Woman commits suicide at Walmart
A woman is believed to have committed suicide last week in the parking lot of the Grovetown Walmart.
On Friday morning a passerby found the body of a 51-year-old Grovetown woman slumped behind the wheel of a Ford pickup, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said.
Collins said a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol was found in the truck, and the woman had a single gunshot wound to the head. She is believed to have been dead since Tuesday evening.
The woman's mother last saw her shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday when she left for her part-time job at an assisted-living facility, Collins said after talking to the mother. Someone from the facility called her mother the next morning to report that her daughter had not shown up for work.
Her mother filed a missing persons report on Wednesday after she was unable to reach her daughter on the phone, Collins said.
Surveillance video from Walmart showed the woman coming inside the store Tuesday evening and leaving about 8:40 p.m., Collins said.
She is believed to have shot herself sometime afterward.
The woman left a suicide note in her vehicle, Collins said, but the contents weren't disclosed. She also left the title to her truck, signed over to her mother.
Interstate 20 wreck injures two people
A two-vehicle wreck on Interstate 20 Saturday morning sent two people to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
The collision occurred about 9:30 a.m. as a tractor-trailer and a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado were traveling west near the Grovetown exit, according to an accident report.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, Jose Then, 55, was driving in the outside lane and swerved off the roadway onto the north shoulder for unknown reasons. He then attempted to drive back onto the road, which caused the truck traveling directly behind him to strike the back of the tractor-trailer.
Scott Howard Wilson, 51, of the 800 block of Goose Plantation Road in Batesburg, S.C., was taken to MCG with visible injuries but later was released.
His passenger, Karrie Wilson, 39, of the same address as Mr. Wilson, was extricated and hospitalized with serious injuries.
She was listed in good condition at MCG, according to a hospital representative.
Then was found at fault in the wreck for failure to yield the right-of-way.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbia countyso.org:
Man charged with cruelty to children
An Evans man was arrested and charged with cruelty to children on Saturday after getting into an altercation with his girlfriend's son.
The girlfriend of Joel Keith Chitty, 53, of Woodbridge Way, called police to the home on Covered Bridge Road. She said her 15-year-old son was injured by her boyfriend.
The woman said her son was angry because Chitty's son broke his Xbox, so he broke the boy's Playstation in retaliation.
She said she was talking to her son about the incident in his room when Chitty entered, grabbed the boy and began punching him in the face.
The boy was able to break away and ran down the hallway, throwing a vase at Chitty to stop him from chasing him. He also grabbed a knife and locked himself in another room in the house. The boy accidentally cut himself on the hand in the process.
Chitty told police he was defending himself against the boy, who attacked him after he was confronted about breaking Chitty's son's game console. He said he told his girlfriend and her son to leave the house.
Chitty's son said he heard the boy and his father arguing. He also said it wasn't until the boy punched his father in the face that his father punched him back several times.
The boy's nose and mouth were visibly injured, but he was not hospitalized.
Chitty was booked into the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.
Warrant issued for man in fight
An Appling woman called police Sunday night after her brother choked her.
The 27-year-old woman said that her brother, Brannan Tray Lanier, 25, came home intoxicated and started a conversation with her. She said he then stormed off to his room while cursing at her.
The woman's mother said Lanier was acting like an "idiot," which caused him to charge out of his room and begin slapping and grabbing his sister's hair. The woman said she tried to break free by hitting Lanier with a dinner plate.
Lanier slammed his sister into a cabinet and choked her until she passed out on the floor, she said. She tried to call 911 after waking up, but Lanier snatched the phone from her hand and slapped her again.
Lanier left the house before police arrived. A warrant for simple battery was issued.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue report for Dec. 12- Dec. 18:
Medical incidents, 26; vehicle wrecks, 12; activated fire alarms, 18; structure fires, six; activated carbon monoxide detector, one; investigations, five; electrical incidents, one; assist citizens, two; controlled and unauthorized burns, four; wood, brush and grass fires, three; alarm out of service, one; and vehicle fires, two.
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