ROUNDUP: YDC officers arrested in white-collar crime probe

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COLUMBUS — Two juvenile corrections officers for the Muscogee County Youth Development Campus face felony charges in an ongoing crackdown against internal corruption, white collar crime and other violations, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice said Friday.

Commissioner Avery D. Niles identified the officers as Anthony Harvey and Keith Spruills. Harvey is charged with crossing guard lines with a controlled substance, a felony, as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and violation of oath of office.

Niles said the arrest of Spruills is pending on charges of crossing the guard line with contraband and introducing contraband inside a juvenile secure facility, both felonies, and misdemeanor violation of oath of office.

Both officers have been placed on immediate suspension without pay after warrants were issued. The officers could face up to four-year prison sentences if convicted on the charges.

"We are wasting no time recommending criminal prosecution wherever evidence is found and prosecution is warranted to remove officer misconduct from our ranks and to protect Georgia's youth in detention," Niles said in a statement. "And I promise the agency will continue to fast track administrative and criminal corrective measures wherever a need is found to combat internal corruption and wrongdoing."

Harvey, a six-year employee at the YDC, was arrested after a K-9 unit from the Georgia Department of Corrections alerted to the officer's vehicle during a random security sweep. Investigators discovered marijuana inside the vehicle, which was parked inside the guard lines.

During the probe, investigators said they have evidence allegedly linking Spruills to the smuggling of cellphones, cigarettes, lighters and blunt spray to detained youths.

Although the investigation is ongoing, two other juvenile corrections officers have submitted their resignations and a third was administratively terminated.

The investigation started in October 2012 after a 36-year-old woman was arrested for concealing an illegal cellphone in her clothing to smuggle the device to a teen during a visit for school graduation.

Since July 2012, it has been a felony to smuggle contraband past juvenile detention facility guard lines. Illegal items include guns, knives, ammunition, explosive devices, alcohol, drugs, marijuana, cellphones and other contraband.

More actions are possible against personnel for criminal misconduct violations as the investigation continues.


BRIEF: Suspect arrested in double fatal shooting

ATLANTA — A suspect was arrested early Sunday and charged with fatally shooting a man and a woman in northwest Atlanta last week.

Michael O'Neal, 27, is charged with two counts of murder and is being held at the Fulton County Jail, police said.

Two people were found shot to death Wednesday afternoon in the 500 block of Holly Street, off Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. Both were shot multiple times in what investigators believe began as a domestic dispute between O'Neal and the female victim.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office identified the deceased as 20-year-old Shonenneshia Tucker and 28-year-old Derrick Pitts.

A tip given to Crime Stoppers led authorities to O'Neal, who was found at a home in southwest Atlanta and taken into custody without incident, Channel 2 Action News reported.

O'Neal's first court appearance will be Monday at 11 a.m., according to Tracy Flanagan, spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.


BRIEF: Macon teen dies after gunshot wound

MACON — Macon police are investigating the shooting death early Sunday morning of a Macon teenager, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

John Johnson, 18, who lived in the 3600 block of Stallworth Drive, was shot once in the head shortly after midnight Sunday while at the corner of Forsyth Avenue and Peyton Street, Jones said.

Johnson was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:30 p.m.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about this incident should contact Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME.


17-year-old dead after vehicle wrecked while racing, police say

PERRY — A 17-year-old Perry boy died early Sunday in a crash after the driver of the vehicle he was traveling in lost control and wrecked while racing, according to a release from the Houston County Sheriff's Office.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor, and the driver, who was also injured, is facing felony charges and several traffic offenses, according to the release.

About 2 a.m. Sunday, authorities were called to the accident on Duke Road near the intersection of Toomer Road.

Three people were injured in the crash that involved a 2010 Ford Mustang GT. The driver was identified as 44-year-old Danny Ray Wheeler of 594 Toomer Road, Perry. Wheeler was seriously injured and was flown by helicopter to The Medical Center of Central Georgia. The front seat passenger, 17-year-old Colten Joseph Winkler of Perry, was killed in the crash. The back seat passenger, 26-year-old Michael Spence, was also transported the Medical Center. He is listed in stable condition.

An investigation found a party was going on at Wheeler's, just down the street from the crash. About 2 a.m., several of the people at the party gathered and traveled to Duke Road. It was there that Wheeler's vehicle and another vehicle started racing, according to the release. Both vehicles reached a high speed and Wheeler lost control of the vehicle. The Mustang traveled several hundred feet on the shoulder of the road and into a fence. It continued into a large 30- to 40-foot tree.

Anyone who has any knowledge of the incident is asked to contact Cpl. Sean Alexander or deputy Brandon Miller of the Houston County Sheriff's Office Traffic Division at (478) 542-2080.