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Eyewitness News at Eleven August 8, 2013

12:11 AM, Aug 9, 2013   |    comments
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With Election Day just over a month away, one candidate in the District 9 commissioner's seat in the Macon-Bibb consolidated government is facing a complaint about whether he really calls that district home...

Tom George spoke with candidate Al Tillman as well as the man filing the complaint against him.

We are here.>

With the new lines set for next month's election. Al Tillman is ready for the race in District 9...

< And people that know me already know what he stand for. >

But a letter filed to the Bibb County Board of Elections by Macon City Councilman Henry Gibson is challenging his candidacy, claiming Tillman doesn't live where he says he does.

< Right here where on Bloomfield Road where I'm standing is actually the dividing line between two districts in the new government .. Right across the street on Robin Hood Road is in District 8, where Al Tillman used to live, but in June, he moved here to District 9 where he's running. >

Tillman says he moved there before the Justice Department finalized the maps .. And that he did everything by the book...

< The justice department had also ruled you could live in the district one day before qualifying...>

Tillman says he'd planned to move anyway ... But according to Gibson...

< I don't buy that, nobody buys that .. He moved there to run against James Timley.>

HB 1171 that created the consolidated government says a candidate has to be a resident of Bibb County for one year, reside in the district while in office, be a registered voters, and meet the same requirements as a Georgia House candidate.

Gibson also lives in District 9 and stayed out of the race to endorse his friend, Council President Timley.

He says candidates shouldn't be able to just move and qualify right away...

< It should be anywhere from a year to 5 years, you live in one district, that way people will know that you have their interests at hand.>

But Tillman says, it's just a distraction.

< Is it nice politics to try to get your opponent kicked out of the race? I don't think so. >

In Macon, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

We could not reach Tillman's opponent, James Timley for comment.

The Bibb County Board of Elections says the complaint has been passed on to county attorney Virgil Adams, who will determine whether Tillman will stay on the ballot.

A Warner Robins woman was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for murdering her husband.

Ebony Passion Smith was convicted by a jury Wednesday of multiple charges... Including killing her husband... Brian...two years ago in Warner Robins.

Judge Edward Lukemire handed down the life sentence with the possibility of parole... for the malice murder charge.

She will also serve a 5-year sentence consecutively for possession of a firearm during a commission of a crime.

Before sentencing... statements by the family of Brian Smith were read to Judge Lukemire.

Assistant District Attorney...Cliff Woody...says Brian Smith's death by gunshot was painful...which made the sentence appropriate.

Cliff Woody, Assistant District Attorney of Houston County:the medical examiner said he took 15 minutes to an hour for him to die so he spent many, a long time on the bathroom floor dying a horrific death.>

Smith appeared to be crying in court

Nick White...Smith's attorney... said that those were tears of remorse for what she did.

Earlier this week, Smith testified that she intended to kill herself and not her husband.

Bond was set today for the accused getaway driver in another killing...that's the Zodiac nightclub shooting that left a macon teen dead in early July.

A superior court judge granted Miranda Pettiway $100,000 bond.

Pettiway is charged with murder, attempted murder and gang activity.

Her lawyer...Brett Steger (steeger) ... says that she drove Andre Bonner.... who's accused of killing 17-year-old Jammoni Bland.... to the hospital.

Bonner was shot in the neck.

Steger said he is happy with today's outcome.

Steger says that she and Andre Bonner have a 5-year-old child.

Bonner was denied bond this morning.

When there is a death at a crime scene ... The coroner is called in to take care of the body and investigate cause of death.

But in Jones County ... The body removal service will be handled by a funeral home in Milledgeville.

The county reached out to Williams Funeral Home in Milledgeville to provide body removal and refrigerator services.

They are located 20 miles away from Gray.

This comes after Jones County coroner Jerry Bridges said he would stop removing bodies four months ago.

That's because the county refused to provide benefits for three of his deputy coroners.

But he resumed the service the next day because he said ... it's the right the to do.

Instead... Bridges started charging the county.

For 21 years ... The provided this service for free.

Even though the commission decided to bring in the milledgeville company... Bridges says he'll continue to remove the bodies

it's not about who they called or what place they called, that has nothing to do with it. It has to do with my job and what jones county elected me to do>

We called the commissioners ... And they declined to comment.

At Dairy Queen locations throughout Central Georgia... Today was not just another day for a sale.

It was a chance to feature some kids in need... And the fast food restaurants iconic treat.

13 WMAZ visited the location in Gray... Where the treats couldn't be sold fast enough.

cars surrounded the store and the lines were out the door at the dairy queen in gray today.

The kitchen was hard at work... As the fries were cooking and the wraps and burgers were being pushed through.

But the star of the day..

<a small strawberry blizzard please.>

Dairy Queen's famous Blizzard.

One dollar from the sale of each blizzard goes to help the children's miracle network.

And the balloons all over the store showed just how many people came to help out.

The Thornton family shared dinner tonight... Hoping to pass the benefit they received on to the next family who may need it.

<our son logan was born seven and a half weeks premature so we've had an incident where we had to use the children's hospital >

Just another summer treat for some...

<come on out to dairy queen and get a blizzard>

but it means a good start to life for children all throughout central GA.

Miracle treat day is not only observed here in Central Georgia... But at Dairy Queen's nationwide... and in Canada. The money raised locally benefits the Children's Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia..

New leadership within the Bibb County School system is our top story tonight on Eyewitness News at Six.

Weaver plans on being in this position for the same duration that Superintendent Smith holds his...that's about a year.

She shares what skills she thinks are a must for the next superintendent.

i think they should be relationship builders, I think they should understand the desires of the community to have a good school. And I think they need to use the wonderful people, the teachers and administrators that we have in this community to better our community.

There's another reason Weaver may be familiar to many in the community.

This month marks 10 years since her son..Mike...was shot and killed in Atlanta.

The upcoming 6th annual Weaver's Weekend is in honor of him.

<his friends have a foundation and they raise money for youth sports in bibb county. And they give it away in sweat equity and they give money away also. >

Weavers Weekend is scheduled for August 24th.

For more information you can find this story on our website...13WMAZ dot com.

Welcome back.

Time to take a look at some of the big stories around the nation on this Thursday... August the eighth.

Police say a south florida man fatally shot his wife... then posted a photo of her body on Facebook.

31 year old Derek Medina turned himself into Miami- Dade police today... Telling them he shot 26 year old Jennifer Alfonso.

A post on a facebook page... Identified as Medina's... Says quote "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife."

According to the post... His wife was punching him and he was not going to stand for any more abuse.

Then the next post was a photo of a woman Slumped on the floor... With blood on her left side....The picture remained up for 5 hours before the page became unavailable late this afternoon.

 

Two friends of the suspected Boston Marathon bomber have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The two are accused of trying to dispose of evidence from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) dorm room.

They were brought in for questioning in May and have been detained since.

The attorney for one of the men said authorities were on a witchhunt... And his client did nothing wrong.

The other man's attorney said his client was horrified he knew someone involved in the bombings... And he never knowingly disposed of evidence.

 

The nation's highest civilian honor will go to 16 new recipients... Including former president Bill Clinton and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Mr. Clinton is being recognized for his global health initiative... And Oprah for her philanthropic work expanding opportunitites for young women.

This is the 50th year for the medal of freedom... The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

Other honorees include Loreta Lynn... Gloria Steinem... And astronaut Sally Ride.

And that's what's making headlines for this Thursday... The 8th of August.

Police raided a home in Dekalb County last month... Searching for a woman who failed to pay a thousand dollar civil fee.

But the family wants answers on why the officers used such extreme force... And they captured it on video.

Erica Byfield has the story... And we want to warn you some of the footage may be graphic.

You acted like a 2 year old so we treated you like a two year old!"

THAT'S JUST ONE OF MANY THINGS TWO BROTHERS HEARD AS THEY LAID CUFFED ON THE FLOOR OF THEIR ELLENWOOD HOME SECRETLY RECORDING EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED.

"On the ground, on the ground!"

SOME PARTS OF THE VIDEO ARE SO GRAPHIC WE JUST CANT SHARE IT.

IT WAS JULY 26TH AT ABOUT TWO A-M.

"I'm a Christian woman, I haven't done anything, I haven't done anything..... stop! Stop, we are not doing anything, we are not doing anything!"

SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WERE AT THE HOME TO SERVE A CIVIL WARRANT.

DONOVAN HALL SAYS HE WAS PUSHED TO THE GROUND IN THE TUSSLE.

"They just jump on top of me they are just kicking me and punching me my face is on the corner of this and the officer is standing on top of my head."

THE DEPUTIES WERE LOOKING FOR HALL'S MOM.

THE WARRANT FOR HER ARREST SAYS SHE FAILED TO PAY A ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR FEE.

SHE SAYS THEY NEVER SAID WHO THEY WERE LOOKING FOR.

"A 15 day over due why would you come to my house with this unbelievable show of force?"

"Our deputies were at the residence legitimately on a valid arrest warrant."

THE SGT. AND SEVEN DEPUTIES ARE NOW THE TARGET OF AN INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION.

THE DEPUTY CHIEF ADDED HE WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT HAPPENED.

"I suspect there will be some disciplinary action."

"When they would not establish to what they wanted we believed that they were at the wrong house because we would never think they would come arrest me for a civil fee."

Both parties involved see the incident differently.

The dekalb county sheriff's office says contrary to the family's claim... The video shows no excessive force... But they did admit two officers used inappropriate language.

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