Grovetown woman died in Evans crash
A Grovetown woman died in a three-vehicle wreck Saturday on Washington Road in Evans.
Phyllis D. Autry, 54, of Old Louisville Road, died after the car she was a passenger in was hit by another vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road.
Just before 9:30 a.m., Paul Alexander Autry was driving a Lincoln Continental, with Mrs. Autry as a passenger, east on Washington Road, near Blanchard Road, on the inside lane. At the same time, Daniel Edwin Morales, 38, of Evans, was driving his Volkswagon Passat west, on the wrong side of the road in the same lane as the Autrys.
Morales hit the Autrys head on, sending the Lincoln spinning onto the shoulder. Morales' vehicle veered into westbound traffic, then into a Ford F-150 traveling east behind the Autrys.
Ms. Autry died in the wreck. Mr. Autry was taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. He was in fair condition Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman. The driver and passenger of the Ford truck were not injured.
Police found Morales, who was in fair condition Monday, at fault in the wreck for driving on the wrong side of the road.
Dean's daughter posts on Facebook
The runaway daughter of Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean purportedly posted on her Facebook page Nov. 18 that she was safe in Mexico and that she wished to quell rumors about her father.
The message was posted on Marlin "Lilly" Dean's Facebook page on Nov. 18 at about 5 p.m. It said she missed everyone, especially her sisters, and asked for forgiveness regarding the manner in which she left the area.
The 17-year-old was last seen Oct. 19 near Augusta Mall. Marlin is the oldest of five siblings adopted by Scott and Renee Dean from Guatemala in 2008.
On Nov. 2 -- the same day Dean was re-elected to the District 4 commission seat -- the Columbia County Sheriff's Office said the teen had been found in Mexico, was safe and was expected to return to her Harlem home the next week.
On Oct. 27, four children were removed from the Deans' Harlem home by a Division of Family and Children Services caseworker and later released to a family member.
Officials have refused to discuss why the children were removed, but Dean issued a statement that DFCS was called in to assist in the search for Marlin.
Marlin's latest Facebook post apparently addressed those allegations.
"Please don't believe what they are saying about my dad, cuz ITS NOT TRUE, he is the best daddy i ever had," the post read.
Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said in an e-mail that he was aware of the post but did not want to comment further and would not address the authenticity of the posts.
For nearly a month, there was no activity on Marlin's Facebook page.
Columbia County convict gets death
A man once convicted of armed robbery in Columbia County was sentenced to death on Wednesday for the 2001 murder of an Augusta teen.
An Edgefield County jury took about an hour to decide on the death penalty for Steven Louis Barnes, who was considered the ringleader in the kidnapping and shooting death of Samuel J. Sturrup Jr. on Sept. 3, 2001.
In 2003 Barnes and another man were convicted by a Columbia County jury of armed robbery after driving two prostitutes to a Pleasant Home Road residence, then returning to rob the clients.
Barnes was first arrested in 2002 for operating a prostitution ring in Richmond and Columbia counties. Barnes owned AA Angels Escort Services, which peddled sex with teenage girls.
During that time, victims and witnesses said Barnes had raped and beaten them when they were employed by his escort service.
Authorities connected Barnes to the earlier death of Sturrup after his arrest in Columbia County.
Police were told by witnesses that the two men became friends but that Barnes accused Sturrup of stealing money from him on Labor Day weekend.
Barnes led five others to shoot Sturrup before he shot the teen in the head.
Two men arrested on drug charges
Two Harlem men were arrested on drug charges Thursday evening after trying to elude police.
Police attempted to stop Derick Antron Shanks, 24, and Michael Leon Dorsey, 36, both of the 500 block of Lamkin Drive, for traffic charges on Gordon Highway about 8 p.m., said Harlem Department of Public Safety Assistant Chief Jim March.
Once police tried to stop the vehicle, Shanks and Dorsey turned onto Harp Drive and fled on foot. Authorities caught the two men and found drugs on them, March said.
Shanks was charged with cocaine and marijuana possession, attempting to elude police and two traffic charges. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Friday morning on a $12,500 bond.
Dorsey was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and obstruction of an officer. He remains jailed with bond set at $16,700.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue report for Nov. 14-20:
Medical calls, 22; vehicle wrecks, nine; fire alarms, eight; structure fires, seven; investigations, five; wood/brush/grass fires, two; activated carbon monoxide detector, one; dumpster fire, one; CPR in progress, one; electrical incidents, one; interior natural gas leak, one; hazardous materials, one; assist citizens, one; and vehicle fires, one.
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