The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on October 25, 1994 · 27
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 27

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 25, 1994
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Ttie Atlanta Journal The Atlanta Constitution LOCAL tIEWS . Tuesday, October 25, 1994 C3 Mother, daughter lulled by gunshots in Del(a!b By Christy Harrison STAFF WRITER Neighbors say turmoil was frequent and heated at the small house on Elldale Avenue where a woman and her daughter were shot to death Monday. 2 DeKalb police found the 34-year-old woman on a bed in a back room of the house at 12:30 p:m. Police identified the victims as Gayla Bateman-Grant and 9-year-old Kamilla Lat-timore. Kamilla died at Egleston Hospital Monday night. Authorities were searching for Bateman-Grant's estranged husband, who police and neighbors said she forced to leave two weeks ago, but they would not say he was a suspect. Betty Thomas, mother of Bateman-Grant's childhood friend, Sherry Strozier, said Ruling may affect thousands of DUI cases By Scott Marshall STAFF WRITER A ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals that breath tests cannot be used as evidence in cases where an erroneous card was used to read the suspect's rights may affect thousands of cases statewide, officials agree. No one knows yet how many defendants will be able to use the ruling to suppress their test results and improve their chances of winning in court. The ruling could affect any DUI case between Jan. 1, 1993, and May 1994, in which police failed to administer substantial roadside sobriety tests and instead relied almost exclusively on the breath test. Bumper sticker suit goes to trial By Peter Mantius STAFF WRITER ( Gainesville A Hall County sheriffs deputy who ticketed a driver for displaying a lewd . bumper sticker violated the man's civil liberties during the incident, a lawyer told a federal court jury Monday. Robert Gifford of Forsyth County was pulled over in May 1993 and given a citation for his sticker: "Don't Like My Driving? Dial 1-800-Eat Gifford's attorney, Hollie Paralympics abandon Cobb .j Following the lead of Olympic volleyball, officials at the Atlanta Paralympic Games have turned their backs on Cobb County's convention center as a venue for three events because of the county's resolution against the gay lifestyle. The Paralympics, which will bring up to 4,000 athletes to Atlanta immediately after the 1996 Games, had reserved Cobb Galleria Centre for a 10-day period for probable use as a fencing, volleyball and judo venue. A contract for the $72,000 rental had not been signed. Now, Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee officials say they're looking for other arenas in metro Atlanta to host the events. "We could not risk going to Cobb County with the political environment the way it is," Michael Mushett, senior vice president of sports and operations for the Atlanta Paralympics, said Monday. 'Historically, the disabled athlete or person with disabilities has been very involved with civil rights and human rights." . I. The pullout had been expected since Atlanta Olympic officials stripped Cobb of the volleyball venue this summer. Paralympic officials had tried to tentatively set their 19 venues with corresponding Olympic sports to take advantage of site preparation. . - Cobb County officials said the impact will be niinor. "We anticipated with the loss of one, the loss of both," Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne said. "It was scheduled only 10 days behind Olympic volleyball; obviously they were going to use the same place. This is an appropriate professional and business decision. With this decision, this chapter on that arena is now closed." CLAYTON COUNTY VOLLEYBALL IN BOARD'S COURT: The Clayton County Tourism Authority returns to the hot seat Wednesday when it meets to discuss possibly buying Atlanta Beach Sports and Entertainment Park as the site for the 1996 Olympic Games beach volleyball venue. The meeting is at 4 p.m. in the Commission Conference Room, 112 Smith, Bateman-Grant "called my daughter this morning. They were talking and she said, 'Girl, somebody's in the house.' She screamed and then there was a loud explosion," Thomas said. "Then somebody said, 'Oh, God!' and there was another shot." It was Strozier who notified police. Police Lt. Paul Taylor said there were no signs of forced entry at the house. Ann Jackson, a neighbor, said she'd called police often when the couple's problems spilled onto the streets. "A couple of times they had shoot-outs," she said. "He had a dark blue Bronco with bullet holes in it that she'd shot up." Bateman said she didn't know why her granddaughter hadn't gone to classes at Tilson Elementary School on Monday. Police all over tne state use a preprinted card to outline each arrestee's rights under the state's implied-consent law. Under that law, a motorist's license is suspended for refusal to submit to a breath test. Each time a suspected drunken driver is stopped, the card is read to the suspect if the police officer asks the motorist to submit to a breath test. During the 15-month period between 1993 and 1994, the card informed suspects that they had a right to obtain a second sample of their blood-alcohol level "at their own expense." The card has since been changed to also explain that suspects have a right to a second test "from personnel of their own choosing." Manheimer, said Deputy Tim Ashley should have known that the state law banning lewd bumper stickers had been de-, clared unconstitutional. A lawyer for Ashley said the deputy, was acting in good faith. Gifford claims he informed Ashley at the scene that the bumper sticker law had been ruled unconstitutional in 1991. According to Gifford, Ashley responded by yelling at him and threatening to throw him in jail if he moved or spoke. PublicAgenda Street, Jonesboro. An earlier meeting heavily attended by representatives of some of the most affluent neighborhoods in Clayton, which have protested noise from outdoor concerts at the park produced no headway in sealing the deal. Residents also have questioned the reported asking price of $7 million, in addition to improvements that would have to be made. FAYETTE COUNTY AS ICE EXPANDS, SO DOES FACILITY: The Peachtree City planning and zoning commission Monday night recommended approval of plans to expand Hoshizaki America's Peachtree ' City facility. The commercial ice-making company, which employs 260 people, plans to add approximately 117,000 square feet to the existing facility and hire 350 more employees the next five years. GWINNETT COUNTY CURB ON BARKING: The Snellville City Council is hoping to take a bite out of barking with the adoption Monday night of an ordinance that reduces the time a pet may howl, bark, meow, squawk or make other sounds before the owner is cited. The old ordinance required continuous or incessant noise for a period of 10 minutes, or in-' termittent noise for a half-hour after the arrival of a city code enforcement officer. The new ordinance narrows the time spans to five minutes of continuous noise and 10 minutes after the arrival of the officer. FULTON COUNTY PLANNING HEARINGS: The Fulton County government is developing a strategic plan for de-, livering programs and services through 2015. Public hearings are scheduled at 7 p.m. for Nov. 22 at Grady High School; Nov. 28, North Fulton Service Center; Nov. 30, South Fulton Service Center; Dec. 1, Phillip A. Randolph Elementary School. Contributing: Staff writers Kathey Alexander, Karen Baird, Mark Clothier, Gary Hendricks and David Pendered. i Tina Boyer's tragic trip ends Once a media curiosity, the Carroll County woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison in the death of her daughter. ByBillTorpy STAFF WRITER Tina Resch was either a disturbed teen troubled by otherwordly powers or an artful fraud who hoodwinked ghostbusters and much of the media into believing her mind could turn objects into missiles. On March 6, 1984, a photo of a telephone flying in front of Resch now named Tina Boyer appeared on the front page of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and she immediately became portrayed as a cross between "Carrie" and "Poltergeist." The photo generated worldwide publicity, with tales of her "powers" chronicled in the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries," in Reader's Digest ' and even the Skeptical Inquirer, which called her a fake and fueled a feud between believers and debunkers. On Monday, Tina Boyer was a distraught mother who pleaded guilty in the relative privacy of a Carroll County jury room to the murder of her 3-year-old daughter, Amber. But 10 years ago, there was no privacy for Boyer after Fred Shannon captured the flying phone on film. He swears today, "on my mother's grave," it wasn't a hoax. "I was scared to death; lots of things were flying," said Shannon, 72, who is now retired. "Things didn't j just levitate, they became projectiles." Shannon said the incident "changed my life." But he never saw the objects lifting from a resting position, he just caught theminair. "It happened, it happened; it was no hoax," maintains Bruce Clagett, an electrician called by Boyer's father to investigate why lights kept turning on. Clagett at first suspected a short but soon discovered "the light switches were turning up but no human hands were touching them." FROM CELEBRITY TO CELLBLOCK 4 , JL Mind over matter? This famous 1984 photo shows a 14-year-old Tina Resch, now Tina ; Boyer, allegedly moving a telephone in her Columbus, Ohio, home with telekinetic powers. He then taped the switches .into the off position but they again turned on, the tape ripped from the wall. "The hair on the back of my neck stood on end," said Clagett, now 65. Paul Kurtz, a psychology professor at New York University at Buffalo and the '. chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, said, "There's no question in our minds, the girl was cheating. She was so good at it that she deceived people constantly. She was seeking attention and everybody fell for it. I think all this was a factor in a destructive course later on." A magician named James Randi traveled to Columbus to investigate, but was turned away by Boyer's stepmother. He then reviewed Shannon's photos and, in an article published in the Skeptical Inquirer, determined that Tina was surreptitiously pitching the objects. Also, a television news crew recorded Boyer knocking over a lamp with her hand. She did not know the camera was still on and later claimed that she wanted the crews to leave the home and was obliging them. Early problems as a child Boyer, abandoned as an infant, was hyperactive and Para Lee Brock, was radio, TV producer Para Lee Brock, a Polk County native who became a radio producer for WATL radio and TV producer for "The 4-H Hour" on WAGA-TV, which ran for 25 years, died Friday at a Rome hospital. The graveside service will be at 11:30 a.m. today at the Friendship Baptist Church cemetery in Rome. "She was a very devoted professional and workmanlike person," said Dale Clark, former news director at WAGA-AM and WAGA-TV. Paul Raymon, former general manager at WAGA-TV said, "One of the interesting things about 'The 4-H Hour' was it was live. This was even before videotape. She had to get it together, produce as well as be featured on it. Surviving is a sister, Bonnie Brock of Rome. George D. Reneau Retired salesman The funeral for George D.' Reneau of Lawrenceville, a retired salesman with Hayes Chrysler-Plymouth in Lawrenceville, will be at 11 a.m. today at Wages Oak Lawn Chapel. The' body will be cremated. Mr. Reneau, 54, died of bone cancer Saturday at home. Surviving are his wife, Anita Menard Reneau; two children, James Reneau of Norcross and Katrina M. Rich of Orlando, Fla.; two sisters, Louise Davis of Pen-sacola, Fla., and Virginia Mc-Bride of Palestine, Texas; and three grandchildren. A - A became a foster child. As a teen, she suffered from emotional problems, didn't fit in at school and sought her natural parents, against the wishes of her foster mother. It was about then, Boyer said in a telephone interview last week from the Carroll County jail, that strange events started. At first, lights turned on and off. Small items like a TV Guide, eggs or a glass moved by themselves. "It then got more fierce; I'm surprised I never got a concussion," she said. "Our family had no glasses or plates left unshattered. We had to eat off paper plates. "I thought it was the house. My father was frustrated by me and kept telling me to 'Stay in one place' so the damage would subside." , Bill Roll, a parapsychologist who now lives in Carrollton and the author of two books on poltergeists and psychic research, studied the incidents at the Resch home and asked Tina to come to his laboratory, then in North Carolina, for , further research. He contends many of the incidents actually occurred. "She never felt pleased that all this was going on," said Roll. "It marked her different from the other kids." Boyer said her life became James Oscar 'Red O'Neal Retired mechanic The funeral for James Oscar "Red" O'Neal of Alvaton, a retired mechanic, will be at 2 p.m. today at the Alvaton Baptist Church, with burial at the church cemetery. Mr. O'Neal, 73, died Sunday at home. Surviving are his wife, Christine Gordy O'Neal; two children, Jimmy O'Neal of Griffin and Carole Swain of Doraville; four siblings, Joyce Melton of Woodbury, Corie O'Neal of Warm Springs, Roger O'Neal of Alvaton and Ferris Stribling of Lanett, Ala.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Winston Hughes Morriss Atlanta lawyer The graveside service for Winston Hughes Morriss of Atlanta, a lawyer, will be at 2 p.m. CDT today at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham. Mr. Morriss, 48, died Saturday at Piedmont Hospital. Surviving are two siblings, Rochelle Morriss Davis of Tallahassee, Fla., and Dr. Frank Howard Morriss Jr. of Iowa City, Iowa. Annie Ruth Rodgers Retired seamstress The graveside service for Annie Ruth Rodgers of Palmetto, a retired seamstress, will be at 3 p.m. today at Holly Hill Memorial Park in Fairburn. Mrs. Rodgers, 87, died Saturday at Peachtree Regional Hospital. Surviving is a son, Roy Rodgers of Palmetto. lid r UV I FRED SHANNON Special 1 v "hell," with TV crews staking . her out. "When I went back to school, kids would knock me, , down stairs and tell me to fly or they'd throw things at me and ask about the 'Twilight Zone.' " Charges of child abuse At 16, Boyer married a man she says was abusive. A second marriage was the same, she; , said, so she moved to ' r. ( . Carrollton, where Roll and others she knew lived. She wanted to outrun her past, she . said, and took up with David ,' Herrin, who is also charged in Amber's death. Boyer said her daughter, , 1 Amber, reminded her of herself high-strung. "She was smart for her age; she'd say her ABCs and sing 'Jesus Loves Me' in, sign language," she said. A list of "similar transactions" filed in the v ' Carroll County murder case by prosecutors documented 33 ; alleged transgressions against the child. Those allegations, ' used to show a pattern of abuse by Boyer, say the girl was ' repeatedly struck, severely ; ; scolded, locked in a closet and burned with a cigarette. ; ' However, the last allegation, she points out, came from her ex-husband. "A couple things are true," said Boyer, "but they're not the way they seem." More obituaries, Page C6 ... : Ruby Mozelle Sluder Retired supply technician : '"' The funeral for Ruby Mozelle Sluder of Atlanta, a retired supply technician for Georgia Baptist Medical Center, will be at 1 1 a.m. today at A.S. Turner & $ohs Funeral Home, with burial at Crest Lawn Memorial Park. Mrs. Sluder, 88, died Sunday at DeKalb Medical Center. : Surviving are her daughter, Marianne Roper of Decatur;' 'a sibling, Nellie Justis of Mable-ton; five grandchildren; and. 11 great-grandchildren. Russell P. McLean Retired administrator ir The memorial service' "for Russell P. McLean of Marietta, a retired administrator for ' the Swift Co., will be at 11 a.m. today at the Marietta First Presbyterian Church, with burial at Mountain View Cemetery. Mr. McLean, 81, died Sunday at home. .'.' ." Surviving are his wife, Eleanor Miner McLean; two children, R. Haydn McLean and Laura McLean Powell of Marietta; and five grandchildren. : Ralph 'Boots' Pope Retired freight handler V The funeral for Ralph "Boots" Pope of Fayetteville, a retired freight handler for Johnson Motor Lines, will be at 2 p.m. today at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, with burial at the church cemetery. Mr. Pope, 82, died Sunday at Newnan Hospital. . There were no survjvprs among the immediate family.

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