Week in Review, June 1-6
1. Widow, another man charged with murder in 10-year-old shooting: William "Kirby" Smith's estranged wife, Rebecca Smith Haynie, and another man were charged Thursday in his 2004 death. The case against Haynie and Donald Keith Phillips is largely circumstantial, according to court testimony Friday. Both Haynie and Phillips are held without bond.
2. Fatal Friday shooting on Fort Benning Road: 44-year-old Anthony Wayne Taylor Sr. was shot once in the back at the gas station on the corner of Fort Benning Road and Trask Drive. An unidentified suspect was detained on the scene after approaching police and saying, "I turn myself in."
3. Wallace Hunter re-instated: Phenix City Councillors voted 3-2 to reinstate City Manager Hunter two weeks after the controversial decision to terminate him. Councillors had met with hundreds of community members following the firing -- including dozens of local clergymen.
4. Diontae Brantley plea: With his defense attorney calling Hardaway High sophomore Kayla Castro's 2012 death "a tragedy all the way around," Benjamin Diontae Brantley pleaded guilty Monday to fatally shooting his 16-year-old girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun. Brantley will get credit for the time he already has spent in jail.
5. Layoffs coming for Muscogee schools: Layoffs of 69 school-based personnel are in the preliminary budget the Muscogee County School Board approved Monday evening. That includes the 31 layoffs the administration announced in May. Superintendent David Lewis did note 19 of the layoffs are teachers who lost their jobs because they performed poorly or weren't fully certified or qualified.
An Opelika, Ala., youth ministry rented and then quickly removed a billboard featuring five smiling children and two quotes -- one from the Bible and one from Adolf Hitler. Read more about this story and more on ledger-enquirer.com