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Man arrested in Gwinnett cold case murder

Man arrested in Gwinnett cold case murder

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A 26-year-old man has been charged with beating and stabbing a Gwinnett County woman to death nearly six years ago.

Gerson Salmeron-Diaz is being held in a prison in Milan, N.M., on an unrelated drug charge. He has been charged with murder in the death of 58-year-old Margaret Binkele.

Binkele was found dead in her Sugar Hill home on July 25, 2008. She died several days before her remains were discovered. Police collected DNA from her body but could not find a match, and the case grew cold.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said Salmeron-Diaz was Binkele's neighbor, but left the area before police began investigating her death. He was eventually deported to El Salvador and returned to the U.S. in December 2013, but was caught by park rangers trying to smuggle 400 pounds of marijuana into Arizona with five other suspects.

Man gunned down outside Flowery Branch bar

Man gunned down outside Flowery Branch bar

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Authorities are investigating a shooting outside a bar in Flowery Branch that claimed the life of a Buford man.

Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller says the shooting happened at around 2 a.m. Saturday outside the Branch House Tavern.

The Times of Gainesville reported that 26-year-old Donald Lee Battle Jr., who recently moved to Georgia from Minnesota, was killed as he and others were leaving the bar.

Flowery Branch police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were probing the circumstances of the shooting. Few other details were immediately available.

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Final suspect in robbery spree pleads guilty

Final suspect in robbery spree pleads guilty

(WXIA) -- The final member of a crew that robbed at least five armored cars in metro Atlanta has pleaded guilty to his part in the crimes.

Quentin Booker entered his plea Friday in federal court to five counts of armed robbery and two counts of using a firearm during a crime. He and his co-defendants were convicted of a number of crimes between October 2010 and March 2011 that netted them more than $470,000 in cash.

Booker, 36, of Douglasville acted as a lookout during five armored car robberies, including:

* A Dunbar Armored courier making a cash pickup at Mex-America Latino Services in Marietta on Oct. 7, 2010

* A Dunbar Armored courier restocking cash in the ATM at a Bank of America in Buford on Nov. 11, 2010

Conviction upheld for woman who killed mother

Conviction upheld for woman who killed mother

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has upheld the murder conviction given to a Gwinnett County woman who killed her adoptive mother in 2006.

Catherine O'Connell and her sister Brenda were found guilty in October 2008 of strangling their mother Muriel to death. Catherine appealed her conviction and life prison sentence to the state's high court; that appeal was rejected Tuesday.

Muriel O'Connell adopted Catherine from a Guatemalan orphanage when she was 11. Muriel adopted Brenda from the same orphanage a few years later.

According to information presented at trial, the sisters quickly bonded, while their relationship with their mother deteriorated. Murial even confided to friends that she believed her daughters tried to poison her by putting diethyl ether in her vodka bottle.

3 MS-13 members sentenced to life in prison

3 MS-13 members sentenced to life in prison

ATLANTA -- Three members of the MS-13 gang have been sentenced to life in prison for committing murders in two counties.

Ernesto Escobar, 30, of Norcross was sentenced Thursday in federal court. He goes by the street names "Flaco" and "Pink Panther."

Two co-defendants -- 25-year-old Miguel "Joker" Alvarado-Linares of Norcross and 30-year-old Dimas "Toro" Alfaro-Granados of Duluth -- were sentenced in October.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the three men were charged with murder, attempted murder and armed robbery for several incidents in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Evidence presented in court showed Alvarado-Linares and Alfaro-Granados killed a fellow MS-13 member in October 2006 because they believed the victim was cooperating with police.

Car break-in suspects arrested in Ala.

Car break-in suspects arrested in Ala.

PELHAM, Ala. -- Investigators believe two men arrested in Alabama last month are responsible for multiple car break-ins in metro Atlanta.

Oscar Moses Badger, 37, and Bobby Hanna, 24, were arrested Nov. 14 in Pelham, Ala. Police said they were caught trying to break into a car in a daycare center parking lot. They led Alabama authorities on a brief chase, but were soon captured.

Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker said investigators believe Badger and Hanna are behind at least six car break-ins at local parks and daycare centers in early November.

They may also be responsible for thefts in Gwinnett County and Peachtree City, Baker said.

Badger and Hanna are both from south Florida. At their time of their Alabama arrest, they were out of jail on bond for similar crimes in Pennsylvania and Texas. Because of this, they are being held on $2 million bond.

4 Top Rank Goons gang members arrested

4 Top Rank Goons gang members arrested

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Gwinnett County police have arrested four young men as part of an ongoing investigation into a street gang called Top Rank Goons, or TRG.

Josh Neptune, 19; David Satterwhite, 20; Anton Swanigan, 22; and Antwan Swanigan, 20, are being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

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The four suspects, who police said are top ranking members of the gang, face a total of 26 felony and 13 misdemeanor charges, including aggravated assault, battery and terroristic threats.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said officials began investigating TRG in June. They believe gang members are responsible for several crimes in Gwinnett, including firing a gun at a party in Dacula and harassing a young mother after getting into a fight with her boyfriend at the Mall of Georgia.