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Man arrested for trying to meet underage girl at mall

Man arrested for trying to meet underage girl at mall

ROME, Ga. -- A man arrested at a north Georgia shopping mall allegedly went there to meet a young girl for sexual relations.

A report from the Floyd County Jail says 40-year-old Nathan Lee Claus of Cartersville is charged with child molestation and other sex-related counts.

Officers arrested Claus at the Mount Berry Square mall in Rome on Saturday.

Reports say he had gone there to meet a 14-year-old girl after sending her sexually explicit messages.

The jail report says the man had been communicating with the teenager since March 4.

Police launch new tip line

Police launch new tip line

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The Cartersville Police Department has installed a new crime tip line for citizens.

The tip line, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is at 770-606-5337.

"The tip line is a way that members of the public can assist our department by providing information that will help us not only solve existing cases but also prevent crime from happening in the future," Cartersville Police Chief Thomas Culpepper said in a statement. "We welcome the partnership with the citizens of Cartersville."

John McNeil free, 6 years after murder conviction

John McNeil free, 6 years after murder conviction

MARIETTA, Ga. -- John McNeil barely said a word as he walked out of the Cobb County prison, a free man after six years behind bars. His first request, simply to breathe.

"Breathe freedom. That's the first thing I want to do," said McNeil surrounded by reporters and many of the supporters that fought to get him released.

John McNeil was sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting Brian Epp in the McNeil family's Kennesaw yard in 2005.  Cobb county police ruled McNeil's actions self defense. 

McNeil believed Epp had threatened one of his sons with a knife.  He fired a warning shot into the ground, asking Epp to leave.  When Epp refused, McNeil fired again, this time hitting him in the head.

Teen arrested for fracturing infant's skull

Teen arrested for fracturing infant's skull

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- A Bartow County teen is in jail on charges that he abused a 6-week-old baby.

Dustin Michael Lewis, 18, was taken into custody this week.

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Cartersville Police Capt. Mark Camp said Lewis was arrested after the baby was taken to Cartersville Medical Center Wednesday with a knot on her head. An examination revealed the baby suffered from a fractured skull, broken ribs and a broken left leg.

Lewis is the boyfriend of the baby's 18-year-old mother, according to a police report. It was unclear whether he is the baby's father.

He is being held in the Bartow County Jail on charges of aggravated battery and cruelty to children.

Camp said the baby was placed in state custody.

Man arrested for breaking into car

Man arrested for breaking into car

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- A Cartersville man arrested last week for breaking into a car may have committed other similar crimes throughout the city.

Darnell Robinson, 37, was taken into custody Friday.

Cartersville Police Chief Thomas Culpepper said Robinson is accused of taking a wallet and cell phone from a parked car on North Erwin Street on the day he was arrested.

The victim told investigators she left the car unlocked because she was preparing to load it with equipment. She witnessed the suspect taking her wallet; when she approached him, he pushed her and ran, Culpepper said.

Robinson was arrested at a nearby apartment complex and booked into the Bartow County Jail.

Culpepper said investigators are now working to link him to more crimes.

Bartow County School Board member arrested

Bartow County School Board member arrested

CARTERSVILLE -  A Bartow County Board of Education member has received a tough lesson about driver education. 41 year old Angela Cornett landed in jail after being accused of striking a student with her vehicle.

On Friday, December 28, Angela Cornett was arrested and charged with Reckless Conduct after an incident in the Walmart parking lot in Cartersville.

A Bartow County Sheriff's incident report says a 17 year old 12th grader from Adairsville High School was holding a parking space, for her brother's girlfriend, when Cornett told her to move. She didn't and that's when Cornett is alleged to have accelerated into the parking space with enough force to physically move the alleged victim.

Police noted the alleged victim had 'road grime' along her pant leg consistent with the tire size on Cornett's white Lexus SUV. However, she was not visibly hurt.

Cornett is reported to have said the girl 'leaned against the vehicle'.

Reward offered in car wash shooting

Reward offered in car wash shooting

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The family of a man who was shot and killed during an apparent robbery at a Cartersville car wash Sunday night is offering a reward for information

The body of 28-year-old Randall Statler Jr. was found shortly after 11 p.m. at the Sun-Glo Car Wash on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to Cartersville Police Capt. Mark Camp.

Statler had been shot once. Camp said investigators believe he was robbed before he was killed.

According to the investigation, Statler had spent the day mudding with friends and was at the car wash to clean the mud off his pickup truck.

Police have not yet named any suspects, but Camp said a person of interest has been interviewed.

"Over 30 law enforcement officers have been involved (in this case) thus far," Camp said in a statement.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cartersville Police Department at 770-387-5690.