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Investigators probe double-homicide in Walton Co

Investigators probe double-homicide in Walton Co

There is a multi-agency manhunt going on for the people who killed two men during a robbery in Walton County. Sheriff Joe Chapman told Channel 2’s Liz Artz the two men were lured to Clegg Farm Road Monday to be robbed. They ended up being shot. Tire marks can be seen where truck veered off the road and crashed into the fence. Investigators said the victims had posted something on a website -- it was that item the suspects were after. 'With the ambulance the fire truck and the police tape going up, it looked more like a crime scene,' said neighbor Larry Sneed. Sneed said the crash happened about 150 yards from his driveway. He said a truck had veered off the road slamming into his neighbor’s fence. 'This is something more than a one car accident,” Chapman said. “Two people had been shot, there were two fatalities.” Chapman said the victims were lured to the county. 'Robbery, it was a transaction, some social media-type transaction, Craigslist-type situation,” Chapman said. The sheriff said the two victims made the 75 mile drive from Meriwether County to sell an item they had advertised online. Something went wrong during the transaction and both men ended up shot to death, investigators said. Chapman said a 16-year-old is in custody and charged with two counts of murder and aggravated assault. But investigators don't think he acted alone. “We're looking for any and all persons involved,” Chapman said. “It is a current and ongoing investigation continuing as we speak… one more, two or three more.' The sheriff has put up a $5,000 reward for an arrest and conviction. “We're not Atlanta, this doesn't happen every day so all effort we have into it,” Chapman said. There are five agencies actively working on this case. If you know anything about this crime, you’re asked to call the Walton County Sheriff's Office immediately. 

Georgia star Yante Maten makes final decision on NBA draft

Georgia star Yante Maten makes final decision on NBA draft

ATHENS — All along, even after Yante Maten declared for the NBA draft last month, the expectation has been that the UGA basketball star would ultimately be back for his senior season. Now it’s official: Maten will do just that. Maten announced that he is withdrawing his name from the draft, two days before the NCAA deadline to do so. While Maten tested the waters, and participated in workouts with at least two NBA teams, he retained his college eligibility by not signing with an agent. This is obviously still great news for Georgia, which will thus return one of the SEC’s top players last season. Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward from Pontiac, Mich., was first team All-SEC by the coaches last season and second-team All-SEC by the AP. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while missing four games and almost all of a loss to Kentucky with a sprained knee. Georgia, which was a disappointing 19-14 last season, now projects to return nine of its top 10 scorers. The exception is a rather major one: J.J. Frazier, the consensus first-team All-SEC point guard. But with Maten back, and highly-rated recruit Rayshaun Hammonds, a wing player, the Bulldogs have a potentially strong nucleus. Sophomore Tyree Crump and junior Turtle Jackson are expected to divide up Frazier’s minutes at point guard. Hammonds should compete for a starting spot at small forward, with Maten’s return meaning he and junior Derek Ogbeide man the two post spots. (Although Maten could see more time on the wing himself.) The backcourt and small forward positions will be interesting to watch, with Hammonds joining senior Juwan Parker, who started most of last year, as well as sophomore Jordan Harris, Crump, Jackson, junior E’Torrion Wilridge. Two other incoming freshmen, guard Teshaun Hightower and forward Nicolas Claxton, should also compete for minutes on the perimeter. And incoming freshman Isaac Kante joins junior Mike Edwards as depth in the post. It was set to be a deep and balanced team, with or without Mante. But now Mante’s return gives it some returning star power.

Life sentence for man convicted of murder in Barrow Co

Life sentence for man convicted of murder in Barrow Co

A Griffin man will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a home invasion turned murder in 2014. Marquavis Benton, 28, along with Stone Mountain resident Marckell Honeycutt, 18, and Kathryn Amelia Voight, 29, told police they met Auburn resident Brian Whitfield, 44, at a hotel in DeKalb County, according to Gwinnett police Det. C.J. Flynn at a preliminary hearing on the case in January 2015. Flynn said the three suspects told police Whitfield invited them all back to his Auburn house on Dec. 6, 2014, for “drug-related” reasons and to pay for sex with Voight. Whitfield’s sister, Tonya Milton, said at the time that her brother wouldn’t have paid for sex or been involved with drugs. “I don’t know what happened, but I do know my brother,” she said. “I don’t know if someone is trying to throw blame on him to make themselves look better. I do feel like other things potentially transpired that we are not aware of and may never be aware of.” What investigators now know is that Benton and the two women with him eventually began robbing Whitfield’s home. “As he held Whitfield at gunpoint, Benton directed the two females to begin loading Whitfield’s possessions into Whitfield’s Dodge Rumblebee truck,” according to a summary of trial evidence. Whitfield tried to get away. He ran down his driveway toward the road. But Benton followed him and began firing the gun. He reportedly fired five shots, killing Whitfield. Flynn obtained a recording of Benton saying that he shot Whitfield “because he was running.” “Benton and the females then left the property in Whitfield’s truck, taking with them a television, jewelry and several guns,” according to trial evidence.

We have this morning the name of the Stephens County woman killed in a Monday car crash in Habersham County: Bertha Collier was 85 years old, from Toccoa. The Georgia State Patrol says she was one of three drivers involved in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 365 in Habersham County. Two other people were treated for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries. 
Today is another day with flash flood watches in place for Athens-Clarke and surrounding counties: forecasters say there is a good chance of severe weather later in the day.  An additional 1-2' of rain possible in today's storms. The watch that had been set to expire at 2 o’clock this afternoon has been extended through 8 o’clock tonight. The recent and ongoing rainfall is helping with north Georgia drought conditions. There is drought discussion today in Athens: the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority meets, 9:30 this morning at Authority offices on Research Drive in Athens. 
There is a multi-agency manhunt going on for the people who killed two men during a robbery in Walton County. Sheriff Joe Chapman told Channel 2’s Liz Artz the two men were lured to Clegg Farm Road Monday to be robbed. They ended up being shot. Tire marks can be seen where truck veered off the road and crashed into the fence. Investigators said the victims had posted something on a website -- it was that item the suspects were after. 'With the ambulance the fire truck and the police tape going up, it looked more like a crime scene,' said neighbor Larry Sneed. Sneed said the crash happened about 150 yards from his driveway. He said a truck had veered off the road slamming into his neighbor’s fence. 'This is something more than a one car accident,” Chapman said. “Two people had been shot, there were two fatalities.” Chapman said the victims were lured to the county. 'Robbery, it was a transaction, some social media-type transaction, Craigslist-type situation,” Chapman said. The sheriff said the two victims made the 75 mile drive from Meriwether County to sell an item they had advertised online. Something went wrong during the transaction and both men ended up shot to death, investigators said. Chapman said a 16-year-old is in custody and charged with two counts of murder and aggravated assault. But investigators don't think he acted alone. “We're looking for any and all persons involved,” Chapman said. “It is a current and ongoing investigation continuing as we speak… one more, two or three more.' The sheriff has put up a $5,000 reward for an arrest and conviction. “We're not Atlanta, this doesn't happen every day so all effort we have into it,” Chapman said. There are five agencies actively working on this case. If you know anything about this crime, you’re asked to call the Walton County Sheriff's Office immediately. 
ATHENS — All along, even after Yante Maten declared for the NBA draft last month, the expectation has been that the UGA basketball star would ultimately be back for his senior season. Now it’s official: Maten will do just that. Maten announced that he is withdrawing his name from the draft, two days before the NCAA deadline to do so. While Maten tested the waters, and participated in workouts with at least two NBA teams, he retained his college eligibility by not signing with an agent. This is obviously still great news for Georgia, which will thus return one of the SEC’s top players last season. Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward from Pontiac, Mich., was first team All-SEC by the coaches last season and second-team All-SEC by the AP. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while missing four games and almost all of a loss to Kentucky with a sprained knee. Georgia, which was a disappointing 19-14 last season, now projects to return nine of its top 10 scorers. The exception is a rather major one: J.J. Frazier, the consensus first-team All-SEC point guard. But with Maten back, and highly-rated recruit Rayshaun Hammonds, a wing player, the Bulldogs have a potentially strong nucleus. Sophomore Tyree Crump and junior Turtle Jackson are expected to divide up Frazier’s minutes at point guard. Hammonds should compete for a starting spot at small forward, with Maten’s return meaning he and junior Derek Ogbeide man the two post spots. (Although Maten could see more time on the wing himself.) The backcourt and small forward positions will be interesting to watch, with Hammonds joining senior Juwan Parker, who started most of last year, as well as sophomore Jordan Harris, Crump, Jackson, junior E’Torrion Wilridge. Two other incoming freshmen, guard Teshaun Hightower and forward Nicolas Claxton, should also compete for minutes on the perimeter. And incoming freshman Isaac Kante joins junior Mike Edwards as depth in the post. It was set to be a deep and balanced team, with or without Mante. But now Mante’s return gives it some returning star power.
A Griffin man will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a home invasion turned murder in 2014. Marquavis Benton, 28, along with Stone Mountain resident Marckell Honeycutt, 18, and Kathryn Amelia Voight, 29, told police they met Auburn resident Brian Whitfield, 44, at a hotel in DeKalb County, according to Gwinnett police Det. C.J. Flynn at a preliminary hearing on the case in January 2015. Flynn said the three suspects told police Whitfield invited them all back to his Auburn house on Dec. 6, 2014, for “drug-related” reasons and to pay for sex with Voight. Whitfield’s sister, Tonya Milton, said at the time that her brother wouldn’t have paid for sex or been involved with drugs. “I don’t know what happened, but I do know my brother,” she said. “I don’t know if someone is trying to throw blame on him to make themselves look better. I do feel like other things potentially transpired that we are not aware of and may never be aware of.” What investigators now know is that Benton and the two women with him eventually began robbing Whitfield’s home. “As he held Whitfield at gunpoint, Benton directed the two females to begin loading Whitfield’s possessions into Whitfield’s Dodge Rumblebee truck,” according to a summary of trial evidence. Whitfield tried to get away. He ran down his driveway toward the road. But Benton followed him and began firing the gun. He reportedly fired five shots, killing Whitfield. Flynn obtained a recording of Benton saying that he shot Whitfield “because he was running.” “Benton and the females then left the property in Whitfield’s truck, taking with them a television, jewelry and several guns,” according to trial evidence.
More than a dozen people were arrested in a prostitution sting in Hall County, the sheriff’s office said Monday. Authorities on Friday set up shop along Friendship Road in Buford, where men and women were looking for or selling sex, Hall sheriff’s spokesman Don Scalia said.  Officials posed as prostitutes or panderers to make the arrests, Scalia said. In all, 13 people were arrested on various charges that included pimping and possession of marijuana. Scalia identified them as: Michael Wayne Alexander, charged with pandering;  Stevie Dienelle Brown, charged with pandering and possession of marijuana;  Chiquita Rene Frazier, charged with prostitution; Tony Randall Hortman, charged with pandering; Yaphett Jackson, charged with pandering; Donald James Lyle, charged with pandering and possession of marijuana;  Daryel Donnell McGarnett, charged with pandering, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana;  Walter Samir Pineda-Lopez, charged with pimping; Tauran Lamont Prichett, charged with pandering and possession of marijuana;  Daris Darnell Ridley, charged with prostitution; Hugo Vicente Torres, charged with pandering; Julian Norris Turnipseed, charged with pandering; and Luz Maricela Holdsworth Vining, charged with prostitution. The sheriff’s office tries to set up a few stings each year, Scalia said.  “Once contact is made and probable cause is established,” he said, “the arrest is effected as quickly as possible.”
Logan Booker
Logan Booker is a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in magazine journalism in addition to a certificate in Grady Sports Media. He was raised in Lawrenceville, Ga, and in addition to his current home in Athens, he spends lots of time with his dog and his boat in Lincoln County, Georgia. Logan has covered UGA sports since 2012, previously with Bulldawg Illustrated.
Portion of Thomas Street parking deck collapses
Portion of Thomas Street parking deck collapses
Tim Bryant
Tim Bryant is the News Director for Cox Media Group Athens and works as a correspondent for WSB Radio, ABC and the Associated Press and was a commentator for the BBC and Radio New Zealand. Tim is the host of Classic City Today, North Georgia This Week, and Newsmakers. 
More snow for NE Ga mountains
More snow for NE Ga mountains
Abby Jessen
Abby is a news reporter for Cox Media Group Athens. She is from Roswell, Georgia, and is currently in Athens as a student at the University of Georgia double majoring in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and Marketing. 
Jackson EMC Outage Update
Jackson EMC Outage Update
Allen Tibbetts
During his 41-year career doing morning show radio, what he found most rewarding was taking the slices of life he observed and making them into fun, funny or satirical stories that, hopefully, the audience would enjoy. Allen now shares these stories with the WGAU audience in Tales from Tibby. 
The Right Reverend Tibby 
The Right Reverend Tibby 
Meet Zola, Edie, and Lizzy!