Thanks for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
This is Eyewitness News at 11.
A life sentence without parole..
That's what a Warner Robins teenager got after being convicted of murder.
A Houston county judge sentenced 18-year-old Jermontae Moss today...for the killing of store owner Jose Marin.
Tom George has reaction from the victim's family and the prosecutor.
"Thank god its over ... thank god its over..."
It was an emotional day in court ... As Jarmontae Moss was sentenced...
Jose Marin's family, including relatives traveling from Mexico were on hand.
Moss' wife and nephew made statements arguing Marin's killer should receive the maximum sentence ...
District Attorney George Hartwig said Moss was a member of the Bloods gang...and wounded another man the night before he shot Marin.
"Basically what I told the judge is, you know, based on the facts of this case, and you know the violent nature and the gang connection, you know I did not want to, I didn't think it would be worth the risk of him getting out on parole in 30 years in his late 40's and be walking the streets again I just think he's that dangerous and that violent. "
Moss' defense attorney argued for parole, saying that everyone makes mistakes in their teenage years, and life without parole would leave Moss without hope.
But Marin's widow, Fredda Bonds says she's satisfied.
"I'm very happy now, maybe we can all get on with our lives ... Life without parole, it's good .. I would have preferred the death sentence, but it's the next best thing."
Hartwig says the man Moss shot the night before Marin was also Hispanic. He says Moss may have targeted people in the Hispanic community...believing that they might not alert authorities...due to language barriers.
Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Hartwig says he hopes the sentence will send a message that the county has zero tolerance for what he called gang-related killings.
A Centerville couple faces nearly three dozen counts of elder abuse...financial transaction fraud and theft...and forgery.
That's after police say the couple swindled an 80-year-old man with dementia out of 500-thousand dollars.
The Houston County District Attorney's Office says Cheri Cox and William Cox took money from their neighbor.. in the form of debit cards..checks...bonds and cash.
Sergeant Phillip Pritchett with the Centerville Police Department says the couple spent the money on improvements to their pool and house....and even a 30-thousand dollar 24-foot long boat.
Pritchett says the neighbor, Herbert Marquiss had no idea that this was going on.
"Pritchett:this gentleman here served our country, served it well, and I feel that he deserves nothing but the best from the community and this nation."
Pritchett says Adult Protective Services took Marquiss into an assisted living home.
The Coxes are free on 100 thousand dollars bond. They declined to comment today...and their attorney did not return our phone call.
A north Georgia family..who lost their home to foreclosure...lost even more...after they placed an ad on Craig's List.
They were hoping to giveaway items they didn't want..instead..crowds showed up and took practically everything..
Jon Shirek from our sister station 11Alive in Atlanta tells us what happened..
Well, when we got to the house, I mean, pretty much -- this.
Their home ransacked, ravaged, raked over.
Almost everything inside gone.
All because of their Craig's List ad for a driveway give-away.
They lost their home of 20 years -- to foreclosure.
And people were supposed to take only what the family had placed outside, in the driveway.
But -- Michael Vercher says they broke into his family's house
before he arrived from work to supervise give-away,
and he could not stop them.
Everyone was inside the house, they were taking out items, there was cars around the block, it was like ants in and out of the house.
They took family keepsakes -- everything -- but a few books.
They took two guitars -- the guitars that were gifts to Vercher's fiance, Dana Lamanac, from her father.
(dana Lamanac / Woodstock)
They were my dad's, and that's irreplaceable to me. I mean it's like the only thing he gave to me. It really means a lot to me.
This is the ad they placed Tuesday night.
Fairly large, free yard sale. Moving and we want everything to go free. So come over and take whatever you want and how much you want.
Vercher says people misunderstood his ad.
Never thought in a million years that they would come and take all of our stuff in the house.
About all he has, now, is a request of those who were inside --
I mean, I hope they would have a good enough heart to bring our stuff back. I mean, we don't hold any grudges against them, we just want our stuff back. I mean, some of that stuff is irreplaceable.
The community is reaching out to them..
The Shepherd Center donated 3 guitars to the family.
They're still hoping to recover more of their belongings..
Election Day is less than two weeks away...
And dozens of central Georgia races including the one for Bibb County D-A are getting down to the wire..
Today... incumbent Greg Winters announced some endorsements from around the region.
Ken Hodges, a former prosecutor in Albany and candidate for attorney general, threw his support behind Winters, along with Crawford and Peach County sheriffs... Bibb County's chief deputy Russell Nelson... and its solicitor general.
Winters' opponent David cooke has criticized how he handled the Lauren Giddings investigation and other cases,
But Winters says his endorsements speak louder than cook's criticisms.
"I will say don't take his word for it, don't take my word for it, take the words of these gentlemen who are standing right here who are working everyday in our community to protect to protect us, take their word for it."
Winters and Cooke are among the candidates scheduled to take part in a candidates forum.... next Tuesday night at the Douglass Theater.
As part of 13WMAZ's effort to make a difference... We teamed up with several schools this week to help emphasize the importance of reading.
I read to students at Springdale Elementary Tuesday..
Lorra read to students at Lake Joy Elementary yesterday...
And today it was my turn.
"Yes Papa, but you forgot something. What's that? A bed time story."
I spent time at Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary in Monroe County reading to a group of second and third graders.
My daughter Emory was also there to help get the students excited about their reading experience.
Two new stories were introduced to students there... "The giving Tree" and "Interrupting Chicken."
"Peter and the Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little and one of my favorite books is Cat in the Hat because it's solid."
You can help make a difference for others by providing books for central georgia kids.
You can drop off your books through Friday at a number of locations around central georgia... Including right here at 13wmaz.
Then... This Saturday... We'll give away books at the Komen Race for the Cure in Byron and at Jay's Hope Trek or Treat in Macon.
For more information about the book collection drives or the giveaways... Visit our website.. 13wmaz dot com.
Just look for the link on our homepage.
It's your chance to make a difference... Straight from the heart.
Several groups are teaming up to help save lives with a special fundraiser that you can take part in.
Oktober Fest will benefit The Central Georgia Breast Care Center at the Medical Center and "paint the Town Pink"...while emphasizing the importance of mammograms.
We talked to the organizers and a breast cancer survivor in tonight's Hero Central report.
When I was first diagnosed, of course your mind takes you to the worst but through God and my family, I was able to maintain some sense of sanity.
Early detection helped save Lin Howland's life after She got the news that she had breast cancer last year.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. One in eight women will have that diagnosis in their lifetime. That's the bad news but the good news is that it has the highest cure rate of all cancers with early detection.
Howland's breast cancer was spotted with a mammogram... A routine test that for many women in central georgia is out of reach.
Nancy White, Director of Oncology at the Medical Center of Central Georgia says October Fest hopes to raise awareness about the disease and help pay for mammograms for women who can't afford them.
We do get grants from Komen and other foundations like that but because of the need we run out of the grant funds before the annual grant cycle expires.
Brent Shavers, director of Catering for the event says Alpine Adventure Trails tours as well as a host of other sponsors will help amplify that message.
Right now we're in the process of transferring the Armory Ballroom into a Bavarian Beer Hall. Behind us we've got long tables set up, Back City Woods gonna be playing, we've got the Rookery catering and the Moon Hanger Group providing food.
It seemed like just a natural fit to find some way to take this event that we were already planning and turn it into an event that was going to benefit the community.
As for Howland... She's received a clean bill of health from her doctor. She says she owes it all to that one little test that in turn had a big impact on the life she lives today.
You can get tickets at the Rookery or at the door on Friday night at The Armory Ballroom.
The event is set for 7pm to midnight.
Organizers say they're working to make this an annual event.
Cooter... Cletus Hogg... Rosco P. Coltraine... Enos Strate and the Duke Family.
Yep... 7 of the original Dukes of Hazzard cast members signed contracts to come to the show's Georgia Reunion in March.
The classic car show and music festival is happening March 8th, 9th and 10th at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron.
Organizer and life-long Duke's fan... Chris Jennings... Expects 50-thousand people or more on hand.
He says that's the minimum number of people drawn to similar events at venues around the southeast.
Jennings says sponsors and organizers plan to spruce-up the raceway... Before the big event.
"March 8th, it will be very, very packed. Going to be busy. The Middle Georgia Raceway is a half mile track. We've got 17 acres of infield, inside the track. That's where all of our vendors and concerts will take place."
You can find ticket information through a link inside this story on 13wmaz-dot-com.
Tickets cost 20 bucks for a one day pass... 35 for the three day pass.
Children under 6 and seniors over 65 get in free.
Halloween is just around the corner...
That means it's time for the annual Macon Zombie Parade...which includes the iconic "thriller" dance..
Dozens of spooky dancers showed up to rehearse the dance...out at Tattnall Square Park tonight..
The event came to Macon 7 years ago courtesy of the 11th hour..
The "Thriller " dance is open to all ages..and promises to be great fun for the entire family.
"Thriller parade is just a lot of fun and you have the opportunity to spend time with your family..enjoying just wholesome family fun, just dance performances, musical performances and it's Michael Jackson's "thriller" performed by your neighbors, friends, your teachers, your classmates. It's just a lot of fun."
The Zombie Parade is at 9 tomorrow night in Tatnall Square Park...but there will be plenty of free music and fun...beginning at 7 p-m.