Harbin pleads guilty to reckless driving
State Rep. Ben Harbin pleaded guilty to reckless driving Monday in Atlanta Municipal court.
Harbin was sentenced to 12 months probation, ordered to attend a DUI risk reduction course and must perform 100 hours of community service.
The plea concludes a DUI case that started in May 2007 after a late-night car crash near the Capitol.
Harbin initially was charged with driving under the influence, failing to maintain lane and failing to report striking a fixed object. He refused to submit to a blood test after the wreck, according to authorities.
The House Appropriations Chairman already has paid $1,500 in fines and court costs, his attorney Robert Highsmith said.
Investigator arrested for forging case signatures
A Columbia County sheriff's investigator was charged with nine counts of first-degree forgery and violation of oath by a public officer after she forged victims' names on numerous damaged-property complaints and theft cases, police said.
Brooke Renai Kelly was arrested Friday afternoon and released on a $28,000 bond.
Police discovered the issue after a victim said her case was incorrectly closed and her name had been forged on an official document.
During a sheriff's office investigation, the document, which was a waiver of prosecution, was determined to be forged by Kelly, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said. In addition, the names of eight other complainants or victims were forged by Kelly on nine forms, according to police.
The majority of the victims said they had received a call from Kelly and wanted their cases closed, Morris said, but at least one complainant wanted the investigator to proceed with a complete investigation, including prosecution.
Kelly, who was previously employed by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, was hired in July 2005 by the sheriff's office and transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division in January 2007.
Laziness appears to be the motive, authorities said.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Two residential break-ins and one suspicious incident and were reported Thursday.
A Harlem woman told police that sometime between 7:25 a.m. and 10 a.m. someone broke into her home on George Walton Drive and stole items worth more than $6,500.
The 53-year old said a Dell desktop computer, a Dell laptop, a Remington shotgun, a Samsung flat-screen TV, a range finder and three bows were among the items taken.
The intruder kicked in the back door.
An Appling man checking on his uncle's house called police at 10:10 a.m. after noticing someone had tried to break in to the residence on Goldmine Road.
No items were taken, but someone had used a screwdriver to try and pry open the back door.
An Evans teen visiting her grandparent's house on Old Union Road told police she saw someone running away from the house as she was leaving.
The 18-year-old said that she was inside the Harlem house at about 11 a.m. when she heard noises outside.
She called her father, and he asked her to leave the house.
As she was backing out of the driveway, she saw a tall man wearing a blue sweatshirt running next to the garage. There was no damage reported to the house.
Man arrested again on public drunk charge
An Evans man was cited for public drunkenness after stumbling into traffic near Club Car on Washington Road on Saturday afternoon.
Police received several calls from concerned bystanders, who said they saw Don Giddens fall and roll down the hill in front of American Sportsman on Washington Road.
Another witness said the 46-year-old was attempting to walk into traffic on Washington Road.
Giddens was not able to stand or sit up when police arrived and said he had been drinking at a nearby restaurant.
Giddens' blood alcohol level was 0.219.
He was carrying a half-empty bottle of Vodka inside his backpack.
Giddens was cited for public drunkenness and transported to his house.
On Oct. 18, Giddens was arrested and taken to the Columbia County Detention Center for a similar incident.
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