Thank you for joining us for Eyewitness News at Six.
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Lorra-Lynch Jones.
Leah Johnson has the night off. We start with some breaking news....James "eddy" Clements...the Warner Robins man charged with hiring a father and son to murder his wife....is guilty on all counts.
We just spoke to Austin Lewis in the Houston County Superior Court in Perry...who says the jury returned its verdict just a few minutes ago.
Clements faces several charges..including felony murder.
We'll have more on this story...later in the newscast.
Here are some highlights from earlier in the day.
Some strong words court today, as the prosecution called Richard Sybert....one of the key witnesses against Clements....a psychotic rapist.
The defense rested this morning after calling just one witness.
Then after closing arguments...the case went to the jury for deliberation.
Clements... Who is accused of hiring two men to murder his wife in February 2011... did not testify.
During closing arguments, defense lawyer Frank Hogue focuses his remarks on prosecution witness...Richard Sybert.
Hogue called Sybert a "psychotic rapist" and "four-time felon". He said that Sybert's testimony consisted of lies mixed with whatever truth he told.
The prosecution focused on the key found next to the victim, Joni Clements.
Prosecutors also called one witness this morning...a GBI forensic scientist who testified about DNA evidence in the case.
Austin Lewis has been following the story all day... She'll have a full wrap-up for you tonight...on Eyewitness News at Eleven.
For the second time in 3 months, a south Macon family has been the target of criminals.
Now one Macon city councilman is adding his own cash to the reward for information about the crime.
Someone shot a car early this morning in front of this Stratford Circle home.
The family was inside... but not injured.
They say someone also shot the car and shot out the tires May 30th.
Reverend Charles Jones says no one was hurt...but that he wants the coward or cowards that did this off the streets.
<Charles Jones, Macon Councilman: I believe in roachology. Roachology says if you don't cut the light on, they'll be roaches everywhere. But the minute you cut the lights on, roaches go and hide. And I'm saying the people that did this are just like roaches. >
Macon Regional Crimestoppers will offer up to 700 dollars for tips in the case; Jones says he'll chip in another 500.
Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME.. That's 1-877-68-CRIME.
Kumho Tires says it still plans to build its 225 million dollar plant in south Bibb County -- but can't say when.
Company officials met Thursday with the Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority,
Authority Chairman Clifford Whitby said Kumho talked about being hurt by the global recession... and asked local officials to "work" with them.
He said he doesn't think Kumho can start repaying bonds for the project on schedule... starting in May 2014.
But he said Kumho is still committed to building here.
Georgia health officials say they've got their biggest crop of West Nile virus cases in at least a decade -- 21 cases and three deaths.
So far, the state reports multiple cases in these counties:
Dougherty, Cobb County, and Muscogee...
and single cases in nine other counties.
None of those are in Central Georgia.
Two deaths were reported in Dougherty County and one in Early County.
The state says: Symptoms include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that usually develops three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
For a list of precautions you can take... Check out this story at 13WMAZ-dot-com.
In our 13WMAZ Web poll today... We asked if you've been bothered more by insects this summer...than in the past?
70 percent of you said, yes.
30 percent said, not really.
Tropical Storm Isaac is strengthening in the Caribbean and complicating plans on the mainland.
There are concerns Isaac could be an uninvited guest at the GOP convention in Florida.
It's already bringing wind and rain to the Dominican Republic as it moves towards the Gulf of Mexico.
It's also causing headaches in Tampa, where the Republican National Convention starts Monday.
RNC and state officials met Friday to talk about emergency plans.
Florida Governor Rick Scott says he's optimistic the GOP will be able to keep to its schedule.
Meanwhile, delegates are already arriving in Tampa for the four day convention. Officials are putting something extra in their welcome packets - information on storm preparedness.
Florida officials say - they are prepared - and as of now the GOP party will kick-off as planned. Friends, family and fellow Mercer Law graduates will celebrate the life of Lauren Giddings this weekend.
She was killed last summer weeks after she graduated from law school.
Brittiny Barber shows us how those close to her... say the events embrace the person Lauren was.. and things she loved.
Washington Park... It's a place where Lauren Giddings enjoyed spending time.
< I remember sitting here on the hill with her and just having nice chats.>
Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore taught Lauren at Mercer Law School.. but more than that she was her friend.
< I think for a long time some of us were paralyzed about how to honor her memory that we were still so much in shock and dealing with our own hurt and and disbelief. It took us a little while to figure out how to honor her. >
So they decided to combine all the things Lauren enjoyed... The park... music and fun with friends.
The lawn will be filled with music Saturday and they'll install a park bench dedicated to her.
< This would make her happy. That's what we've tried to keep in mind. >
< it's not just here in the park. The celebration of Lauren Giddings continues at her alma mater>
< We wanted to do something to remember Lauren who was so special to us in so many ways. >
Bowen Reichert...daughter of Macon's mayor.... graduated with Lauren.. And helped organize a distinctive way for the school and her classmates a honor her.
They transformed an old school marker to this new sign... complete with plaque for Lauren.
< WE hope that people look at this and think of Lauren instead of driving up the hill and seeing the apartment complex as so many bad memories we hope that this will serves as a sign to the community. >
But more than that... The organizers say they've had a chance to grow while planning.
< It shows how far we've come in a year. I think that a year ago we were all so plagued with the questions that we had then and that we still have now. And now I think that we've reached a point where you stop asking those question and instead you just remember her. >
<it's actually been, I think very healing for a lot of us >
Brick by brick... They've laid the foundation to keep their friends name alive.
Brittiny Barber 13wmaz eyewitness news.
The dedication at Mercer Law is for close friends and family only.
The concert in Washington Park is free and open to the public.
It starts at 7.
Two bands will take the stage... They'll dedicate the park bench and have a special memorial to remember Lauren.
It's been more than a month since consolidation for Macon and Bibb County passed in the primary vote.
Today...Macon city council member...and consolidation transition team member Tom Ellington is in studio with us to explain what's first on the transition team's agenda.
2. Explain the make-up of the team.
3. How often will you meet?
4. What's your biggest challege?
5. If you had to narrow down your top priorities, what would top the list?
The weekend is here.. And if your plans take you out to lunch or dinner.. You probably want to know how some places measured up when the health inspector stopped in.
Brittiny Barber wraps up our newscast this evening with Restaurant Ratings.
We're back in Houston County this week... Starting off with our lowest scores.
Arby's at 20-61 Watson Blvd scored an 86.. Which is a 'b"... The last time they were inspected they got a 100.
According to the report.. Food was not kept at the proper cold holding temperature... and In-use utensils were not properly stored.
And American Philly and Wings on Russell Parkway received an 83.. a "b".
Previously when the health inspector stopped in they.. Also got a "b".. an 86.
The report says improper eating.. tasting... drinking, or tobacco use use went on in the kitchen.
And that's a known risk factor for foodborne illnesses.
Now for a look at the top scorers of the week... And the Golden Spatula nominees.
McCall's Taste to Remember at 10-01 Watson Blvd ranked in a 98 which is an "a"... On their last inspection they got a 95.. Also an "a".
Papa Johns on North Perry Parkway received a 95.. Or an "a"... in their previous inspection they scored a 100.
And Wendy's at 29-25 Watson Blvd brought in a 100... At the time of their last inspection.. They also got a 100.
Join us again tonight as we average or nominees last five scores to bring you the winner of this week's Golden Spatula.
For all your Restaurant Ratings.. Head over to our website 13wmaz-dot-com and click on the features tabs.
- TONIGHT AT ELEVEN -- FULL WRAP UP OF JAMES CLEMENTS TRIAL.
- HE WAS FOUND GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS FOR HIRING TWO MEN TO KILL HIS WIFE.
- SENTENCING HAS NOT BEEN SET YET...
- COURT RECONVENES MONDAY.
- WE'LL HAVE MUCH MORE ON THAT LATER TONIGHT.
Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tonight at 11.
But remember... The news is always on at 13WMAZ.com.
The evening news is up next.
Have a safe night everyone.