Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:46 AM EDT2014-08-19 12:46:09 GMT
Twenty people have been rounded up in a month as part of a crackdown on drugs in Saluda County, according to the sheriff's office.Saluda County Sheriff John Perry said most of those arrested on chargesMore >>
Twenty people have been rounded up in a month as part of a crackdown on drugs in Saluda County, according to the sheriff's office.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
The police chief for Gulf Shores along Alabama's coast is weighing-in on the actions of the law enforcement commander in charge of Ferguson, Missouri's in the wake of an escalating crisis brought on byMore >>
Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore wrote a blistering open letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson, who was given command of law enforcement operations following days of looting and rioting in the city.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:55 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:55:24 GMT
Deep in a mine shaft in the California desert, the body of a pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine was discovered after a search of nearly two months.More >>
A former Marine charged Tuesday with murder after the body of his alleged lover was found in an abandoned California mine shaft had been looking into how to dispose of a human body, a sheriff's investigator said.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 12:19 PM EDT2014-08-19 16:19:09 GMT
A Kansas City police officer is being investigated for his posts on social media, one of which claimed a photo of an Oregon murder suspect was Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot at leastMore >>
This is not Michael Brown. But a Kansas City Police Department officer may be in hot water for saying it is.More >>
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -
UPDATE (6/25/2014) Brian Wedgeworth, 39, was sentenced to10 years in prison but serve 7 years. He pleaded guilty to identity fraud, forgery in the 1st degree, forgery in the third degree and driving while license suspended. The case involved two victims from DeKalb County.
Wedgeworth may be extradited to Florida to face similar charges.
UPDATE (9/5/2013) Wedgeworth did not accept a plea deal that would have put him behind bars for seven years. Through his public defender, Wedgeworth told the judge he needed more time to decide. Judge Tangela Barrie told Wedgeworth that the offer may not be available when he returns to court.
Brian Wedgeworth, 37, of Birmingham, AL, pleaded not guilty to charges of forgery and identity theft for allegedly scamming women he met online.
According to a grand jury indictment handed down in February, Wedgeworth fraudulently accessed the bank account of a DeKalb County woman and possessed a check belonging to her.
Dubbed the "Casanova Scammer," Wedgeworth is accused of defrauding women he met on Internet dating web sites. It's a scheme DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said he's never seen before.
James said Wedgeworth conned women across the country into giving him money after he pretended to pay off their debt.
"These women really trusted [Wedgeworth]," said James.
The victims later learned the payments Wedgeworth made were from a fraudulent account, according to DeKalb County Police Detective Patrick Cook.
Cook said his investigation revealed Wedgeworth may have taken money from 60 victims across the country.
James called Wedgeworth's scheme a "shell game." Wedgeworth allegedly used money he received from one victim to help gain the trust of another woman.
According to the indictment, Wedgeworth forged a check on a bank account belonging to Melissa Stephens. James said that check was written for $200,000.
When arrested by DeKalb County Police in November, Wedgeworth allegedly had a fake Alabama driver's license which led to the second forgery charge.
Cook said Wedgeworth used many aliases but the same ruse. He posed as a wealthy doctor, met women on dating websites, befriended them, quickly promised a future together and ultimately lured them in by paying off their credit card bills, student loans and car loans.
Tamara Houston, 43, of Oakland, CA, said Wedgeworth, who told her his name was Brandon Kirkland, paid off her debt of $86,000.
The two met on a dating web site and began talking on the phone and on webcam several times a day.
"He had this Southern vernacular that really drew me in," said Houston, a registered nurse.
Within two weeks of meeting online, Wedgeworth told Houston God had told him to pay off her debt. The two called Houston's creditors and Wedgeworth offered bank account information to pay off the loans.
Several days later, Wedgeworth told Houston he needed help and asked her to wire $1,000. He made a second request for $5,000 a week later.
Grateful for his help, Houston complied.
But days later Houston learned Wedgeworth's payments were fraudulent.
"It wasn't until American Express, Bank of America, USAA started calling me that I realized I just got my ass kicked," said Houston.
Cook said Wedgeworth ripped off at least two women in DeKalb County. He said Wedgeworth targeted professional African-American women.
"He befriends you. He promises a future with you. Then all of a sudden you see your bills being paid by this individual and you think you have a future with this individual," said Cook.
Wedgeworth then reportedly concocts a story to convince his victims to wire him money.
Wedgeworth has been convicted of multiple felonies including financial identity fraud, illegal possession of a credit card, possession of forged instrument and identify theft.
CBS Atlanta News has learned there are warrants for Wedgeworth's arrest in Ohio, Florida and Alabama. Cook said Wedgeworth has victims in at least five other states.
"The women I've spoken with are hurt by what this guy has done to them," said Cook.
Houston said she wants to warn women to follow their instincts and listen to their inner voice when searching for love - a voice Houston said she ignored.
"I wasn't a victim. I was a damn fool," said Houston.
If convicted of the new charges in DeKalb County, Wedgeworth could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, August 18 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:58:47 GMT
One lane of the interstate has been reopened after it was shut down due to a deadly crash early Monday morning. The South Carolina Highway Patrol reports the collision happened around 3:21 a.m. on theMore >>
One person is dead and five others were injured when a tire blew on the vehicle they were riding in early Monday morning on Interstate 26.
Monday, August 18 2014 4:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:39:10 GMT
A home was badly damaged in a fire on Quail Rd Sunday. (Source: Beth Baldauf)
A home is likely a total loss after a fire swept through most of the structure Sunday afternoon. Crews were called to a home on Quail Lane near Trenholm Rd and found the home engulfed in flames. No injuriesMore >>
A home is likely a total loss after a fire swept through most of the structure Sunday afternoon. More >>
Sunday, August 17 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-18 00:10:48 GMT
Forrest Wood Cup weigh-in Sunday. (Source: Tom Round)
It was a big pay day for Anthony Gagliardi Sunday. The Prosperity native took home the $500,000 grand prize in the Forrest Wood Cup held in Columbia. Anglers from across the nation headed to Lake MurrayMore >>
It was a big pay day for Anthony Gagliardi Sunday.More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:14:03 GMT
The Columbia City Council approved a $2.2 million contract with a Kansas City, Missouri firm to design the ballbark at the Bull Street development.Council member Moe Baddourah was the lone "no" vote. CouncilMore >>
The Columbia City Council approved a $2.2 million contract with a Kansas City, Missouri firm to design the ballbark at the Bull Street development.More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:34:40 GMT
For many businesspeople like real estate Jennifer Harding, Fort Jackson is worth fighting for. A loss of jobs on the Army post would have an especially drastic impact on her business."It means a loss ofMore >>
The loss of 3,100 Fort Jackson personnel could have a heavy affect on businesses around the Army post. More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:33:22 GMT
A Sumter County man died in a fire at his home early Wednesday morning. The Sumter County Fire Department says crews were called to the home in the Runnymede subdivision, off Highway 15 north of SumterMore >>
A Sumter County man died in a fire at his home early Wednesday morning.More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:11:12 GMT
A slow speed chase in Kershaw County by a 92-year-old man raised a question of how old is too old to drive. The call came in near dusk in Kershaw County. "A reckless driver headed east on I-20 towardsMore >>
A slow speed chase in Kershaw County by a 92-year-old man raised a question of how old is too old to drive. More >>