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Public Safety

East Cobb “Craigslist” Couple Funeral Tomorrow


East Cobbers “Bud” Runion, 69, and June Runion, 66, were found dead this week in
Telfair County. Bud Runion had put an ad on Craigslist looking for a 1966 Mustang, the
same type of car he drove as a young man just back from Vietnam. They were allegedly
lured by Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28 last Thursday, January 22. Yesterday, police found the
couple in a wooded area close to Towns’ family’s property, with fatal gunshot wounds to
their heads. Their 2003 GMC Envoy was found submerged in a nearby pond. There is
no record of Downs ever owning a 1966 Ford Mustang.

Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson revealed that Towns was the last person to
speak to the Runions, via a disposable cell phone. When interrogated, his story didn’t
match up with the information investigators already had. A warrant for his arrest was
issued on Sunday afternoon. On Monday evening, Towns turned himself in to the Telfair
County Sheriff’s Office. Initially, Towns was charged with criminal attempt to commit
theft by deception and giving false statements. When the autopsy report confirmed
yesterday that the bodies found were indeed the Runions, he was also charged with two
counts of felony murder and one count of felony armed robbery.

Over 175,000 Facebook members have joined the “Find Bud and June Runion” page,
hoping that the outcome would be different. Once the tragic news hit, the Runions’ three
daughters received an outpouring of prayers and support from people all over the world.

“Bud and June had an amazing love,” the family said on a Facebook post on Tuesday,
“They loved God and that is evident in how they lived.”

The Runions had lived for more than thirty years in East Cobb, where they raised their
three daughters. Bud was known for restoring old bikes that he would give to
underprivileged children at Christmas. June was a retired teacher.

A funeral service will be held for Bud and June Runion on Saturday, January 31st at
1:00 p.m. at Mt. Paran North Church of God and will be open for the public to attend.
Mt. Paran is located at 1700 Allgood Road, Marietta/East Cobb 30062.

Cobb Fire and Emergency Services purchases thermal imaging cameras


Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services has purchased sixty new Bullard Eclipse LDX thermal Imaging Cameras with 2011 SPLOST funds.

The cameras will replace the Department’s existing 42 cameras, as well as add cameras on eight rescue vehicles and four Battalion Chiefs’ vehicles. Eight cameras will be assigned to the Training Division which will allow them to equip each Training Officer with a camera during training evolutions for evaluating firefighter performance and greatly enhancing safety of all training participants.

The new cameras are approximately one pound lighter than the previous cameras and include the latest in Thermal Imaging Technology which provides a much sharper, brighter image.  Image quality is vital when searching for victims in a smoky, low to no visibility environment commonly found in structure fires.

The cameras also allow firefighters to locate hidden fire behind walls and ceilings as well as help locate hot spots.

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Cobb DA Release: Three Former Cherokee County Court Reporters Sent to Jail

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that three former Cherokee County court reporters were sent to jail after pleading guilty to racketeering.

Investigators found that since at least 2006, Tammy Stine, Kimberly Probst and Betty Petersen had expanded the spacing in official court transcripts to increase the number of pages transcribed, and also billed for pages that did not exist. Ms. Stine and Ms. Probst even billed the Cherokee County Clerk of Superior Court for transcripts that had not been filed with the court.

Under state law, the Judicial Council of Georgia regulates the number of characters per line and the number of lines per page on official court transcripts. It also establishes the per-page rate at which court reporters are to be paid. In 2006, it was $3.57 per page.

The women were indicted separately, each on a single count of racketeering — which alleges a pattern of criminal activity — on Dec. 18, 2014.

“This was essentially a scheme to manipulate transcripts and invoices to collect more than was due,” said Chief ADA Don Geary, who prosecuted the case.

All three of the defendants pleaded guilty during a two-hour hearing on Tuesday.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley told the defendants that as court employees, they should be held to a higher standard.

Judge Staley then sentenced Ms. Stine to serve eight months in jail, followed by eight years on probation. She was ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution, which she has already paid in full, and she was fined $1,000.

Judge Staley sentenced Ms. Probst to serve four months in jail, followed by 10 years on probation. She was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution, which she paid in full on Tuesday.

Ms. Petersen was sentenced to serve six months in jail, followed by 10 years on probation, and she also was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution. In addition, Ms. Probst and Ms. Petersen were each fined $1,000.

Canton attorney Daran Burns represented Ms. Stine. Woodstock attorney Tony Morgese represented Ms. Probst and Ms. Petersen.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cobb District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation.

Need a tune up? Use our coupons for discounts at BP Care Care & Quick Lube


Click the image to access our January 2015 issue


Before you head out on the road, stop by BP Car Care & Quick Lube, 557 Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. This locally owned and operated neighborhood service center offers oil changes, emissions, maintenance and repairs. Use the coupons on page 9 of our January issue for extra savings!


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Lock Your Vehicles!

The Cobb County Police reported that several Entering Autos occurred this past Friday afternoon at both YMCA locations in East Cobb, the one on Johnson Ferry Rd and the location on E. Piedmont Rd.  Valuables were left in the vehicles that were seen by the offenders who forced entry by smashing windows.

With your help this trend can be stopped before it continues and or spreads to other businesses.  Remove your valuables and any bags that appear to contain valuables, before you park your vehicle.  If you decide to secure them in your trunk, do so before you reach your destination so the bad guy does not watch you place your bag or purse in your trunk.  Then, remember to always lock your vehicle.

The YMCA is being proactive and has posted extra notices to its members reminding them not to leave valuables in their vehicles.



Please remember to visit our website at  Locate the PENS Program link on the left column and select Precinct 4 for the PENS Dispatch, crime prevention and questions and answers.  You may check daily crime reports utilizing the police 2 citizen site at

Lithonia men plead guilty in 2013 killing, get 20 years in prison

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that two Lithonia men have pleaded guilty in the 2013 shooting death of a Cobb resident.

Dedric Raheem Baisden, 21, and Dwight Foster Moore, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Brandon Brazil. Mr. Brazil, 30, was shot 11 times inside his home at the Sedgefield apartment complex off Allgood Road about 10:45 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2013.

Deputy Chief ADA Jesse Evans acknowledged that Mr. Brazil sold marijuana and had begun carrying a .380-caliber handgun after being robbed a few weeks before he died. Robbery may have been the motive the night the two defendants entered the victim’s apartment, where a shootout involving three firearms ensued, ADA Evans said.

“That doesn’t make this a justified homicide, but it is a mitigated homicide,” ADA Evans said.

Several days after the killing, police received a tip that Mr. Moore was involved, and he identified Mr. Baisden. They were taken into custody about two weeks after the killing, and have remained held without bond since then.

After accepting the pleas, Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III sentenced each defendant to the state’s recommendation of 20 years to serve.

Marietta attorney Michael Treadaway represented Mr. Baisden. Attorney Michael Maloof of Decatur represented Mr. Moore.

Cobb Police investigated the case. The defendants had been scheduled to stand trial on murder charges in the case on Feb. 9.


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Drug trafficker sent to prison for 65 years

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that a five-time felon has been sentenced to serve 65 years in prison for drug trafficking.

A Cobb jury late Wednesday convicted Nikita Tayaneka Winn, 43, of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, trafficking in heroin, and firearms-possession charges.

On Sept. 24, 2013, Marietta Police were conducting surveillance at the Crestmont Apartments near Bells Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway after complex managers had complained of possible drug activity near the building where the defendant was staying with a tenant. Police encountered one of the defendant’s customers trying to make a purchase, and that led to a search of the defendant’s room and discovery of the drugs, digital scales, a knife and gun, and more than $3,500 in small bills.

“[Drug trafficking is] destruction brought onto this community and others all over this country by the work of people like Nikita Winn. He’s responsible for wrecking lives and neighborhoods with the scourge of illegal drugs. It’s time to do something about it, and that’s why we’re here,” ADA Maurice Brown told jurors.

This morning, Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary Staley sentenced Mr. Winn to serve 65 years in prison, and also fined him $1 million. He has five prior felony convictions. He also faces a separate, pending case here of giving a false name. Fulton County and the City of Atlanta also have charges pending against him.

Marietta attorney Lee Fudger represented the defendant during the trial.



Neighborhood Safety Commission resumes monthly community program

The Community Awareness Committee’s January Panel Discussion “Being An Educated Driver” will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Commissioners Meeting Room on the second floor at 100 Cherokee Street. The discussion will be broadcast live on Channel 23. Previous Community Awareness Discussions are available online here.


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Pawnshop robbery = life without parole

police car

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that a repeat offender found guilty of robbing a Marietta pawnshop has been sentenced to life without parole.

A Cobb jury late Wednesday convicted Ronald Eaton Jr., a/k/a Ronald Cornish, of the Sept. 18, 2012 armed robbery of Cobb Pawnshop on Cobb Parkway South. Shortly after 10 a.m. that day, Mr. Eaton entered the shop armed with a handgun and demanded money from the owner. He then forced the owner into a back room of the shop and duct-taped him to a chair.

“Ronald Eaton made a choice to live his 28 years of life as a criminal. As a four-time convicted felon from Baltimore, Maryland, he chose to make victims of innocent people by robbing and assaulting them as a means to meet his selfish ends,” ADA Joyette Holmes said. “The life without parole sentence handed down by the court forecloses Ronald Eaton’s opportunity to harm anyone else.”

Mr. Eaton, 28, of Marietta, was convicted of all three charges, which were armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III immediately sentenced him as a recidivist to life in prison without parole, plus the required five years on the firearms charge.

Atlanta attorney Anthony Woods Jr. represented the defendant, who also faces pending murder charges in Maryland.

Marietta Police investigated the case. The trial began Monday with jury selection.


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Four occurrences of catalytic converter thefts


Catalytic Converter Thefts: The night of Tuesday, December 30th there were four reported thefts of catalytic converters. The thefts all occurred in apartment complexes along Roswell Road near the 120 Loop. The target victim vehicles were all Hondas, specifically two CR-Vs and two Elements. No suspect information or leads available from any of the incidents.

Please call 770-499-3962 or 770-499-4184 to report any tips or witnessed information.


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