Monday, November 30, 2009

Mother Slashes Teenage Daughter After 'Fat' Comment

An Augusta mother is accused of cutting her 13-year-old daughter several times over the weekend because she found out the daughter had called her fat.

Tammy Owens, 40, of Tobias Court, Augusta, was charged Saturday with aggravated assault, cruelty to children and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

A sheriff's report spells out what led to the alleged assault:

The victim's 11-year-old brother told his mother that the 13-year-old girl had called their mother a "fat b***h". Ms. Owens then confronted her daughter outside the house and slapped her. She then pulled the teenager into the house by her shirt and continued yelling while the girl sat on a living room sofa.

Ms. Owens then allegedly retrieved a large knife from the kitchen and returned to the living room, where her daughter stood up and told her mother to get out of her face. That's when Ms. Owens allegedly shouted "I'll kill you" and began swinging the knife, cutting the victim on her left hand, right arm, left arm and right finger.

Someone called police and an ambulance arrived to treat the victim on the scene. Authorities called the Department of Family and Child Services, and the girl was turned over to a relative.

By the way, a sheriff's report lists the suspect as 5-feet, 5 inches tall and 210 pounds.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Be a Party to Teenage Drinking

Apparently, 28-year-old Scarlett Barber of North Augusta hasn't heard the new campaign against teenage drinking.

She was charged last week with transferring alcohol to a minor and driving with an open container of beer. And that wasn't the first time Ms. Barber was arrested in Aiken County for providing alcohol to minors. In July 2006, she was also busted for transferring beer to a minor. Authorities say she hasn't learned her lesson.

She may be the kind of person targeted by a national campaign called "We Don't Serve Teens," which has a goal to prevent underage drinking.

Teens report that alcohol is easy to get. Social sources, like family and friends, are the primary sources of alcohol for kids who drink. The national campaign urges parents and adults to:
  • Keep track of the alcohol in your home. Make sure teens can't access it without your knowledge.
  • Let your teen know that the minimum legal drinking age is 21, and that drinking can cause serious health and safety consequences to teens and legal consequences for a person who provides the alcohol.
  • Talk to your kids about how to say no to a drink.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Drunk Driving in the Daytime

While shoppers were flooding the highways on their way to Black Friday deals yesterday, at least one North Augusta man was making the roads a more dangerous place to be, according to authorities.

Antonio Collier, 24, was stopped in the middle of the day Friday and busted for a long list of offenses that begin wit DUI. A trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol stopped him in Aiken County just after lunchtime and discovered he was driving drunk.

According to jail records, the trooper also discovered the suspect with illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and a firearm. Mr. Collier wasn't even supposed to be driving since his license was suspended.

Mr. Collier was quickly booked into the Aiken County Detention Center, where he was unable to provide any more risk to shoppers.

And he was missing some pretty good deals, too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Prostitute Sought in Augusta Murder

A prostitute is being sought in connection with this morning's stabbing death of a man at the Augusta Super Inn.

Around 4 a.m. today, Richmond County deputies responded to a stabbing call at the Augusta Super Inn on 1602 Gordon Highway. Officers found 43-year-old Jimmy Finley Jackson (bottom photo) lying outside on a walkway with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to MCG ER, where he later died of his injuries.

Investigators are searching for 45-year-old Anna Maria Barrett, also known as "Tattoo" (top photo) in connection with the murder, according to a press release from Lt. Scott Peebles. She is wanted on charges of murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

"Barrett is a known prostitute who frequents hotels on Gordon Hwy. It is believed that robbery is the likely motive," Lt. Peebles said.

Anyone with information concerning Barrett’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at 706-821-1080.

This is Richmond County’s 21st murder of the year. There were 25 murders this time in 2008.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Updated: 3 Murder Supects in Custody

Aiken County authorities have three men in custody today on murder charges in connection with the discovery of a body Tuesday night.

Michael Gary Smith Jr., 22, of Langley (top), Derrick Valentine, 25, of Aiken (middle) and Kristopher Reichardt, 25, of Aiken (bottom), are each being held in the Aiken County Detention Center on a single count of murder.
Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s investigators responded to the discovery of a body on Green Road in Aiken. According to Coroner Tim Carlton, a motorist discovered the body of 24-year-old Donald Hickman, who had been shot several times. The victim was transported to emergency room at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy To Be Here

DUI suspect Joshua Brown of Augusta seemed so excited to have his mugshot taken, that we just had to pass it along to you.

He's only been 21 for five months, but authorities say he's already abusing alcohol by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

But that's not all. According to Richmond County authorities, when they pulled Joshua over Tuesday, he was driving on a suspended license.

We're not sure if we would be so happy to be sitting in jail on two offenses. But maybe Joshua knows the judicial system rarely holds people accountable for their actions and that got him laughing. Who knows?

Stolen Property at CEO Customs

Marcus Sparks, 33, of Augusta, was caught with stolen property, according to a sheriff’s report.

A sheriff’s investigator went to CEO Customs on Wrightsboro Road to investigate a possible stolen Polaris Ranger.

Instead of finding the Polaris Ranger, the investigator found a Kawasaki Mule stolen from Burke County, a 12-gauge shotgun stolen from Screven County, two Dell laptop computers taken from Emmanuel County and a 20-foot car trailer swiped from Screven County.

Warrants were later issued Mr. Sparks’ arrest since he was found to be in possession of the stolen property, according to the sheriff’s report.

The suspect has been charged with three counts of theft by receiving stolen property.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

James Brown's Capeman Arrested (Read the Report)

James Brown's Capeman has been busted for cocaine possession. (Read the report yourself by clicking the images above.)

Danny Ray, 74, was allegedly caught with drugs shortly after buying it on Mills Street in Augusta on Friday night. Investigators were watching the location and saw Mr. Ray pull up on a 1983 Lincoln Town Car and exchange money with someone for the drug, according to the report.

When officers stopped the suspect's vehicle nearby, Mr. Ray agreed to a search, and they found a loose piece of crack cocaine in his left suit vest pocket, the report states.

Mr. Ray is well-known for introducing soul singer James Brown and bringing out a lavender cape to drape over the singer near the end of a concert.

Dirty Grandpa?

An Augusta man was arrested Saturday after his 16-year-old granddaughter told authorities he tried to kiss her, requested a sexual favor and then drove drunk with her in the car.

Larry McBride, 46, has been charged with contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

According to a sheriff's report, the victim was supposed to be getting a driving lesson from her grandparents. They picked her up Saturday, but soon dropped the grandmother off at her home. The victim and Mr. McBride then went to her great-grandmother's home, where Mr. McBride allegedly tried to get his granddaughter to drink with him and then come in the bedroom with him. She declined both.

The girl said that her grandfather asked for a hug, and when she gave him a hug, he tried to kiss her. She pushed away from him and then demanded to return to her grandmother's home. On the trip back, Mr. McBride was drunk and allegedly asked his granddaughter to touch his pants twice. She yelled no and jumped out of the vehicle.

The girl told authorities that Mr. McBride kept driving and made no effort to return or report her missing. She called her mother, who called authorities and asked to press charges.

North Augusta Killing Appears To Be "Drug Deal Gone Bad"

On Monday evening, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Investigators responded to a shooting incident on the corner of Weston Dr. and Crestlyn Dr. in North Augusta, S.C., that left an Aiken man dead.

The shooting victim has been identified as Paul Joseph Lirley of Aiken, S.C. Mr. Lirley’s death is being considered a homicide investigation, and is being investigated as such by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Coroner Tim Carlton, the shooting appears to be a drug deal gone bad.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office: (800)-922-9709. Individuals also should call Crime Stoppers of the Midlands: (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of between $50 and $1000.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sleeping in the Wrong Place

If Jessie Beard looks a little tired in his mugshot, it's because a deputy had to wake Jessie up to tell him he was under arrest.

According to a report, a relative of the suspect's called deputies at 1 a.m. Saturday to say she was having trouble with Mr. Beard being at her home on Nighthawk Drive in Augusta. A deputy arrived and found the 47-year-old Augusta man sleeping on the back patio.

The report states Mr. Beard was in violation of a temporary protection order signed just three days before. In fact, he had the order on his possession.

Poor guy. Seems like he just wanted to catch some zzzzzz's.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Update: Aiken Man Charged with Murder after Drunk-Fest

Updated at 11:17 a.m.:

As The Jail Report told you first, Aiken County authorities have arrested a man in connection with a weekend murder.

According to Coroner Tim Carlton, 20-year-old Allen Tufano has been charged in the stabbing death of his friend, 20-year-old Dancer Richter.

The victim was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Aiken Regional Medical Center Emergency Room at about 10 pm last night. Mr. Richter was transported to the ER from the front yard of a residence on Partridge Bend Rd., near New Ellenton SC.

"Mr. Richter had been stabbed multiple times, allegedly by a friend, Mr. Allen C. Tufano," the coroner said in a press release. "According to witnesses, the pair had been drinking , scuffling, and rough housing all day. At approximately 9 pm, the rough housing turned deadly when Mr. Tufano aquired a knife and stabbed his friend."

Mr. Richter is scheduled for autopsy this morning in Newberry. This is the 14th Homicide in Aiken County in 2009.

Mr. Tufano is a repeat offender who's seen the inside of the Aiken County Jail several times. In 2008, he was arrested for assault & battery of a high & aggravated nature as well as malicious injury to property. Earlier this year, he was arrested three times for charges that include criminal domestic violence, disorderly conduct gross intoxication, driving under suspension and open container.

Hunting-Related Arrest in Aiken County

An Aiken man was arrested Sunday morning for hunting on land of another without consent.

Joshua Britton was arrested on the charge by agents with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

According to the SCDNR website, it is unlawful to enter upon the lands of another for the purpose of hunting, fishing, trapping or retrieval of dogs without the consent of the landowner or manager. The offense is considered trespassing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Former Fort Gordon Soldier Arrested for Molesting Daughters

Grovetown police have charged a former soldier stationed at Fort Gordon with molesting his young daughters over a two-year period while living in Columbia County.

Jeff Bertschy, 28, was charged this week with eight counts of felony child molestation after an investigation by Grovetown police.

The soldier had been transferred to Fort Riley in Kansas, but allegations soon surfaced in Kansas that he had fondled his two daughters while they were 3 and 4, according to an investigator with the Grovetown Police Department. When he moved to Kansas, he began to feel guilty about the molestation and quit doing it, the investigator said.

But when the allegations surfaced in Kansas about the previous abuse, Kansas authorities investigated and alerted Grovetown police officials. A Grovetown investigator was able to interview Mr. Bertschy, who allegedly confessed to the molestation between 2006 and 2007.

According to Grovetown police, Army officials have filed paperwork for a court martial while the criminal allegations are going forward in Columbia County. The suspect remains in the Columbia County Detention Center.

Friday, November 20, 2009

UPDATE: Suspect Charged in Warrenville Slaying

Updated at 9:05 a.m. Saturday:

The Jail Report has confirmed that an arrest has been made in the slaying of a Warrenville man.

Aiken County authorities arrested 32-year-old Pete Williams of Graniteville on Friday night on a murder charge in connection with the death of 68-year-old John Barrs.

Mr. Barr's body was found at approximately 8:30 a.m. Friday, and an autopsy revealed that he died from a severe head injury due to blunt force trauma caused by an unknown weapon.

Mr. Williams is a repeat offender who's been in the Aiken County Jail several times on charges that include hit & run, DUI, failure to pay child support, financial identity fraud, forgery, receiving stolen goods and child endangerment.

Augusta Woman Goes Clubbing, Leaves 3 Kids Home Alone

An Augusta mother who left her three young children home alone to hang out at a local night club has been arrested, according to a sheriff's report.

Jennifer Racheal Thomas, 24, of East Boundary Street, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Someone called the sheriff's office on Nov. 13 to check on the children, who included a 2-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy. Deputy Walter Lamkin arrived at the suspect's East Augusta Commons apartment about 2 a.m. and could hear the children crying, but no one answered the door, a report states.

The deputy contacted a property manager, who let him into the apartment. He found the three children unattended and discovered the mother had gone clubbing, the report states.

The three children were turned over to their grandmother, and the deputy notified the Department of Family and Children Services.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

UPDATE: Missing Child Found


At 6:50 am, Friday, November 20, 2009, Tyson Curry’s biological father contacted Public Safety Headquarters and advised that his son was with him at North Augusta Gardens Apartments. Tyson, a foster child staying on Summit Commons Court, was found with his father safe and sound. Tyson was brought to Headquarters as officers investigate the sequence of events regarding his location throughout the night. Public Safety Investigators are working with DSS (Department of Social Services) regarding this case.

Original press release from North Augusta Public Safety regarding missing boy:

At 6:41 pm, Thursday, November 19, 2009, North Augusta Public Safety Officers responded to #9 Summit Commons Court in reference to a missing child. Upon arrival, officers learned that Tyson Curry left his residence at 4:15 pm on his bicycle and has not returned home this evening. Tyson was last seen wearing a red short-sleeve shirt with either black or blue “FUBU” jeans and white and blue “Larry Bird” tennis shoes. Tyson was last seen riding his 20” orange and black trick bicycle. Officers have been searching the area since notification.

North Augusta Public Safety Officers are asking anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of this child to call (803) 279-2121 as soon as possible.

Guys with Tattoos

Authorities in Richmond and Aiken counties have both arrested men this week with significant tattoos and equally significant charges.

Barnie Gates, 32, of Warrenville (top), was arrested in Aiken County on Tuesday for criminal domestic violence of a high & aggravated nature as well as resisting arrest.

Hugh Ayers, 29, of Hephzibah (bottom) was charged in Richmond County on Tuesday with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

These guys are innocent until proven guilty. But we sure wouldn't want to be cellmates with them. We're just saying.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: The Story Behind the Arrest of a North Augusta Cop

A three-year veteran officer of the North Augusta Public Safety Department was suspended from his duties today after his arrest for criminal domestic violence.

Officer Brandon Cameron, 27, of Williston (above),
was arrested by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office on the single CDV charge after a bizarre incident that ended this morning in the parking lot of the Windsor Fire Department.

In a three-page sheriff's report obtained by The Jail Report, a sheriff's deputy spells out in great detail what happened:

Officer Cameron said he was arguing with live-in girlfriend Lindsy Bowers while they were traveling west on Highway 78. Ms. Bowers was driving when she crossed the center line into oncoming traffic with an 18-wheeler traveling east. She over-corrected and ran off the road in the westbound lane, causing both passenger tires to go flat. The vehicle came to rest in the parking lot of the fire department.

Ms. Bowers told the officer that the couple kept arguing after the accident. Officer Cameron told her that he was going to walk home, but returned after walking a short distance.

"She grabbed one of the four pistols in the vehicle and discharged into the ground 'to let him know she was serious' and to leave her alone," a sheriff's report states. "The victim then stated that she fell to her knees and laid the weapon down on the ground."

Officer Cameron then took the gun and placed it back in the vehicle. Ms. Bowers returned to the driver's side and sat down in the truck.

She told sheriff's officers that her boyfriend grabbed her and tried to pull her out of the vehicle, but lost his grip and fell to the ground, injuring his elbow. He then got up and grabbed Ms. Bowers again and "threw her to the ground, causing her to strike the right side of her head on the ground." She suffered a cut to her head.

"The subject then climbed on top of her while she was on the ground, yelling that he loved her, he was sorry and she was crazy and needed help," the sheriff's report states, quoting the victim's account.

After sheriff's officials were alerted to the incident and started to arrest the North Augusta officer, Ms. Bowers became upset and asked to pull her statement from the investigation, according to the sheriff's report.

The report also indicates that Officer Cameron gave conflicting stories of what happened and failed to mention the gunfire in his original account.

After an investigation, Officer Cameron was arrested and transported to the Aiken County Detention Center, where the mugshot above was taken.

The North Augusta Department of Public Safety issued a press release this afternoon, announcing the officer's suspension:

Cameron has since been suspended from his duties as a public safety officer as the Sheriff’s Office continues their investigation," North Augusta Lt. Tim Pearson states in the release.

Shoplifting Arrests Continue

Two women have been charged with shoplifting in Aiken County, continuing a trend of rising shoplifting cases in a bad economy, experts say.

Sherry-Johnson Spurlock, 47, of North Augusta (top) was charged with shoplifting and malicious injury to personal property.

Patricia Gregory, 39, of Aiken (bottom), was also charged with shoplifting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Babysitter Charged in Child's Death

A Martinez woman was charged with murder following the death of a 22-month-old girl she was babysitting.

Lowanda Tripp, 39, was charged after an autopsy revealed the girl died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to Capt. Steve Morris with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

About 7:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to a CPR in progress call at 1410 Avery Landing in Martinez. When they arrived, the girl was not breathing and a deputy performed CPR until EMTs arrived.

The child, identified as Teaira Michele Hall, was transported to Doctor’s Hospital and later to MCG where she was pronounced dead by Coroner Vernon Collins. An autopsy was performed in Atlanta on Monday and preliminary findings indicate blunt force trauma to the victim's head.

Ms. Tripp, of 1504 Avery Landing, Martinez, was arrested and charged with murder. No bond has been set.

Who is This Man?

Columbia County authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who went Christmas shopping a little early and stole expensive electronics from two different Wal-marts this month.

The suspect first walked into the Evans Wal-mart on Nov. 9 and put two Playstations in his cart, placed clothing over them and then walked out of the fire exit of the garden center with the items.

Four days later, the man walked into the Grovetown Wal-Mart, put two Nikon digital cameras in his cart, placed clothes over them and then walked out of the fire exit of the garden center.

In both cases, store employees didn't realize the theft had occurred until reviewing video surveillance.

Anyone with information about the man's identity is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 706-541-2800.

Woman Who Tried to Run Over Aiken Cop is Captured

Aiken authorities have captured a woman who was wanted for trying to run over an Aiken Public Safety Officer last month during a traffic stop.

Merita Carter, 40, of Williston, was arrested late Monday, according to Lt. David Turno with the Aiken Department of Public Safety. (The mugshot at top was taken shortly after her arrest.)

Acting on a CrimeStoppers tip, officers from Aiken Public Safety, North Augusta Public Safety and the Aiken County Sheriff's Office were able to apprehend the woman, Lt. Turno said. She's been charged with assault with intent to kill, reckless driving and speeding.

According to a warrant, Officer Kenneth Leonard stopped Ms. Carter for speeding on Oct. 17 on East Pine Log Road. During the stop, the suspect allegedly drove away in her 2005 Nissan Sentra before the stop was over. She then turned the car around and traveled directly into the path of the officer. He was able to get out of the way, but authorities were not able to find Ms. Carter after she sped away.

Ms. Carter is being held in the Aiken County Detention Center. She's been there before. She was arrested by New Ellenton police in 2007 for criminal domestic violence. That's her 2007 mugshot at the bottom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Intent to Kill

An Aiken man was charged over the weekend with a serious assault.

Earnest Hill, 49, was charged Saturday afternoon by Aiken County sheriff's officials with assault and battery with intent to kill.

According to jail records, he's no stranger to violence with a previous charge of criminal domestic violence in Aiken County. He's also been previously charged with loud music and driving under the influence.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Drunk Drivers From the Weekend

Drunk drivers continue to put motorists and pedestrians in danger. This weekend was no different.

Arrested for drunk driving on Aiken County roadways in the last 48 hours were:

  • Adrian Wilder, 27, of Trenton (top)
  • Ashley White, of Aiken (second photo from top)
  • Renee Smith, of McCormick (third from top)
  • Jeremy Croft, 26, of Elko (fourth from top)
  • Charles Thompson, 46, of North Augusta (bottom)
Why risk it? If you are going to drink, don't drive. Have a designated driver or call a cab.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Repeat Drunk Driver

An Aiken man was arrested overnight for drunk driving again.

Dennis Doyle, 53, of Aiken (top) was charged with DUI - 2nd offense, as well as driving under suspension - 3rd offense.

Looks like the judge wasn't tough enough on him the first time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Domestic Violence Defined

Aiken County authorities jailed two people in the last 24 hours for criminal domestic violence.

Hayward Hancock, 66, of Aiken (top) and Crystal Smith, 30, of Aiken (bottom) were each charged with the misdemeanor offense in separate incidents.

In case you were wondering, criminal domestic violence is defined in South Carolina as "causing physical harm or injury to a person's own household member, or offering or attempting to cause physical harm or injury to a person's own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear or imminent peril."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photos of Hero Deputies Who Killed Murder Suspect

Richmond County authorities have released the names and photos of two deputies who shot and killed a murder suspect who was holding a knife on his wife this morning.

Just after 4 a.m., Deputies Chadwick Plueger (top) and Sylvester Rosier (middle) responded to a domestic call at 814 Metcalf Street, where they went inside and found Terry Ramsey (bottom photo) holding a knife to his wife, Tameka.

"While holding the knife on Tameka Ramsey, Terry Ramsey refused to cooperate with deputies who were giving commands to drop the knife. Terry Ramsey was shot by deputies," said Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen in a press release. "Terry Ramsey was taken to the Medical College of Georgia where he was pronounced dead" at 4:49 a.m.

The GBI was called in to investigate the shooting.

Mr. Ramsey was out on bond on a murder charge. The suspect was accused of fatally shooting Richard Paprocki in August 2008 while the victim was inside Mr. Ramsey’s home on Gordon Highway.

EXCLUSIVE: Former Teacher Sentenced for Exposing Ex-Wife to HIV

In an exclusive report, The Jail Report has learned that a former Aiken teacher was sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of exposing his ex-wife to HIV.

Joel Bedenbaugh, 47,
is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center, awaiting transfer to a state prison. Jailers took the mugshot above shortly after his court hearing.

Mr. Bedenbaugh, a former teacher at several private and public schools in Aiken County, was found guilty of exposing others to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

During a two-day trial, his former doctor testified that he diagnosed Mr. Bedenbaugh with HIV in 1991. Assistant Solicitor Brenda Brisbine presented evidence that Mr. Bedenbaugh married in 2002 and never told his wife during four years of marriage that he was HIV.

"When (the ex-wife) addressed the judge, she said he knew she would never have married him if she had known," Ms. Brisbine told The Jail Report. The couple divorced in 2006.

His HIV status was uncovered as Aiken public safety investigators were looking into allegations he sexually assaulted a girl multiple times over three years while she was between 6-8 years old. Criminal sexual conduct charges in that case are still pending.

Mr. Bedenbaugh was previously convicted and put on probation for having inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old girl in 2006. In that case, prosecutors say he french-kissed a girl who was taking art lessons at his home.

Authorities say the two girls and Bedenbaugh's ex-wife have been tested for HIV. The ex-wife has consistently tested negative for HIV, Ms. Brisbine said.

Under state law, it is illegal for an HIV positive person to engage in sexual contact with someone without telling them that they have the virus.

Fraud & Forgery

Aiken County authorities have jailed several people recently for financial crimes.

In the last 24 hours, Aiken public safety arrested 40-year-old Tammy Tyler of Aiken (top) on charges of bank fraud. She's a repeat offender who was charged in 2004 with fraudulent check and in 1995 with two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Also, North Augusta public safety officers charged 37-year-old Martha Lovett of Trenton (bottom) with two counts of forgery - value less than $5,000. She's a repeat offender, too. She was arrested in Aiken County in April for DUI, driving under suspension, child endangerment and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. In 2005, Martha was arrested for a fraudulent check.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meth on Mike Padgett

An Augusta man has been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Ryan Malone, a 23-year-old who lives along the 3500 block of Mike Padgett Highway, was busted Monday on the felony offense.

Mr. Malone is part of a growing trend of meth abuse. In fact, statistics show that meth use and abuse is a $23.4 billion problem in the United States and a $1.3 billion problem in Georgia. In the most recent statistics, 32 percent of the federal drug offenses in Georgia are meth-related.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Final Arrest in Burger King Robbery

State Law Enforcement Agents and deputies from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office have arrested Toryast Jermaine Johnson, 28, of Columbia, SC, in connection with the Burger King robbery in Aiken on Saturday.

Mr. Johnson will be charged with one count of Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime, one count of Robbery while Armed with a Deadly Weapon, 18 counts of Kidnapping and one count of Carjacking.

Investigators with Aiken Public Safety were assisted in this investigation with help from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Winnsboro, SC Police Dept. Sumter Police Dept., Orangeburg Public Safety, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Denmark Police Dept. and Bamberg Police Dept.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Take Me To Jail. I Hurt Him Bad This Time"

Richmond County deputies received an instant confession when they arrived to investigate an assault on Watkins Street early Sunday, according to a sheriff's report.

Resident Kelly Bannwarth told them, "Take me to jail. I hurt him bad this time," the report states.

The victim, 48-year-old Benjamin Wharton, told officers that he had been arguing with Ms. Bannwarth when she hit him in the head with a plate. Deputies observed a cut to his right ear and right side of his head.

Mr. Wharton was taken by ambulance to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Ms. Bannwarth, 33, was charged with battery and taken to jail.

A report indicates the man and woman are roommates who have had at least six previous complaints.

Maybe they should find a new roommate -- or a good psychiatrist.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grandma Beats Grandson with Vacuum Cord

An 8-year-old Augusta boy fled his grandmother's home Saturday after he was beaten with a vacuum cord, and authorities have arrested the grandmother after she confessed that "I may have taken it too far."

Janice Easterling, 51, is accused of beating her grandson and causing cuts to the boy's legs that required a trip to the Medical College of Georgia hospital.

Authorities found out about the abuse when the boy ran away from his grandmother's Augusta residence on Valley Spring Road about 8 p.m. Saturday. He ended up several streets over from his house, where he knocked on an apartment door and asked for help. He told responding deputies that he ran away from home because his grandmother had beaten him hard with the power cord to a vacuum cleaner. The boy said he had the marks to prove it.

When the grandmother was taken to see the boy's injuries, she told deputies, "I may have taken it too far," according to a sheriff's report. While the boy went to the hospital, Ms. Easterling was charged with one count of felony cruelty to children and taken to jail.

You may be wondering where the boy's parents were. The report doesn't address it.