Thursday, May 28, 2015

Oxford woman killed in Wednesday morning crash

Authorities report An Oxford woman died in an early morning two-vehicle accident on Wednesday.
23 year old Josette Boyer, was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning according to  Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown. Boyer, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the passenger side of a pickup truck that was struck by another vehicle at the intersection of Hamric Drive and Williams Street at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. 
The driver of the other vehicle was taken to Regional Medical Center in Anniston for treatment. 

Anniston man sentenced to life in Kidnapping case

Gary Johnson

A Calhoun County Judge ordered 53 year old Gary Johnson to spend the rest of his life in prison wednesday.
Johnson, was found guilty April 22 of holding two Kmart employees hostage at knifepoint in 2010 and robbing the store of prescription drugs. He was found guilty of two counts of kidnapping and one count of robbery in connection with the three-hour standoff at the since-closed store on McClellan Boulevard. No one was injured in that incident and  Johnson, who was homeless and staying at an Anniston shelter at the time, surrendered to police.
After hearing pleas from David Johnston, Johnson’s attorney, and from Chief Assistant District Attorney Lynn Hammond, Calhoun County Circuit Judge Bud Turner on Wednesday sentenced Johnson to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Turner said that his choice for the maximum possible sentence of life in prison was influenced by Johnson’s three previous felony convictions.

Gadsden Council approves inclusion program

Council President Deverick Williams

The Gadsden City Council approved an inclusion program Tuesday aimed at increasing the number of minority- and female-owned firms doing business with the city.

The resolution, promoted by Council President Deverick Williams, recommends the city “adopt practices to actively source for minority- and women-owned business enterprises in order to participate in the city’s competitive bidding process and vendor purchasing.”
Williams said, it’s not designed to create set-asides or quotas, but to “level the playing field” regarding competitive bids.

Finance Director Lisa Rosser, when the program was being discussed, said the city doesn’t have any way of knowing if a vendor or businesses is minority or female owned because it does not ask for that information.

City officials obtained a list of certified minority- and female-owned businesses from the state and will add those to the bid list.

The resolution requires the mayor to report annually to the council on the city’s efforts and progress toward inclusion.

Talladega commission approves resolution to investigate Lincoln's Police Jurisdiction

The Talladega County Commission passed a resolution Wednesday evening authorizing county attorney Barry Vaughn to research and investigate the city of Lincoln’s recent actions regarding its police jurisdiction.
In the resolution read by County Administrator Pat Lyle, Vaughn’s scope of authority includes consulting with co-counsel, experts and advisors, “to ascertain if any claim or cause of action can asserted on behalf of the county and/or its citizens to protect the revenues and citizens of Talladega County.”
District 2 Commissioner Tony Haynes said the resolution gives Vaughn a chance to review Lincoln’s expanded police jurisdiction, enforced under the direction of Mayor Bud Kitchin, and make sure everything is being done by the book.
Haynes added the resolution serves as a reminder to county residents that they have the commission’s support.
District 4 Commissioner Malley Limbaugh said he’s lived in Talladega County for more than six decades and has never seen county residents as upset as they are with Lincoln.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gadsden man arrested on child porn charges

Thomas Aaron Craig

A Gadsden man was arrested last week on sexual abuse and child pornography charges.
30 year old Thomas Aaron Craig,  is charged with one count each of sexual abuse of a child under 12, production of pornography with minors and possession of child pornography, all of which are felonies. He was booked into the county detention center on a $150,000 bond.
According to the sheriff's office, Craig is accused of abusing a 9-year-old girl over a two-year span. An investigation was launched after the victim told her teacher about the alleged abuse following a sexual battery presentation she saw at her school. The teacher alerted sheriff's investigators and the Etowah County Department of Human Resources.
During their investigation, authorities reportedly discovered more than 35 pornographic photos on Craig's cellphone.
An end of year assembly at an Etowah County School led to craigs arrest.
Sherrif Todd Entrekin said Craig gave deputies permission to look in his phone, and a forensic investigation discovered more than 35 pornographic photographs.

Talladega man wanted in rash of shootings apprehended

Rodrekas Monquez Cole

A Talladega man wanted in connection with several shooting incidents has been captured.
Police Chief Jason Busby said that 24 year old  Rodrekas Monquez Cole, was arrested Tuesday afternoon based on an anonymous tip from a resident. He was being held on a $50,000 bond, with a hold placed on him based on the possibility of more charges.
Busby said that A citizen provided police with a location, and they made an arrest based on that information. Cole was arrested on Washington Avenue, hiding in a vehicle at a private residence. Cole was allegedly involved in a string of shootings in Talladega starting in March and covering five consecutive weekends. According to Capt. Leon Thomas, Cole is believed connected to at least four of the eight recent incidents.
Two of those cases involved firing a shotgun into an empty Talladega County Central High School. Another investigation was closed when the victim said she had lied about her car being shot into. That victim was subsequently arrested for filing a false police report.
Two people were wounded in two of the other shooting incidents, although neither injury was life-threatening.
One of the injuries was the result of an incident in front of Geneva’s Store during the second weekend in April, the other was near the intersection of Howard and West Streets the following weekend.
At least four occupied dwellings and three occupied vehicles have also been shot into, although no one inside these homes or cars was hit.
Thomas said that Cole was given an opportunity to turn himself in earlier this month but said he wanted to talk with his lawyer first. He never came in after that.