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Public Safety

N.Y. man guilty of killing teenaged prostitute

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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that a New York man has been convicted of killing a teenaged prostitute on Jan. 1, 2013.

Jurors deliberated less than three hours Friday afternoon before convicting Ricardo Laron Harris, 35, of Rochester, N.Y., of murdering Yvonne Denise James, 19, in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day 2013 inside her rented room at the Howard Johnson Inn on Delk Road in Marietta.

Mr. Harris was a client of Ms. James’ and was inside her room for about 90 minutes before he dialed 911 to report that someone had been killed. An autopsy found Ms. James died of blunt-force trauma and had been drowned. In addition to malice and felony murder, Mr. Harris was convicted of aggravated battery and concealing a death.

“The defendant is a violent serial offender with a long documented history of assaulting and beating women,” Deputy Chief ADA Jesse Evans said. “I credit Marietta Police detectives for their hard work and dedication on what proved to be a very challenging investigation.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III will sentence Mr. Harris at a later date. He faces life in prison plus 30 years.

Roswell attorney Thomas Ford represented the defendant, who has been in custody since Ms. James’ death.

The trial began last Monday with jury selection.

 

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Open house Monday to provide transit information

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A public hearing open house on an Arterial Rapid Transit service along U.S. Highway 41/Cobb Parkway will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m., June 29, at Cobb County Department of Transportation, 1890 County Services Parkway, Marietta.

There will be no formal presentation and the public may attend at any time during the event. The Connect Cobb project has proposed adding an Arterial Rapid Transit service along U.S. Highway 41/Cobb Parkway with continuing service the existing MARTA Arts Center Station. An environmental assessment for the project has been completed.

Please join us to review the environmental assessment document, view project displays, speak with project staff and provide input. For more information, please call Kristine Dederick at 404-377-9147 or visit the project online atwww.cobbdot.org. Written statements will be accepted concerning the project until July 14. Statements may be emailed to info@sycamoreconsulting.net or to: Marty Sewell, Connect Cobb EA Project Manager, Cobb County DOT, 1890 County Services Parkway, Marietta, GA, 30008-4014. All comments will be part of the official record.

 

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Career thief will return to prison

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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds has announced that a Clarkston man has been convicted of theft and will return to state prison, where he has already served five stints.

On Tuesday, a Cobb jury convicted Charles Frank Parham, 50, of two counts of theft by deception. On Sept. 20, 2013, at Home Depot on the East-West Connector in Austell, he used receipts he found in the parking lot to fraudulently return items for cash. In November 2014, he committed similar fraudulent returns at the Walmart near the Big Chicken in Marietta.

“Mr. Parham is a career thief, and his years spent stealing from these businesses have finally caught up to him,” said ADA Courtney Veal, who prosecuted the case. “Hopefully the jury’s verdict and this sentence send the message that we won’t tolerate career thieves that continually prey on businesses like these in Cobb County.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben M. Green then sentenced Mr. Parham as a recidivist to 10 years, with eight years to serve in custody and the balance on probation.

Atlanta attorney Carter Clayton represented Mr. Parham.

The trial began Monday.

Community Emergency Training Scheduled

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course is sponsored by the Cobb Emergency  Management Agency. It is a 20-hour program that trains you to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in your community.

When emergencies happen, You can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. You can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of your community.

CERT Classes will be held at the Cobb County Emergency Operations Center which is at 140 North Marietta Parkway, Marietta, 30060. The schedule for the course will be:

> Tuesdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28: 6-9pm
> Thursdays, July 9, 16, 22: 6-9pm

You must attend all sessions listed in order to complete the program. Participants must be at least 16 years old and either live, work, or worship in Cobb County.

Application forms should be requested from Kimberly Schneider at Kimberly.Schneider@cobbcounty.org. The deadline to submit an application packet is no later than 4pm on Tuesday, June 30.

 

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Family Fun Safety Day is Thursday

The public is invited to the Cobb County Safety Village this summer to enjoy a fun-filled time of safety awareness. The next Family Fun Safety Day will be held 9 a.m.-noon, on Thursday, June 25. Activities will include a tour of Sparky’s House, water safety games, free finger printing kits and up-close looks at emergency vehicles.

The cost will be $5 per person, with a maximum of $20 per family. Refreshments will be provided by Harry’s Farmers Market. For group rates of 20 or more, call 770-852-3270. The Cobb Safety Village is located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive, Marietta.

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In case you missed it: Two pharmacies robbed in East Cobb overnight

 

Two men are suspected of robbing two pharmacies in Marietta/East Cobb.

According to investigators, two men armed with handguns entered Walgreens on Shallowford Road around 11:55 p.m. Thursday and forced the employees into a rear office.

Once inside, the manger was told to open the store safe. After doing so, one of the two men took the cash and fled the area in what was described as a silver Pontiac G6.

Then around 12:30 a.m. Friday, the duo walked inside a CVS on Johnson Ferry Road with guns and stole $200 from the cash register.

According to investigators, the men entered the CVS and immediately forced the employees into the pharmacy area. Once there, the manager was directed to open the store safe. When the manager was unable to do so, one of the perpetrators took all of the cash from a register and fled in the same car.

There is a sign outside of the business that said, “€œThis location designated as official law enforcement sub-station.”

Police believe the same two men robbed both stores. The descriptions police gave of the suspects are too generic to identify a specific person.

Copyright 2015 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

(Source: WTVM Channel 9 Click HERE for the original article)

 

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Outdoor burning ban continues this summer

 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issues a ban on open burning through Sept. 30 of each year. Fifty-four counties in Georgia (including Cobb County) are affected. Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services are responsible for the enforcement of this state-issued burning ban in unincorporated Cobb County, and the cities of Acworth, Kennesaw, and Powder Springs.

Through Sept. 30, the public may not burn leaves, tree limbs, or other yard waste, forest land, or use air curtain destructors for land clearing. If you have a complaint or problem regarding burning in your area, please call 911. For more information, click here.

 

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Grand Jury indicts 46 defendants in drug distribution ring

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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that the Cobb Grand Jury has returned an indictment charging 46 people with criminal conduct related to a massive heroin and methamphetamine distribution ring in the county.

“This is a great example of the collaboration and commitment between law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office in Cobb County as we attempt to eradicate our county of both gangs and drugs, especially heroin,” DA Reynolds said.

The indictment alleges that between September 2013 and August 2014, the defendants used a local business, Tattoos by Ho at 950 Cobb Parkway in Marietta, as a base of operations and that as members and associates of the Good Product Team street gang, engaged in the sale and distribution of heroin, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs. The defendants also include people who were not members or associates of the gang, but purchased the illegal drugs.

The defendants are Antoine Maurice Atkinson; Dennis Beams; James Cook; Samantha Cresswell; Adam Dehan; Corey Erwin; Ezzard Evans a/k/a E, a/k/a Red; Darione Farris; Matthew Green; Tommy Gresham; Zibiah Hammond; Krissy Harden; Eugene Harden; John Ho; Amy Holden; Marcus Holland; Russell Hucks; Charles James; Reginald Jones; Rachel Lopez; Derrick McDonald; Brandon McFarland a/k/a Geezy; Aurelius Madison; Dequentin Madison a/k/a Jizzle; Xavier Martin a/k/a Chad a/k/a Young Crook; Bernard Mathis; Erica Monson; Jonathan Norton; Lamar Odom a/k/a Moonie; Matthew Osburn; Samatha Pinada; Julius Rawls; Margaret Riceman; Stephen Ruel; Christopher Sanchez; Kenneth Sherman; William Simpson; Jason Singleton; Charles Smith; Brenyanna Stinner-Hailey; Brandon Truitt; Shannon Waddle; Johnathan Wirt; Billy Jo Works; Thomas Works, Sr.; and Thomas Works, Jr.

The charges in the indictment include multiple counts of Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, as well as Trafficking in Heroin and Trafficking in Methamphetamine.

Deputy Chief ADAs Michael Scott Carlson and John Melvin will prosecute the case. Arraignment dates have not been set.

Not every defendant is charged with each count in the indictment. An indictment is a formal charging of felony offenses. All defendants remain innocent until proven guilty.

 

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Cobb airport celebrates with new name and new air traffic control tower

 

The Cobb County airport celebrated the completion of two key projects and the airport’s new name this week. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was for the new Air Traffic Control Tower. At 78 feet, the ATCT is nearly twice the height of the old tower. Air traffic control operations opened March 5.

The new Customs Inspection Facility will allow international flights to land in Cobb County. Customs will be operational by the end of June. The new name of the airport is Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field.

The celebrations were fun and Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field is Atlanta’s new choice. For more information, visit: www.CobbCountyAirport.org.

 

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Sheriff issues scam alert

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The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents to use caution if they are contacted about a missed juror summons along with a demand for payment of a fine. The scheme typically involves the victim receiving a phone call from a male identifying himself as a member of the sheriff’s office and claiming the resident has failed to appear for jury duty. The caller informs the victim a warrant has been issued for his or her arrest. In order to have the warrant dismissed, the caller typically demands a substantial amount of money to pay a fine.  The caller tells the victim to make a payment using a loadable prepaid money card, such as “Green Dot,” “Money Pak,” or “Vanilla Card.” Once the victim provides the number on the card, the caller has access to all the funds. Sheriff Neil Warren said educating the public about this crime is critical.

“This type of scam has been used for many years and is making a comeback,” Warren said. “The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office would not contact a resident demanding payment of a fine nor does the Sheriff’s Office have the authority to dismiss a warrant. Anytime someone identifies themselves as law enforcement and demands payment using a prepaid money card over the phone, you should be suspicious.”

If you have a question regarding jury duty service, call the Superior Court Jury Administrator at 770-528-1757 or the State Court Jury Administrator at 770-528-2628. The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is currently working in conjunction with numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies investigating this fraudulent activity.  If you received a similiar phone call, please contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at 770-499-4653 or 770-499-4639.

 

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