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Regional News: Covington County Cold Case gets Arrests; Children Abuse; Fla Teens Assault Seniors

By: ap
By: ap
MGN Online

MGN Online

ANDALUSIA, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested three people suspected in a nearly 20-year-old killing of a Covington County business owner.
WSFA-TV reports that police have arrested Eugene Wallace Black, Sheila Clark Brooks and Sheila Williams. They face murder and robbery charges in the May 1994 death of James Nibby Barton, who was found dead behind the counter of his convenience store. It wasn't immediately clear if any of them had lawyers.
Authorities say they have not yet arrested a fourth person indicted in the case.
The cold case task force reopened the case in February. Officials declined to give many details but said they have physical evidence, eye witnesses and partial confessions.
Officials say others who may have been involved in the slaying have died.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities in Huntsville are searching for a child after he was discovered to be missing from his home.
Huntsville police tell WAFF-TV officers went to a home Saturday morning to check on a child who hadn't been to school in two days. They noticed smoke coming from the home, called firefighters and tried to get inside.
Firefighters responded and put the fire out. A woman was found in the house, but the child wasn't there and authorities haven't been able to find him.
Police are seeking the public's help to find 8-year-old Randle Barrow, who is autistic. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call Huntsville police at 256-722-7100

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) -- Jackson County authorities have arrested an 18-year-old man in the death of his 9-week-old daughter who died of traumatic head injuries. Al.com reports Marcus Shane Anderson of Pisgah was arrested yesterday on a murder charge.

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities have charged a Colbert County woman with animal cruelty after removing more than 125 live and dead dogs from her home. Sheriff Ronnie May tells the TimesDaily Debra Jane Catledge was charged with 15 counts of second-degree cruelty. Many animals were removed from her home Wednesday, and Catledge was taken into custody Thursday.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -- A judge has sentenced a central Florida man to 20 years in prison in the beating death of his 3-month-old daughter.
Twenty-nine year-old Christopher Scott Ryon pleaded no contest Friday to aggravated child abuse and manslaughter
Winter Haven police charged Ryon with aggravated manslaughter of a child in 2012.
According to police, Ryon told investigators he punched Riley in the head because she was crying, and he wanted to take a nap.
The Ledger reports the little girl was found unresponsive when her mother came home from work. Ryon was allegedly asleep on the couch when she arrived.
A medical examiner said the girl died from blunt force-trauma to the head.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A 15-year-old foster boy who went to a St. Petersburg church to plead for a family earlier this year is getting to spend the holidays with his prospective adoptive parents.
When he heard his birth mother had died last spring, Davion Only decided to find someone to adopt him. He went to St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church and told a story that prompted a nationwide response with thousands of inquiries from potential families.
Jody Grutza, a vice president for the company that oversees foster care in southwest Florida, says Davion moved out of his group home and into a foster home where he is getting to know the family who hopes to adopt him.
She asked for privacy as Davion bonds with the family, saying it's a step by step process.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- A southwest Florida community is rallying around a 72-year-old man this holiday season after authorities say a teenager kicked him while her friend videotaped it.
Lee County Sheriff's officials said a 15-year-old high school basketball player and several teammates were walking through a neighborhood when they spotted Robert Lerberg gardening last month.
Authorities say the teen kicked Lerberg from behind and laughed, while another videoed it. The assault outraged county residents. Authorities say the teen also allegedly knocked on another senior's door that day and slapped the victim in the face. She faces two felony battery charges. The Associated Press is not naming the suspect because she is a minor.
The News-Press reports several companies are donating gardening materials and labor; and one person bought Lerberg a Christmas tree.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Police say a 12-year-old boy has died days after being struck by a car that was street racing through a South Florida neighborhood.
Miami Gardens police say Nicholas Murrell was playing football with his friends when he was struck Thursday.
WFOR-TV reports the boy went to retrieve the ball in the middle of the road when a black Mercedes raced by followed by a red Camaro. Police said the driver of the Camaro didn't stop.
The boy was airlifted to the hospital and was pronounced dead Friday.
Authorities are offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. (AP) -- Some lucky central Florida ospreys are getting a new home after their nesting platform recently caught fire.
The nest caught fire about a month ago when something fell into the electrical equipment lower down on the utility pole.
A concerned resident repeatedly called officials to build a new one. This week, Florida Power and Light workers installed a new metal nesting platform just down the road from the burned one.
Florida Today (http://tinyurl.com/of3axxx) reports the birds were gone when their nest caught fire, but FPL employees said the birds will likely be back in the spring.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Several primates at a Tampa zoo got to open their presents early this year.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that workers threw presents including toys, children's books, pine cones, coconuts and dried fruit to the primates at Lowry Park Zoo on Friday.
Zoo employee Jane Lefave says enrichment exercises in the books and toys challenge the animals' minds and simulate activities they would do in the wild.

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta school system says it's investigating a Midtown high school's football team after a complaint was filed claiming that coaches knew many of the players lived outside the school district.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution obtained the complaint through an open records request. The newspaper reports the anonymous complaint said parents and students used false utility bills or relatives' addresses to falsify records so they could attend Grady High School.
The complaint was dated Nov. 7. Atlanta public schools Superintendent Erroll Davis on Monday announced an investigation of about 20 Grady football players, their parents and their coaches.
Davis said parents who signed falsified documents could face criminal charges, and students could lose athletic eligibility and be forced to transfer to schools near their homes.


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