I'm Frank Malloy.
With the Macon-Bibb elections less than a month away.. 13WMAZ's Katelyn Heck and Randall Savage have been discussing issues with the seven mayoral candidates..
They've asked each candidate if they've ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. David Cousino was the only one to acknowledge an arrest and charges.. Here's the exchange.
<katelyn: Alright Mr. Cousino, have you ever been charged with or convicted of a crime?
Cousino: Charged with or convicted of a crime? Not convicted, I've been falsely accused of crimes, yes.
Randall: Such as?
Cousino: Let's see, there's several things, well let's see, domestic dispute with my ex-wife, similar things of that sort,you know, the trespassing, all those things that go on when you have domestic dispute.
Randall: Were you arrested?
Cousino: Yeah, they arrested me and all that was cleared up and expunged from my records, yes.
Randall: right now you don't, was this more than once?
Cousino: Nah, just the one, and like I say, I carries a weapons permit, so all my records are clean.
Randall: Just that one arrest then?
Cousino: Yes, that was on the files. And they were all dismissed and dismissed of. So...
Randall: Now how long ago was that?
Cousino: Well gee, my daughter's 24 years, so probably 23 years ago.
Randall: About 23 years ago, and your record's clean?
Cousino: Correct. I wouldn't be able to carry a weapons permit if it wasn't, mainly on a domestic.>
But 13WMAZ obtained documents from the Twiggs County Superior Court clerk's office showing....he wasn't falsely accused.
In 1991.. Cousino was convicted of five charges stemming from a domestic dispute.
Six years later his record was cleared when he was given first-offender treatment.
It happened in February 1989.. Cousino was still married to Yvette Cousino ...but the couple was separated.
That month... he went to the Twiggs County home of his mother-in-law.... Yvonne Hodges.
That's when the family dispute broke out.
Later... A Twiggs County grand jury indicted Cousino on a terroristic threat charge for allegedly threatening to kill his wife.
He was indicted on a simple assault charge for allegedly hitting Richard Hodges... his father-in-law at the time.
And the grand jury indicted Cousino on two simple battery charges.. One for allegedly choking.. And beating his mother in law...And bending her neck.
The other for allegedly hitting his estranged wife.
He was also charged with criminal trespass charges for allegedly refusing to leave the property.
In 1991.. A Twiggs County jury convicted him on all charges.. He was ordered to pay $3,963 restitution to his mother in law. He was fined $1,200 and sentenced to six years probation.
Since he had no prior record.. The court granted Cousino first-offender status.
That means his record would be wiped clean after he completed probation.
We researched the case....and had a followup discussion with Cousino....about a week after our first interview.
He claimed his ex-wife and her family were the aggressors.
<Cousino: Then she started yelling at me and screaming at me across the fence where she was at. she started throwing a bunch of rocks at me and my automobile, dented the hood of my automobile, and when she dented the hood of my automobile, i told her 'dont throw any more rocks at me.' i said, 'this is where rocks and sticks and stones do break bones.' and i told her, 'you throw one more rock at me, and i'm going to come over that fence.' and sure enough, she threw one more rock at me and I came over the fence, and that's where i made my mistake.
Randall: and then you threw her down?
Cousino: I literally ran, and she started running, and she fell down. I didn't throw her down. What I did to her was when she ran and fell down, and i stood right above her and I grabbed hold of her shoulders and I laid the biggest honkey on her face. And then I turned around and left.
Randall: what do you mean honkey?
Cousino: spit, right on her face, then I took off.
Randall: you spit on her?
Cousino: I sure did.
Randall: why do you think it's coming out now?
Cousino: what it is, is just like it is. whoever is trying to do it is making a cheap shot towards my character, which my character doesnt even expose anything of that type, and if it was any of that type, where have i ever had any of that between then, or even the time that I was even born.>
Two days ago.. his former wife.. Now known as Glenda Durden.. Contacted 13WMAZ to disclose Cousino's prior legal problems.. She says she wanted people to know that.. in her opinion.. Cousino isn't the person that he portrays himself to be on the campaign trail.
Cousino and five other candidates are on the ballot for the September 17 Macon-Bibb County elections. Early voting starts Monday.
A Macon woman filed an incident report with Bibb County Sheriff's Office. She told deputies that State Senator David Lucas choked her 14-year-old son.
No charges have been filed against him.
But Bibb County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating the complaint.
According to the incident report...it happened at a campaign event for Elaine Lucas at Lakeview Club Apartments.
That's on Masseyville Road in east Bibb County.
The boy's mother... Kinya Miller filed the complaint.
She says it started when her older son and David Lucas's son....exchanged words.
She then told deputies that David Lucas walked up and started choking her 14-year-old.. Chase..
Miller is the daughter of Terry Tripp... who is running against Elaine Lucas for county commission.
<David Davis:We don't know what the motivations for these incidents are and we don't know the motivation for why Miss Miller if she is related to the other candidate why she's is at another candidate, opponents campaign event so we are not interested in all that. We are only interested in the facts of the incident of some type of physical altercation took place and that's where we are concentrating our efforts on. All that other is really just static and it's extraneous to what are investigation concerns itself with. >
We also went by State Senator David Lucas's headquarters.
<David Lucas: I ain't going to do no interviews. Do you decline to comment? I do. >
Again no charges have been filed against Lucas.
We will update you on this story when more information is available.
The trial of a Hancock County man...accused in a double murder...has ended in a mistrial.
That means Brandon Charleston will have to face a retrial, though it's unclear when that will happen.
That's according to Assistant District Attorney Stephen Bradley..
On Tuesday, a jury in Sparta acquitted Charleston of three charges... armed robbery and 2 counts of malice murder
But they could not reach a verdict on 2 counts of felony murder... and on assault against a child.
The GBI says on September 11th 2011.... Charleston shot and killed 34-year-old Darryl Scott and 31-year-old Dedria DeShay Green in their home on Tommie Lane in Sparta.
Bradley says it's unclear when the retrial will happen.
Contamination tests show...the city of Cochran's water is safe to drink.
According to a release from city manager Ray Gibson, a state-certified EPA lab verified that no contaminants were in the Cochran water after severe flooding Tuesday.
Officials drew four samples from different points within the system and all samples came back negative.
When you own a car ... It also means paying for things like gas ... Insurance ... And repairs
While people in every state have to deal with those costs ...
Judy Le tells us ... Georgia residents have it the worst.
Filling up your tank...Making sure there's enough air in your tires ... And there's also ...
It's all a part of car maintenance. But of 50 states ... Georgians spend the most money on their cars.
<i get 11 miles to a gallon and gas is kicking my butt righ tnow>
A new report from bank rate dot com looked at all of the costs car owners have to deal with.
<standup - Here's a breakdown of where your money is spent in a year. On average ... repairs are $400 (tires), taxes are $2000, Gas is another $1200 (gas), and insurance comes out to $770, That a total of about $4,300
That doesn't come as a surprise to Danielle Jolly ... Who drives her S-U-V every day
<it's expensive. I mean you have to take in consideration the gas prices here too>
With so much money going into her Expedition... She's beginning to regret her purchase
<if I had reliable friends and family, I probably wouldn't own a car>
That's nearly double what people in the cheapest state. . Oregon . .pay to drive the same car.
The national average to keep a car going is about 32 hundred bucks.
Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news
After Georgia ... California comes a close second with Wyoming in third when it comes to owning a car..
This week...we've been telling you about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech....and looking back at some Central Georgia history.
50 years ago this week Judge William Randall boarded a bus headed to DC for the March on Washington..Not realizing that he would be a part of history.
Elise Brown has his story.
<things were separate in the city of macon. Schools, entertainment, churches. Everything you can mention. >
Before some macon ministers boycotted buses...there was William...Billy...Randall...and his friends in 1961. Judge Randall says he believes african americans would not be where they are today without the non-violence protests that he says touched America's conscience.
<15 of us boarded the city buses, and we rode them in the front seat, we refused to move, and of course they arrested us. >
The youth chapter of the NAACP started boycotting segregated businesses downtown....especially those with lunch counters.
<it was dangerous. I know we were picketing a store up further called hayes and a guy drew a knife on me. >
<randall says African Americans had to enter through side doors like this one at the old JJ Newberry's in order to be served.>
<my father wouldn't permit it. We didn't go to windows and backdoors. >
In August 1963 Randall...with the youth chapter of the NAACP.... took part in the march on washington.
<I could not sense any fear amongst us. We had no thought that it was historic.>
He describes it as an amazing sea of people....of all races..locking arms and holding hands.
<there were blacks, there were whites, there were latinos, there were indians, it was just an amazing sight.>
Randall had heard Doctor King speak before...because he was a family friend. But this time was different.
<it impressed me, his delivery, the similies, the allegories that he used. It was just marvelous.>
After coming home...Randall continued to fight for social justice.....and to eliminate some of the problems african americans were facing in the south...but especially macon...because it's home.
Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
Macon's Mayor says... A cleanup project on Edgewood Avenue this morning... Changes more than just the cityscape.
The Bibb County's Sheriff's Office teamed up with the mayor to clean up neglected neighborhoods in Macon, like Edgewood Avenue, right off second street.
Driving by, you may have spotted several inmates, trimming weeds, blowing leaves, and dumping litter in trash bags.
The work is part of the inmates' community service hours.
Mayor Robert Reichert says not only does this beautify the neighborhood and improve the curb appeal to attract potential buyers... It can inspire those who already call Edgewood Avenue home.
< We think the neighborhood benefits by having these properties cleaned up so they take pride in where they live. They may be encouraged then to maintain their own lots, lots next door to them, and it's a snowball effect that can just neighborhood by neighborhood make a big difference in our neighborhood.>
There are about 50 properties on the list waiting to be cleaned.