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Man convicted of setting 2 homeless people on fire

Man convicted of setting 2 homeless people on fire

MARIETTA, Ga. -- It took a Cobb County jury only 20 minutes to find a homeless man guilty of throwing gasoline on two people and setting them on fire.

Melvin George Hood, 54, was convicted of a number of charges, including aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He was sentenced Friday to 40 years, with 30 to be spent in custody without parole.

Hood and his two victims, Raymond Mathews and Wanda Kight, lived in a homeless camp off Noonday Church Road in Kennesaw. Last Aug. 21, Hood, who had been drinking, got angry at the victims. He threw gasoline on Mathews, doused Kight's tent and then began a fire. Mathews and Kight are Hood's former best friend and girlfriend, respectively.

The victims survived the attack and testified in court. Prosecutors said a fellow camp resident rescued Kight from her tent, while Mathews' injuries forced him to spend nearly two months in a medically-induced coma.

Teen arrested after Kennesaw motel standoff

Teen arrested after Kennesaw motel standoff


KENNESAW, Ga. -- No one was hurt in a standoff at a Kennesaw motel overnight.

Officers from the Kennesaw and Acworth police departments arrived at the M-Star Kennesaw hotel on North Cobb Parkway at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to serve a theft warrant.

The suspect, 19-year-old Nickolas Scott Freeman, refused to answer the door. Police officers looked into Freeman's motel room and saw him with what appeared to be a weapon, according to Kennesaw Police Officer Scott Luther.

A Cobb County SWAT team was called to the scene, and the rooms adjacent to Freeman's room were evacuated. Officers finally entered the suspect's room at around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and arrested Freeman without incident. Luther said three other people in the room were also detained.

More charges against Freeman are pending.


5 men indicted in 2 Kennesaw gang shootings

5 men indicted in 2 Kennesaw gang shootings


KENNESAW, Ga. -- Five Cobb County men have been indicted in two gang-related shootings in Kennesaw.

The defendants include Christopher Davis, 17, of Acworth; Alexander Market, 18, of Acworth; Brian McCary, 20, of Kennesaw; Timothy Reddie, 21, of Marietta; and Kristian Williams, 18, of Austell. They have been charged with aggravated assault, criminal property damage, firearm possession and violating Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

All five men are believed to be involved in two shootings in Kennesaw's Legacy Park neighborhood. Kennesaw Police said the shootings occurred in November 2013 and January 2014, and no one was hurt in them.

Prosecutors said the defendants are members of the Piru Bloods gang, and that the shootings were a response to a young man's decision to leave the gang.

Man sentenced for stealing prisoners' identities

ACWORTH, Ga. -- A Cobb County man will spend 10 years and one month in federal prison for stealing victims' identities and using them to collect millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds.

Bradford Thomas, 47, pleaded guilty last November to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He must also spend three years on supervised release after getting out of prison and pay more than $1.6 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Thomas submitted more than 1,200 phony tax returns to the IRS between January 2010 and May 2013. He used the names and Social Security numbers of several victims, most of whom were inmates.

Yates said the scheme netted Thomas about $5.5 million, more than $1.6 million of which was taxpayer money.

'Loud music killing' trial may have echoes of Zimmerman

'Loud music killing' trial may have echoes of Zimmerman

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A white software developer is about to go on trial in Florida in the death of a black teenager -- in a case that raises comparisons to the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn.

Police say Dunn fatally shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis in 2012 outside a Jacksonville convenience store after arguing over loud music that Davis and his friends were playing from their SUV.

Dunn says he fired multiple shots into the SUV after the teens threatened him and one raised a shotgun. Dunn was arrested the next day.

Suspect in loud music killing asks for trial delay

Suspect in loud music killing asks for trial delay

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Florida man will ask to delay his trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of a teenager following an argument over loud music.

An appeals court judge ruled last week that Michael David Dunn's trial judge must release more evidence to the public.

Dunn plans to argue Tuesday for another trial delay.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Jacksonville gas station in November 2012. Dunn complained about loud music from Davis' car and told police he fired into the vehicle when he thought he saw a gun.

Davis, who once attend Wheeler High School in Cobb County, died. His funeral was held in Powder Springs, and he is buried at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta.

Woman indicted for killing KSU student

Woman indicted for killing KSU student

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A 22-year-old Austell woman has been charged with shooting a Kennesaw State University student to death last year.

Sparkles Lashayla Lindsey is accused of killing Kimberly Kilgore near the entrance to a Kennesaw apartment complex on Oct. 11, 2013.

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Lindsey faces a number of charges in Kilgore's death, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and firearm possession.

Cobb County police said the crime began as a road rage incident. When Kilgore tried to pull into the Shiloh Green apartment complex on Walton Green Way, Lindsey followed her.

Lindsey reportedly pulled out a gun and shot Kilgore. The 21-year-old college student later died at the hospital.