Monday, March 1, 2010

Gangs in Athens

Gangs in Athens
By Joe Johnson
Retaliatory shootings. Cryptic graffiti. Secret handshakes. Those are among the hallmarks of the modern urban gang, and gang evidence abounds in parts of Athens. Staff reporter Joe Johnson spent three months immersed in the local gang culture to produce a series of nine stories examining what's happening here and why.Signs of a ProblemThe writing is on the wall: Seeming to mock the party line that Athens-Clarke County doesn't have a gang problem is a street gang's "tag," spray-painted some 6 feet high on a wall directly across the street from the Clarke Central High School faculty parking lot.Young Hispanics vulnerableIt's hard enough trying to start a new life in a new country, but many Mexican immigrants newly arrived to Athens have the added burden of trying to keep their children out of gangs.'P-wood' and 'The Duplex'When the New Life Baptist ministry was trying to establish a presence in Pinewood Estates North five years ago, gang members repeatedly broke into the chapel, vandalizing it and tagging the walls with their gang's name, Sur 13.A directory of local street gangsDuring a three-month investigation the Banner-Herald was able to identify the several named gangs.Their side of town - an identity that bindsWhen one of his friends was cut down in a hail of bullets last March, the teen calling himself Taliban Soldier knew there was only one thing to do: He and his fellow west-siders got their guns and went looking for payback. ''If someone is giving you a hard time, your people from the 'hood are going to represent you 100 percent,'' explained the teen, who lives at Jack R. Wells Homes, a public housing complex ensconced in the heart of Athens' west side.Gainesville takes gangs to taskCruising along Atlanta Highway one recent evening, Joe Amerling brings his SUV to a stop and points at the Red Barn pool hall on the other side of the street. "That's where four Mexicans with the BSV were shot by the BSL and MS 13," Amerling said. "One of them died."Violence hits home for family"Mario - Siempre estaras en nuestros corazones." That message - "Mario, you will always be in our hearts" - is tacked to the wall above the tub in Olga Hernandez's bathroom. It is signed by many of the friends left behind by her son, an Athens resident killed at the age of 17 in a gang-related drive-by shooting last year at a birthday party in Gainesville.Resisting gangsThey don't have to step over the painted outline of a dead body any more, but children going for help at an after-school homework program must still walk by the memorial of flowers marking the spot where two men were gunned down last summer. The crime scene is next door to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens' Garnett Ridge unit, which provides an after-school program and other services to the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of rental duplex homes in northwest Athens. Some taking actionMarco Silva once belonged to the Latin Kings, one of the nation's most violent street gangs, but now he's a cop.Club a refuge from the streetIt's 11:30 a.m. on a school day, and here and there in the Jack R. Wells Homes public housing complex youths are gathered in groups of twos and threes and fours, casting wary eyes at passing cars. Down the street from one such group is a building set apart from the other drab brown duplexes by the blue and white trim on its front, and sign stenciled on the door identifying it as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens' Jack R. Wells unit. Ex-A-C officer saw writing on the wallGang graffiti was becoming such a problem in Athens several years ago that Jean Horton took up a new hobby - photographing the gangster's "tags." Since then, the hobby has become more of a second vocation for Horton, a Georgia probation officer who believes gangs are firmly entrenched in Athens-Clarke County, and that the graffiti is not just the work of ''wannabes,'' or youngsters mimicking gang behavior.
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on December 14, 15, & 16, 2003.
Friday, Jan. 21, 2005

Unsolved homicide frustrates parents
ATHENS, Ga. - Family and friends of a slain University of Georgia student gathered at The Arch, the entrance to the university's main campus, to lay flowers and share remembrances of 23-year-old Tara Louise Baker on the fourth anniversary of her slaying.

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005
2nd arson in Athens draws reward offer
ATHENS, Ga. - For the second time in less than a month, a reward has been posted in an arson fire that destroyed a home in Athens-Clarke County.

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005

Forensic anthropologist puts pieces together
ATHENS, Ga. - Make no bones about it, the career path chosen by Dr. Rick Snow is not for just anyone.

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004
Ex-deputy is charged in supervisor's death
ATHENS, Ga. - A former Clarke County sheriff's deputy has been indicted on murder and related charges in the shooting death last month of an Athens poultry processing plant supervisor.

Monday, Sept. 27, 2004

Water safety is especially important after hurricanes
ATHENS - When area rivers surge with floodwaters after a storm, boating safety experts have one word of caution for anyone thinking of riding the rapids: Don't!

Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004

Three UGA students rescued, one missing in churning river
ATHENS - Three University of Georgia students were rescued and a fourth was missing Friday after their boating excursion down the storm-churned waters of the Middle Oconee River turned tragic.

Friday, Sept. 17, 2004
Parents face extortion charge
ATHENS, Ga. - A teacher of deaf students has been charged with having sex with three teens, and the parents of one student have been charged with trying to extort money from her.

Monday, Sept. 6, 2004
Jail suit will be filed despite call system changes
The Clarke County Jail has fully complied with a court order to revamp its telephone call monitoring system so calls by inmates cannot be illegally listened to in violation of the attorney-client privilege, jail officials said last week.

Friday, Aug 20, 2004
Police chief's kin is arrested
ATHENS, Ga. - An investigation into a series of armed robberies has led to the arrest of a child in the Athens police chief's family.

Sunday, June 27, 2004
Indictment alleges G-8 bomb plot
ATHENS, Ga. - Two men were indicted this week in Athens federal court on separate terrorist incidents, one of which involved a threat to destroy the Sea Island resort that played host to world leaders attending the G-8 Summit earlier this month.

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Phone system angers court
ATHENS, Ga. - Officials met this week to discuss a court order to fix a telephone system that allows illegal eavesdropping on conversations between indigent Clarke County jail inmates and their lawyers.

Saturday, May 15, 2004
Dog owner sentenced in maulings
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens woman whose two pit bull terriers killed neighborhood pets was sentenced Thursday in Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court to spend one day in jail and serve probation for two years.

Police arrest social worker
ATHENS, Ga. - One ex-employee of an Athens-based social-services agency was arrested Thursday on charges of stealing money from a retarded client, the day after another ex-employee was indicted on charges she stole from a blind woman for whom she was caring.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Lawmakers try to save youth detention center
ATHENS, Ga. - Barring an eleventh-hour breakthrough, the Athens Regional Youth Detention Center will close its doors for good at the end of this month.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Athens intersection to get red-light traffic cameras
ATHENS, Ga. - Drivers whizzing through red lights in Athens may find themselves on camera this summer.

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2004
UGA student convicted of two lesser charges
A Clarke County Superior Court jury Friday found a University of Georgia student guilty of misdemeanor charges stemming from the death last year of a fraternity brother who fell from the defendant's moving pickup.

Monday, Jan. 12, 2004
Experts say man manipulated girls
ATHENS, Ga. - The social organization of the religious sect led by Dwight "Malachi" York appeared to have been structured as an elaborate grooming process for victims used to satisfy the lust of a pedophile, according to experts on child sexual abuse.

Friday, Dec. 26, 2003
Probation officer studies gangs
ATHENS, Ga. - Gang graffiti was becoming such a problem in Athens several years ago that Jean Horton took up a new hobby - photographing the gangster's "tags."

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2003
CPA admits guilt in bank robbery
ATHENS, Ga. - Detectives and FBI agents digging in the back yard of a certified public accountant's house in a fashionable subdivision found more than $10,000 stolen from a bank last week.

Friday, Nov. 7, 2003

Defense raises mental state
ATHENS, Ga. - The mental state of the homeless teenager accused of setting fire to the University of Georgia's Main Library last summer will be an issue should his case go to trial.

Friday, Oct. 24, 2003
Care home under investigation
WINDER, Ga. - Parallel investigations were continuing into alleged abuse of elderly residents of a Winder assisted-living facility, but it remained unclear whether any of the alleged victims are sufficiently competent to be interviewed.

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003
Facility to face assault inquiry
WINDER, Ga. - A Barrow County assisted-living facility is being investigated on allegations administrators turned a blind eye to staff reports that two elderly female residents were regularly sexually assaulted by a male resident and that a third elderly woman was being physically abused by another resident.

Friday, Oct. 3, 2003
Worker ousted in audit
ATHENS, Ga. - A supervisor at an Athens-based mental health agency has been suspended while state authorities investigate allegations she stole tens of thousands of dollars from mentally disabled clients.

Sunday, Sept. 21, 2003
Athens police suspend accused trainee
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens-Clarke County police officer trainee has been suspended while under investigation after being accused of raping a security guard at the officer's west Athens apartment.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003
Jury awards $150,000 in hair loss case
ATHENS, Ga. - A Clarke County jury awarded $150,000 last week to an Athens woman who was left mostly bald after a nightmarish visit to a local beauty salon.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003
Commandments display draws suit from ACLU
WINDER, Ga. - In the face of defiant county commissioners, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Barrow County to have it remove a Ten Commandments display in the county courthouse.

Saturday, Aug 30, 2003
Former deputy is jailed
ATHENS, Ga. - A former Oconee County deputy sheriff and his wife, who schemed to embezzle more than $1 million from an Athens company, have received prison sentences and restitution orders in federal court.

Friday, Aug 22, 2003

Hot Dog Man serves up injunction against UGA
ATHENS, Ga. - The Hot Dog Man is taking the University of Georgia to court.

Saturday, Aug 9, 2003
Woman calls rape a hate crime
ATHENS, Ga. - As an Athens woman pressures the District Attorney's office to seek a hate-crime indictment, the man she accuses of raping her because she is homosexual is attempting to get his life together after resigning as a Gwinnett County deputy sheriff, his attorney says.

Saturday, Aug 2, 2003
Suspect's lawyer delays bond request
ATHENS, Ga. - A lawyer for an Oglethorpe County teenager accused of setting fire to the University of Georgia's Main Library has declined a bond request because the teen is homeless.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Arrest made in library arson
ATHENS, Ga. - A 19-year-old man has been charged with the July 23 arson fire that caused more than $1.5 million in damage the University of Georgia's Main Library.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Police seek witnesses in library arson case
ATHENS, Ga. - Investigators have located and spoken with three potential witnesses to the arson fire that heavily damaged the University of Georgia's Main Library last week, according to UGA Police Chief Chuck Horton.

Saturday, July 26, 2003
UGA fire becomes crime case
ATHENS, Ga. - Arson was to blame for the fire that caused significant damage to the University of Georgia's Main Library on Wednesday evening, according to state Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine.
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Mortgage fraud is 'cancer' plaguing the Atlanta area
ATLANTA - Ann Fulmer was suspicious about houses in her Stone Mountain neighborhood that sold for extraordinary prices only to fall badly into disrepair, especially in the late 1990s before the Atlanta metro area real estate boom.

Monday, May 1, 2006
Mortgage fraud makes victims of Athens homeowners
ATHENS, Ga. - When Amanda Senentz bought into the Milford Hills subdivision in December 2003, she envisioned living with nature trails nearby and a clubhouse with a pool across the street.

Saturday, April 22, 2006
Woman indicted in molestation
ATHENS, Ga. - A Clarke County grand jury has indicted a Carlton woman on child molestation and other charges for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old boy in a public park.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006
Man wins suit in police chase
ATHENS, Ga. - A Clarke County jury awarded nearly $134,000 to a 22-year-old Athens college student who claimed an Athens-Clarke County police officer was partly to blame for injuries he suffered when a fleeing suspect crashed into the student's car three years ago.

Friday, Feb. 24, 2006
E-mail transfer at UGA leads to felony charges
ATHENS, Ga. - A 38-year-old Loganville woman has been accused of hacking into the e-mail account of a University of Georgia professor who resigned last year as dean of UGA's Grady College over a sexual harassment allegation.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006
Alcohol arrests at UGA double figure from '05
ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia police this year have made twice the number of alcohol-related arrests than they did during the same period in 2005.

Monday, Jan. 16, 2006
Laws against masks carry weight again
ATHENS, Ga. - Legislators passed the law more than half a century ago to fight racist terrorism, but local police and prosecutors are dusting off that same law and using it to prosecute modern-day criminals.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005

Clarke County trial is its first under anti-gang statute
ATHENS, Ga. - Street gangs may have formed in Athens more for social status and companionship than for committing crimes, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous, a prosecutor told jurors at the start of the trial of the first person prosecuted in Clarke County under the state's anti-gang law.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005
Body parts are stolen from crypt
ATHENS, Ga. - Thieves broke into a 19th century mausoleum at an historic Athens cemetery and stole a skull and other body parts from two of the caskets in the crypt, Athens-Clarke police said.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005
Attorney says crime scene was changed
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens poultry processing plant employee "executed" a supervisor last November as the two married men argued over a single woman who also worked at Pilgrim's Pride, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday in opening statements in the trial of Nathaniel Brittian.

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2005
Man kills girlfriend, then self
ATHENS, Ga. - An east Athens man shot and killed his girlfriend and later turned the gun on himself in what Athens-Clarke County police are calling a murder-suicide.

Cameras catch downtown life
ATHENS, Ga. - The officers face a wall of tipsy pedestrians that block the view from one block to the next.

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005
Man gets deal in raccoon shooting
ATHENS, Ga. - A former University of Georgia student accused of shooting a raccoon that his fraternity brothers then cooked and ate is serving probation in a deal that allows him to avoid a trial and a possible yearlong prison sentence.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005

Jury in Athens convicts woman
ATHENS, Ga. - A 52-year-old Winterville woman was found guilty Tuesday of embezzling more than $100,000 from her Athens employer after a week-long trial in Clarke County Superior Court.

Saturday, Aug 27, 2005

Officers battle to stop abuse
ATHENS, Ga. - The floors were so saturated by urine, the woman living in the apartment below had to use buckets to catch the noxious fluids leaking through her ceiling.

Saturday, Aug 20, 2005
Guards peeped, women allege
ATHENS, Ga. - Women working the cosmetics counter of a local department store were spied on by security guards using a hidden camera as the women undressed in their changing room, Belk contract workers allege.

Thursday, Aug 18, 2005
Nuwaubian manor goes up for auction
ATHENS, Ga. - The mansion's rank odor is as foul as the unspeakable deeds done there when occupied by a religious sect leader now serving a 137-year prison sentence on federal child molestation and racketeering charges.

Monday, Aug 1, 2005
Athens police hope cameras will help stop crimes
ATHENS, Ga. - Two men shake hands and part ways on East Clayton Street. A young woman is carried piggyback across North Lumpkin Street. A pair of buddies walk along Broad Street with arms draped over each other's shoulders.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Homeless man not guilty of UGA fire
ATHENS, Ga. - A Clarke County Superior Court jury acquitted a 20-year-old homeless man Thursday of charges he intentionally set a fire that caused about $17 million in damage to the University of Georgia's Main Library in 2003.
Saturday, April 2, 2005
Police charge 3 with fraud
ATHENS, Ga. - Three former employees of an Athens poultry processing plant have been arrested and a fourth is being sought in connection with an alleged conspiracy to defraud the company of nearly $100,000.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Gang graffiti returns to streets of Athens
ATHENS, Ga. - After a noticeable decrease in gang activity, signs have resurfaced with a vengeance, with gang-related graffiti appearing in parts of Clarke County where it had never been seen - even on the front door of a law enforcement agency in west Athens.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Two accused of illegal gambling
ATHENS, Ga. - A woman who ran a series of legitimate noncash poker tournaments in downtown bars has been accused of running illegal card games at her West Athens home where the stakes ran to thousands of dollars.

Monday, Feb. 28, 2005

Schools crack down on gangs
ATHENS, Ga. - Training by police is helping the Clarke County School District combat gangs by helping school officials recognize gang behavior and deal with the problem before it gets out of hand, police and school officials said.

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005
Church plans return by Easter
ATHENS, Ga. - Members of the south Athens church damaged in December by an intentionally set fire could return to St. James United Methodist Church in time for Easter services, a church official said.

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005
Video, witnesses open Athens murder trial
ATHENS, Ga. - A video recording of a mob scene outside a downtown Athens nightclub captured the gunshot that took the life of a visiting Tennessee teen in November 2003.

Friday, Jan. 28, 2005
Teen robbers had previous arrests
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens teen who was shot dead Monday during an attempted armed robbery of a rural grocery store had an extensive record of arrests on drug and other charges over the past year, while his younger accomplice had been arrested only once before on a lesser offense.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Civil rights group backs deputies
ATHENS, Ga. - A Georgia civil rights activist is preparing a campaign to restore deputies to their posts at the Clarke County Jail, claiming they were fired because of their religious beliefs.

Saturday, April 14, 2007
Mental test ordered for teen with bomb
JEFFERSON, Ga. - A juvenile court judge has ordered psychological testing for a Jackson County Comprehensive High School student who threatened to set off a bomb he had strapped to his body when he marched into school Wednesday morning.

Friday, April 13, 2007

School evacuates after teen arrives with bomb
JEFFERSON, Ga. - Nearly 1,700 students were evacuated from Jackson County Comprehensive High School after a 15-year-old arrived with a bomb and threatened to set it off, officials said.

Friday, March 30, 2007
UGA police say arrests for fake IDs won't deter others
ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia police may have cracked a fake ID ring, but high demand and lucrative profits means there are more just waiting to be discovered, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said Wednesday.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007
Man arrested in child exploitation
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens journalist and academic was arrested on child exploitation charges this week after investigators found pornography on his computer, including an infant being sexually assaulted, according to arrest warrants.

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007
Ex-deputy fights to regain job
ATHENS, Ga. - A former Clarke County sheriff's deputy spent hours Monday grilling former superiors, colleagues and others in a bid to win back his job after he was fired for practicing a black supremacist cult's beliefs at the jail.

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007
Arrests remain high at UGA for alcohol, drugs
ATHENS, Ga. - A year after a University of Georgia freshman died in his dorm room of an overdose of alcohol and drugs, university students haven't changed their habits, according to UGA police.

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007
Athens gang targeted
ATHENS, Ga. - Athens-Clarke police are hoping to quash a newly identified street gang that they say was involved in a brutal weekend beating before the group grows and causes more serious problems.

Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006

Community outreach is paying off for police
Their duty is to protect and serve, so what does dressing up like Santa, waiting tables for tip money to buy toys and walking neighborhood streets have to do with being a good police officer?

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006

Dog shot dead while on walk
Athens-Clarke County police said they think a hunter intentionally shot and killed a dog as it walked with its owner along a wooded trail in southeastern Clarke County.

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006
Professor charged in UGA horse theft
ATHENS, Ga. - An internationally known University of Georgia professor was arrested Thursday on charges that he stole two horses in July from a UGA research farm in Oconee County.

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006
2 lawyers are targets of robbers
Athens police are looking at similarities in holdup attempts - one successful, one not - of two prominent lawyers Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006
Athens arrests abound
ATHENS, Ga. - Young people packed downtown Athens for the first weekend of University of Georgia's fall semester, keeping both bartenders and jailers hopping.

Tuesday, Aug 15, 2006
Women hit, but suspect is freed
ATHENS, Ga. - Clarke County authorities have questioned, but not arrested, a suspect in an altercation at a McDonald's in which two women were hit by a Jeep in the parking lot.

Sunday, Aug 13, 2006
Court clerk retires after 30 years
ATHENS, Ga. - Mary Hamby had a center stage seat to real-life drama for three decades.

Monday, June 26, 2006
Attorney tries to negate grand jury
ATHENS, Ga. - Grand jurors want to hear from two Clarke County sheriff's deputies who belong to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, a religious sect with black supremacist leanings.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Athens deputies linked to cult
ATHENS, Ga. - In March, Clarke County's chief jailer Brett Hart got a letter from a federal prison.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Athens grad dies in Iraq
ATHENS, Ga. - A fondly remembered graduate of Clarke Central High School has become the latest area casualty of the war in Iraq.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007
Soldier from Georgia avoids court-martial
An Army investigator concluded there isn't enough evidence to court-martial a soldier from Winder, Ga., on a charge of murdering an Iraqi man in June while the soldier's platoon was searching for insurgents outside of Kirkuk.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007
UGA abductions may be related
ATHENS, Ga. --- A Colbert, Ga., man who police arrested last week after he was accused of trying to force his way into a University of Georgia student's apartment has bonded out of jail and isn't due to be arraigned until January.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007
Injured cyclist thanks doctors for his recovery
ATHENS, Ga. - Sam Lane had a surreal reunion Monday at Athens Regional Medical Center.

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007
Patrons of banks see loss
ATHENS, Ga. - Athens-Clarke police continue to field daily complaints from area bank customers who say crooks have hijacked account information to steal tens of thousands of dollars.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007
Program keeps kids out of trouble
FORT GORDON - Keith Atkins fled New Orleans with his family after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Gwinnett County. Even then, his life hit some "bumps in the road."

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007
Man flees with worker on hood
ATHENS, Ga. - An Animal Control employee had the ride of her life Thursday, though she didn't enjoy the terrifying trip, Athens-Clarke police said.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007
Man sought in UGA attacks
ATHENS, Ga. - Investigators might know the identity of the man who posed as a taxi driver to abduct young women from downtown Athens in order to sexually assault them, an Athens-Clarke police official says.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007

Wreck kills teacher
ATHENS, Ga. - Overwhelming grief descended on Malcom Bridge Middle School near Bogart this week as word spread that a popular and respected teacher had died in a car crash Wednesday.

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007

Home's 2nd burglar is shot dead
COMER, Ga. - James "Dink" Hendricks' home had been vacant since the 82-year-old widower died in June, and on Friday someone took the opportunity to break into the house on the fringe of downtown Comer to steal cash, jewelry and other valuables.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007
Murder charges will stand
ATHENS, Ga. - A Clarke County Superior Court judge has denied a woman's request that he dismiss attempted murder charges against her.

Friday, July 20, 2007
Georgia soldier charged in death of Iraqi national
ATHENS, Ga. - The Army announced on Thursday that a Georgia soldier has been charged with murdering an Iraqi national last month.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Club tackles gangs' impact
ATHENS - They know people whose scars come from gang shootings. They know gang colors and signs. They know which gangs are rivals.

Friday, June 22, 2007
UGA student accused of threats gets bond
ATHENS, Ga. - A former University of Georgia student who scared a professor and authorities with talk of guns and violence two weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre bonded out of jail Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Simulator trains Athens officers
ATHENS, Ga. - A woman cowered on the living room couch, curled up against her agitated husband, who pointed a gun at her.

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Crime costs country billions
ATHENS, Ga. - Violent crime goes up one year and down another, but its cost to society remains consistently high, according to a University of Georgia researcher.

Monday, June 11, 2007
Man shocked by wife's arrest in murder plot
ATHENS, Ga. - Wallace Davis was playing guitar with his band at an Athens VFW one Saturday night in 1959 when a woman approached him during a break and changed his life forever.

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Cars of 2 men slain spotted
ATHENS - Cars belonging to Norcross brothers found dead in a western Clarke County manhole last week were seen outside a pool hall in DeKalb County after the two men went missing last month, according to a Gwinnett County police report.

Monday, May 14, 2007
Contract killings aren't new to Athens
ATHENS - Contract hits aren't just the stuff of movies, plot lines for The Sopranos or big-city tabloid headlines.

Sunday, May 13, 2007
Worker finds bodies in manhole
ATHENS, Ga. - The bodies of two unidentified men were found in a manhole Friday at a subdivision under construction in western Clarke County, Athens-Clarke police said, and authorities are investigating the deaths as homicides.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Police search warrants offer clues into Zinkhan shooting spree

Sunday, May 17, 2009
Profilers assess Zinkhan case

Saturday, May 16, 2009
Still questions in Zinkhan case

Friday, May 15, 2009
Zinkhan'd body to be cremated, sent to son
George Zinkhan III’s body likely will be cremated today and his remains flown tomorrow to his son in Utah, Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Marital problems preceded killings
ATHENS, Ga. --- University of Georgia professor George Zinkhan III was having marital problems but didn't leave a note explaining why he shot and killed his wife and two of her male friends, investigators said at a news conference Tuesday.

Friday, May 8, 2009
Police fear tipping off Zinkhan

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Police release sketches of Zinkhan without hair, goatee
Former University of Georgia professor George Zinkhan III may have changed his appearance as he continues to elude authorities for more than a week, police said today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dutch trip: Suspected murderer's plans appeared sinister at first

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Shooting suspect's passport is missing
Federal authorities have charged a University of Georgia professor accused in a weekend shooting spree with trying to flee, learning Monday that he had a plane ticket to travel to Europe and his passport is missing.

Friday, March 13, 2009
Hefty load of marijuana stashed in Athens warehouse

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008
Father guilty in biker's death
WATKINSVILLE, Ga. --- An Oconee County Superior Court jury convicted a Bogart man Monday of murder and aggravated assault for shooting a motorcyclist in the back and killing him last winter.

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
Thieves hit during games
ATHENS, Ga. --- As Bulldogs fans enjoyed the season's opening game at Sanford Stadium, thieves slipped into eight University of Georgia fraternity houses and two off-campus student homes and made off with thousands of dollars' worth of electronics, Athens-Clarke police said.

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008
Ex-professor dies in fire
ATHENS, Ga. --- A retired University of Georgia art professor died Monday when his house in the Cobbham historic neighborhood near downtown went up in flames.

Thursday, July 3, 2008
UGA football player booked into jail
A University of Georgia football player was booked into the Clarke County Jail this morning on a felony charge stemming from a fight last weekend that seriously injured another UGA student.

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008
Vigil takes on new cause
The family of slain University of Georgia law student Tara Louise Baker will hold vigil at the UGA Arch today for the sixth time since the 23-year-old was murdered Jan. 19, 2001 -- but this time they will be praying not only for justice.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008

Awake from coma, hurt officer says first words
ATHENS, Ga. --- An Athens-Clarke police officer who was nearly stabbed to death last month and spent three weeks in a coma spoke her first words this week, telling her mother she loved her.

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008
Son arrested in slaying of father, grandfather
A Decatur man told a doctor and police he had suicidal and homicidal thoughts soon before his father-- Clarke Central High School Assistant Principal Miller Jordan Jr. -- and grandfather were killed, an Alabama police chief said Wednesday.

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008
Judge to decide extradition
An Alabama judge could decide as early as today whether to extradite a Decatur man accused of stabbing to death his grandfather and father, Clarke Central Assistant Principal Miller Jordan Jr., then fleeing south.

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008

Educator's son sought in deaths
ATHENS, Ga. --- The son of Clarke Central High School Assistant Principal Miller Jordan Jr. is being sought by police for allegedly stabbing his father and grandfather to death Sunday at the educator's home in DeKalb County.

Hit man is granted parole on 12th try
ATHENS, Ga. --- A convicted hit man walked out of prison last week, 30 years after he murdered Athens businessman Theodore "T.K." Harty.

Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007
Stabbing suspect awaits evaluation
ATHENS, Ga. --- State doctors are examining a man to see whether he is mentally fit to stand trial on charges he nearly stabbed an Athens-Clarke police officer to death earlier this month.

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007

Player's arrest adds to Georgia's woes
ATHENS, Ga. --- University of Georgia police searched a starting basketball player's dorm room looking for marijuana Tuesday, and instead found an illegal knife that landed the junior shooting guard in jail on felony weapons charges.
Monday, Aug 31, 2009
Woman set afire by boyfriend dies
ATHENS, Ga. -- A 42-year-old woman died in an Augusta hospital Saturday, 12 days after her boyfriend allegedly doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.

Thursday, Aug 27, 2009
Burn victim clings to life; alleged assailant still held
A 42-year-old Athens woman who was doused with kerosene and set on fire more than a week ago remained on life support at a hospital in Augusta on Wednesday, her daughter said.

Friday, Aug 21, 2009
Family break-in victim while woman in Augusta burn unit

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009
Former Athens cop arrested in theft
Authorities on Tuesday arrested a former Athens-Clarke police officer who allegedly stole a high-tech cell phone from a University of Georgia student while investigating a report of a distraught person in the student's apartment.

Saturday, Aug 8, 2009
Athens crime surge worries returning UGA students

Friday, Aug 7, 2009

Inspection of foreclosed house turns up grenade
Foreclosure specialists Mike Seger and Jackie Quig never know what they'll find when they check on a house that a bank plans to put on the market.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Former storefront preacher sentenced to life

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Police say mauled Athens teen might have provoked dogs

Friday, June 26, 2009
Four held in gang clashes

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Georgia Theatre fire probe inconclusive

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fire guts historic Georgia Theatre
Fire gutted the historic Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens on Friday morning, and authorities don't expect to enter the building until today to begin looking for the cause.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ex-sheriff, son-in-law arrested in beating

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Athens judge mentioned for federal bench

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wife's affair played role in killings, papers show
ATHENS, Ga. --- Former University of Georgia professor George Zinkhan III -- who shot and killed his wife and two others April 25 -- apparently was preparing for a divorce, according to court records.
Monday, Dec. 7, 2009
Zinkhan file described cold-blooded killer
ATHENS, Ga. --- He held a prestigious post at the University of Georgia, but was moody and aloof -- and in the end, a cold-blooded killer.

Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009

GBI releases Zinkhan case file
ATHENS, Ga. – He won accolades from peers and held a prestigious post at the University of Georgia, but liked to play by his own rules, was moody and aloof - and in the end, a cold-blooded killer.

Friday, Dec. 4, 2009
Georgia player suspended indefinitely

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009
Fake theft report leads to former cop's arrest
A former Athens-Clarke police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges he wrote a fake theft report and used it to bilk a credit union last year, months before he was fired for an unrelated domestic dispute, Athens-Clarke police said.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009

Forensic investigator says work vital to police
ATHENS, Ga. --- MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant donned a harness, clipped it to a rope and made her way down Lookout Mountain to the spot where someone found human skeletal remains last April.

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009
Athens' strategy cuts burglaries
ATHENS, Ga. – Police aren't declaring victory yet, but a steady decline in burglaries in recent months suggests they've gotten a handle on the problem in what promises to be a record-setting year for burglaries in Athens-Clarke County.

My Story Archive

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010
Moreno cleared in Athens bar fight
ATHENS, Ga. -- Police have cleared NFL running back Knowshon Moreno of any wrongdoing in a fight last weekend at a bar in downtown Athens.
By Joe Johnson

Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
Thief struck while family member was in hospital
An Athens man will serve 10 years in prison for breaking into a home last summer while the residents were visiting a relative who was fighting for her life in an Augusta hospital.
By Joe Johnson

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010
Rape foiled; Victim turns out to be man dressed as woman

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009
Robbery suspect shoots own leg

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009
Members of Nuwaubian sect seek York's release from prison
ATHENS, Ga. – Followers of convicted child molester and sect leader Dwight "Malachi" York are bombarding officials at a federal maximum security lock-up with fake documents that seek to free him from a 135-year prison term. The documents, some stamped by Athens-Clarke notaries, claim York has been falsely imprisoned since 2004 and should be released because he is an African diplomat, officials said.

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
Clarke mother, stepfather indicted in torture of boy

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009
Former Oglethorpe County sheriff cleared in assault
LEXINGTON - An Oglethorpe County grand jury declined to indict the county's former longtime sheriff on charges he and his son-in-law beat a man with a baseball bat at his daughter's home in Comer.