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1 year ago

Brothers Accused of Trying to Kill Parents Described as 'Nice Kids'

Friends and neighbors of two brothers who allegedly tried to kill their parents in their upscale Atlanta-area home over the weekend have painted a different picture of the jailed duo.

Christopher Ervin, 22, and Cameron Ervin, 17, were arrested and each charged with aggravated assault and arson, after their mother and her husband were found bleeding and badly beaten up Saturday in the family house in Snellville, Georgia, according to police.

Officers found Christopher Ervin in a second-floor bathroom and Cameron Ervin was arrested as he left the garage, according to a police report, which also noted that Cameron Ervin allegedly told an officer, "I tried to kill my f****** parents. Who does that?"

In a recording of a chilling 911 call released Tuesday, their mother, Yvonne Ervin, 50, identified the two siblings as the ones who attacked her and her husband Zachary Ervin, 50.

"They attacked me and my husband. ... Please hurry," she said during the call.

Next-door neighbor Clint Miller said the accusations against the Ervin brothers were the last thing he'd expect to hear about them.

"That would be the last house that I would expect something like that to happen. ... Which is really why we're all shocked here. ... Very nice kids, I can't stress that enough," Miller told "Those kids are extremely nice kids."

However, in a news release today, the Gwinnett County Police Department said: "It is apparent that the brothers launched a plot to kill both of their parents."

Sylvia Johnson, a neighbor who said she'd known the Ervin family for 15 years, said that the brothers were respectful.

"Never any problems with them, whatsoever," she told ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

Cameron Ervin's friends also said they were in a state of shock. "I couldn't imagine Cameron doing something like that," one friend told WSB-TV.

Neighbors said both young men had played football and had graduated high school. The University of Charleston in West Virginia confirmed today to ABC News that Christopher Ervin had attended the school for one year but that he'd left in 2012.

"There has been no further known contact with him since that time," the school said in an email.

During the 911 call, Yvonne Ervin said she didn't know why her sons had attacked her.

"I don't know what's going on. I don't know why they've done this. I really don't," she said.

Gwinnett County police said today that in the last year, there had been no previous domestic disturbance calls made from the residence.

"There does not appear to be a history at the location of domestic disputes or violence between any of the parties that live at the address," police said in a statement.

Yvonne Ervin was treated and released from the hospital while husband Zachary Ervin remained hospitalized today.

Authorities said a motive is still unknown.

A preliminary hearing for Cameron Ervin and Christopher Ervin has been scheduled for Friday at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

Tom Clegg and Mark Yun, the court-appointed attorneys for Christopher Ervin and Cameron Ervin, respectively, could not be reached immediately for comment by ABC News.

1 year ago

"Real Housewives of Atlanta" adds first transgender cast member

The "Real Housewives" franchise is filling Nene Leakes' shoes with a former child star and the franchise's first transgender cast member.

Model Amiyah Scott will join "Real Housewives of Atlanta" next season.

Scott, who began transitioning when she was 17, has a substantial social media following as as a self-described "makeup guru" and "weaveologist," with follower counts well into six figures.

The show is also adding "Facts of Life" star Kim Fields to the cast.

The two new cast members will have some big shoes to fill with Leakes' departure, but there will be plenty to cover in the next season with Kim Zolciak's nose job drama and Kandi Burress' recently announced pregnancy.

Copyright (c) 2015 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1 year ago

Sonnenbatterie Opens New R&D Facility in Atlanta, GA

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sonnenbatterie, a market leader for smart energy storage systems with

offices in Los Angeles, California and Bavaria, Germany, today announced

the opening of a new research and development facility in Atlanta, GA.

The new 5,000 sq. ft. space will house 12-15 engineers who will expand

Sonnenbatterie's current array of next generation smart energy storage

devices for homes and businesses.

Sonnenbatterie is the German market leader for lithium storage systems

with corporate and manufacturing headquarters in Wildpoldsried, Germany,

90 minutes from Munich. The company has sold over 8,000 units of its

intelligent energy storage system to homeowners and businesses since

entering the market in 2011. Coupled with a solar energy system, the

Sonnenbatterie can supply residential owners with 100 percent of their

energy needs in addition to providing backup power for the home and

taking advantage of different tariff structures for off-peak vs.

on-peak. For commercial customers, Sonnenbatterie helps reduce demand

spikes that lead to peak load charges.

"Sonnenbatterie has come to symbolize performance, design, and value in

Europe, and we aim to develop that same reputation here in the United

States," said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Sonnenbatterie USA. "Our new

Atlanta R&D facility gives us a unique platform to stay close to our

American customers and partners, and deliver to them custom tailored

products that are best suited for the US market."

The new Atlanta facility will be the center for product development,

prototyping, and testing for the US market. Sonnenbatterie took over the

space from inverter developer SolarMax.

In Europe, Sonnenbatterie is a market leader in Germany and has channel

partners in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovakia. In

2014, the company began operations in the United States in 2014 where it

is actively recruiting channel partners to serve as Sonnenbatterie

Centers. Recently Sonnenbatterie signed an agreement with Sungevity, the

largest privately held solar company in the US, for supplying it with

storage systems.

The market for electricity storage has grown dramatically in recent

years, and is projected to grow by 250% in 2015 to a capacity of 220 MW.

In this environment, the Sonnenbatterie GmbH has doubled its sales every

year from 2012 to 2014. The company has raised a total of $13M in

venture capital to date from partners including SET Ventures, Munich

Venture Partners, and eCAPITAL.

Sonnenbatterie is a fully integrated storage system that includes

battery cells, inverter, and energy management in one package and allows

for extremely fast and inexpensive installation. It offers an array of

smart functions like peak shaving and remote management, and has an

industry-leading expected life of 10,000 charge cycles.

1 year ago

It's not an ostrich: Emu causes Atlanta-area highway traffic jam, then returns to owner

c0f3ed2d6348f516760f6a706700aafa.jpgIn this photo provided by the Douglas County (Ga.) Sheriffs Office, a handler holds on to an emu that wandered onto Interstate 20 west of Atlanta and slowed traffic, Tuesday morning, May 19, 2015. Authorities said the bird escaped from a private owners property. (Alex Roman/Douglas County Sheriffs Office via AP)(The Associated Press)

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. Drivers may have mistaken it for an ostrich, but an emu was at the heart of a highway traffic jam in metro Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ( ) that authorities in Douglas County received calls about a big bird running around Interstate 20 early Tuesday morning.

Douglas County sheriff's Lt. Glenn Daniel says the emu had gotten loose from a private owner who lived nearby.

Several deputies corralled and captured the flightless bird. Daniel says it appeared to be scared but was not injured and was returned to its owner.

This is not the first instance of an unexpected animal wandering across I-20. In 2010, DeKalb police say a bison either fell or jumped out of a truck on the highway. The animal suffered broken legs and was euthanized.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

1 year ago

Georgia police ID man they say killed 2 adults, 2 children, self

georgiainternal797979797.jpgFeb. 7, 2015: Police stand in the doorway of a home while investigating the shooting scene where authorities say five people are dead, including the gunman, in Douglasville, Ga. (AP)

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. Police say they have identified the gunman who took his own life after killing four people and injuring two in a quiet neighborhood near Atlanta.

Cedric G. Prather, 33, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting his ex-wife, another adult and two children Saturday afternoon in Douglasville, about 20 miles west of Atlanta, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Sunday. A hometown for Prather was not given.

The sheriff's office also identified the adults killed as Latoya A. Andrews, Prather's ex-wife; and Joseph Terry Brown. Both were 33 years old. A 7-year-old child died at the scene, and a 9-year-old was taken to a hospital but also died, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Two other children, an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old, were in critical but stable condition at a hospital, the statement said.

Authorities haven't identified any of the children who were shot.

Horrified neighbors called 911 and then tried to help the severely injured victims as best they could before rescuers arrived.

A news conference is planned for Monday in Douglasville, where authorities plan to share more details of how the shooting transpired. Officials hoped to share something about the motive during the news conference, Lt. Glenn Daniel told The Associated Press. Daniel said he didn't have any information about the gun used in the crime.

Teresa Carter, 59, said she heard the gunfire from inside her home but didn't see what happened. Carter said she often saw the children playing in the driveway and around the neighborhood. They enjoyed petting her dog.

"I heard shots, and I heard the girl scream," Carter said. "And then I heard four more shots."

Brandon Hallman was working on a car a few houses down when the shooting started.

"I heard a couple quick shots, you know, back to back to back. Went out there and, you know, looked and it was already over," Hallman said. "We just grabbed some towels and kind of went down there to try and help before the paramedics got here."

Another neighbor, Angela Ansah, struggled to explain to her own children what happened to their slain friends a few houses down. Ansah said some of the children targeted Saturday often came over to her house to play with her own children.

"These are children I see every day, every blessed day," Ansah said.

1 year ago

Georgia Sheriff Arrested For Shooting Friend At Model Home

ATLANTA, May 6 (Reuters) - A county sheriff accused of shooting and critically wounding a female friend at a model home in an Atlanta suburb was arrested on Wednesday on misdemeanor reckless conduct charges, police said.

Victor Hill, the sheriff of Clayton County, was booked into the Gwinnett County jail on Wednesday evening and later released after posting bond, Gwinnett County police said in a written statement.

The statement said Hill, 50, shot Gwenevere McCord, 43, a friend and realtor, in a subdivision's model home. Hill refused to discuss the case with detectives, police said.

In a statement posted on the Clayton Sheriff's Department's Facebook page Tuesday, Hill called the shooting "a tragic and heartbreaking accident" and referred to McCord as "very dear to me."

Hill first served as sheriff in Clayton County from 2005 to 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 despite being indicted on corruption charges accusing him of misusing county-issued credit cards.

A jury acquitted him in 2013, according to Clayton County court records. (Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Dan Whitcomb)

1 year ago

Atlanta-area police shoot dead unarmed, naked African-American man | Reuters

A white, Atlanta-area police officer shot dead a naked and unarmed African-American man acting erratically in his apartment complex and who was possibly suffering from a mental illness, the county police chief said.

A Dekalb County police officer responded to a caller who said a man was "acting deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked," on Monday around 1 p.m. local time, county police chief Cedric Alexander told reporters.

The officer encountered the man, who was not wearing any clothes, in the parking lot, Alexander said at a conference published online by local broadcaster Fox5.

Alexander said the man ran at the officer, who backed up and ordered the person to stop before shooting him twice. Police did not find a weapon at the scene, he said.

Monday's shooting comes after a string of killings of unarmed black men by police in the United States. Last year, incidents in Fergsuon, Missouri and New York City prompted nationwide protests, some of which turned violent.

This is at least the third African-American man to be shot dead by police since last Friday, who either was or seemed unarmed.

Dekalb County police has already faced protests after an officer shot dead a black man who had called 911 when his girlfriend was stabbed by an attacker in his apartment late last year, according to local media.

Alexander said he could "reasonably assume" the person was possibly suffering from mental illness, given his behavior. He declined to identify the victim, but the New York Times reported that he was 27-year-old Anthony Hill.

Alexander said the officer, who had been with the department for seven years, was equipped with a taser at the time of the shooting. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation would handle Monday's incident, he said.

Police near Denver last Friday shot dead an unarmed man who was a wanted fugitive. On the same day, an officer in Madison, Wisconsin, shot dead a 19-year-old, prompting some 2,000 students to march in the state's capital on Monday.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Nick Macfie and Raissa Kasolowsky)

1 year ago

Officer Shoots of Burglary Suspect in Atlanta Area

An Atlanta-area police department has asked a state law enforcement agency to investigate after an officer shot and injured a burglary suspect.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Clayton County police officers and sheriff's deputies responding to a call of a burglary in progress around 12:30 p.m. Thursday saw two men running from the Ellenwood home.

Authorities say 25-year-old Antwan Hargett fled on foot and was caught by a K9 unit.

The GBI says 26-year-old Domenic Callaway drove toward an officer, who fired his gun and hit Calloway in the wrist and torso.

Calloway was being treated at a hospital for his injuries. No officers were injured.

Hargett and Callaway face burglary and obstruction charges. It was not clear whether either had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.