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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia • B5

Atlanta, Georgia
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Filename: B5-METRO-AJCD0105-3THRE created: Jan 5 2008 Username: SPEED7 Saturday, Jan 05, 2008 METRO 5 3DOT 5 Cyan Magenta Yellow Black 5 Cyan Magenta Yellow Black 3DOT File name: B5-METRO-AJCD0105-3THRE created: Jan 5 2008 Username: SPEED7 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3 Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008 B5 Benoit doctor allowed to work By JOHN HOLLIS A U.S. magistrate judge has ruled that Dr. Phil Astin III will be exempted from house arrest on weekdays so he can work and support his two young children. Judge Linda T.

Walker cited the welfare as she decreed Friday that the Carrolton doctor could leave the house to begin work towing and repairing cars at the nearby Towing Service. not allow him to work is almost punitive for the Walker said from the bench. Astin will only be allowed to go to work each day and must return home by 5:30 p.m. He can tow cars within a 30-mile radius of the towing shop, but he leave the state. Astin must also produce pay stubs and provide records of the goods and services he delivers to his children.

Astin was charged with seven counts of overpre scribing patients in the wake of professional wrestler Chris murder of his wife and son before killing himself in late June. Federal authorities say Astin had prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Benoit every three to four weeks between May 2006 and May 2007. Astin was soon forced to surrender his medical license and has been under house arrest since July 3 and unable to work. hoped to sell various parcels of land to fund his defense, but government tax liens on the properties prevented that. Astin sought a tion in the terms of his bond so that he might try to meet his obligations, which include child support.

He declared bankruptcy in the fall and has been declared indigent by the court after spending $50,000 toward his legal defense. In last initial hearing, Astin also had cited the declining health of his estranged wife, Melinda, as another reason why he needed to resume work. The mother of his two children is terminally ill with cancer. The government, however, contended he had repeatedly the terms of his house arrest, and it sought to have tighter restrictions placed on him. The terms of house arrest allowed him to leave his home only to tend to legal or medical matters or to attend church on Sundays.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Horn produced pictures of Astin eating at a local House and making shopping trips to Piggly Wiggly and Big Lots. Virginia Natasha Perdew- Silas, federally appointed defender, said her client was simply killing time in the morning after dropping his son off for Sunday school and awaiting the later morning church service. at the House in Carrollton is not the same as trying to jurisdiction or the Perdew-Silas said. Horn, trying to make his case for tightening restrictions on Astin, stressed the lack of honesty.

court gave him an order to do Horn said. he do it or did he not do it? He violated JENNI GIRTMAN Staff Phil Astin was charged with overprescribing medications after wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and son and committed suicide. Buford on New Day. The Union County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had been searching for Hilton since late Thursday to talk to him about Emerson. He was seen by other hikers at Vogel State Park in North Georgia as he and Emerson walked up Freeman Trail on Blood Mountain on New Day.

DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said detained Hilton after receiving two calls about 7:40 p.m. both calls reported possible sightings of Hilton at the Chevron gas station in the 3500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody. When arrived, they found Hilton and con his identity, Parish said. They also found a dog in white van, and it was taken to an animal shelter in DeKalb County. Parish said DeKalb police had been helping in the efforts to Hilton, whose last known address was in the Atlanta area.

A spokeswoman for the Emerson family, Peggy Bailey, said late Friday that the family is optimistic that Hilton will have information that will help the investigation, calling him the just feel certain that this is going to lead us to she said. he know, know someone who The family was buoyed by news that beloved Labrador mix, Ella, was found unharmed Friday. Bankhead said dog was found about 3 p.m. Friday at a Kroger store in the Cumming area. said a chip in the dog was used to its identity.

Bailey said the family had been that Ella was safe, but they did not know where the dog was being kept Friday night. she said of discovery. dog means everything to Meredith. When we Meredith, the thing going to ask: Meanwhile, the family will continue the search for Emerson. be happy until we know Bailey said.

By Friday the search was spread outside the borders of Vogel to include a 400- square-mile area of rugged terrain in Union and Lumpkin counties that crosses the Appalachian Trail. Using dogs, helicopters and heat-sensing equipment, searchers will keep looking for Emerson or clues throughout the weekend. friends found her 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier south of Vogel State Park at the head of the Freeman Trail, a common day-hiking trail that leads to the Appalachian Trail located below Blood Mountain. Searchers have had to work in rugged, hilly terrain that rises from 3,000 to 4,500 feet above sea level and still has remnants of snow that fell Tuesday evening. Temperatures have ranged from the mid-20s to the mid-40s.

Friends and co-workers said Emerson left a note with her roommate that she was going to go hiking with her dog Tuesday. They began searching the next day when she had not returned home and did not report for work at Process Container and Display in Winder. They said she had been wearing warm clothes, including a jacket and hiking pants. Few of her friends, including those who had hiked the sections of the trail where her car was found, believed she could have lost her way on the well-marked trail where she often went running with a partner. father, Dave Emerson of Longmont, headed to the mountain trails Friday with investigators and rescue workers to help look for his daughter.

friends produced and a Web site The Associated Press contributed to this report Search: dog found in Cumming area Continued from 1 Suspect charged in death of cabbie By TIM EBERLY DeKalb County police say they arrested a Clayton County man on charges he hit and killed a cabdriver who stopped on I-285 Thursday to help a fellow cabdriver whose car had broken down. Charleston Edward Hughley, 21, of Ellenwood faces charges of degree vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane and hit-and-run, police spokesman J.T. Ware said. Police arrested Hughley late Thursday, about eight hours after the afternoon collision that took the life of Rapid Taxi cabdriver Fikru Menje, 25, of Stone Mountain, Ware said. Motorists who saw the crash on I-285 North, between I-20 and Glenwood Road, followed Hughley, took down his license plate number and reported it to police, Ware said.

Ware said Hughley admitted driving the 1996 Honda Accord that hit Menje and the scene. But Ware said not clear how or why Hughley went off the road and hit the cabdriver. The fatal collision happened about 2:15 p.m. Another driver had broken down, pulled off the right shoulder of the road and called Menje for help. Menje showed up, but after he got out of his cab, the Accord went off the right side of the road and hit him, Ware said.

A staffer for Rapid Taxi, who asked not to be iden said Menje had been with the company for about a year. He was not married and was a student at DeKalb Technical College, the staffer said. stunt subs for By JEFFRY SCOTT Say what you will about Senate candidate Dale Cardwell sitting outside on a tower in downtown Atlanta for four days shivering for attention. It makes his platform easy to explain. reporter asked me about my platform, I said it was two feet by six feet and made out of the former Atlanta TV reporter joked during a cellphone interview Friday.

Cardwell said he needed a dramatic act love somebody with and attitude who is willing to take a to rise above the oblivion of his campaign that has yet to air its TV commercial. So now about 300 feet above nobody paying any attention. So far, since he was hoisted up on the platform New Day, been interviewed by so many radio stations he keep track, he said. On Friday night, he was scheduled to be live on CNN in a hookup that would use the video feed from his webcam ( index.html). political adviser, Atlanta adman Joel Babbit, estimates all the news coverage is worth $1 million of advertising that he afford to In his days as marketing head of the city of Atlanta in the 1990s, Babbit once suggested the city raise money by selling ad space on stray dogs.

So, in his mind, Cardwell going up a tower in the middle of a cold snap and vowing to stay until the world hears his message that the country is run by corporate interests and politicians who respond to regular people all that crazy. no less than an attack ad or a candidate playing banjo on the Letterman the ad man said. a very good campaign strategy when you have no Cardwell said not sure how long stay on his perch on the Corey Tower just a few blocks from the state Capitol. be here through the he said. He said not worried about falling.

tethered to the platform with a rope. And stays warm with an electric blanket, and he sleeps under a tarped enclosure. He eats mostly military rations, though a few people have showed up and had food and drink delivered to him by a full-time rotation of security guards who stand by. A spokesman for Sen. Saxby campaign, Justin Tomczak, declined to comment.

DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, who is running against Cardwell for the Democratic nomination, offered one sentence: campaign for Senate is on the ground with the people, addressing serious issues they are confronted with and not about commenting on JOHN SPINK Staff Senate candidate and former TV reporter Dale Cardwell has spent some of the coldest nights of the winter on top of a tower. METRO Man in standoff was mystery to neighbors By MIKE MORRIS, and ANDRIA SIMMONS In a close-knit swim and tennis community in Sugar Hill, one of the new residents did not blend in. William Caram stuck to himself and interact with neighbors. His fellow renters in the two- story house said Caram, a hotel desk clerk, struck them as unusually reclusive. was just so Lynn Christopher said.

when home, he is locked behind his On Thursday night, Gwinnett County police said, the 37-year-old Caram lashed out with violence. After a 14-hour standoff with police that paralyzed the Saddletree subdivision and caused an elementary school to shut down for the day, Caram died inside a closet in his bedroom. The house in the neat suburban neighborhood ended up looking like a building in a war zone. Police came to the house Thursday night to arrest Caram on three felony charges of aggravated assault on a police The warrants stemmed from a Dec. 29 incident in which Caram was accused of blowing through a police DUI checkpoint on Suwanee Dam Road, nearly mowing down three as he tried to When the law came knocking Thursday, Caram shot two through his closed bedroom door, police said.

A third who ran inside the house to rescue his wounded comrades exchanged with Caram as police retreated from the house, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said. A 14-hour standoff followed, concluding shortly before 11 a.m. Friday. Porter said SWAT found Caram dead in a bedroom closet where he had barricaded himself with a loaded pistol. It was not immediately known whether Caram died from a wound or whether he was killed during the confrontation with police.

The two wounded cers, Sgt. Michael P. McKeithan and Cpl. William M. Hoch, were being treated Friday at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Authorities said McKeithan one of the same who was almost run over by Caram at the DUI checkpoint was shot several times. Hoch was shot once in the leg. Jordan Howatineck, a 16- year-old North Gwinnett High School student, said he and other neighbors spent the long hours either trapped in their homes or shut out of the subdivision altogether. Police had ordered everyone to stay inside and blocked off the sudivision entrance to maintain security as SWAT used tear gas, concussion grenades and small explosives in attempts to dislodge Caram. Police even sent a motorized robot into the house to establish communications with Caram.

was just wor ried at school and calling, trying to out what was going Howatineck said. The teen turned to a local Web site called to listen to the police scanner. He also started blogging about what he could see and hear. neighbor a few streets away, 30-year- old Jamie Wood, was online, too. She was glued to the scanner as events unfolded.

Later they compared notes in the tennis court parking lot, where dozens of neighbors gathered to marvel at the damage to the house where the standoff occurred. One wall of the home had been blown out, and in the front several windows were shattered and the front door was broken in. About 20 tear gas cannisters littered the street. heard them say, ready to then I leaned out the window and you could hear them deploy tear Wood said. thought, this is like reality TV at its None of the neighbors who gathered in front of the house said they knew Caram.

Apparently, neither did his roommates. Lynn Christopher, 33, said he only began renting a room to Caram in recent weeks, and he had not even given Caram his own key yet. Four people share rent in the house, Christopher said, and the roommates noticed Caram kept to himself. At the Comfort Inn in Suwanee where Caram had worked as a front-desk clerk since August, his manager, Marla Fuller, was still reel ing from news of the standoff. Fuller said Caram show up to work Sunday the day after he reportedly from the DUI checkpoint.

On Monday, he telephoned the inn and quit, saying he had to return to New York and care for a sick family member. Christopher said Caram had been acting strangely, and had told roommates he lost his car over the weekend after going out and getting drunk with a friend. thing is, I never knew him to drink and I never knew him to have any Christopher said. Contacted by phone Friday afternoon, sister- in-law, Annie Caram of Albuquerque, N.M., said family members were taking the news hard. She declined to speak further.

Porter said he will conduct an investigation into the use of force by police during their confrontation with Caram. An autopsy to determine his cause of death will likely be performed over the weekend or Monday, Porter said. Freelance writer Keri Smith contributed to this report. KIMBERLY SMITH Staff search for evidence Friday afternoon in front of a Sugar Hill house where tear gas cannisters shattered windows in an attempt to end a standoff that lasted 14 hours..

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