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Man posing as Uber driver accused of raping UGA student, police say

A man is facing charges for the rape of a University of Georgia student in Athens.

Investigators tell Channel 2 Action News the incident happened after the suspect passed as an Uber driver.

The victim told police she ordered an Uber early Friday morning in downtown Athens.

Investigators say she got into a car that she thought was her ride, but it wasn’t.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court

When she realized what happened, the victim says she asked to get out of the car but the driver refused, then pulled over and raped her.

While investigating that assault, Athens-Clarke County police received a call from another woman who says an hour earlier, she was waiting for an Uber on Washington Street.

Police say she also got in the wrong car and the driver inappropriately touched her.

The victim took pictures of her alleged attacker and escaped.

After sharing the photos with police, an officer recognized the suspect from a traffic stop the night before.

The officer then spotted the suspect’s car downtown early Saturday morning.

Police arrested Emerson Redd and after interviewing him, charged him with rape.

UGA students who spoke with Channel 2 Action News stressed they are not blaming the victims, but say they will be sure to take extra precautions when using a ride-sharing service.

“Most of the time they’ll say their name, say what type of car they drive,” said student Victoria Austin.

“One thing that I was told was to just tell them to say what your name is before you get in the car,” said student Jenna Hanes.

Man posing as Uber driver accused of raping UGA student, police say

A man is facing charges for the rape of a University of Georgia student in Athens.

Investigators tell Channel 2 Action News the incident happened after the suspect passed as an Uber driver.

The victim told police she ordered an Uber early Friday morning in downtown Athens.

Investigators say she got into a car that she thought was her ride, but it wasn’t.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court

When she realized what happened, the victim says she asked to get out of the car but the driver refused, then pulled over and raped her.

While investigating that assault, Athens-Clarke County police received a call from another woman who says an hour earlier, she was waiting for an Uber on Washington Street.

Police say she also got in the wrong car and the driver inappropriately touched her.

The victim took pictures of her alleged attacker and escaped.

After sharing the photos with police, an officer recognized the suspect from a traffic stop the night before.

The officer then spotted the suspect’s car downtown early Saturday morning.

Police arrested Emerson Redd and after interviewing him, charged him with rape.

UGA students who spoke with Channel 2 Action News stressed they are not blaming the victims, but say they will be sure to take extra precautions when using a ride-sharing service.

“Most of the time they’ll say their name, say what type of car they drive,” said student Victoria Austin.

“One thing that I was told was to just tell them to say what your name is before you get in the car,” said student Jenna Hanes.

Tons of marijuana sold legally in Colorado making its way to other states, including GA

As the legal marijuana business continues to boom in Colorado, some authorities warn of the increasing rate of individuals illegally selling marijuana in and out of the state.

In 2016, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Colorado drug task forces completed 163 investigations of individuals or organizations involved in illegally selling Colorado marijuana.

According to the officials, these cases led to:

  • 252 felony arrests
  • 7,116 pounds (3.5 tons) of marijuana seized
  • 47,108 marijuana plants seized
  • 2,111 marijuana edibles seized
  • 232 pounds of concentrate seized
  • 29 different states to which marijuana was destined

Illegal transportation of Colorado marijuana on highways increased 43 percent in the four-year average. 2013-2016, since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the four-year average, 2009-2012, prior to legalization.

The most common destinations identified were Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

Georgia reported having six seizures in the time period. 

Channel 2 Action News travels to Denver, Colorado to take a look at legal marijuana's impact on emergency room visits, youth pot use and traffic deaths. T he advice Colorado leaders have for Georgia on legal weed -- Thursday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. 

Highway seizures of Colorado marijuana increased 20 percent from 288 in 2013, when recreational marijuana was legalized, to 346 in 2016.

Of the 346 highway seizures in 2016, there were 36 different states destined to receive marijuana from Colorado.

Approximately half of all seizures, 48 percent, containing Colorado marijuana originated from Denver.

[PHOTOS: Inside look at the legal marijuana business in Colorado]

Average amount of legal marijuana mailed out of state increases 

Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail have increased 844 percent from an average of 52 parcels, 2009-2012, to 491 parcels, 2013-2016, in the four-year average since recreational marijuana has been legal.

Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail have increased 914 percent from an average of 97 pounds, 2009-2012, to 984 pounds, 2013-2016, in the four-year average that recreational marijuana has been legal.

READ FULL REPORT HERE

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say

Police in Rockdale County are searching for an "armed and dangerous" man they say has been terrorizing their community since they first caught him three years ago.

Investigators said the man is wanted for dozens of crimes in Rockdale, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Clayton counties and they need the help of citizens to catch him.

Conyers police first busted Anthony Vaughn on several burglary and theft charges in 2015 but he failed to turn himself in, authorities said.

Police said Vaughn then went back to work.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court “He’s been on the loose, multiple warrants, wreaking more havoc, failed to turn himself in for a series of charges,” said Conyers police Sgt. Kim Lucas. Lucas has been talking about recapturing Vaughn for three years now. She says the video shows him on a shopping spree inside a Footlocker with a credit card he stole from someone. Police say video from the parking lot of an Outback restaurant shows Vaughn driving around looking for his next victim. He’s also wanted for allegedly strangling a woman and police say he is always on the move. Conyers police say Vaughn is quick, jumping on and off the interstate, working the I-20 corridor and targeting victims along West Avenue. Officers are going to business owners asking them and their customers to be on the lookout. Channel 2 Action News tagged along with Conyers officers as they put up flyers where they say Vaughn has been committing crimes and he’s been everywhere. "He's victimized countless other people in many jurisdictions hope nobody gets hurt before in custody which he will be spend long time behind bars," she said. Police say many times, after he breaks into a car, he goes shopping at Stonecrest Mall before people know they are a victim.  Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS. The reward is now $2,000.

County withdraws plan to make April 'Confederate History and Heritage Month'

Nearly 100 people gathered in Fayette County on Tuesday to protest a proclamation recognizing April as “Confederate History and Heritage Month” and Thursday as “Confederate Memorial Day.”

At their meeting Tuesday, several commissioners met with a plan to sign the proclamation, but decided open up public comment after seeing the number of people who showed up. After hearing from the public, they withdrew the proclamation. 

The line of speakers wrapped around three walls of the room. Passionate people on both sides of the issue were present.

Calling for public discussion out of a proclamation is something the Fayette County Commission said they’ve never done before.

The proclamation requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans recognizes April as Confederate History and Heritage Month and Thursday, April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day. A rally with more than 125 people prior to the meeting protested the proclamation.

TRENDING STORIES:

Fayette County Commissioner Charles Rousseau told Channel 2 Action News before the meeting he would not sign a proclamation that is divisive, but Sons of Confederate Veterans Georgia Commander, Scott Gilbert said it recognizes important history.

“It is about our democracy and the symbolism associated with taking up arms against your own government, your own citizens [don’t] sit well with people, and it certainly doesn’t sit well with me,” said Rousseau.

“This county honors 379 soldiers out of a population of 6,000 people who gave their life, and that’s more than all the wars combined in Fayette County history, and they deserve to be remembered. Period,” said Gilbert.

Voter registration deadline is TODAY for Georgia primary election

The deadline to register to vote in Georgia’s primary election is Tuesday.

The May 22 primary election will feature Republican and Democratic races for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, the General Assembly and more.

Georgia citizens can sign up to vote online at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or through the GA SOS app for Apple and Android cellphones. In addition, voter registration applications can be submitted by mail.

Tuesday is also the deadline for voters to update their addresses.

“The right to vote for our public officials should never be taken for granted,” Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement. “In the Peach State, it is easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I strongly encourage all eligible voters to take part in these important contests.”

Georgia 2018 election information:

  • April 24: Deadline to register to vote
  • April 30: In-person early voting begins
  • May 22: Primary election
  • July 24: Primary runoffs
  • Nov. 6: General election
  • CLICK HERE for a list of candidates
  • CLICK HERE for full coverage of Georgia’s key races

This article was written by Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Voter registration deadline is TODAY for Georgia primary election

The deadline to register to vote in Georgia’s primary election is Tuesday.

The May 22 primary election will feature Republican and Democratic races for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, the General Assembly and more.

Georgia citizens can sign up to vote online at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or through the GA SOS app for Apple and Android cellphones. In addition, voter registration applications can be submitted by mail.

Tuesday is also the deadline for voters to update their addresses.

“The right to vote for our public officials should never be taken for granted,” Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement. “In the Peach State, it is easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I strongly encourage all eligible voters to take part in these important contests.”

Georgia 2018 election information:

  • April 24: Deadline to register to vote
  • April 30: In-person early voting begins
  • May 22: Primary election
  • July 24: Primary runoffs
  • Nov. 6: General election
  • CLICK HERE for a list of candidates
  • CLICK HERE for full coverage of Georgia’s key races

This article was written by Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Sentencing date set for convicted murderer Tex McIver

The sentencing for an Atlanta attorney convicted of murdering his wife has been set for May 23 at 1:30 p.m.

A jury found Tex Mciver guilty on four or five charges, including felony murder, Monday afternoon.

McIver shot and killed his wife, Diane, while they rode in their SUV in September 2016. He claimed the shooting was an accident, but jurors disagreed.

“It was not an accident. His hand was on the trigger. Guns just don’t go off,” juror Aubrey Gray told Channel 2 after the verdict.

The jury acquitted McIver of malice murder, which implied it was planned. But the prominent Atlanta attorney was found guilty of the lesser charges, including aggravated assault, possession of firearm and and witness influencing.

RELATED STORIES:

5 things to know about Diane McIver Juror breakdown for the Tex McIver murder trial Tex McIver found guilty of murdering his wife A breakdown of the verdict in the Tex McIver trial

A person is guilty of felony murder if they kill someone while committing another felony. In this case, that was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Felony murder carries a mandatory sentence of life behind bars. A judge will have the final say on whether or not he's eligible parole.

Aggravated assault carries a sentence of 1-20 years, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony carries 5 years tacked onto another sentence and influencing a witness carries 1-5 years.

Channel 2 Action News will LIVE stream the sentencing on WSBTV.com and our WSB-TV Facebook page. Stay with us for the latest developments on this story.

Sentencing date set for convicted murderer Tex McIver

The sentencing for an Atlanta attorney convicted of murdering his wife has been set for May 23 at 1:30 p.m.

A jury found Tex Mciver guilty on four or five charges, including felony murder, Monday afternoon.

McIver shot and killed his wife, Diane, while they rode in their SUV in September 2016. He claimed the shooting was an accident, but jurors disagreed.

“It was not an accident. His hand was on the trigger. Guns just don’t go off,” juror Aubrey Gray told Channel 2 after the verdict.

The jury acquitted McIver of malice murder, which implied it was planned. But the prominent Atlanta attorney was found guilty of the lesser charges, including aggravated assault, possession of firearm and and witness influencing.

RELATED STORIES:

5 things to know about Diane McIver Juror breakdown for the Tex McIver murder trial Tex McIver found guilty of murdering his wife A breakdown of the verdict in the Tex McIver trial

A person is guilty of felony murder if they kill someone while committing another felony. In this case, that was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Felony murder carries a mandatory sentence of life behind bars. A judge will have the final say on whether or not he's eligible parole.

Aggravated assault carries a sentence of 1-20 years, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony carries 5 years tacked onto another sentence and influencing a witness carries 1-5 years.

Channel 2 Action News will LIVE stream the sentencing on WSBTV.com and our WSB-TV Facebook page. Stay with us for the latest developments on this story.

Three arrested in Brookhaven car break-ins

Three men accused of breaking into cars in Brookhaven were put behind bars with the help of security video from residents. 

The suspects were seen looking into cars around the Hobknob at Town Brookhaven. Neighbors immediately called police, but responding officers could not initially locate the suspects.

TRENDING STORIES:

While in the area, officers received another call describing the same behavior on Saybrook Drive.

With the help of security video, police eventually found three men matching the descriptions a block away. The suspects identified as Shyheim Weddle, 21, Brandon Tyson, 18, and Trayvon Crews, 18, have all been charged with entering auto and financial transaction card theft. 

“It appears the suspects cut through backyards onto Leconte Drive from Saybrook Drive to elude police, but we were able to connect the suspects to the attempted break in through video surveillance obtained from the homeowner,” said Police Chief Gary Yandura. “We recovered stolen property from a car break in from a third location that had not been discovered by the homeowner yet.” 

Each suspect was in possession of a stolen debit card. Police told Channel 2 Action News that one of the suspects was wanted for an outstanding entering auto warrant, and another suspect was in possession of drugs.

The stolen items were returned to the victims.

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