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June 26, 2018 - 12:00 am


Georgia man convicted, sentenced in 1983 racial murder case

GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) — A white Georgia man has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison in what prosecutors have said was the racially motivated slaying of a black man in 1983.

News outlets report a jury on Tuesday convicted Frank Gebhardt on charges including murder. Witnesses said Timothy Coggins was stabbed 30 times and dragged behind a pickup in a killing driven by racial hatred.

Judge Fletcher Sams immediately sentenced Gebhardt to life plus 20 years in prison.

Coggins' body was found in Spalding County on Oct. 5, 1983. Prosecutors have said Coggins was killed because he was dating a white woman. The case remained unsolved for decades.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the jury deliberated for about six hours.

Another defendant, Bill Moore Sr., will be tried later.


The Latest: More details emerge about man in Capitol fire

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a man who set himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol is a 58-year-old who told police he's an Air Force veteran.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the man wore a vest lined with fireworks and flammable devices shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday. Law officers say he then doused himself with a flammable liquid and lit the fireworks.

Authorities say the man, whom they didn't immediately identify, told police he was trying to bring attention to the Veterans Affairs system. Law officers have not elaborated on the man's complaints about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Capt. Mark Perry of the Georgia Department of Public Safety the man's condition wasn't immediately known. He was being treated at an Atlanta hospital.


Woman accused of leaking US secrets pleads guilty

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A woman accused of leaking U.S. secrets to a news outlet has pleaded guilty in federal court in Georgia.

News outlets report that 26-year-old Reality Winner entered her guilty plea Tuesday before a federal judge in Georgia. A plea agreement calls for her to serve five years and three months behind bars, but a judge will sentence her later.

Winner worked for national security contractor Pluribus International at Fort Gordon in Georgia when she was accused in June 2017 of mailing a classified U.S. report to an unidentified news organization and charged under the Espionage Act.

Authorities didn't describe the document. Winner's arrest was announced the same day online news outlet The Intercept reported on a classified National Security Agency report on Russian hackers and the 2016 election.


Authorities: Man gets on Atlanta tarmac, approaches flight

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a man got onto the tarmac at Atlanta's international airport and approached a Delta flight.

News outlets report the man got onto the tarmac Tuesday and went up to a Delta Air Lines flight from Miami that had just landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Hartsfield-Jackson spokeswoman Elise Durham tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the man entered through a restricted area of the airport. The airport said on Twitter that there are conflicting reports as to how the male apprehended on the airfield accessed the area.

The airport says Atlanta police quickly took custody of the man and that there was no impact on operations.

An investigation is ongoing.



Tree crash kills teen at Boy Scout camp in Georgia

COVINGTON, Ga. (AP) — Boy Scouts officials are offering condolences after a 14-year-old boy from Texas was killed when a tree fell on his tent at a Georgia Boy Scout camp.

Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America CEO Tracy Techau said in a statement the death is a "difficult time for our Scouting family." The teen was participating in a Scout gathering when the incident occurred Monday at the Bert Adams Scout Camp in Newton County, north of Atlanta.

Newton County Sherriff's Office spokesman Jeff Alexander told news outlets that powerful storms had rolled through the area downing multiple trees, including the one that fell on the boy's tent. The teen and other boy scouts were inside the tent when the tree crashed down onto it.

Authorities did not immediately release the teen's name.


Mother, stepfather of boy,4, face child cruelty charges

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say the mother and stepfather of a 4-year-old boy left with a fractured leg and visible bruises on his face have been arrested.

Hall County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Scott Ware said in a Monday statement that authorities learned that 28-year-old Nikki Renee Lomax failed to report that Bobby Franklin Lomax beat her son to the extent that that he previously suffered a broken arm, which had been left untreated.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the sheriff's office says the investigation also revealed that Nikki and Bobby Lomax did not provide the boy with his prescribed medication for seizures.

Authorities say the child is in foster care. Nikki Lomax was charged with second-degree child cruelty, while Bobby Lomax was charged with first-degree child cruelty. It's unclear if they have lawyers.



Atlanta police: Man, 19, charged in teen's shooting death

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a man has been arrested in a shooting that killed a recent high school graduate last month.

Police tell news outlets that 19-year-old Justin Collier remained jailed Monday in Fulton County on charges including murder and aggravated assault. Officer Stephanie Brown tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was arrested last week in Decatur.

Collier is accused of shooting 18-year-old Joshua Torrance at an apartment in Atlanta on May 30. It's unclear if Collier has a lawyer.

Family members say Torrance had graduated days before the shooting and was going to study at Albany State University. His mother, Tamisha Williams Torrance, tells WAGA-TV other colleges had sought him but that he wanted to go to Albany State and aspired to be an architectural engineer.


Bredesen to push for TVA to help expand broadband access

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen says he would push to get the Tennessee Valley Authority to help expand broadband internet access to rural areas if elected.

Bredesen is a Democrat and a former Tennessee governor. He is seeking to replace Sen. Bob Corker, a two-term Republican who is not seeking re-election.

Bredesen spoke Tuesday to a Kiwanis Club in Clarksville. He said he is committed to amending the federal TVA act to allow the government-owned electricity provider to bring access to underserved rural areas in Tennessee.

Bredesen says the "foundation" has been set by the TVA's board approval in 2017 of $300 million to expand its network fiber capacity — and by a law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last year giving electric cooperatives the authority to provide broadband service.

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