A BIBB COUNTY GRAND JURY WON'T CHARGE NINE PEOPLE SUSPECTED OF BEATING A MACON MAN TO DEATH IN 2009.
OFFICIALS SAY THE GRAND JURY MET IN LATE JANUARY... AND CHOSE NOT TO CHARGE THE NINE PEOPLE ACCUSED OF FELONY MURDER FOR THE KILLING OF 31-YEAR-OLD ROBERT SAXBY JUNIOR.
SAXBY DIED AFTER A SUPERBOWL PARTY AT POLLY'S MIRAGE IN FEBRUARY 2009.
BOFTA YIMAM SPOKE WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY WHO HANDLED THE CASE... ABOUT WHAT FACTORS MAY HAVE LED.... TO THE GRAND JURY'S DECISION.FEBRURARY SECOND 2009... MARKED A SUPERBOWL PARTY AT POLLY'S MIRAGE... THAT TURNED INTO TRAGEDY. AFTER A GROUP WATCHED THE BIG GAME... BIBB DEPUTIES SAID NINE PEOPLE... SHOWN HERE... BEAT ROBERT SAXBY JUNIOR TO DEATH. EACH WERE CHARGED WITH FELONY MURDER.
George Hartwig, Houston Co. District Attorney
"I had the sense the grand jury would very well no bill the case"
HOUSTON D-A GEORGE HARTWIG'S GUT FEELING WAS RIGHT. IN LATE JANUARY... A BIBB GRAND JURY DECIDED NOT TO CHARGE THE NINE PEOPLE WITH FELONY MURDER. WITHIN 30 MINUTES... HARTWIG SAYS THE DECISION CAME DOWN.
George Hartwig, Houston Co. District Attorney
"There were virtually no witnessess that were specific and definitive about exactly what they saw."
THE D-A CALLS THAT LACK OF SPECIFIC EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY.. ONE OF SEVERAL MAJOR PROBLEMS. OTHERS INCLUDED THE UNDISPUTED WITNESS ACCOUNTS THAT SAXBY STARTED THE FIGHT... AND SAXBY'S MEDICAL CONDITION.
"Hartwig says a second autopsy, intiated by the family, found Saxby had a sickle cell trait. He says the medical examiner reported the stress from the fight likely triggered a sickle cell episode, causing Saxby to stop breathing."
PLUS... HARTWIG SAYS THE TWO MEDICAL EXAMINERS DID NOT FIND INJURIES TYPICALLY SEEN IN A BEATING DEATH.
"That is the fractures, obvious signs that either some weapon or blunt object was used or that this person was beaten to death."
THE PROSECUTOR SAYS THEY CONSIDERED REDUCING THE CHARGES.. BUT SAID THE SAME ISSUES WOULD REMAIN.
"We felt like the problems that there were in the case as far as witnesses and evidence would've applied regardless of the charge."
HARTWIG SAYS HIS ROLE AS D-A... IS TO SEEK JUSTICE BASED ON THE TRUTH. IN THIS CASE.. .HE SAYS...THE TRUTH... SHOWED NINE PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE CHARGED.
BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS PROSECUTOR GEORGE HARTWIG HANDLED THE CASE.... DUE TO A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH BIBB COUNTY.
HARTIWG SAYS.... HIS RUN FOR D-A CAUSED THE CASE TO SIT FOR ABOUT SIX MONTHS SINCE HE WAS TRANSFERRED OUT OF THE D-A'S OFFICE. HE SAYS THAT LIKELY DIDN'T AFFECT THE OUTCOME... SINCE ALL EVIDENCE AND AUTOPSIES WERE COMPLETED
TWO MEN ARE IN JAIL AFTER STEALING ANTIQUE CARS... AND HAVING THEM CRUSHED FOR MONEY.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF... BILL MASSEE.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE WITH THE MANAGER OF THE RECYCLING COMPANY... AND EXPLAINS WHY HE DIDN'T NOTICE ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY. <<
FOR MARIO DELGADO... CRUSHING OLD VEHICLES... ISN'T ANYTHING NEW.
SO HE SAYS IN FEBRUARY... WHEN ANTONIO VEAL AND SOLOMON LONDON BROUGHT IN CARS... IT WAS BUSINESS AS USUAL.
Mario Delgado, HB & Sons: "We gonna ask for ID, picture ID, get the tag number, and let them sign the tickets."
BUT ACCORDING TO BALDWIN COUNTY CHIEF DETECTIVE... BRAD KING... THAT'S WHERE THEY WENT WRONG.
Brad King, Chief Detective: "We believe that this particular recycler is doing a questionable amount of business with older cars being brought in to be crushed."
KING SAYS... BY LAW... RECYCLERS MUST RECORD A Vehicle-identifcation number ON EACH CAR... BEFORE DESTROYING IT... and he says DELGADO didn't do that.
Delgado: "Since they were so old, you coudn't see 'em. They didn't have no VIN numbers on them."
Amy: "But you looked?"
Delgado: "Yes ma'am, we always have to look."
Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "Harold Spivey is the owner of the three cars, and he says they were just a few of the family's antique cars and airplanes that he's held onto with hopes of fixing up. But Delgado says when they were brought here they were rusted and he didn't notice anything suspicious."
WITHOUT A i-d NUMBER... SPIVEY says he could tell tHE CRUSHED VEHICLES WERE HIS... BECAUSE he could see parts OF A WOODEN TOOLBOX THAT HIS FATHER INSTALLED INTO THEIR 19-49 PICKUP TRUCK.
ACCORDING TO KING... ANTONIO VEAL AND SOLOMON LONDON TOWED THE THREE ANTIQUES IN LONDON'S COMPANY TRUCK.
Delgado: "The driver was in a rush to get the cars hauled and drop 'em off right here."
DELGADO SAYS THE TWO MEN BROUGHT IN CARS AROUND TEN TIMES a WEEK... AND get ANYWHERE from TWO to FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS... FOR EACH.
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
KING SAYS HB & SONS OFFERS MORE MONEY PER POUND...FOR THE MORE VEHICLES YOU BRING IN.
HE SAYS... VEAL AND LONDON ARE CHARGED WITH THREE COUNTS OF THEFT BY TAKING. IF YOU'VE SEEN ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY... THE BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE ASKS YOU TO CALL THEIR NEW TIP LINE... AT 478-445-5102.
AGAIN... THAT NUMBER... 478-445-5102.
BIBB COUNTY HOPES TO MAKE SOME EXTRA MONEY ON EQUIPMENT THEY CAN'T USE ANYMORE.
ABOUT 90 ITEMS... INCLUDING CARS AND MACHINERY... GO UP FOR AUCTION TOMORROW.
BRITTINY BARBER SHOWS YOU WHAT'S FOR SALE.
<< EVERYTHING FROM CARS TO HEAVY EQUIPMENT PACKS THE LOT AT T LYNN DAVIS AUCTION COMPANY IN MACON.
Jim Davis Owner: "We've got investigator cars. We've got drug confiscated cars. WE have dump trucks, farm equipment, farm tractors, heavy machinery."
MANY ITEMS ARE OWNED BY BIBB COUNTY.... LIKE THESE FORMER SHERIFF'S PATROL CARS... OR DUMP TRUCKS USED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
PURCHASING AGENT BARRY SMALLWOOD SAYS AUCTIONS ARE A WAY TO MAKE SOME MONEY ON THINGS THE COUNTY DOESN'T USE ANYMORE.
Jim Davis: "They're all going to sale for whatever they bring. There's no starting bid no ending bid I mean whatever they bring the county's going to sale them."
Brittiny Barber, Eyewitness News: "Davis says auctions like this can bring in as many as 700 people.... He says he expects the county to make $150-thousand or more from their sales."
Jim Davis: "Somebody could get them a good deal and get some good use out of what's left there. They keep these cars up good. A lot of the cars have not been patrol cars they came from the courthouse or somewhere like that where they drove them back and forth to work everyday."
OTHER THINGS NOT SO ORDINARY... LIKE THIS MILITARY FIELD KITCHEN... SMALL WOOD SAYS THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT GOT IT FROM ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE YEARS AGO
SO IF YOU'RE IN THE MARKET FOR ANYTHING FROM A USED CAR... TO A BACK HOE.
SATURDAY'S AUCTION MAY BE JUST THE PLACE FOR YOU TO FIND A DEAL
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS>> THE AUCTION STARTS AT 9 A-M AT T LYNN DAVIS AUCTION COMPANY.
THAT'S AT 4459 BROADWAY.
PAYMENT CAN BE CASH... CREDIT OR CHECK... BUT IF YOU'RE PAYING WITH CHECK YOU MUST BRING A BANK LETTER STATING HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE IN THE ACCOUNT.
TO SEE A LIST OF THE ITEMS UP FOR AUCTION...AND THEIR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR HOME PAGE....13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN SET FOR BLUES LEGEND EDDIE KIRKLAND.
VISITATION WILL BEGIN SUNDAY AT BENTLEY AND SONS FUNERAL HOME AT 9 A.M....AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL 9 P.M.
VISITATION WILL RESUME MONDAY FROM 9 A.M TO 11 A.M.
FUNERAL SERVICES WILL BEGIN AT UNIONVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH AT 1 P-M.
KIRKLAND WILL BE BURIED AT CHERRY BLOSSOM CEMETERY IN LIZELLA.
MORE THAN A YEAR BEFORE THE RACE... A SECOND CANDIDATE HAS ANNOUNCED HE'LL RUN FOR BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
ALBERT HALL RETIRED AS A CAPTAIN FROM THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IN 2008.
HE'S BEEN WORKING AS AN EDUCATOR SINCE THEN... TEACHING PUBLIC SAFTETY AND LAW AT SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL.
HE SAYS IF ELECTED HE'LL PUSH FOR A GREATER PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND EDUCATORS TO KEEP YOUNG PEOPLE FROM BECOMING CRIMINALS IN THE FIRST PLACE."Crime has to be dealt with at the root of the problem, not at the surface part. And when I mean at the root, you have to start dealing with crime from the younger kids, the younger adults"HALL SAYS HE WOULD ALSO TRY AND HELP THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE ATTRACT MORE QUALIFIED APPLICANTS BY WORKING WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO OFFER BIGGER PAY CHECKS FOR BOTH NEW RECRUITS AND CURRENT DEPUTIES.
IF YOU PLAN TO BRAVE THE WET STUFF AND HEAD OUT TO EAT THIS WEEKEND... YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT THE HEALTH INSPECTION SCORES FIRST.
AMY AUBERT IS JOINING US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
WE'RE BACK IN BIBB COUNTY.
EVEN THE LOW SCORES FROM THIS WEEK WERE IN THE "A" RANGE... WITH ONLY TWO RESTAURANTS SCORING BELOW A 96.
FINCHER'S BARBECUE AT 56-27 HOUSTON ROAD... HAD A 92 OR AN "A" ON ITS LATEST INSPECTION... AFTER A 96... LAST TIME.
THE INSPECTOR SAID TOXIC SUBSTANCES WERE NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED... STORED AND USED.... AND THE RESTAURANT WASN'T USING PROPER DATE MARKING AND DISPOSAL PROCEDURES.
AND FIREHOUSE SUBS AT 41-23 FORSYTH ROAD... MADE A 92 OR AN "A" AFTER A 95... ON ITS PREVIOUS INSPECTION.
THE INSPECTOR SAID THE PERSON IN CHARGE WASN'T PRESENT OR DIDN'T HAVE REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE.
THE REPORT ALSO SAID SURFACES WEREN'T CLEANED OR SANITIZED. NOW FOR A LOOK AT THIS WEEK'S HIGHEST SCORES... AND OUR GOLDEN SPATULA NOMINEES.
EL SOMBRERO MEXICAN RESTAURANT AT 6-10 NORTH AVENUE... MADE A 100 ON ITS LATEST INSPECTION... AFTER A 94 ON THE PREVIOUS ONE.
INGLESIDE VILLAGE PIZZA AT 23-95 INGLESIDE DRIVE... HAD A PAIR OF PERFECT SCORES ON ITS LATEST TWO INSPECTIONS.
AND PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA AT 1-31 TOM HILL SENIOR BOULEVARD... MADE A 98 ON ITS LAST INSPECTION... AFTER A PERFECT SCORE ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
ALL OF THOSE SCORES ARE A'S.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES' PAST FIVE SCORES TO BRING YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER.
IN ITS THIRD YEAR OF SINGLE-GENDER CLASSROOMS... WILKINSON COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL HAS WON NATIONAL RECOGNITION.
THEY'LL RECEIVE THE "HIGH FLYING" SCHOOLS AWARD THIS WEEKEND... AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AT-RISK YOUTH...SPONSORED BY GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY.
WILKINSON MIDDLE SCHOOL IS THE ONLY GEORGIA SCHOOL AMONG THE FIVE NATIONAL WINNERS.
THE SCHOOL TEACHES CORE ACADEMIC CLASSES... LIKE MATH AND READING... IN SAME-SEX CLASSES.
SINCE SEPARATING CLASSES... NOT ALL TEST SCORES SHOW IMPROVEMENT... BUT PRINCIPAL ANGELA SMITH SAYS... DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS DROPPED AND SOME GRADES MADE GAINS.
Angela Smith, Wilkinson County Middle School Principal: "It's important because it means you can get to the business of the business, it means that you're able to focus on the work focus on instruction."
THE SHIRLEY HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN WARNER ROBINS WON AN HONORABLE MENTION.
SCHOOLS WERE HONORED FOR SEVERAL CATEGORIES.. INCLUDING HIGH ACHIEVEMENT... OR SUCCEEDING DESPITE BEING A HIGH POVERTY DISTRICT.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... DOES DIVIDING BOYS AND GIRLS INTO DIFFERENT CLASSROOMS HELP LEARNING?
SO FAR 63 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 37 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO. VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.