eyewitness news at 6, 5-13-13

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Hello, I'm Frank Malloy.

 

And I'm Leah Johnson.

I'm Jennifer Moulliet, and before we get to our top stories...

Tonight we focus on mortgages in our Your Money Matters Series..

The help desk is open.. answering your calls, emails and tweets about how to get a mortgage, refinancing, and what you can do if you're behind on mortgage payments..

Call us at 478-752-13-hundred.. email us at eyewitnessnews@13wmaz dot com.. or tweet your questions to me at jmoulliet underscore wmaz. Frank, Leah?

We'll have More on mortgages in just a few minutes.. but first... Our top stories tonight at six.

Three Macon teenagers are charged with killing two men after their car broke down in Monroe County.

And tonight, authorities are now looking for a fourth person.

A news release says 16 year old Sameeria Carter, 19 year old Marquez Martin, and 18 year old Jordan Maxwell are all charged with murdering Russell Jacobs and James Wood.

A fourth suspect... 17 year old Dave'von Sapp... is also charged with the murder.

Investigators said that Jacobs and Wood's car broke down last Monday night.

They say the victims met Carter....at a Bass Road gas station.

Then all six of them drove in Martin's car...to Wood's home.

The release says one of the four suspects shot Jacobs and Wood in the head....inside the home on Woods Road.

The suspects stole a TV set...computer...and camera from the home....the sheriff's department says.

A judge denied bond for Carter. Martin and Maxwell haven't had their hearings yet.

If you have any information on Sapp's whereabouts....you can call 478-994-7043.

Again.. That's 478-994-7043.

In another case we've been following since last week, the investigation into the killing of a Middle Georgia College Student...has taken law enforcement to a burned out house in Hawkinsville.

Tom George explains the link.

I'm here in front of a burned down house about a quarter mile into the woods off nick cabero road in hawkinsville...

The GBI says somewhere on this 30-acre site....they found evidence that may be connected to the case of 19 yr old jmaal Keyes murder. He's the Middle georgia state student who went missing April 25th...and is now believed murdered.

Last week...his classmate 17 year old Robert Kane rolison....was charged with the killing.

But they're still looking for Jmaal Keyes' body.

Neighbors told me this wooded area is right next to the home of Rollison's grandparents and the GBI says this house burned down around the same time Keyes went missing.

Todd Lowery of the GBI's Eastman office says they've sent the evidence to their crime lab for testing. And he wasn't sure how long that would take.

And he would not describe that evidence.

But he said...quote...we're not prepared to say we have found his body.

He would not comment further.

Meanwhile....Rolison made his first court appearance before a Bleckley County magistrate judge Sunday...and was denied bond.

He remains in the Bleckley county jail

In hawkinsville tom george WMAZ eyewitness news

So far...investigators have not described how Robert Rolinson knew Jmaal Keyes...how Keyes died...or what they believe was the motive.

An Eastman man is found dead in his home. Now... the GBI says it's involved in a homicide investigation.

Special agent Todd Lowery says a family member found 50 year old Gregory Scott Giddens Saturday night.

Investigators think Giddens died Friday or Saturday but the cause of death is unknown.

Gidden's body was sent to the G-B-I crime lab for an autopsy.

Another murder case that happened earlier this year led to a life sentence this afternoon...for a 23-year-old man whom the D.A. Says, has a mental disability.

<son you just don't know what you've taken away. And it can't be replaced. You still have your life. Thank god. >

21-year-old Justin Grable agreed to testify against 19-year-old Alexandria Scott.

Scott admitted to shooting and killing 38-year-old Kimberly McKenzie of Centerville.

McKenzie was found dead in South Bibb County in January..

The D-A's office says the death penalty is not an option for Grable because of his mental disability.

Another man will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to murder.

19-year-old ...Brett Michael Kelly is one of four people accused of killing Gail Spencer last October.

As part of the plea deal, he will have to testify against co-defendant, Tracy Michelle Jones who faces the death penalty.

Kelly was charged with murder and aggravated sodomy.

Investigators say all four were involved in an embezzlement scheme at the law firm of Macon attorney... Calder Pinkston.

Spencer and Jones both worked at the law office..

Police say Spencer was suffocated with a garbage bag when she refused to cooperate.

<he will testify truthfully and cooperate with the investigation in regards to every other codefendent. So once their cases are disposed of then he'll be sentenced. If he fails to live up to the terms of his agreement, then we'll seek the death penalty >

Kelly's plea deal also means that he will testify at the trials of Jones, Keith Dozier and his sister...Courtney Kelly.

It's still about six months before students will fill the new gym at Saint Joseph Catholic School... but they've already made a permanent mark on the building.

Crews first broke ground back in October... and today... students had the opportunity to write messages on the bare bones of the structure.

Children signed the final beam that will be added to the gym, leaving a legacy for classes to come.

<today the students are signing the final beam that will be lifted in place, and even though their signatures won't show it's going to be encased of course within the building, they'll always know no matter how old they are, that their name is up inside the building. When I have children I can always tell them that I signed it.>

Saint Joseph currently uses other school gyms...

for indoor sports and activities.

The new gym will also include three addiitonal classrooms.

Thinking about buying your first home... And aren't familiar with the process.

Our 13wmaz help desk is here for you... Because your money matters.

Jennifer Moulliet, just what do people need to know before they buy?

Frank... I spoke with one woman who waited a long time to buy her first home... Because she wasn't sure if she could qualify for a loan... here's her story.

<I didn't think I could ever buy a house because I had always rented and I knew my credit had gotten kind of messed up over time. >

Janice Davis didn't own her own home... Until she was almost fifty years old.

<I didn't think I was credit worthy, I knew I made enough to make a house payment because I made car payments I made rent payments my whole life>

She finally took the plunge a few years ago... And says her first step was finding out her credit score.

<seeing it, knowing this is me this is all i've got on this piece of paper was real overwhelming for me>

<it was like a hundred and eighteen pages and we spent hours thumbing through them combing through the information seeing who I owed and what shouldn't be on there>

She spent twelve months... Working on her score... so she could purchase her dream home.

<i cried myself to sleep many nights, just worry and wonder, and not know what was next or can i do this or not if i put twelve months into this is it going to be worthwhile >

Ashley Minshew... a mortgage lender with Robins Federal Credit Union says just because you have debt doesn't mean it's not a good time to buy a house... She says there are other factors lenders look for before approving someone for a home loan.

<good payment history on your credit report, their length of employment and are they financially able to manage that debt >

She says just like Davis did... Comb through your credit report... and save money.

< it's going to take money to get your loan, to close on the loan, but then there's going to be moving expenses, your utilities things like that >

she says take your time when buying a house... Do your research... and get pre-approved so you know you're ready for such a big purchase.

<take a look at the house, have an inspection done, watch the neighborhood is it really where you want to be what are the trends in that neighborhood has there been a lot of foreclosures that will affect the overall value >

If you're not looking to buy... but instead are struggling to pay... Minshew says Talk to your lender... Find out how they can help... Get you out of that rough patch... She says you don't want a short sale... Or a foreclosure... Because it looks bad on your credit report.

<it takes a while once that's posted on your credit to work it's way out>

Also... think about refinancing your home... For a lower interest rate.

<its the largest purchase most people will ever make>

she says don't get discouraged... Work on your credit score and try again.

<i can do this, this is what I want to do, this is how bad I want to do this >

And if you're thinking about starting the process... Davis has some advice.

<don't be afraid of it, don't be scared it's nothing but a thing>

If you're having trouble paying your mortgage... maybe you just lost your job... What are some resources?

Visit Home Safe Georgia dot com... They provide temporary mortgage assistance... For up to 18 months.

You still have time to call and ask your mortgage questions... You can also e-mail them... One of our viewers asked... < AD LIB >

Members of our phone bank are waiting and ready to answer your questions the number to call 752-1300...

gain that number is 752-1300.

When your tax evaluation arrives on your house or property in Bibb County... you may see some fluctuations.

That's because the moratorium preventing those valuations from going up expired in 2011.

Notices will be mailed out this Wednesday.

If you notice a hike... The tax assessors office says that's because of improvements, new construction, land splits, or the selling price of similar properties in your area.

Drops in your property tax are based on sales too.

If you want to appeal your tax evaluation... You can visit the tax assessor's website at

www.bibb assessors.com.

 

In our 13wmaz web poll... we asked if you're satisfied with your home's tax assessment.

A majority... 68 percent said too high.

Too low... 11 percent.

And 21 percent say... Your most recent assessment was about right.

You can still vote in that webpoll at 13WMAZ.com.

Looking at the handiwork in our own backyard garden... We know fixing up a yard is stressful for anyone.... let alone if you have a sick child.

 

 

Elise Brown met one family today who is getting some help outdoors.

16-year-old Jonathon Tompkins loves baseball.

<that's really the only thing that makes me feel good right now. >

Tompkins has what is called Jackhammer Esophagus.

<where the muscles in the esophagus spasm. It does not matter if he's eating, drinking, he can just be sitting and they'll spasm. They say it's like a person that's having a heart attack. >

The 10th grader has been in-and-out of the hospital since he was 14....but recently his illness has gotten worse....keeping him from playing baseball as often as he'd like.

Cutting Edge Landscaping wanted to help out...as part of their Backyard Makeover Project.

<we are going in and redesigning it. To give him a little pleasure for the summertime. He's a big baseball fan, so we're doing a baseball theme.>

<I feel overwhelmed because I feel like you know..maybe somebody else deserved it more than we did. When you stay up here at a childrens hospital you see a lot of things and you're kind of in your pity puddle here but when you walk the halls you see you're thankful for why you're here. >

This project has been five months in the making....they are in the last leg of the landscaping.

<the main thing that I'm hoping for is a batting cage and I really honestly don't care what I have or what I get they could've just cleaned it up for me and I would have been happy with it.>

Crews are on-schedule to finish the work soon...and once Tompkins is out of the hospital...all will be revealed.

<i'm ready to get out of here so I can see it.>

I'm Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Tompkins is receiving botox treatment to help relax the muscles in his esophegus...which carries food from the throat...to the stomach. If that doesn't work long term... His mom says surgery is the next route.

 

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