Mauldin Facing Three Counts of Murder Since Death of Marsh

Murder suspect Steven James Mauldin remains incarcerated in the Chattooga County Jail and Sheriff Mark Schrader says that his investigators continue to follow up on leads and information into the killing of three people back in August.

Mauldin is accused of shooting and killing thirty-five-year-old Joe Edward Brown and his mother, sixty-one-year-old Linda Mae Everett and seriously wounding Daryl Lee Marsh.  Marsh passed away from his injuries sustained during that shooting and now Mauldin is facing three counts of murder.

Sheriff Schrader said that he was able to speak briefly with Marsh before Marsh passed away over a week ago at Kindred Hospital in Chattanooga. The sheriff had hoped that Marsh would be the key witness to the murders when Steven Mauldin stands trial.

Chattooga County Magistrate Judge Tracy Maddux said  that a preliminary hearing regarding presenting the case to the Chattooga County Grand Jury will be held on Thursday, October 17th.

Cobined Sources

Tanning Dangers

A self-described “diehard” tanner is speaking out about the dangers of forming such a habit after she was left with a hole in her nose and staples in her face when she developed skin cancer.

Rebekah Rupp, of Oklahoma, said she would visit the tanning booth up to six times a week at the height of her tanning obsession, but in 2018 she noticed a spot on her cheek

The spot on her cheek wasn’t as concerning to her dermatologist as a white spot on her nose, which 41-year-old Rupp hadn’t thought anything of.

“As soon as I went in for the dark spot, the dermatologist spotted a white-looking mole on the tip of my nose,” Rupp, a teacher, told MDW Features. “He asked me how long I had it; it had only been there for about two months or so, I thought it was just a pimple that wouldn’t go away.”

Rupp said her dermatologist removed it and sent it for a biopsy, which revealed that it was cancerous. She was then sent for Mohs surgery and left with a gaping hole in her nose, which required taking a flap of skin from her forehead to repair.

Rupp — who said she knew the dangers of tanning but “loved” how it made her feel, and also said her hobby “relaxed” her and “made me feel pretty” — now works for a skincare company and is urging others to take better care of their skin.

“I was a diehard tanning bed tanner,” she told MDW Features. “In my earlier years, I tanned at least five to six times a week. I was told by others it was bad for me, but until it happened to me – I never listened.”

Several health organizations have declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources to be a known carcinogen. It has been found to be a cause of melanoma and increase the risk of a benign mole progressing to melanoma. Researchers also estimate that indoor tanning may cause upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.


FDA Recalls Certain High Blood Pressure Medication

The Food and Drug Administration has again expanded a recall for medication used to treat high blood pressure over contamination with a chemical linked to cancer.

Torrent Pharmaceutical Limited is recalling certain lots of Losartan Potassium tablets. The medication is used to treat hypertension, hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and nephropathy in Type 2 diabetic patients, according to the FDA.

The recall notice said trace amounts of an impurity called N-methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA) have been detected in the medicine. The impurity can cause cancer and is the reason behind similar recalls of blood pressure medication over the last year.

For now, patients should continue to use the medication. That’s because the health risk of stopping it immediately without any alternative treatment may be higher. Patients should contact their pharmacist or doctor to learn about alternatives.

Lanham Indicted for Husband’s Murder

A Chattooga County Grand Jury has indicted fifty-two-year-old Renee Lanham on murder charges in connection with the shooting death of her husband over two years ago.

Chattooga County Sheriff Schrader said that investigators with his office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had interviewed Ms. Lanham on several occasions since her husband was found dead in their home on Butler Dairy Road.

Lanham is the one who called Chattooga 911 back on September 18, 2017.  When law enforcement arrived, they found her seventy-five-year-old husband, Edward Earl “Eddie” Lanham dead from a gunshot wound.  In the weeks and months that followed, the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation continued to investigate the murder.  Sheriff Schrader says that there were problems with Susan Lanham’s story about the night of her husband’s death.  Ms. Lanham had told investigators that she had been “out” and when she returned home, she found her husband dead.  The GBI and Sheriff Schrader were quick to tell the public that they did not suspect the murder to be a random act and that Mr. Lanham had been targeted in the shooting.

The GBI is still gathering evidence from financial records of Lanham and her dead husband in connection with the case.


Drug Bust in Summerville Earlier This Month

Summerville Police assisted agents with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force during a drug bust earlier this month on Stevens Street, according to a report released by the police department.

The report says that police, along with Drug Task Force agents acted on a tip about a person that was believed to be storing a large quantity of drugs for a gang out of California.  Agents went to the residence of David Covington, where they believed Jahari “Jack” McCutchins was located.  When officers arrived an knocked on the door they could hear a commotion inside the residence but no one answered.

The law enforcement agents knocked a second time and continued to hear movement inside the residence and again no one answered.  At that point, agents entered the house, believing the suspects were attempting to destroy or hide evidence.  Officers detained Covington and McCutchins after finding marijuana “in plain view” inside the residence.  The officers then applied for a search warrant.

When they entered the residence, police say that they found marijuana “floating in the toilet” and baggies of suspected drugs in the bath tub.  Officers say the toilet would not flush, so they pulled the toilet from the floor and found that it was clogged with a “large amount of suspected crack cocaine.”  Officers also found digital scales, baggies and other drug paraphernalia inside the residence.  In a vehicle located at the house they found a “large amount of cash.”

Covington and McCutchins were both charged with multiple drug charges and were booked into the Chattooga County Jail.


Drug Busts in Multiple Counties

A multi-county methamphetamine operation was broken up this week, according to Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force Commander DeWayne Brown.

Danny Kerdell Smith, of Rossville, and twelve others were arrested Thursday by the Drug Task Force. The arrests included people in Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd and Walker counties, Commander Dewayne Brown said the arrests were part of a three-month investigation that is still ongoing and more arrests can be expected.

Those arrested on various charges include: Danny Kerdell Smith of Rossville, Carrie Morris, of Flintstone, Charles Gray of Rossville, Katlyn Marsh, of Chickamauga, Tiffany Pritchett, of Chickamauga, Tammy Johnson, of Chickamauga, Heather Templeton, of LaFayette, Andrew Cross, of Chickamauga, Amanda Shaw, of LaFayette, Malori Patton, of Rossville, France Lewis, of LaFayette, Ashley Smith, of Rossville and Joshua Dalrymple, of Flintstone.

Commander Brown expressed his appreciation to other law enforcement agencies in the five counties where suspects were arrested for their assistance.

Press Release

Chattooga Man Sentenced for Homicide by Vehicle

A Chattooga County man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to first-degree homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence in a 2018 crash that took the life of a Dalton man.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, in May of 2018, a Dodge Stratus driven by 27-year old Alexander Pysher of a Maverick Drive, Gore address,  crossed the center line on Gore-Subligna Road and struck a motorcycle. The driver of that motorcycle was seventy-four-year-old Windom Frank Willis of Dalton.

Pysher accepted a plea deal under Georgia’s first offender act and was sentenced to fifteen years probation, and given four-six months in a detention center.  He also must make a donation to a cancer society charity approved by his probation officer each year on the anniversary of the accident in the victim’s name.

Thursday Fire Destroyed Benny’s

Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions joined Trion Fire Department and Hays State Prison Fire Department on Thursday morning after a fire broke out at Benny’s Convenience Store on Highway 27 in Trion.

The fire was reported before 7 AM and appears to have started in the back of the store.  The store operated a full-service deli that was open from 5 AM until evening hours, serving breakfast, lunch and supper.  The exact cause of the fire has not been released at this time.

Highway 27 was closed for over five hours due to the amount of fire equipment in the area.  Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader said that fire hoses were stretched across the highway while firefighters battled the blaze.  Out-of-town traffic, including transfer trucks, was rerouted to Highway 337.  The road reopened shortly before 2 PM on Thursday afternoon.

In addition to area fire departments, local law enforcement was on hand along with Redmond EMS and the Georgia State Patrol.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the fire.