eyewitness news at 6, 5-9-13

6:33 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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Hello everyone.

I'm Leah Johnson.


And I'm Frank Malloy.

Thanks for joining us.

The search for a missing man came to an end today after Macon Police found his body near Riverside Cemetery.

The cause of death hasn't yet been determined.... but police say they don't think there was foul play involved.

Yesterday... law enforcement began the search for 71-year-old David Mann.

Austin Lewis has more on what went into the search.

David Mann went missing Tuesday after he and his wife left a Macon doctor's office in separate cars.

Tonight... school board members in Bibb County Could talk about some challenging money matters at a called going on right now.

This is the last day to take up the proposal to help cover a multi-million dollar shortfall... By eliminating some classroom and office positions.

Katelyn Heck has been covering the meeting..

She joins us live from the Mulberry Street office with more.


Thank you.

Katelyn will wrap up our coverage of that meeting tonight at 11...and also on 13WMAZ-dot-com.

Investigators in Monroe County were back at the house where they say, two family members were killed earlier this week.

Tom George updates us on the investigation..

Day three ... And crews from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the GBI were back on the scene of Tuesday's double homicide...

40-year old James Pittman Wood and his brother-in-law 36-year old Russell Jacobs were found dead Tuesday afternoon by Wood's elderly father at their home on Woods Road off of Pea Ridge Road near Juliette.

Thursday, the Sheriff's office announced an autopsy had been completed which showed both men had been shot ... They say toxicology results could take several months.

The killings come as a surprise to some in Monroe County, who say crime in relatively rare in their quiet...rural neighborhoods.

< Very safe, in my opinion, we have more Sheriff and more police than anybody I've ever seen. >

< Absolutely. Yeah, it's once the 12 ... Or actually 16 years years that I've been here>

< Very uncommon. I've never heard anything like that before.>

The Sheriff's office says the motive for the homicides could be robbery, but no suspects have been named.

They also haven't described what led up to the killings.

But a bartender at Billy's Clubhouse bar in Macon....told us that the two were there Monday night.

In the meantime, though, the community says they're hopeful the case will be solved.

< We hope they find him and he will be punished for what he did. >

In Monroe County, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Anyone with information on the case can call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office at (478) 994-7043. That number again....478-994-7043.

Of murders committed in Georgia... fewer are resulting in death sentences.

That's according to statistics from the State Department of Corrections.

In a couple of minutes, I'll be joined by Mercer Law Professor David Oedel...who has insight on why some prosecutors choose to pursue the system's harshest sentences...while other cases result in life behind bars.

He has some examples of past cases with Central Georgia ties.

And in our web poll today...

we asked... Do you think the death penalty is used fairly?

69 percent of us tell us, yes you do.

31 percent do not.

Vote now, at 13WMAZ-dot-com.... And stay with us...that discussion with David Oedel...right after the break.

Yesterday, we told you about new develoments in a Macon murder case....the killing of legal secretary Gail Spencer.

District Attorney David Cooke says he'll ask for the death penalty for one of four suspects in the case...Spencer's former co-worker Tracy Jones.

If convicted...she could become just the second woman on Georgia's death row.

We'll going to talk to legal expert David Oedel about who gets death penaltly...and why.

But first some background.

Right now.... there are 91 people on death row - 13 of them from Central Georgia.

They've served an average of 18 years.... but 7 of them have been in prison for more than 30 years.

Here's more from the breakdown.

90 men, 1 woman

45 whites, 43 blacks (3 hispanic)

42 out of 80 described themselves as "middle" class.

(that's self-reporting, so not everyone responded).

But most -- 51 out of 80 -- did not graduate from high school. (One man has a master's.)

Davis Oedel is a professor of law at Mercer University... He joins us now to talk a little about who these people are.

And as we mentioned David... There's only one female.

Talk a little about the significance of the Cook case. That garnered attention for years in our area.

And Warren Lee Hill...he's likely to be next...

We also want to focus on why prosecutors sometimes elect not to seek the death penalty? What goes into that decision.

Thank you for your time today.

Times are changing... especially in the world of technology.

High school students are learning the latest programs in classs by using something they're already attached to.

The Bring Your Own Device program was introduced to some schools last year... and is now being used at Northside High School in Warner Robins.

Teens are scrolling, tapping, and sliding through class on their cell phones and ipads in Jenny Dyke's biology class... but the students aren't texting or tweeting.

They're working on a virtual dissection... It's one of many lessons taught during the bring your own device program at Northside High School.

< Jenny Dykes, Biology Teacher: Bring your own device is an initiative that select teachers in the school are participating in where students are allowed to use their devices... Phones, tablets, laptops during certain parts of the lesson. >

The program kicked off nearly a month ago at Northside High.

About 20 teachers are testing the program here before it goes school wide next year.

The approach is hands on... and gives students a chance to use the daily technology their most familiar with inside the classroom.

< Zhane Fuller, 9th grade: It just kind of makes it easier for us to look at something and read something because we feel like we're not looking a a dreadful piece of paper, we're looking at a device that always catches our attention.>

9th grader Zhane (Ja- Nay) Fuller took part in the virtual dissection... pointing out parts of a frog for the class.

< Zhane Fuller: It basically taught us the functions of the frog like what the bladder is for, the stomach, the small intestine and the large intestine.>


The other students were able to pull up the virtual dissection by scanning a QR code... which pulls up the appropriate website.

< Jenny Dykes: We could all go to the same place at the same time.>


< Jenny Dykes: The students are really into it. It really keeps them engaged and I think there's just a lot of things that I don't even know about that we can do in the classroom with it. >

Georgia is one of four states using the Bring your Own Device program.

Of course, students aren't required to have a device.

We're told the lessons are prepared in such a way that everyone can participate...but the school is hoping that in future years, they can secure loaner tablets to help get everyone online.

We're out in the backyard garden...for a look at the newest exhibit at the Museum of Aviation.

A group of Northside High School students are responsible for the display... And after nearly a year of working on it ...they're officially done.

Technically it unveils tomorrow morning...but WMAZ has a preview.

The 12th graders chose to do it on the 413th Flight Test Group at Robins Air Force Base.

The flight test group performs functional checks on airplanes like the C-130... F-15 and C-5.

The exhibit features history and pictures about the group.

That permanent exhibit opens tomorrow at the Museum of Aviation...that's on Highway 247...right outside Robins Air Force Base.

Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tonight at 11.

But remember... The news is always on at 13WMAZ.com.

The evening news is up next.

Have a safe night everyone.


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