This week, The News begins a weekly series looking at what has become of those convicted of murder in Newton County and touching base with the victims' loved ones. The cases span nearly four decades. Information was gathered from the archives of The News and records from the Newton County Clerk of Courts office as well as through interviews and written correspondence with involved parties.
Riding for a good cause: Many members of the Juvenile Court of Newton County participated in the for Ride for Reading on Saturday, July 11, to benefit The Learning Center in Oxford. The ride began at 10 a.m. at the Martin's Crossing Shopping Center and ended at 11:30 a.m. at Jimbo's Grill at the Mill in Porterdale. All proceeds from rider registration went to The Learning Center. The ride was escorted by the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
The Georgia Department of Transportation will be milling down and resurfacing the part of Highway 36 that runs through Covington, including the section around the square. In preparation for that milling, the city must lower its manholes and water and gas valves.
Newton County's western residents will finally have their own park and should be able to set foot in Denny Dobbs Park in early spring 2010. The Board of Commissioners approved plans for the first phase of the District 2 park on Tuesday night.
Rodney Pierce of Covington received several citations on Tuesday, June 30, after an officer responded to an accident at the intersection of Ga. Highway 212 and Ga. Highway 36. The officer arrived on the scene shortly before 5:30 p.m. to find Pierce's car in the ditch. After approaching Pierce the officer reportedly noticed that he was allegedly unsteady on his feet, verbally combative and that there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from Pierce's person.
On the morning on July 3 officers from the Covington Police Department responded to Westview Cemetery to meet with family members of Lanny Perry Barnes. The family members had called because someone had placed two signs of a protest nature on Barnes' grave. No damage was done to the grave or the grave marker. Officers removed the signs and reassured the Barnes family that the family of Barnes' victims would be contacted and advised not to return. Officers determined that no criminal offenses had occurred.
Two people lost their life in Newton County over the holiday weekend, according to Newton County Sheriff's Office 1st Lt. Mark Mitchell.
Both accidents occurred early July 5. The first accident happened just before 3 a.m. Deputies from the NCSO responded to a call of a vehicle accident with a possible fatality on Access Road at Old Oxford. When they arrived they found that a car and a motorcycle had collided. The driver of the motorcycle, a man in his mid-forties whose name is currently being withheld by the NCSO, was pronounced dead on the scene.
Eugene Presley Jr., 21, was arrested on multiple charges after officers responded to a call at 165 Lakeside Trail on June 21. According to the victim Presley assaulted her multiple times inside and outside of the home. Allegedly the victim was held inside the home by Presley and while attempting the dial 911 Presley grabbed the telephone from her.