensued at Salford and Durban drives, where Pate stabbed Eastman, the agent said. Pate was later found and arrested on a charge of aggravated assault.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
School vandalism reported
The principal for South Columbia Elementary School told police Monday that someone had damaged a window at the school.
The principal said someone used a rock to shatter the classroom window at the school, 325 McCormick Road in Martinez.
The estimated damage is $300.
Dog shot in the hip
A Grovetown man told police Tuesday that someone shot his dog in the hip.
The man, who lives in the 600 block of Hamilton Road, said that when he went outside to check on his dog and feed it he realized it had been shot by a small-caliber gun.
The 2-year-old beagle-shepherd mix was not on a leash and had possibly wandered off before being shot, the report states.
The dog was taken to the McDuffie County Animal Clinic to be treated.
Gun reported stolen from vehicle
A Grovetown woman said someone took her .380-caliber gun from her vehicle Tuesday after she went to have her car serviced at a Martinez car dealership.
The woman, who took her car to Milton Ruben Motors Inc., said she had the gun in a storage drawer underneath the passenger seat of the vehicle and discovered it missing when she picked her car up from the dealership, the report states.
The woman said her vehicle is always locked and there was no forced entry into it. The estimated value of the gun is $400.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.