Regional Roundup: Woman Convicted of Arson-Murder, Fight Breaks Out During Test Drive, and Man Flees After Failed Attempt to Steal Cologne
A look at top headlines from Patch sites across northeast Georgia.
Guilty Verdict in Jill Smith Arson-Murder Trial – Cumming Patch
A Forsyth County jury has found 35-year old Jill Smith guilty of killing her husband in a fire that started in the master bedroom of the couple's home located in a south Forsyth County subdivision in 2010. The medical examiner confirmed Mr. Smith’s death was due to a combination of smoke inhalation and thermal burns.
Peter Delaney, who was also charged with felony-murder and first-degree arson, was found not guilty on all counts.
Trial testimony centered on Forsyth County fire investigators, firefighters, and witnesses. The state argued that the fire was intentionally set, while defense attorneys for Smith and Delaney argued that there was not enough evidence to support that claim.
In the end the jury found Smith guilty of single counts of murder, felony-murder and first-degree arson. She was sentenced to life plus 20 years.
Engine Light and Key Ignite Fight on Loganville Roadside -- Loganville Grayson Patch
Customers shopping at Three Peas in a Pod in Loganville on Saturday were taken by surprise when two cars pulled up and a fight ensued between the driver of one and a passenger in the other. According to the Loganville police report, it all started with an engine light coming on in a car that was being taken for a test drive.
A woman from Power Springs test driving a vehicle from United Luxury Motors allegedly got angry when the engine light of the car came on. She and her juvenile son abruptly left the dealership, inadvertently taking the key of the test car with them. When the salesman from United Luxury Motors followed, indicating with his hand they still had the key, his gesture was mistaken and they "shot him a bird" back. He pulled up in front of them and slowed down, forcing them to stop in the parking lot of Three Peas in a Pod. The juvenile reportedly jumped out of the car and began attacking the salesman.
An employee from Three Peas in a Pod tried to separate the two and the juvenile allegedly took him on too. He and his mother then left, but stopped at Race Trac and called 911 to report the incident. She reportedly said she was scared when the other vehicle had "blocked her in," and her son was protecting her. He was charged with simple battery and for being an unruly juvenile.
A Winder man is accused of stealing seven bottles of Curve cologne — valued at $130.28 — from Walmart before fleeing the store parking lot on foot without his loot.
On Feb. 22, 2012, a deputy with the Barrow County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Winder retail store, where a loss prevention employee said the suspect stowed the cologne in a car before shoving him and running away. The merchandise was left behind in the vehicle with two individuals who were not involved in the reported theft and who told the deputy the suspect is known as "Do What".
The area around the store was searched but the suspect was not located.