ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

heavy-rain-night Created with Sketch.
81°
Afternoon T-storms
H 82° L 71°
  • heavy-rain-night Created with Sketch.
    81°
    Current Conditions
    Afternoon T-storms. H 82° L 71°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    82°
    Today
    Afternoon T-storms. H 82° L 71°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    87°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 87° L 73°
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

Local
3 convicted, 1 acquitted in Cobb man’s murder at Mableton Parkway
Close

3 convicted, 1 acquitted in Cobb man’s murder at Mableton Parkway

3 convicted, 1 acquitted in Cobb man’s murder at Mableton Parkway

3 convicted, 1 acquitted in Cobb man’s murder at Mableton Parkway

Three of the four men on trial for beating a Cobb County man who was later struck by a car and killed were convicted of murder Wednesday afternoon. Following the conviction, deputies had to restore order in the courtroom, where people shouted when the verdicts were announced.

Jekari Oshay Strozier, Antonio Shantwan Pass, Johnathan Donald Anthony and Kemonta Bonds, all from Mableton, were arrested and charged in July 2013 after Joshua Heath Chellew’s death. Chellew, 36, also of Mableton, was repeatedly punched and kicked outside a Chevron gas station, according to investigators. Chellew, badly beaten, eventually stumbled onto Mableton Parkway, where he was run over by a passing vehicle. He died at Grady Memorial Hospital.

“Mr. Chellew didn’t stand a chance,” Jesse Evans, deputy chief assistant district attorney, said in an emailed statement. “It was them against one. He was unarmed, and he was intoxicated. This was a relentless assault. They used their hands and feet to assault him. The defendants just beat him down. Mr. Chellew didn’t do anything to deserve this beating.”

After several days of deliberating, a jury convicted all but Bonds of felony murder, Channel 2 Action News reported. In addition, the three were convicted on voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and gang charges. Bonds was acquitted.

The four men on trial were black while Chellew was white. There were some calls for prosecution as a hate crime but officials determined those charges were not warranted.

The case attracted considerable pre-trial publicity, with numerous conservative-leaning websites claiming that the attack on Chellew was racially motivated.

“If the races had been reversed, this would be the biggest news story in the United States. It would have knocked the (George) Zimmerman trial out of the news,” Top Conservative News noted, a sentiment shared in a blog post on The Daily Caller titled “Why is Joshua Chellew less important than Trayvon Martin?”

The furor died down somewhat after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that surveillance footage from the service station revealed Chellew wasn’t likely singled out because of his race.

As spelled out in the police warrant, Chellew approached the suspects, three of whom were dressed in red, the color associated with the “Bloods” street gang, and taunted them with a blue towel, the color claimed by their longtime rival, the “Crips.”

Prosecutors never proffered a racial motive during the trial.

The three men found guilty could face life sentences. The men will be sentenced at a later date.

— Staff Writer Christian Boone contributed to this report.

Read More

News

  • Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats isn’t naming names, but the six inmates who rescued an officer during a work detail last Friday will serve reduced sentences. Many of the six men who rushed to help the officer who’d passed out in the afternoon heat haven’t even been sentenced yet, Moats told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If I’m in court when they go, I would stand up and let them know what they did,” Moats said. MORE: 6 inmates save officer who passed out during work detail After the officer collapsed, one of the inmates grabbed the man’s work phone and called 911, according to the sheriff's office. The inmates also took off the man’s outer carrier vest in an attempt to help cool him off.  Moats said prisoners in Polk County jail already earn two days time served for every day they spend in the county jail. Those who volunteer for work detail earn three days for every one. Moats said he would give these men credit for four days for every one served.  “I can’t do that if they are sentenced to prison,” Moats said. It’s what is traditionally called “time off for good behavior” and applied to any future sentence.   In other news:
  • The Latest on Senate Republicans' health care bill (all times local): 5:20 p.m. An addiction treatment advocacy group says the Senate health care plan falls short in confronting the opioid epidemic. Joseph J. Plumeri of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says the proposed cuts to Medicaid mean fewer people will receive treatment for addiction. He says anyone who supports the legislation 'cannot claim to be committed to ending the opioid epidemic.' The Senate bill would create a $2 billion fund to provide grants to states in support of substance abuse treatment and recovery, and also to help care for people with mental health problems. But advocates say the current financing provided through Medicaid is far greater — and open-ended. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, had sought $45 billion over 10 years to combat the addiction crisis. __ 4:35 p.m. U.S. Capitol Police have arrested 43 people who were protesting proposed cuts to Medicaid inside a Senate office building. In a statement, Capitol Police say the protesters 'removed themselves from their wheelchairs and lay themselves on the floor, obstructing passage through the hallway and into nearby offices.' Some of the protesters were yelling 'no cuts to Medicaid' as they were being led away by police. The protest came on the same day Senate Republican leaders released their version of a bill that would repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health law. The bill limits Medicaid spending. Capitol Police say those arrested were charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding, which means inconveniencing or disturbing others. __ 3:55 p.m. Former President Barack Obama says the Senate's GOP-written health care bill will cause millions of families to lose health care coverage. The former president issued a statement on his Facebook page as Senate Republicans unveiled a plan to dismantle Obama's signature presidential achievement. Obama called Senate Republicans' health care bill a 'massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.' He also says it 'hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.' The former president says amending the GOP-written bill 'cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.' Obama says he hopes there are 'enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win.' ___ 3:15 p.m. Medical groups are beginning to weigh in on the Senate Republican health care bill, and they have problems with the proposal. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the bill would hurt children by scaling back Medicaid. Its president, Dr. Fernando Stein, says the plan was crafted without input from pediatricians and 'would tear down' the progress the nation has made by achieving insurance coverage for 95 percent of children. America's Essential Hospitals, which represents more than 300 safety-net health facilities, says the version the Senate released Thursday 'might be worse overall' than the House legislation and might lead to hospitals reducing services or closing. The Association of American Medical Colleges says the Senate plan would leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare-bones insurance plans. ___ 2:15 p.m. Four Republican senators say they are not ready to vote for the GOP health care bill, putting the measure in jeopardy. The four are Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. They say in a statement that they are open to negotiation before the full Senate considers the measure. The four say there are provisions that are an improvement to the current health care system. But they add that the measure fails to accomplish what they have promised to their constituents, 'to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.' GOP leaders hope to vote on the bill next week and can only afford two defections from the 52 Senate Republicans. ___ 1:50 p.m. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he and three other Republican senators are preparing to announced their opposition to the Senate health care bill as it's written. Their opposition puts the bill in jeopardy, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose only two Republican senators and still pass the legislation. Paul tells The Associated Press in an interview that the bill released Thursday resembles 'Obamacare' too closely and does not go far enough to repeal former President Barack Obama's law. Paul says that he and the other senators are 'definitely open to negotiation' but that they need to make their opposition clear in order to ensure negotiations happen. McConnell is pushing toward a vote next week but Paul's stance throws that into question. ___ 1:30 p.m. U.S. Capitol Police are arresting dozens of people who are protesting cuts to Medicaid in the Senate Republicans' health care bill. The protesters have filled a hallway in one of the Senate office buildings, outside the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Some of the protesters are being escorted individually. Others are much more reluctant to leave and it's taking four or five officers to carry them out. The protesters are yelling 'no cuts to Medicaid' as they are being led away. One protester says he's with the disability rights group ADAPT. Phillip Corona says he traveled from Wisconsin to make his voice heard. Corona says Medicaid helps his son Anthony get out of bed every morning. Phillip Corona fears that changes to the program 'would possibly mean putting him in a nursing home.' Alison Barkoff — director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation — helped organize the protest. She says the protesters rely on Medicaid to help them live and she says the health bill amounts to 'tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of people with disabilities.' ___ 11:35 a.m. Democrats are roundly criticizing the Republican plan to scrap the Obama health care law. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the Senate floor Thursday moments after the GOP's 142-page discussion draft was posted online. Republicans had been briefed on the plan behind closed doors. Schumer says, 'We live in the wealthiest country on earth. Surely we can do better than what the Republican health care bill promises.' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assails the GOP bill as a tax break for wealthy Americans. The bill would eliminate the requirement that Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty. ___ 11:20 a.m. President Donald Trump is expressing hope that the Senate will pass a health care plan 'with heart' following the release of a Republican plan to dismantle President Barack Obama's health law. Trump says at the start of a White House event on technology he is hopeful Congress will get something done on health care 'with heart.' The president spoke shortly after Senate Republicans released a 142-page draft of their bill to get rid of much of Obama's law. The bill faces broad opposition from Democrats. But Trump says that Republicans would love to have Democratic support. ___ 11:18 a.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is praising the Republican plan to scuttle the Obama's health overhaul, arguing it's the right alternative to a 'failed' law. Moments after the 142-page discussion draft was unveiled, McConnell spoke on the Senate floor, renewing his criticism of the seven-year-old law. He outlined the GOP plan that would cut Medicaid, slash taxes and waive the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance. Senate Republicans had been briefed on the plan earlier Thursday. Emerging from the session, McConnell did not answer when asked if he has the votes to pass the GOP proposal. A vote would occur next week after budget analysts assess the package. ___ 10:56 a.m. Senate Republicans have released a 142-page draft of their bill to eliminate much of the Obama health care law. The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income and disabled people. It would repeal tax increases Obama's law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage. And it would end the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't buy insurance — in effect, ending the so-called individual mandate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to push the measure through the Senate next week. But its fate remains uncertain. It faces uniform Democratic opposition. And at least a half-dozen Republicans — both conservatives and moderates — have complained about it. ___ 10:20 a.m. Senate Republicans are holding a private meeting to hear from leaders about their long-awaited plan for eliminating much of President Barack Obama's health law. Lobbyists and congressional aides say the Senate bill would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and rescind tax increases that Obama imposed to help pay for his law's expansion of coverage. Republicans plan to make their plan public later Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell developed the bill behind closed doors. The measure represents his attempt to satisfy GOP moderates and conservatives who've complained about the measure. McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week. But it remains unclear whether he will have enough votes.
  • It was a rather pleasant spring and now the first summer month too has been cooler than normal. Hot weather has not lasted more than a couple or few days so far this year. It sure saves the lawn and bushes a lot of stress and saves the watering bill and the A/C bill, so I like it. But I am sure sun tanning fans are not thrilled. It still looks like from today past the 4th of July real hot weather will continue to be hard to come by. Then odds of some heat go up if the new Weekly European Model Ensemble run is right. 1-15 Day GFS Ensemble average temperature departure from normal: End of June-early July rainfall amounts GFS Ensemble and Euro Ensemble: Hope for some drying beyond the current wet spell:      European Model the week ending July 7th: Then the model suggests more upper-level ridging which would bring warmer and drier if correct. The week ending July 14th: The model projects not dry weather in Georgia but less wet to open the new month, as the bigger rains are projected to shift north of here. None-the-less, it looks like odds for rain will be above-normal right into the start of August. So no drought and no extreme heat here. Week ending July 21st: Week ending July 28th: FOLLOW me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB
  • Roswell Police say a WellStar North Fulton hospital security guard stole from a patient, who was undergoing treatment at the hospital. Tony Jones is charged with ID theft and credit card fraud. Channel 2's Mike Petchenik met with the victim, who asked to remain anonymous. He says hospital staff told him he could secure his personal belongings with security while he underwent medical treatment. When he received his wallet, he noticed one of his credit cards was missing. 'It was so stressful that five days later I went back to the hospital,' he told Petchenik. Police say Jones used the card at a nearby QT gas station while the victim was hospitalized. Authorities were able to identify Jones from security footage at the gas station. 'This is a crime and he should pay for it,' the victim said. TRENDING STORIES: Popular fitness model killed in freak whipped cream accident Georgia prison guard has inmate's baby, pleads guilty to oath violation Strong storms move through metro A spokesperson for WellStar sent Channel 2 Action News this statement Thursday: 'We are aware of the alleged theft involving a former security professional, who is no longer employed with our company. First, we want to apologize to the patient impacted, and also share that we perform background checks on every individual prior to hiring. Moreover, this type of behavior is not reflective of core values and standards we set for our thousands of employees. We are cooperating with the police on the investigation and are working to establish some additional policies and procedures to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.' Jones worked at the hospital since September of last year. Authorities told Petchenik they worry there could be other victims. 'If you were staying at the hospital during the period that person was employed there, definitely check your credit card statements or accounts and see if there are any questionable charges on there,' said Lisa Holland, with the Roswell Police Department.
  • A woman says Hall County deputies shot her eight times as she tried to get away from a home invasion reported at her house. Jennifer Harris said deputies shot into her car with children inside. She said her fiance reported a home invasion just before midnight last Thursday at their home on Campbell Road. Harris said once the two armed robbers left, she got everyone she could in her car to get help. She said she saw men with guns, but didn't know they were deputies, and they fired into the car when she didn't stop.The woman walks us through what she says is a case of mistaken identity all around, on Channel 2 Action News at 6.The Hall County sheriff's office sent a statement which said in part:'I can assure everyone that once the GBI has completed the investigation, it will be referred to the District Attorney's office for a full review and when it is legally appropriate, full details will be available to the public and the media. ' 'I said, 'Please not the kids.'' Deputies fired into a car w/ kids inside, injuring 3. Concerns after a shooting in Hall Co., @ 6. pic.twitter.com/DBqQ1np8QO-- Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) June 22, 2017
  • A tornado damaged several businesses outside Birmingham, Alabama, onTuesday. >> Read more trending news Meteorologist Jason Holmes said buildings, including a liquor store and a fast-food restaurant, in the suburban community of Fairfield, west of the city, were reported damaged. Holmes also told The Associated Press that trees were down and buildings were reported damaged along the Interstate 20 corridor on the southwestern outskirts of Birmingham. Photographs on social media showed what appeared to be a funnel cloud in the air in the Birmingham area. The Associated Press contributed to this report.