ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
75°
Scattered Clouds
H 76° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 76° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    72°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 76° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    76°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 77° L 61°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Crime & Law
Man found guilty of DeKalb rapes
Close

Man found guilty of DeKalb rapes

Man found guilty of DeKalb rapes
Gary Wendale Mincey is flanked by his public defenders, Letitia Delan, left, and Jaime Shickler.

Man found guilty of DeKalb rapes

The man accused of terrorizing DeKalb County in 2011 will spend the rest of his life in jail.

A jury on Friday convicted Gary Wendale Mincey of all 17 charges against him for raping or trying to rape five women over a six-week period in the fall of that year.

Mincey, 36, kept the same smirk he wore through the entire four-day trial as the jury foreman read each guilty verdict.

“We are very, very pleased with the jury verdict,” DeKalb County Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicole Marchand Golden told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re just happy we could rid DeKalb County of this predator who stalked, robbed and raped his victims … for seemingly no rhyme or reason.”

Sentencing will be held at a later, undisclosed date, but Mincey faces eight consecutive life prison terms plus 135 additional years behind bars – or 375 years – if he is given the maximum sentence.

Before the jury began to deliberate the bevy of charges against Mincey, Golden described him using harsh terms.

“Monster,” she said. “The Boogie Man. A woman’s worst nightmare.”

Mincey’s attorney, however, insisted that he was not the man who followed women home and attacked them.

“The State says that this man was a serial rapist,” public defender Letitia Delan told the jury. “There’s very little evidence in this case that links Mr. Mincey to this case.”

Prosecutors said that between Oct. 16 and Nov. 29, Mincey stalked five women, lying in wait at places where they shopped or socialized before trailing them and confronting them as they tried to enter their homes.

Mincey allegedly picked his victims – seemingly at random – from the Publix supermarket on Flakes Mill Road, from Echelon Bar and Bistro in Stone Mountain, and from Tanqueray Lounge in Decatur.

And the armed man each woman encountered threatened to kill them before robbing them of jewelry, cell phones and money, and ultimately forcing himself on them, prosecutors said.

Two women were able to fend off rape, either through dogged determination or the luck of a timely encounter that spooked their attacker, according to testimony. Three others were raped. Rape kit samples collected from two of those women helped to match DNA to Mincey when police eventually caught up to him. One woman had been forced to wash herself after the attack and no DNA was available, prosecutors said.

“What the defense cannot refute is how … Mr. Mincey’s DNA found its way into a 21-year-old and a 53-year-old,” Golden said.

Delan pointed to testimony from a GBI DNA specialist when she questioned the accuracy of the DNA findings, however.

“You heard the scientist tell you that 97 percent of all DNA is the same, and that only 3 percent can distinguish one person from another,” she said. “You’re dealing with a guess, not a certainty.”

Delan also told the jury that not everyone in the chain of collecting, packaging and cataloguing the DNA samples testified in the trial, and suggested that proper protocols to prevent contaminating the evidence might have been sidestepped.

“She can’t say that other people who touched the samples didn’t contaminate them,” Delan said of the GBI DNA expert.

But Golden countered that the expert wouldn’t have used the DNA if it appeared to be contaminated.

“Had there been evidence of contamination, she would have sent it back and … had them do another rape kit,” Golden said.

Another man was initially arrested amid the string of attacks, but was released within three days after an attack was reported while he was in police custody.

He was listed on Georgia’s sex offender website, lived near one of the victims and drove a vehicle similar to the SUV reportedly seen driving from each crime scene, prosecutors acknowledged.

While in jail, two victims picked him out of a line-up, Delan told the jury.

While four women only got passing glances in the dark at their assailant, the last victim encountered him inside her home and had ample chance to see his face.

“She saw him three times in the light … but she did not identify that man as her attacker,” she said pointing at the defendant’s table to Mincey while referencing the fifth victim.

Golden responded by displaying mugshots of the men side-by-side and pointing out similarities in their appearance.

“They look alike,” she said.

Mincey was tracked down using one of the victim’s phones, and when arrested, he was found to have other items – electronic equipment and jewelry – he allegedly took from the victims.

His mother found other items in his room while cleaning and reported them to police.

Delan suggested to the jury her client may have purchased those items.

“Those things that were taken were easily sold,” she said.

As Golden wrapped up her closing statement , she laid out before the jury box each piece of jewelry that Mincey was accused of stealing.

“These are souvenirs,” she said. “He kept these so that any time he wanted, he could pull them out to remind himself of his conquests.”

Delan reiterated for the jury that her client was innocent, warning jurors not to be misled by the prosecution.

“There are 19 counts and five victims,” she said. “He must’ve done something wrong. That’s what the state wants you to believe.”

Golden referred to Mincey’s alleged victims as “survivors” as she asked the jury to convict him.

“Honor these survivors and find Gary Mincey guilty,” she said.

Mincey was found guilty on 17 of the 19 counts. Two counts were removed.

Read More

News

  • The Latest on Republican plans to overhaul the health care system (all times local): 7 p.m. A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is resigning after the hard line group helped scuttle the Republican health care overhaul. Texas GOP Rep. Ted Poe says in a statement Sunday that 'saying 'no' is easy, leading is hard but that is what we were elected to do.' Poe tweeted Friday that some lawmakers 'would've voted against the 10 Commandments.' Most of the group's roughly three dozen members opposed the health care measure. President Donald Trump and other top Republicans are blaming them for the bill's collapse. House Speaker Paul Ryan yanked the measure off the House floor Friday in a jarring setback for Trump and Ryan. It faced certain rejection had a roll call occurred. The bill would have erased much of President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul. ___ 2 p.m. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on improving the health care system if they agree to stop trying to repeal former President Barack Obama's law. Schumer says Democrats and Republicans both have ideas on how to improve 'Obamacare.' Speaking on ABC's 'This Week,' the New York senator says: 'We never said it was perfect. We always said we'd work with them to improve it. We just said repeal was off the table.' Schumer spoke two days after House Republicans pulled their health care bill at the last minute to avoid a certain defeat. He also warned that Republicans will 'lose again' on tax reform if they continue to cater to what he characterized as 'hard-right wealthy special interests.' ___ 11:30 a.m. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is making clear that President Donald Trump will be seeking support from moderate Democrats for upcoming legislative battles. He also is leaving open the possibility that the president could still revisit health care legislation after the failure of the Republican bill to replace Obamacare. He scolded conservative Republicans, explaining that Trump had felt 'disappointed' that a 'number of people he thought were loyal to him that weren't.' Speaking on 'Fox News Sunday,' Priebus said: 'I think more so now than ever, it's time for both parties to come together and get to real reforms in this country whether it be taxes, whether it'd be health care, whether it'd be immigration, whether it'd be infrastructure, this president is ready to lead.' ___ 9:15 a.m. President Donald Trump is attacking conservative lawmakers after the failure of the Republican bill to replace Obamacare. On Twitter on Sunday, Trump says: 'Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!' The Freedom Caucus is a hard-right group of House members who were largely responsible for blocking the bill to undo President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The bill was pulled from the House floor Friday in a humiliating political defeat for the president. Trump initially focused his blame on Democrats for the failure and predicted a dire future for the current law. Before the bill was pulled, Trump tweeted at the Freedom Caucus, saying Planned Parenthood funding would continue if they blocked the legislation.
  • School officials in Fayette County say they have been trying to exterminate rodents at Sandy Creek High School, but they're still a problem after more than a month.  One student told Channel 2 Action News that she saw about 40 rats at one time in the field house where student athletes work out.   A dead rat was found by a student in the weight training room, the news station reported. The athletes told Channel 2 they are still being forced to work out in the field house, despite all of the rats running around. MORE: Toy gun used in $900 McDonald’s robbery Pallookaville stabbing ‘came from out of nowhere’ owner says Internet site with child porn sends Gwinnett man to prison Fayette County school district officials said the school's principal alerted them to the problem three weeks ago, and that's when they called an exterminator and put out traps. Many students and parents worry the rats could be carrying diseases and might bite someone.  Parent Theresa Hand said she worries the rats are dangerous. 'I mean, you know, the kids could actually get bit by some of those things,” Hand told Channel 2. “You never know.'   School officials said they cut down some shrubs behind the school to decrease the infestation and they will continue to exterminate and monitor the situation.
  • Russia's opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic. It was the biggest show of defiance since the 2011-2012 wave of demonstrations that rattled the Kremlin and led to harsh new laws aimed at suppressing dissent. Almost all of Sunday's rallies were unsanctioned, but thousands braved the prospect of arrests to gather in cities from the Far East port of Vladivostok to the 'window on the West' of St. Petersburg. An organization that monitors Russian political repression, OVD-Info, said it counted more than 800 people arrested in the Moscow demonstrations alone. That number could not be confirmed and state news agency Tass cited Moscow police as saying there were about 500 arrests. Navalny, who was arrested while walking from a nearby subway station to the demonstration at Moscow's iconic Pushkin Square, was the driving force of the demonstrations. He called for them after his Foundation for Fighting Corruption released a report contending that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has amassed a collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards. Navalny is a persistent thorn in the Kremlin's side. He has served several short jail terms after arrests in previous protests and has twice been convicted in a fraud case, but given a suspended sentence. He intends to run for president in 2018 — an election in which Putin is widely expected to run for another term — even though the conviction technically disqualifies him. Putin has dominated Russian political life, as president or prime minister, since 2000. No overall figures on arrests or protest attendance were available. Some Russian state news media gave relatively cursory reports on the demonstrations; the state news TV channel Rossiya-24 ignored them altogether in evening broadcasts. Police estimated the Moscow crowd at about 7,000, but it could have been larger. The one-hectare (2.5-acre) Pushkin Square was densely crowded as were sidewalks on the adjacent Tverskaya Street. In St. Petersburg, about 5,000 protesters assembled in the Mars Field park, shouting slogans including 'Putin resign!' and 'Down with the thieves in the Kremlin!' Russia's beleaguered opposition is often seen as primarily a phenomenon of a Westernized urban elite, but Sunday's protests included gatherings in places far from cosmopolitan centers, such as Siberia's Chita and Barnaul. 'Navalny has united people who think the same; that people don't agree with the authorities is obvious from what is going on in the country today,' Anna Ivanova, 19, said at the Moscow demonstration. 'I am a bit scared.' Scuffles with police erupted sporadically and the arrested demonstrators included a gray-haired man whom police dragged along the pavement. Police cleared the square after about three hours and began herding demonstrators down side streets. 'It's scary, but if everyone is afraid, no one would come out onto the streets,' 19-year-old protester Yana Aksyonova said. The luxuries amassed by Medvedev include a house for raising ducks, so many placards in Sunday's protests featured mocking images of yellow duck toys. Some demonstrators carried running shoes — a reference to Navalny's assertion that tracking shipments of running shoes for Medvedev helped reveal his real-estate portfolio. Others showed up with their faces painted green, a reminder of a recent attack on Navalny in which an assailant threw a green antiseptic liquid onto his face. 'People are unhappy with the fact that there's been no investigation' of the corruption allegations, said Moscow protester Ivan Gronstein. There were no comments reported from Putin, Medvedev or other top Russian politicians, leaving in doubt what the Kremlin's strategy may be for countering the protests. Previous waves of demonstrations have dissipated through inertia or the intimidation of increasingly punitive measures; under a 2014 law, holding an unauthorized protest is punishable by 15 days in jail, or five years imprisonment for a third offense. In Vladivostok, police forcefully detained some demonstrators near the city's railway terminal, in one case falling down a small grassy slope as they wrestled with a detainee. News reports and social media reported demonstrations in large cities throughout the country, including Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk. At least 25 people were reported arrested in Vladivostok and 12 in Khabarovsk. About 40 people were detained in a small protest in the capital of Dagestan, a restive republic in the Russian Caucasus, according to Tass, ___= Irina Titova in St. Petersburg contributed to this report.
  • Knoxville Zoo officials are investigating why 33 reptiles, including three endangered species, died Wednesday.  Herpetologists came to work that morning to find a majority of the 52 animals housed in one of the reptile buildings dead. They immediately evacuated the snakes and lizards, giving them oxygen and checking their heartbeats with an ultrasound device. “This is a devastating and catastrophic loss to our zoo,” Lisa New, president at the zoo, told the Knoxville News Sentinel Saturday. “These animals were important ambassadors who helped so many people understand the role snakes and lizards play in the balance of nature.” >> Read more trending news Veterinarians from the zoo as well as from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine are investigating the cause of death. “We also lost breeding programs for several endangered and threatened species,” she added. “It is especially difficult for our herpetologists who have dedicated their careers to caring for and advocating for these animals.” Three critically endangered species died; the Louisiana pine snake, the Catalina Island rattlesnake and the Aruba Island rattlesnake. The zoo’s forest cobra and albino Eastern diamondback rattlesnake also died. “We don't know exactly what occurred to cause this terrible event, but we do know it was isolated to a single building,” the zoo said in a post on Facebook. “We are continuing to investigate all the physical systems and conducting necropsies to see if we can gain any insight.”