2018-06-13 / Community

Area News Around Us

Bainbridge - Thursday, May 24, at approximately 3:27 a.m. Bainbridge Public Safety officers responded to Dollar Tree and Grady Vapors located in Bainbridge Town Center in reference to possible burglaries.

A man was cleaning the parking area in the center and noticed that the glass doors to both businesses had been broken and called 911, although there were no alarms sounding. Officers arrived on scene and cleared possible suspects.

The owner of Grady Vapors arrived at the store and was asked about what items may have been taken. The owner stated that a loaded Glock 9mm handgun was missing from under the cash register as well as approximately $70 in cash and change and a Bluetooth tower speaker. The owner also noticed a variety of vapor wraps were scattered about the floor of the business.

Investigator Davina Thomas was called to the scene. Officers entered the Dollar Tree and noticed candy scattered on the floor and a busted window in the manager’s office. Upon closer inspection, officers found the brick used to break the window. Officers began a search of the shopping center area, hoping to find clues; that is when they noticed fresh footprints in the dirt near the Flint Media radio tower. The footprints continued away from the tower in the direction of East Water Street. A surveillance video was acquired from the radio tower, where it clearly showed two males walking away from the shopping center in the direction of East Water Street.

Officers moved their efforts to the 1500 block of Water Street where they made contact with several individuals. One of the individuals they made contact with was an unnamed juvenile. They searched the suspect’s residence and uncovered several items that were reported stolen from both businesses, as well as the missing Glock 9mm handgun. A second juvenile subject was interviewed and confessed to being part of the burglaries.

During the investigation, officers connected the Dollar Tree and Grady Vapors burglaries to a similar incident, which occurred earlier in the night at the Quick Buy store on Whigham Dairy Road. Both subjects admitted to burglarizing the Quick Buy store before heading to the shopping center. They also identified a third subject, Ladarius Cortez Jones as being part of all three burglaries.

Officers proceeded to Jones’ residence, where they found the suspect. They witnessed Jones slide an object under the cushion on the couch next to the door, when he ushered them inside. Investigators performed a search of the residence and located a handgun under the couch cushion, as well as the Bluetooth tower speaker which matched the description of the one missing from Grady Vapors. The two juveniles, aged 16, and Jones, 22, were placed under arrest and transported to the Decatur County Jail.

The juveniles were charged with two counts of burglary. Jones was charged with two counts of burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Blakely - On December 21, 2017, the Early County Sheriff’s Office responded to 86 Weaver Drive, Blakely, GA, in reference to an unresponsive two-year-old found in a bathtub. The child was taken to Pioneer Community Hospital in Blakely where he was pronounced dead.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to assist with the case. An autopsy was conducted at the GBI Crime Lab in Macon. The child was found to have died from asphyxiation due to drowning and blunt force trauma.

On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Charles McGhee, age 30, was arrested for murder and cruelty to children in the first degree. McGhee was with the child at the time of the incident and had called 911. McGhee is presently in the Early County Jail.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Early County Sheriff’s Office at (229)- 723-3577 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (229)-777-2080.

Cairo - A Cairo woman was sentenced in federal court on drug charges last week. According to Charles E. Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, on May 31, 2018, Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Sands sentenced Yalanda Mills, 36, of Cairo, to 98 months imprisonment for the offense of possession of items intended for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Ms. Mill was also ordered to pay restitution related to the hazardous materials cleanup and for medical bills sustained when one of the officers responding to the scene was overcome by toxic fumes emitted from the meth lab.

Mills had earlier pled guilty and admitted that in 2015 she purchased and possessed lithium batteries and camp fuel which she provided to Cary Brandon Smith for his use in manufacturing methamphetamine in Grady County.

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