Judge's comment gets conviction overturned
The Georgia Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of an Augusta man accused of killing his mother after reviewing the presiding judge's comments about his two taped confessions.
Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet told the jury during the 2004 trial that confessions made by Tom Edwin Chumley, 57, were made voluntarily.
Chumley was indicted on murder and weapons charges in April 2004, after authorities said he confessed to shooting his mother, Meredith Pete Guy, 74, whose body was found in her Martinez home Feb. 28, 2003. The autopsy revealed that she died of two .22-caliber gunshot wounds to her upper back and head.
The high court concluded that Chumley was undeniably guilty but that Overstreet's comments about the confessions were clearly prejudicial to the jury.
Chumley was sentenced in March 2005 to life in prison plus five years. The seven justices concluded that the comments required a new trial.
No date has been set.
The following accounts were taken from reports provided by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Woman reports $7,000 in fraud
An Evans woman called police Tuesday after discovering nearly $7,000 in fraudulent charges on her Visa card.
She said that between Dec. 18 and 23, someone stole her Visa card out of her mailbox. When she received her credit card statement, she found $6,827 in fraudulent charges.
She said she closed the credit card account.
BB gun attacks target vehicles
Two Martinez residents called police last week and reported their vehicles had been shot with a BB gun.
On Monday, one of the men said that during the night someone had shot the tailgate of his pickup with a BB gun while it was parked at his home. Deputies found four dents in the tailgate and several pellets around the vehicle.
A woman who lives less than a mile from the man reported a similar event to police Tuesday. She said that between Jan. 4 and Tuesday morning, someone shot the rear of her vehicle with a BB gun, shattering the back glass and leaving several dents.
Burglars take safe, computer
An Evans woman told police Tuesday that someone burglarized her home and stole a safe while she was at work.
She said she returned home about 3:30 p.m. and found spin marks made by tires in the side yard of the home. The rear door had been forced open.
A small safe had been stolen from the master bedroom. A computer had been stolen from the living room.
Deputies noted that someone had tried to pry open a window next to a rear door, damaging the screen.
Neighbors report vehicle break-ins
Five residents of Park Way in Martinez called police Tuesday to report a string of early-morning car break-ins.
All five victims said their vehicles had been broken into and gone through Tuesday.
One resident reported a 9 mm handgun was missing from his truck. Another said that a $1 bill was missing from the vehicle's center console. The other three people told police nothing was missing from their vehicles.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.