Eyewitness News at 6, 12-26-12

7:09 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |    comments
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Hello, everyone.

I'm Frank Malloy.

Leah Johnson has the evening off.

Our top story...A police report is shedding more light into what happened last Friday when a Macon police officer shot and killed 49-year old Sammie Davis, Jr. Tom George joins us from the 13WMAZ Eyewitness Newsroom with the latest, Tom?

Frank, an incident report released today was written by an officer who arrived after Officer Clayton Sutton shot Sammie Davis Junior outside Kroger.

The officer says he found Davis sitting up...and asked him to roll over.

Then officers searched him...and handcuffed him... before rendering first aid.

Davis died less than an hour later.

Office Sutton was reportedly bleeding from the neck and said he'd been cut...but the search found no weapons on Davis.

The report also doesn't explain why Sutton shot Davis.

It's why Davis' family says they still have unanswered questions.

< There's a degree of anger with the way the criminal justice system seems to be handling this. There should be answers, concerns should be addressed, but nothing so far is being done to ssist the understand of why it went on, we want justice for our deceased family member, and we intend to get it. >

Glover-Muhammad says the family plans on seeking legal options against Sutton...but won't go into details.

Meanwhile...a lawsuit filed this summer accused Sutton of unneccessary force.

The lawsuit alleges that Sutton hit Jimmy Brewster, a Macon man multipe times with a flashflight while he had been sitting on a porch.

The suit says Brewster suffered internal bleeding in his head.

The family says they are concerned about a possible pattern of aggression from Sutton.

< We believe there's a pattern of use of excessive force, maybe unprovoked excessive force, maybe he;s not thinking clearly. We do know there are a lot of good officers in Macon, but this may indeed be one of the bad apples that needs to be addressed.>

According to his facebook page....Sutton has been with the Macon Police for more than 6 years... He's also married and served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Sutton has been placed on administrative leave, pending an internal investigation.

Just a few minutes ago...Macon police released a statement on the case from Deputy Chief Henderson Carswell.

He says they're still investigating the shooting...and will send their file to the Da's office when they're done.

Carswell also said there was no outstanding warrant against Davis....that seems to contradict what police first told us on Friday.

Police are not releasing any further details at this time.

The former head of Macon's Progressive Christian Academy is now a wanted fugitive after having her probation revoked.

Christina Hawkins, who was a former Florida felon, is listed on the Florida Corrections Department website as Christine Perera...her maiden name.

A judge ruled that the school cannot be operated under the name Progressive

Christian Academy after a lawsuit was filed by Betty Tolbert, the school's founder.

Tolbert claimed she was defrauded by the company that bought the school in foreclosure.

This fall... the state shut down the school's day care because the agency said it was being operated without a license.

The Florida Department of Corrections told 13WMAZ Perera was previously allowed to travel to Georgia on probation but that the privilege has been revoked upon learning of the investigation.

Fire investigators are looking into a suspicious Christmas morning fire that destroyed a Macon home.

While they were working the case... one group tried to give back what the fire took.

Christmas morning was grim...but Wednesday morning was happier.

< No one should be robbed of their Christmas, especially a child. >

That's why Jeremy Allen... of Kids Yule Love... and others stepped up to turn things around.

< We had like 8 bags of toys for the children, so it was great, and we had some clothes and canned goods also.>

< They were so happy to see Santa. They were jumping up and down. >

The home owner....and the children's god mother ..Brittany Hadley.... wants to know why her house burned on Christmas morning. The loss included all the gifts...she planned give them.

Investigators suspect arson

They say there are signs that someone forced their way into the home... Before it caught ablaze.

< No matter if it was an arson. There's still someone that cares. >

Santa Claus... The Ghostbusters... and the Macon Fire Department showed up today.

But others helped make a difference too.

<the community did step up. They stepped up hard for us. >

The children range from one year to 12 in age.

They're too young to realize the loss.

< They don't understand what happened. Only the 12 and the 8 year old kind of understands. >

With new gifts at the house that they're living in for now... the kids can have the comfort...and joy....of Christmas.

< I'm just so appreciative to know that people do care about the kids and they're trying to help. >

Hadley is hoping that the help is enough until she knows more about the fire.

< I'm trying not to make it a sad Christmas story. Just let myself know that I'm blessed, that I'm still here. Although those were material things, they can be replaced but I can't be replaced. >

Kids Yule Love is still accepting donations... such as clothes for the family.

For more information... You can contact them at 478-741-3032. Their number again....741-3032.

The Christmas holiday travel period was marked by numerous accidents on the roads over the past four days..

The Georgia State Patrol said seventeen people died on Georgia roads between 6 pm Friday and midnight Tuesday.

Another 300 people were hurt...

in nearly 700 hundred wrecks..

In parts of the country...the weather's blamed for some highway deaths...

In Arkansas, two passengers driving on a sleet-covered highway died in a head-on collision.

And the Highway Patrol in Oklahoma says a 76-year old woman died on Christmas day when a pickup truck slammed into her car.

High winds were also blamed Tuesday for toppling a tree onto a pickup truck in Texas, killing the driver, and knocking another tree onto a house in Louisiana, killing a man inside..

Toyota Motor Corporation will pay a billion dollars to settle hundreds of lawsuits... Involving a defect in some vehicles that caused the cars to unintentionally accelerate.

That's according to a plaintiff's lawyer involved in the case.

The deal would still have to meet the judge's approval.

But if it does, it would make the largest settlement in U.S. History...involving an auto recall.

The Prius hybrid is the car at the center of many of the suits. Toyota has recalled more than 14 million of them.

So far...Toyota executives have not confirmed the deal.

We're getting another sign that the housing market is picking up steam.

The latest reading of the closely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index shows home prices were up more than four percent in October, compared to a year earlier.

That's the biggest percentage gain in more than two years.

And it marks the fifth straight month that the index has been up on a year-over-year basis.

This latest rise comes as the housing market has shown numerous other signs of recovery in recent months.

Low mortgage rates, a drop in foreclosures and lower unemployment are credited with helping prop up home prices.

What do you think about the economic outlook for 2013?

Better or worse than this year?

That's our 13WMAZ web poll question today...

So far.... 16 percent say... Better.

62 percent say worse.

And 22 percent expect things to be about the same.

To vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.

Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.

In less than a week... David Cooke becomes District Attorney of the Macon Judicial Circuit...after beating incumbent Greg Winters in November's election.

We wanted to talk to him...about his priorities...and what he plans to bring to the office.

He's with 13WMAZ's Randall Savage now in studio.

Tonight... A handy way to keep up with your news and your weather.

If you haven't already, go download the 13WMAZ I-Pad Ap.

It's available now in the App store.

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