Augusta man convicted in Grovetown murder
A Columbia County jury on Friday convicted one of five men charged in a 2008 Grovetown home invasion and killing.
After a weeklong trial and four hours of deliberation, the jury found Karmbi Octavious Young, 20, of Augusta, guilty of murder, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of marijuana.
Young is the first to be tried of five Augustans charged in the Sept. 24 shooting death of Ricky Gibson, 33.
Gibson's girlfriend, Alexis Yates, told police that four masked men broke into the home she shared with him, threatened to shoot her and her 3-month-old son, and fatally shot her boyfriend.
Yates escaped with her baby, but said she heard Gibson scream and gunshots.
Police arrested Young shortly after the incident in a car with Patrick Booker, 20, near Pumpkin Center. He was one of three men Yates identified as the men who forced their way into her home, put a gun into her baby's mouth and threatened to shoot all three residents.
Also charged in the case are Booker; Willie Bernard Butler Jr., 20; Martin Napoleon Holmes, 18; and Garland Ray Pittman, 15. All are being held without bond.
Young could receive up to two life sentences plus 90 years for the offenses, according to prosecutors. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Appling man charged in shooting
An Appling man was arrested Friday in the shooting of his great-nephew during an argument at their home, according to Columbia County authorities.
Carlton Timothy Hardin, 61, of the 3400 block of Ray Owens Road, is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
The shooting occurred about 8 p.m. at Hardin's home, where he lived with his great-nephew Charles Clifton Norris, 31, Morris said. Norris was shot once in the abdomen and taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Morris said.
During dinner, the two men started arguing about whether guns were allowed in New York, according to a sheriff's office incident report. Hardin's sister told police she got between them, after which the men went to their bedrooms. When Norris returned to the kitchen, Hardin followed and shot him on the left side, the report stated.
An MCG spokeswoman on Monday said she had no information on Norris' condition.
Hardin was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center Tuesday with a $32,700 bond, according to jail records.
Poachers behead Evans alligator
A 9-foot living in an Evans pond was killed and dismembered by poachers over the weekend, according to the property owner.
Late Saturday night, someone cut off the alligator's head, tail and front legs, said Donnie Brown, owner of Brown Feed & Seed off Washington Road.
The alligator, estimated to weigh more than 200 pounds, lived in a swampy pond on property behind the store and had become an attraction in recent years.
Brown said it is likely the thieves brought a chain saw or reciprocating saw with them .
The remaining portion of the gator carcass was found by workers Monday morning.
Brown reported the incident to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which is asking for the public's help in solving the crime.
Though certain Georgia counties has a season for alligator hunting, the season is not open , said Law Enforcement Sgt. Doyte Chaffin of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. Columbia County does not have an alligator population viable to hunt, Chaffin said.
The offenders could face charges including trespassing, hunting in a closed season and possession of illegally taken wildlife, he said.
Anyone with information about the gator slaying can contact the regional DNR law enforcement office at (706) 737-1480. Tipsters can also use Georgia's Turn In Poachers 24-hour hot line, (800) 241-4113 .
Hair caught under car traps teen
Emergency responders freed a teen from her overturned car Monday by cutting her hair, which had slipped out the car's sunroof and pinned her inside.
Police said Amber Boswell, 17, of Landing Drive in Grovetown, lost control of her Saturn on Baker Place Road near Interstate 20. Columbia County sheriff's Deputy Mark Smith said the vehicle flipped and landed upside down. Boswell's hair was caught under the car.
Boswell and four teenage passengers had minor injuries, authorities said. She was cited for traveling too fast, failure to maintain lane and violating driver's license restrictions by having more than three passengers, Smith said.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Evans man held in store robbery
An Evans man, who is a registered sex offender, was arrested early Monday and charged with robbing a convenience store.
Rodney Maurice Faulks, 31, of the 3300 block of Sullivan-Hartfield Road, was charged with robbery by intimidation. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.
Just after midnight Sunday, the clerk of the Sprint Foods store at 424 S. Belair Road said a man entered the store and demanded the clerk put money into a bag.
The robber, who never brandished a weapon, left out the front door to the north side of the building.
A sheriff's office dog unit led deputies to 413 Beverly Road, a Martinez home near the store, where Faulks was arrested without incident.
Woman arrested in theft of rocker
An Evans woman was arrested Sunday after she was caught stealing a rocking chair from the front porch of Cracker Barrel.
Theresa Marie Senter, 37, of the 4500 block of Waterford Drive in Evans, was charged with shoplifting. She was released from the Columbia County Detention Center on Sunday after posting a $1,600 bond, according to jail personnel.
A customer of the Cracker Barrel at 544 N. Belair Road told the manager that just after 10 a.m., she saw a woman loading a rocking chair into the back of her sport utility vehicle. The manager said that store policy is that employees load the chairs and that none had been sold, so she got the tag number of the SUV.
The tag was identified as Senter's, who police found at her home with the chair still in the back of the vehicle. Senter had no receipt, so she was taken back to the restaurant.
Senter told police she bought some food and went outside, saw the chairs and wanted one.
She said she went back inside and paid cash for the chair. Senter later said she paid for the chair with a debit card and entered her PIN during the transaction done by a cashier with reddish-brown, shoulder-length hair. No cashiers matched the description.
All transactions around the time of the incident were printed out, and the cashiers said they had not sold a chair.
Asked how much she paid for the chair, Senter told police she paid around $180. The chairs cost $129.99, and Senter did not have an explanation as to why she paid so much.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue activity report for Aug. 16-22:
Wood/brush/grass fire, one; vehicle fires, two; controlled/unauthorized burns, two; activated fire alarms, 13; activated carbon monoxide detector, three; medical incidents, 24; rescue calls, 11; weather damage, one; assist other agencies, two; mutual aid/assist public safety, three; and investigate various incidents, five.
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