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Looking back: Our most-viewed stories
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Newton County experienced much in 2010, from unemployment and recession to robberies and wrecks. According to, the top 10 stories of 2010 have been read by a combined 102,286 readers. Here’s a look at the most-read stories for the year:

1 and 3: Audrey Atkinson

In March, 19-year-old Audrey Atkinson was gunned down at the Liberty Gas Station off Crowell Road by her ex-fiancée, 22-year-old Anthony Michael Barrow. According to reports in Newton and Rockdale counties, she had distanced herself from Barrow, the father of her then 8-month-old son, after a series of threats and at least one physical altercation when she attempted to move from the home they shared. She had taken out a temporary protection order against Barrow just a week before he chased her into the store and shot her. He fled to his home off Ga. Highway 162 where after a nearly four-hour standoff, he shot himself and later died at a hospital. The release of her name as the victim of murder was the third most-read story of the year.

2: Man charged with bestiality

In June, 37-year-old Byron Christopher Jordan was charged with bestiality after a homeowner reportedly found Jordan having sex with one of his horses. He was arrested and bonded out the next day. The case is still under investigation by the Newton County District Attorney’s Office.

4: Train accident victims identified

A couple in their 60s, Danny and Linda Long, were injured and airlifted to Grady Hospital in July when their SUV was driven around lowered crossbars at the train tracks on Ga. Highway 81 and was stuck by an oncoming train.

5: Infant attacked by raccoons

In November a 9-month-old baby was attacked by raccoons while sleeping in her crib. The mother of the child woke to her baby’s whimpers and was able to throw the raccoons out of the home before calling 911. After weeks in the hospital and being required to have a rabies vaccination, the infant was released from the hospital. Shortly thereafter the child’s father, 35-year-old Michael Wayne Cannon, was arrested and charged with keeping the raccoons as family pets until around October when they were placed in the backyard. His case is under investigation by the Newton County District Attorney’s Office.

6: Teens killed in Almon road wreck

Montavious Sorrells, 19, and Tony Lamar Horton Jr., 18, died in May when the driver of the vehicle in which they were passengers lost control of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala and the car struck several trees off Almon Road. Sorrells was thrown from the vehicle and the driver, a 19-year-old male, was in the hospital for several days with serious injuries.

7: Husband and wife killed in murder suicide

Laura and David Stomackin were found dead in their home in the Fairview Chase subdivision in April, shortly after a call from David came into 911, threatening violence toward his wife. The Covington/Newton County SWAT Team was called to the scene. After an hour of attempting to make contact with someone in the home, they entered the house and found the couple dead. He apparently had shot his wife and then shot himself.

8: BB&T robbed

Authorities are still seeking a gunman who robbed the BB&T in August. A getaway car was found ditched in some kudzu about a mile from the bank, leading authorities to believe there were at least two people involved. They made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

9: The death of Johnny Durden

Johnny Durden, a 53-year-old fixture in the Washington Street neighborhood, was hit by a car and killed in May. Durden, who family members said was mentally challenged and suffering from cancer, had left his mother’s house and was attempting to cross the busy street when he was stuck by a car. The impact threw him in the air and he was stuck a second time and then dragged. The driver of the vehicle was unable to stop in time and was not charged.

10: Brothers arrested for impregnating family member

Two men were arrested in June after it was found they had been having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 10-year-old family member who ended up pregnant. Although the crime did not occur in Newton County, the child was visiting relatives here when the incident was revealed and authorities contacted. Brothers Danny Lee Arnold, 19, and Thomas Marcus Arnold, 21, were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals in Union City. Also arrested was the aunt of the brothers, 28-year-old Lisa Arnold, who had been engaged in a sexual relationship with both Danny and Thomas. The girl, who had been the victim of the molestation for several years, was placed in the care of family members.