<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
POLICE AGAIN ARE APPEALING TO THE PUBLIC FOR TIPS AND CLUES IN THE KILLING OF LAUREN GIDDINGS.
TODAY THEY CONFIRMED THAT A BODY FOUND OUTSIDE HER APARTMENT COMPLEX LAST WEEK IS THE MISSING MERCER LAW GRADUATE.
BUT SO FAR THEY HAVE NO SUSPECTS....
AND BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS SAYS THERE ARE MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.
CHIEF BURNS SAYS POLICE EXPANDED THEIR SEARCH YESTERDAY.
LAST WEEK...THEY SEARCHED THROUGH HER APARTMENT... NEIGHBORING UNITS... THE CITY LANDFILL AND ALONG THE OCMULGEE RIVER.
THEY ALSO COMBED WITHIN A FIVE BLOCK RADIUS OF GIDDINGS' GEORGIA AVENUE HOME.
ON TUESDAY.... BURNS SAYS... THEY CHECKED NEARBY SEWER AND STORM DRAINS... BUT DID NOT FIND ANY EVIDENCE.
CHIEF BURNS SAYS THEY'VE INTERVIEWED AT LEAST A DOZEN PEOPLE IN THE CASE... AND SAYS THEY HAVE A COUPLE OF PEOPLE OF INTEREST... BUT NO SOLID SUSPECTS.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE CASE... YOU CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68-CRIME.
TODAY WAS CHIEF BURNS AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY WINTERS' SECOND NEWS CONFERENCE ON THE LAUREN GIDDINGS INVESTIGATION.
THEY ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS... AND LEFT OTHERS UNANSWERED.
LAUREN DISPIRITO IS JOINING US NOW SOME OF WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY.
CHIEF BURNS SAYS THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE...
HOW GIDDINGS WAS KILLED.
WHEN GIDDINGS WAS KILLED.
WHEN HER BODY WAS DUMPED .
THESE ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS THAT THE CHIEF WOULD NOT ANSWER.
WHAT EVIDENCE INVESTIGATORS HAVE COLLECTED.
WHETHER HER BOYFRIEND IS A PERSON OF INTEREST.
WHETHER THEY'VE IDENTIFIED A MOTIVE.
AND WHERE GIDDINGS WAS ON SATURDAY JUNE 25.. THE LAST NIGHT SHE WAS REPORTED SEEN ALIVE.
MACON POLICE HAVE INCREASED PATROLS NEAR GIDDINGS APARTMENT ON GEORGIA AVENUE.. FOR PEOPLE'S SAFETY AND TO RESPOND TO TIPS... BURNS SAID.
BURNS SAYS THE F-B-I OFFERED TO ASSIST MACON POLICE WHEN THE BODY WAS FOUND LAST THURSDAY... HE SAYS ALL OF THE FORENSIC EVIDENCE COLLECTED HAS BEEN SENT TO THEM.
THEY'VE QUESTIONED AT LEAST 12 PEOPLE IN THE CASE.
OFFICERS INVESTIGATING THE MISSING PERSONS REPORT FOR LAUREN GIDDINGS OUTSIDE HER APARTMENT LAST THURSDAY SMELLED A FOUL ODOR.. AND DISCOVERED HER BODY... BUT BURNS SAYS OFFICERS THERE THE NIGHT BEFORE DID NOT SMELL ANYTHING UNUSUAL.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL GATHER SATURDAY TO REMEMBER LAUREN GIDDINGS.
MERCER UNIVERSITY AND LAW SCHOOL... GIDDINGS' CHURCH... AND FAMILY MEMBERS PLAN TO HOLD A MASS IN HER MEMORY AT 6-30 P-M.
THAT'S AT SAINT JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH AT 830 POPLAR STREET IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
WHILE SHE WAS STILL A STUDENT AT MERCER LAW SCHOOL.... LAUREN GIDDINGS WORKED FOR A YEAR AS A LAW CLERK IN THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE.
BRITTINY BARBER GIVES US A LOOK AT WHO LAUREN WAS... AND WHAT SHE PLANNED TO DO WITH HER LIFE.... ACCORDING TO HER FORMER CO-WORKERS.
LAUREN GIDDINGS WALKED THROUGH THESE DOORS INTO THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE... ALMOST EVERYDAY FOR A YEAR
Lee Robinson, Circuit Public Defender Macon Judicial Circuit: "WE're sad. She was part of our family."
PUBLIC DEFENDER LEE ROBINSON SAYS SHE WORKED AS A LAW CLERK IN THE PROPERTIES DIVISION..
Lee Robinson: "She was probably most noted for the fact that she wanted to be a voice for the voiceless. She cared about those people she served."
HE SAYS HER SUPERVISOR... AMY BELL... PROBABLY KNEW LAUREN BEST....
Amy Bell, Properties Chief: "Lauren was wonderful. She was really funny and had a great sense of humor and we laughed so much, but she took her work very seriously."
AND HER HARD WORK MADE PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE....
Amy Bell: "I had already sent her resume out to all the members of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense lawyers because I thought so highly of Lauren and I had emailed them and I was doing that again because she wanted to work in Atlanta and I wanted her to reach her dream."
BELL SAYS SHE LAST SAW LAUREN A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO... BUT SHE LEFT A STRONG IMPRESSION IN THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE.
Lee Robinson: "Lauren was a standout without a doubt, loved by all of our members of this office and sorely missed."
Amy Bell: "We loved her. She never got sworn in as a practicing attorney, but she got sworn in to practice as a third year law student and she made a difference while she was here."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
BELL SAYS SHE WAS ENCOURAGING GIDDINGS AS SHE PREPARED TO TAKE THE BAR EXAM.
SHE SAYS SHE HAS NO DOUBT LAUREN WOULD HAVE PASSED.... AND HAD A CAREER AS A LAWYER.
A PERRY WOMAN WHO ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO ROB A BANK WHILE COVERING HER FACE WITH A TOWEL IS NOW IN JAIL.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE STORY...
COCHRAN'S DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF KEITH MCGUIRE SAYS 40 YEARS OLD KERRY BONNER FACES 10 to 20 FOR ATTENMPTED ARMED ROBBERY.
LAST WEEK BONNER ALLEGEDLY COME TO THE CITIZENS BANK OF COCHRAN DRIVE THROUGH...AND SLIPPED THE TELLER A NOTE DEMANDING MONEY AND THREATENING THAT A BOMB WOULD GO OFF IF THEY CALLED POLICE.
MCGRUIRE SAYS BONNER TOOK OFF WHEN THE TELLER HESITATED TO COMPLY.
HE SAYS PERRY POLICE CAUGHT HER ON SATURDAY.
"They actually watched her mom's trailer until she came home, pursued her briefly on foot through the trailer at which point she actually shot herself in the hand"
BONNER WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA TO TREAT THE GUN SHOT WOUND IN MACON. SHE WAS TAKEN INTO COCHRAN POLICE CUSTODY THIS AFTERNOON....
MCGUIRE SAYS SHE REFUSES TO TALK WITHOUT A LAWYER.
REPORTING IN MACON.
>> KEY MCGUIRE SAYS KERRY BONNER'S HAND IS IN A CAST FROM THE GUN SHOT.
A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE IS EXPECTED TO DECIDE THIS WEEK WHETHER TO SET BOND FOR HER.
HOUSTON COUNTY AUTHORITIES ARE LOOKING FOR THE MAN WHO ROBBED THE BANK OF PERRY THIS AFTERNOON.
THE BANK IS LOCATED ON HIGHWAY 96 IN KATHLEEN.
WARNER ROBINS POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS SAYS A MAN WALKED IN... HANDED A NOTE TO THE TELLER DEMANDING MONEY AND CLAIMED HE HAD A GUN.
PUGH SAYS WITNESSES NEVER ACTUALLY SAW A WEAPON.
POLICE SAY HE LEFT THE BANK WITH THE STOLEN CASH IN A PAPER BAG.
AUTHORITIES ARE STILL INTERVIEWING WITNESSES. BUT THEY SAY THE ROBBER DOES NOT MATCH THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MAN WHO ROBBED A BYRON BANK YESTERDAY.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION... YOU CAN CALL THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 478-929-1170.
THE WEATHER ISN'T CUTTING NASA ANY BREAKS FOR THE LAST SHUTTLE LAUNCH.
RIGHT NOW... THERE'S A 70 PERCENT CHANCE THAT RAIN OR STORMS WILL KEEP SHUTTLE ATLANTIS FROM FLYING FRIDAY.
THIS WILL BE THE 135TH AND FINAL MISSION OF NASA'S 30-YEAR SHUTTLE PROGRAM.
ATLANTIS WILL TAKE FOUR ASTRONAUTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FOR A SUPPLY RUN.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD NASA REPLACE THE SPACE SHUTTLE WITH ANOTHER MANNED SPACE CRAFT?
SO FAR 33 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
36 PERCENT SAY YES... WHEN THE ECONOMY IMPROVES.
AND 31 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
THE WARNER ROBINS HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL NOT RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDS TO IMPROVE ITS COMMUNITIES.
HOUSING AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SHERYL FRAZIER SAYS THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT... OR HUD... TURNED DOWN THEIR GRANT APPLICATION... BECAUSE OF MISSING INFORMATION CAUSED BY A COMPUTER ERROR.
FRAZIER SAYS DESPITE THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT... THEY'RE STILL PLANNING IMPROVEMENTS.
<<nats- playing with kids
TAMARA MILLER'S NEICE AND NEPHEW PLAY WITHOUT WORRY..
BUT CRIME AT OSCAR THOMMIE HOMES OFTEN MAKES MILLER SCARED.
Tamara Miller, Macon (1620) "From time to time, I will hear gunshots, People break into your houses."
MILLER WENT TO A MEETING LAST FALL... WHERE HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR SHERYL FRAZIER TOLD TENANTS ABOUT PLANS TO APPLY FOR THE HOPE SIX GRANT.
FRAZIER SAID THE 22-MILLION DOLLARS WOULD PAY to DEMOLIsh AND REBUILD TWO COMMUNITIES... WITH OSCAR THOMMIE FIRST ON THE LIST.
Tamara Miller: (1650) I had my hopes up. I was like yeah, they're finally going to do something about it. Then after awhile, it just as the months went by, just kind of lost hope."
Sheryl Frazier, Warner Robins Housing Authority: (323) "I was disapointed, but I am also hopeful"
FRAZIER SAYS THE AUTHORITY IS CONSIDERING REAPPLYING FOR THE GRANT THIS FALL.
REGAURDLESS.. SHE SAYS THEY INTEND TO TEAR DOWN OSCAR THOMMIE... ALTHOUGH FINDING MONEY to rebuild it MIGHT TAKE TIME.
Sheryl Frazier: (516) "We are boarding them up now. I want to say we have about 22, 23 already boarded up. As people are moving out and we get vacant units in other communities, we are moving people out."
MILLER HOPES SHE'S NEXT ON THE LIST.
(1920) "Im ready, Im ready to move. I dont' see anything being done around here."
MOST OF HER NEIGHBORS ALREADY GONE... SHE'S READY FOR A FEELING OF SAFETY TO RETURN.
Tamara Miller: (1936) Im just waiting (giggles)
>> THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS SET ASIDE ABOUT 32-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN MATCHING FUNDS FOR THE HOPE SIX GRANT.
NOW... THEY'LL USE ABOUT 17-THOUSAND DOLLARS OF THAT MONEY TOWARD DEMOLITION COSTS ON PROPERTY FOR THE NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER.
15-THOUSAND WILL GO TO REBUILDING TOGETHER WARNER ROBINS.
MACON'S MAYORAL CANDIDATES WILL MEET HERE FOR A DEBATE TOMORROW EVENING... AND WE WANT YOUR QUESTIONS.
PAUL BRONSON... ROBERT BROWN... C-JACK ELLIS AND MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WILL MEET IN THE 13WMAZ STUDIO AT 7 P-M.
YOU CAN WATCH IT LIVE ON 13WMAZ AND 13WMAZ DOT COM.
13WMAZ'S LORRA LYNCH JONES AND RANDALL SAVAGE AND FORMER MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANITA PONDER WILL SERVE AS PANELISTS.
SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS BY LOOKING FOR THE LINK IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX AT 13WMAZ DOT COM... OR BY LOOKING FOR THE POSTS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
ONE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL IS BREAKING OUT THE ART SUPPLIES TO HELP THEIR STUDENTS GET READY FOR THE NEXT GRADE THIS SUMMER.
IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
nats "drum" :01
IT'S CALLED THE WOLF TRAP... AND IT USES THE ARTS TO TEACH SELF-CONTROL AND STORY ELEMENTS.
TEACHERS FROM THE ALLIANCE THEATER HELPED LEAD THE LESSONS AT NORTHWOODS ACADEMY.
CHILDREN LEARNED BY DANCING... PAINTING AND SNAPPING THROUGH THE STORY OF PETE THE CAT.
PRE-K SPECIALIST LORI SMITH SAYS THE WOLF TRAP APPROACH SHOWS RESULTS.
Lori Smith, Pre-K Specialist: "We had great results last year. Last summer the children did fabulous, had a wonderful time and we also pretest and post test the children and saw a huge increase in the number of words they know, the number of words they can identify those types of things."
THE PROGRAM STARTED ON JUNE 6TH AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL JULY 15TH.
NEARLY FIFTY RISING PRE-K STUDENTS ARE PARTICIPATING.