Monday, January 17, Eyewitness News at 6

9:47 PM, Jan 18, 2011   |    comments
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 HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
 AND I'M LORRA LYNCH-JONES...    FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.


OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... ONE WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL MEMBER SAYS MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN'S "VENDETTA" AGAINST THE POLICE CHIEF... PROMPTED HIM TO MAKE "RIDICULOUS" STATEMENTS DURING A MEETING.
AN AUDIO RECORDING OF AN OFFICIAL CLOSED COUNCIL SESSION HELD DECEMBER 6TH AT WARNER ROBINS CITY HALL... CONTAINS STATEMENTS IN WHICH SHAHEEN TALKS TO COUNCIL ABOUT ALLEGATIONS OF MURDER AND POLICE COVER -UP.
COUNCIL MEMBER BOB WILBANKS SAYS HE ASKED FOR THE CLOSED SESSION TO TALK ABOUT A FORM SHAHEEN FILED... ASKING A STATE AGENCY TO INVESTIGATE THE POLICE CHIEF.
WILBANKS SAYS HE WANTED THE MAYOR TO EXPLAIN SEVERAL STATEMENTS ON THAT FORM.
WHEN COUNCIL CLOSED THE DOOR... CITY CLERK ALTON MATTOX... SAYS HE RECORDED THE SESSION TO TAKE ACCURATE NOTES... NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS ABOUT TO BE SAID.... OR THAT IT COULD BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC.
WILBANKS  PROVIDED 13WMAZ WITH A COPY OF THAT TAPE.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO HEAR PARTS OF IT... BUT 13-WMAZ HAS REMOVED THE NAME OF THE PERSON MAYOR SHAHEEN SAYS A GRAND JURY FOREMAN SUSPECTED OF MURDER.
WE DID THAT BECAUSE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN THE INVESTIGATIVE FILES TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM... NOR WAS THAT PERSON EVER CHARGED WITH A CRIME.
<<nats- (dec. 6th archive)
DECEMBER 6TH... ...AN OFFICIAL WORK SESSION OF THE WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL AT CITY HALL.


COUNCILMAN BOB WILBANKS ASKS FOR THE COUNCIL TO GO INTO CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS A PERSONNEL MATTER.


THE DOOR CLOSES.....AND MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN STARTS TO EXPLAIN WHY HE ASKED A STATE AGENCY TO INVESTIGATE POLICE CHIEF BRETT EVANS. 


AND CITY CLERK ALTON MATTOX SAYS HE MADE A TAPE RECORDING AS SHAHEEN TALKED.
(tape;Shaheen: (:40) "I have been protecting y'all from the truth, but I don't mind you getting mad at me, because you need to hear truth."
Bob Wilbanks (on cam:50) "He's explaining things he sent on the C-11 form and just things he put on that C-11 form, not related to that suspension."
SHAHEEN CAN BE HEARD EXPLAINING ... THAT HE WENT TO A MARCH GRAND JURY MEETING AT THE INVITATION OF FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY BURKE. HE TALKS ABOUT what HE ALLEGEDLY HEARD THERE.
Shaheen (:46) "The foreman said to me, tell me everything you know about the suicide of Donald Walker. I asked him why. He said, you want to know why? They think (name deleted)----- killed him. I havn't told you guys this."
SHAHEEN TELLS COUNCIL THE GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED IN TO WORK THE SHOOTING OF FORMER MAYOR DONALD WALKER'..... NOT THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Shaheen: (2:30) "They think the Warner Robins police department covered up a murder. Do yall want me to go public with that and really mess up our police department?"
Paul Shealy: "Who is they think?"
Shaheen: "That's what the grand jury thought." 
BURKE SAID LAST WEEK... HE NEVER HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE ALLEGATIONS DURING HIS TIME AS D-A... AND THAT A GRAND JURY DOESN'T HAVE THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER CHARGES WITHOUT AN INDICTMENT ON THE TABLE. 
LAST FEBRUARY HE told us, "There was not allegation against Chief Evans, and today there's no allegation against Chief Evans."
A G-B-I REPORT THAT EXAMINED POLICE EVIDENCE AND THE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S FINDINGS AFTER WALKER'S DEATH... RULED IT A SUICIDE.
THE REPORT SAID WALKER DIED OF A "SELF INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE HEAD.  (graphic)
Bob Wilbanks: (5:00) "That's what it is. A bunch of crap, just like the rest of it mayor."
ON THE TAPE... SHAHEEN MOVES ON FROM WHAT WILBANKS CALLED "SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS"...  TO EVANS' SEVEN DAY SUSPENSION FOR PLACING A POLITICAL SIGN IN HIS YARD DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S MAYORAL CAMPAIGN. COUNCIL REDUCED EVAN'S SUSPENSION TO TWO DAYS. 
Chuck Shaheen: (13:32) "If he would have come forward to mayor and council, said thank you for the chance to overrule my seven day suspension, I would've said, that's the guy I want working for me. Because you overruled it, I don't choose to have him working for me."
Bob Wilbanks: (13:57) "So if he manned up and took 7 days, it would have been over? 
John Williams: "Absolutely."
Chuck Shaheen: "Absolutely."
Bob wilbanks: "So all the crap you are stating here is nothing?"


AFTER SOME ARGUING, SHAHEEN IS HEARD TO SAY: 'YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT YOUR MAYOR, MISTER WILBANKS."
WILBANKS SAID HE RELEASED THE RECORDING... BELIEVING THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THEIR GOVERNMENT.
Bob Wilbanks (on cam- 7:30 "This is an issue that's a very serious allegation, and it's been made toward a man and a department who I think are as good or better than any other in this country."
>> IN AN E-MAIL RESPONSE TO 13-WMAZ... MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN WROTE  GEORGIA STATE LAW PROVIDES REASONS TO HAVE AN EXECUTIVE "CLOSED" SESSION. THEREFORE, I WILL NOT COMMENT ON WHAT WAS SAID IN A CLOSED SESSION.
HOWEVER, LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR I MADE NO ACCUSATIONS JUST CONCERNS. ALSO, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT BREACH THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE COUNCIL.
MY DESIRE IS TO MOVE OUR GREAT CITY FORWARD IN 2011 AND SERVE ALL THE CITIZENS OF WARNER ROBINS."
THE GRAND JURY FOREMAN DIDN'T RETURN OUR CALL.  
LAST WEEK... A SPOKESMAN FOR THE GEORGIA PEACE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL... OR POST...  SAID THE CONCERNS SHAHEEN RAISED ABOUT BRETT EVANS COME BEFORE THEM IN MARCH.
IF THE AGENCY FINDS ANY STATEMENTS TO BE TRUE.... THEY COULD DISCIPLINE EVANS IN VARIOUS WAYS, INCLUDING PULLING HIS CERTIFICATION AS A LAW-ENFORCEMENT OFFICER... OR THEY COULD CHOOSE NOT TO TAKE ACTION AT ALL.


     A WOMAN CONVICTED OF KILLING A DODGE COUNTY INFANT SHE WAS BABYSITTING WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON A YEAR EARLY DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR.
   THAT'S ACCORDING TO TIM VAUGHN... DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE OCONEE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.  
    IN DECEMBER 2009... AMY ROGERS JONES WAS CONVICTED OF KILLING JACI ROGERS.
    A GBI INVESTIGATOR CALLED IT A CLASSIC "SHAKEN BABY" CASE.
   JUDGE SARAH WALL SAID JONES SHOULD SERVE AT LEAST TWO YEARS IN PROSN.
   SHE WAS ORDERED TO REPORT TO CUSTODY ON JANUARY 4-TH, 2010.
   VAUGHN SAYS THAT'S WHERE THE ERROR HAPPENED.
    HE SAYS THE DODGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE FILED PAPERWORK WITH A TYPO IN THE DATE THAT SHE REPORTED TO CUSTODY. 
     HE SAID AS A RESULT...  THE STATE RELEASED HER ON DECEMBER 31-ST... A YEAR TOO SOON.
 Tim Vaughn, District Attorney:  "I was shocked at what had occurred.  I've been doing this over 25 years now and to my knowledge this is the first time I've seen this occur.  So it's certainly an unusual event.  I'm gonna file a motion to bring this before a court and ask the court to order her to be turned back over to the Department of Corrections to serve out again the portion of her sentence that she should've served."
  VAUGHN SAID JONES IS ON PROBATION AND REPORTED TO HER PROBATION COUNSELOR AS REQUIRED LAST WEEK.
HE ALSO SAID THAT THE VICTIM'S MOTHER TIPPED AUTHORITIES THAT JONES WAS FREE. IF THAT HADN'T HAPPENED...HE SAID...HE'S NOT SURE WHEN THEY WOULD HAVE FOUND OUT.


MACON POLICE ARE INTERVIEWING POSSIBLE WITNESSES TO A FIGHT AT A NIGHTCLUB... THAT LED TO A MACON MAN'S DEATH.
A MACON POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS 30-YEAR-OLD GARY MIMBS JUNIOR WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER AFTER HE AND ANOTHER MAN FOUGHT AT WHISKEY RIVER NIGHTCLUB ON PIO NONO AVENUE AROUND 1-THIRTY AM SUNDAY.
THE RELEASE SAYS MIMBS DIED AT THE HOSPITAL. 
POLICE SAY THEY DON'T HAVE A SUSPECT ...AND DON'T KNOW WHY THE FIGHT HAPPENED.
             IF YOU HAVE ANY  INFORMATION ON THE CASE... YOU CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68 CRIME. AGAIN THAT'S 1-877-68 CRIME. 


HUNDREDS TOOK TO THE STREETS IN MACON FOR THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR MEMORIAL MARCH.
BRITTINY BARBER FOUND OUT WHAT THIS EVENT MEANS TO THOSE WHO TOOK PART.<<
Nats of march
Beverly Duncan, Macon, "It's about freedom."
AS BEVERLY DUNCAN WAITED AT MACON CITY HALL FOR MARCHERS TO ARRIVE... SHE REMEMBERED BACK TO HER DAYS OF WALKING SIDE BY SIDE WITH FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.
Beverly Duncan, "I walked for 10 years from unionville or sometimes from over here on the east side. With the crowd and your walking and singing and you're singing from the depths of your soul. You feel it."
AND INJURY KEPT HER FROM MARCHING THIS YEAR.. BUT COULDN'T KEEP HER FROM THE CELEBRATION.
Beverly Curtis, "As long as I can I'm going to keep the dream alive." 
THE DREAM OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING...  BROUGHT PEOPLE OF ALL RACES AND BACKGROUNDS OUT TO MARCH.
Andrea Lee, Macon, "It's about liberty it's about overcoming a lot of things."
THEY CAME FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF MACON... WITH EACH GROUP WALKING ABOUT TWO MILES...
FOR SOME... DOING THAT IN THE RAIN BROUGHT A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE.
Twanda Orsley, Macon, "I was determined. I had to because I realized everything Martin Luther King went through, the people that marched with him and everything they went through... so I had to push myself."
OTHERS TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH A LESSON TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION.
Curtis Brown Jr, Macon: "I want the kids to understand the history what Martin Luther King's birthday really means and why we celebrate it."
BRITTINY BARBER 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE EVANGELICAL MINISTERS ALLIANCE OF MACON SPONSORED THE MARCH.
AFTER A BRIEF MEETING AT CITY HALL... PEOPLE MOVED TO STEWART CHAPEL A-M-E CHURCH FOR A MEMORIAL SERVICE.


IN HOUSTON COUNTY... A MARCH THROUGH PERRY HONORED THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER THIS MORNING. 
Nats of Singing "Amen, Amen" (4 seconds)
ABOUT 100 PEOPLE PUT ON THIER WARMEST COATS TO WALK THE STREETS... SINGING AND PRAYING.
THE HOUSTON COUNTY N-AA-C-P AND THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ORGANIZED THE MARCH... WHICH BEGAN AT OLD FIELD BAPTIST CHURCH.
THE GROUP MADE THEIR WAY TO NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH IN PERRY.
KENITRA BURNETTE SAID SHE TAKES PART IN THE MARCH EVERY YEAR... TO HONOR DOCTOR KING AND HIS WORK.
Kenitra Burnette, Warner Robins "It is important for us to look back how he has brought us forward and tht we continue to move forward in equality for all man kind."
ORGANIZERS PROVIDED BUS SERVICE FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDED A RIDE FROM WARNER ROBINS TO PERRY THIS MORNING.
AND FOR MARCHERS WHO WORKED UP AN APPETITE... THEY HELD A BREAKFAST IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MARCH.


TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... WOULD MARTIN LUTHER KING BE SATISFIED WITH RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA IN 2011?
SO FAR 66 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... AND 34 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
VOTE RIGHT NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.


SOME TENANTS IN ONE WARNER ROBINS TRAILER PARK SAY THEY'RE FACING EVICTION OVER MONEY THEY DON'T OWE.
ABOUT THREE HUNDRED HOLIDAY RIVIERA TRAILER PARK TENANTS RECEIVED LETTERS... SOME SAY THEY OWE THOUSANDS.
VANESSA RUFFES EXPLAINS WHY THE PROPERTY MANAGER SAYS THE NOTICES COULD BE WRONG.
<<
Rozier "It's paid up until February 1st. But then we got this yesterday after we paid our lot rent."


TABITHA ROZIER SAYS THIS EVICTION LETTER SAYS SHE OWES 530 DOLLARS... ON A TRAILER PARK LOT... SHE SAYS... SHE'S NEVER MISSED A PAYMENT ON.


ROZIER AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER TENANTS IN HOLIDAY RIVIERA TRAILER PARK... INCLUDING DAVID MATHIS -- WHOSE LETTER SAYS HE OWES MORE THAN 14 HUNDRED-- SAY THEY HAVE TEN DAYS TO PAY OR GET OUT.


Mathis "This is one they sent me for one mobile home. Everyone has one of these."


MANY IN HOLIDAY RIVIERA... WHICH IS OWNED BY A FLORIDA COMPANY -- AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMUNITIES-- ARE OUTRAGED BY THE LETTERS...
THEY SAY THE EVICTION NOTICES... ALONG WITH PERSISTENT SEWAGE AND TRASH PROBLEMS... HAVE MADE LIVING THERE ANYTHING BUT "AFFORDABLE".


Gloria Toliver "We have people who are receiving notices for tremendous amounts! and we don't believe there's any way we could owe this type of money and still be here."


Standup "Property manager Theresa Campbell says she did not send the eviction letters out and believes some of them may have been sent in error."


CAMPBELL'S NAME IS ON THE LETTER... BUT CORPORATE'S DELRAY BEACH ADDRESS IS ON THE ENVELOPE.


CAMPBELL THINKS POOR BOOKKEEPING BY PREVIOUS PROPERTY MANAGERS IS WHY SOME HAVE BALANCES... WHEN THEY MAY NOT OWE ANYTHING.


Campbell "They should not have said 'You have ten days to get out.' They should have said 'You have ten days to come talk to me.'"


... WHICH IS WHAT SHE'S ASKING ANYONE WITH CONCERNS TO DO.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMUNITIES ALSO OWNS WOODLANDS APARTMENTS AND LANDS END IN WARNER ROBINS... AND FOREST PLACE IN MACON.
THEY DID NOT RETURN OUR CALLS OR EMAIL.


AFTER ONE OF THE CITY OF COCHRAN'S MOST RECOGNIZABLE HISTORIC SITES WAS DEMOLISHED... ONE MAN REALIZED TIME WAS RUNNING OUT FOR MANY OF BLECKLEY COUNTY'S HISTORIC SITES...
"After that happened I realized we have to preserve what we've got."
   FIND OUT OUT ABOUT HIS PROJECT TO MAKE SURE NONE OF BLECKLEY COUNTY'S HISTORIC SITES WILL EVER BE  FORGOTTEN... TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11:00 


    THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
   THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC IS UP NEXT. 
   HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.






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