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Personal Safety Tips

Personal Safety Tips

By Greg Norred, CEO, Norred & Associates

Over the course of your life, the chances of being the victim of a crime are at least one in three, higher if you live in a large city, and higher still if you’re a woman. The criminal’s objective is to maximize gain and minimize risk, and he’ll usually pick the easiest target with the most to offer. Given these odds, it pays to take precautions by following some basic safety rules:

6 vehicles involved in deadly rush hour wreck

6 vehicles involved in deadly rush hour wreck

NORCROSS, Ga. -- One driver was killed and and two others were hurt in a six-vehicle accident at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Singleton Road Thursday morning.

Gwinnett County police said it appears 22-year-old Jacob Nicholson of Gainesville was driving his blue Honda Odyssey too fast and in the wrong lane when he crashed into several cars stopped at the light.

Witnesses told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie that the minivan went flying into the air and landed on a tan Honda Accord, killing its driver, 59-year-old Cynthia Thornton of Norcross.

"I think the little old lady, she didn't see it coming," said witness Mike Alvarado. "It was pretty bad."

Nicholson was ejected from his minivan. He is still in critical condition at Gwinnett Medical Center Friday morning.

Gwinnett man alerts police to murder in his home

Gwinnett man alerts police to murder in his home

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett County Police have made an arrest after finding 62-year-old Peggie Robinson of Gainesville stabbed to death inside a garage in Dacula on Saturday.

Wolf Griffin, 32, is in custody, charged with aggravated assault and felony murder. He made his first court appearance at 9 a.m. on Sunday.  He was held without bond. 

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Police found the victim's body after responding to a home in the 2900 block of Evergreen Eve Crossing.

One of the residents of the home called 911 from the parking lot of police headquarters at around 1 p.m. 

He told the dispatcher that he left the home with his grandson, daughter, wife and dog because they suspected the grandson's father had done "something horrible."

Suspect attacks sheriff's deputies with machete

Suspect attacks sheriff's deputies with machete

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A Gainesville man was shot and wounded by police after attacking several people, including four Hall County sheriff's deputies, with a machete.

The attack happened at around 7 a.m. Sunday at a house on Sailors Avenue in Gainesville.

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Hall County Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Mitchell said the suspect, 27-year-old Justin Matthew Bennett, broke into the home and attacked three people with a machete. When police arrived on the scene and tried to talk to Bennett, the suspect began coming after them.

A sheriff's deputy was forced to shoot Bennett, according to Mitchell. The suspect was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound at Northeast Georgia Medical Center before being taken to the Hall County Jail.

Mother's conviction upheld in baby's death

Mother's conviction upheld in baby's death

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously upheld convictions for a woman found guilty of beating her young daughter to death in 2011.

In November 2012, a Hall County jury found Deanna Renee Kipp guilty of several charges, including felony murder and involuntary manslaughter, in the death of 18-month-old Kaylee Kipp. Deanna Kipp was also convicted of abusing her 7- and 4-year-old daughters. She received four concurrent life sentences plus 35 years in prison.

Kipp's live-in boyfriend, Stephen Clark West, was convicted in August 2012 of malice murder in Kaylee Kipp's death and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

RELATED | Mom, boyfriend charged in baby's death

Ex-jail officer arrested for threatening child

Ex-jail officer arrested for threatening child

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A former Hall County jail officer was arrested for reportedly threatening a student at Chestatee Middle School.

Candy Shannon Wigner was charged with disrupting a public school and was released Tuesday from the Hall County Jail on $5,000 bond.

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The incident happened on Oct. 16 while Wigner ate lunch at the school with her daughter. Hall County Sheriff's Lt. Stephen Wilbanks said Wigner confronted and threatened a student who made derogatory comments about her child. Several students witnessed the encounter in the school cafeteria.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation into the threat, Wilbanks said.

Gainesville man pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

Gainesville man pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- The owner of a Hall County pediatricians' office has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud.

David Brannon was sentenced to five years probation and 100 hours of community service. He must also pay a $2,000 fine.

Georgia Attorney General's spokesperson Lauren Kane said Brannon fraudulently billed Georgia Medicaid for almost $150,000 while operating Brannon Pediatrics in Gainesville.

Brannon Pediatrics was enrolled in the state Medicaid program to provide mobile therapy services to children. Kane said Brannon billed Medicaid from a scheduling sheet without checking to see if the scheduled services had been performed.

A former Brannon Pediatrics therapist reported Brannon to the state after discovering someone had submitted claims under her provider number for services she did not give. She also said Brannon continued to bill Medicaid under her provider number after she left the company.