Eyewitness News at Six July 15, 2013

9:52 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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It's a case that remains unsolved one year after it happened..A macon man found dead outside a shop that sits on a busy road..Judy Le updates on the death of Albert Jelks..

A year later .... investigators and family members are still wondering what happened to Albert Jelks<cpt jimmy barbee - no we've not come up with anything yet. (so there's nothing new?) nothing new.>

Macon police officers found the 51-year-old lying on the ground ... Just outside The Sleep Shop on Vineville Ave with fatal injuries to the head -- a destroyed eye and a cracked skull. <barbee - I think it should've looked at as a homicide from day one>

Police initially called his death an accident ... His weight caused him to trip and land on his head. It wasn't until six days later ... that police ruled his death a homicide.

In a phone conversation with Jelk's sister ... (nat - ring, May I speak to Adrian Jelks? How do you think police handled the case?) ...


adrian jelks, sister - I believe there was some carelessness. That the easy assumption was that this was not a homicide.>

She called the six-day wait a crucial mistake... because evidence could've been overlooked.

(was that a mistake on your end?) I don't think it was a mistake. It was a different way of looking at things

Jelks died in the hospital several days after he was found on the sidewalk.  

<what we think may have happened is that someone saw him break a $100 bill at a nearby restaurant and went after him for that>

For now ... Adrian can only speculate about why her brother died ... As she waits for closure.

Judy le 13wmaz eyewitness news

Macon police ask anyone with information to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME... Again that's 1-877-68-CRIME.

The state of Georgia was scheduled to execute an inmate tonight... But instead it a Fulton County judge issued yet another temporary stay of execution for Warren Lee Hill.

Today's decision came in response to defense questions about a state law prohibiting the release of information about Georgia's execution drug supply.

This isn't the first time Hill's execution has been stopped because of a challenge to the state's execution method.

He was originally scheduled to die last July..

A second scheduled execution was halted because of claims that Hill is mentally disabled.

That stay was lifted and the execution was rescheduled for tonight.

Hill was sentenced to death for killing a fellow inmate in 1990.

Saturday night - George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

The White House says the President will not involve mhimself in any decision by the Justice Department to pursue charges against Zimmerman.

Members of the national black church initiative joined together in a rally outside of the Justice department today... Seeking civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

The Justice Department says they are investigating whether federal civil rights criminal charges are warranted in this case.

Eric Holder... Head of the DOJ maintains the calls for peace and civility as it relates to the controversial case.

I hope that we will approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most, Trayvon's parents, that they have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.

One of the major issues in the Trial of George Zimmerman did not center on race or civil rights... But instead Florida's Stand your ground Law.

There are over twenty states with a similar law on the books... Including right here in Georgia.

Here today to talk about the George Zimmerman trial and how it relates to the laws here in Georgia is Former Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke.

Our 13 WMAZ dot com webpoll asks...

Do you agree with the "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman case?


So far... 77 percent of you say yes... 23 percent say no.

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

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

Your kids may not want to think about it... But it's time for parents to start planning for going back to school.

You can help Central Georgia's at-risk children get off to a good start.... As well as your own.

Operation Back to school started today at area Wal-Marts.


Lorra Lynch Jones joins us live from their location on Gray Highway.

Lorra?Again you can drop off your donations in the bins at Central Georgia Wal Marts through August 18th.

The state is moving ahead with the massive I-16....I-75 Interchange Project has been in talks for a while now....and people have questions.

Elise Brown was in Pleasant Hill today and found out what some of those are.

71-year-old Virgil Burton Senior was raised in Pleasant Hill.

And now with the i-16...i-75 interchange project....he might have to leave.

He's not happy with how much the state is offering to buy his home.

In fact this is his second time due to a highway project....in the 1960s....he had to move to make way for construction of Interstate 16.


<they coming and impacting everyone over here about moving out. But their not giving us the fair shake that they promised to give us in 2005. >

GDOT says they have the home appraised...and if homeowners don't like that figure...there is something they can do about it. They have to prove the value of their home via sales, tax records or other information.





<then if they give that to us and proved that we missed the value and that this is the value then we would look at accepting that offer from them. >

Burton isn't the only one with the questions.....Earnestine Jones has lived in the neighborhood for eight years.

She like's the work that's being done to clear the way for the project ...and says buying up some of the homes near the highway has helped to cut down on drug activity.

But she wants to know...what's going to happen with the footbridge across I-75.





<we want to know how the kids gonna get to school. Because we have kids staying here. GDOT--The bridge that will be torn down, the other bridge will be constructed first. That's the way you would have to do it in order to maintain the pedestrian traffic across the interstate. >

19-year-old Byshen Burke has also seen a drop in drug activity since the changes have been taking place.

His family is selling their home....it's going to be a green area.











<I grew up around here, I'm just used to seeing everybody. I 'm gonna miss it.>


The project is tentatively slated to begin in 2018.

Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

The Department of Transportation invites people from the Pleasant Hill community to come to a July 25th meeting at the Booker T. Washington Community Center on Monroe Street. That's from 5 to 7 pm.

At the meeting.... people can vote on noise and visual barriers that will go up along the interstate.

The total cost of the interchange project is a quarter billion dollars...and growing.

The state will spend about 10 million of that in Pleasant Hill....to offset the effect of construction.























































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