Eyewitness News at 11, 8-22-12

9:44 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening.

Thanks for joining us for Eyewitness News at 11.

I'm Frank Malloy.

Leah Johnson has the night off.

Testimony will continue tomorrow morning in the trial of a Warner Robins man accused of hiring a father and son to kill his wife.

The prosecution led by Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig...

continued today to lay out its case against James Eddy Clements...with evidence from Warner Robins Police investigators and the medical examiner.

Late in the afternoon...Robert Sybert...the man District Attorney Hartwig said was the getaway driver...took the stand...and presented some damaging testimony about his own son.

Austin Lewis was in the courtroom and has more.

Throughout the day jurors saw evidence from the prosecution...like crime scene photos..the rifle investigators say was used to kill Joni Clements...and even an interview that James Eddy Clements did with police the night his wife was murdered.

But towards the end of the afternoon...Robert Sybert...who is being accused of driving the getaway car...took the stand.

As you can see, Robert Sybert came into the court in an orange jumpsuit.

You can see his hands are cuffed as he is being sworn in to tell the truth.

Now on the stand...he was asked if he was literate...he said no... But he acknowledged that he could sign his name...which he had on the plea deal.

Sybert told jurors that Clements asked him several times about shooting Joni. And he also said Clements offered him money 5,000 or 10,000 dollars depending on how much insurance would pay out.

Sybert also talked about his son Richard, who police believe actually shot Joni Clements. He said, he was watching as James Eddy Clements gave Richard a house key.

Sybert says...he was told the key was in case he or his son had to use the restroom.

That surprised Robert Sybert...since he explained to jurors, he'd been cleaning Clements pool for years, without ever having a key of his own.

He said a few times during his testimony that he didn't know that his son was going to kill Joni Clements...saying "If I had known he was going to shoot her I wouldn't have taken him."

He also says, when he drove the getaway, he didn't know what was going on. He says, he only found out when Richard told him the next morning, he'd killed Joni.

According to Robert, he later told Richard to get out of town...and said in court, that he just wanted to protect his son, even though he knew what he did was wrong.

He also told jurors that he saw his son bury the gun saying he stood right beside him...The gun was found about a month after Joni's death about 180 feet from the Syberts trailer.

One of the last questions of the day...came from District Attorney Hartwig. He wanted to know if Robert and Richard Sybert attended her funeral. Robert...says he and his son were both there.

Tomorrow morning...the defense team will have the opportunity to cross-exam Sybert.

People who stopped by Bibb County's Animal Shelter today were greeted by a sign on the door...saying the building was closed for "public health and safety concerns".

Public Affairs Officer, Kevin Barrere says a veterinarian found a case of Parvo this morning...and staff quickly closed the shelter.

Barrere says two puppies tested positive for Parvo... One puppy had to be put down... The other is being treated in foster care.

An inspector from the Department of Agriculture is expected to evaluate the shelter tomorrow... And then decide when it will be reopened.

Barrere says currently no other puppies are showing symptoms of the virus.

Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease...and it doesn't just affect household pets. Wolves, foxes, and coyotes can contract it too.

Parvovirus first appeared in the 19-70's.

It's considered the most serious dog disease found inside animal shelters today...more so than distemper.

Puppies are most susceptible to the virus...

And if a dog has another condition like roundworms...they're even more likely to have complications.

Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds and Labrador retrievers appear to be at higher risk for developing parvo.

State agriculture and health officials are warning against another virus found in animals...that can make people pretty sick.

Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said, with fairs and other outside events coming up this fall, people should wash their hands after being near pigs or touching the animals..to avoid the illness known as swine flu.

Black said there's no reason to stay away from fairs... but he urged people to take precautions.

Last week.... the Centers for Disease Control announced that 225 cases of a new strain of swine flu had been reported in the U.S. So far during 2012.

None were reported in Georgia.

Meanwhile...parts of the country...particularly out west...are gripped in the largest West Nile outbreak ever to hit the United States.

The Center for Disease Control says more than a thousand cases have been reported...with almost half of them occuring in Texas.

As Manuel Gallegus explains, infectious disease experts blame soaring temperatures for the case soaring statistics

< SCRIPT:)

FEDERAL HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE NUMBER OF CASES OF MOSQUITO-BOURNE WEST NILE VIRUS JUMPED 60 PERCENT LAST WEEK.

(GFX) SO FAR THIS YEAR, CASES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN 47 STATES... MORE THAN 11-HUNDRED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED.. AND AT LEAST 41 HAVE DIED.

(SOT 14:55:16)

"this year looks like the biggest year in years, and we're only starting the major west nile season"

MOST OF THE CASES ARE IN TEXAS, WHICH IS ALSO ENDURING A SEVERE DROUGHT. EXPERTS SAY *THAT* COULD BE FUELING THE OUTBREAK.

(SOT - 14:53:56)

"the drought means there are very few water sources available.. That's where the mosquitoes breed. Then the birds which carry the virus go to those water sources.. The mosquitoes bite them, they're infected, then the mosquitoes bite us."

ABOUT ONE IN 150 PATIENTS INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS BECOME SERIOUSLY ILL.

(SOT: DR. KRISTY MURRAY/BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE)

60 to 70 percent of those individuals area going to have long term effects such as paralysis memory loss weakness being off balance vision problems things like that."

JOHN SHAW WAS INFECTED SEVEN YEARS AGO. HE HASN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE.

(SOT)

TK: It was a few days later, and i was putting on my shorts and i just collapsed.

THE CITY OF DALLAS IS AMONG SEVERAL NATIONWIDE THAT HAVE SPRAYED INSECTICE TO TRY TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS. BUT INDIVIDUALS ARE WARNED NOT TO STOP THERE.

(SOT - 14:50:00 )

"use insect repellent freely and often - particularly early the morning and in the evening"

AND CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS WITH NECK PAIN

While people of any age can become infected with the West Nile Virus, it is the elderly who are considered most vulnerable to the most serious complications.

Investigators still need information on the former band director at Northside High School in Houston County.. 42 year old Paul Guilbeau was recently charged with sexual assault of a student at his current job in Colquitt county.

According to police in Moultrie, Guilbeau (gil-boe) had sexual contact with a 17 year old female student at a hotel August 10th.

Police arrested Guilbeau after questioning him and the victim.

Investigator Steven Colgan with Moultrie Police says.. He has received a few tips about a possible incident from Guilbeau's past.

<steven Colgan, Investigator: "I have not from any school system been informed of any previous incidents but I have received several anonymous calls which are alleging that an incident may have taken place in Valdosta approximately 1997-1998 with a similar incident with a student at Valdosta at that time.">

Guilbeau is suspended with pay from his position at Colquitt County High.

Anyone with information on the case can call Investigator Steven Colgan at the Moultrie Police Department at 229-890-5452.

Warner Robins police now can send dogs to be their eyes and ears...where officers can't go.

The department's Canine Unit held a demonstration today to show off their new K-9 Mounted Camera.

The video camera system records audio and video feeds on the built-in mini DVR.

Their handler can watch in real time from a screen...that's attached to their wrist.

Videojournalist Kimberly Burden shows us how the system will help improve how the K-9 unit operates.

The Warner Robins Police Department is one of eight agencies in the United States now using the mounted video cameras.

They paid for it....with an eight thousand dollar grant.

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Email fan of the day at 13wmaz dot com to claim your coffee mug.

 

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