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Phone scam reported in Gwinnett County

Phone scam reported in Gwinnett County

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- At least three Gwinnett County women have fallen victim to a recent phone scam, and now police are hoping to pass along information that could help prevent future cases.

Four people have come forward, saying they received calls from someone claiming to be Lt. Pierson with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office Warrants Division.

The suspect told the victims they had outstanding warrants for failure to appear for a jury summons. They were asked to use pre-paid debit cards to pay the associated fines and avoid arrest. All four victims told police the caller sounded professional and was very convincing.

Three victims purchased Green Dot MoneyPak cards over the phone in the amounts of $525, $810 and $962. The fourth victim did not make a purchase.

Vacant house fire may be arson

Vacant house fire may be arson

LILBURN, Ga. -- Firefighters believe a fire at an empty Gwinnett County house was intentionally set.

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at a split-level house in the 4800 block of Kellys Mill Drive in Lilburn.

Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said responding crews found smoke pouring from the house and flames on the first floor. Several items inside the home were damaged.

Neighbors told fire officials no one had lived in the house for a while. Rutledge said investigators found evidence the fire was intentionally set; there were no utilities in the house that could've sparked a blaze.

Arson is a felony in Georgia. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Georgia Arson Control at 1-800-282-5804. Tipsters are eligible for a reward of up to $10,000.

Woman charged with DUI after almost hitting cop

Woman charged with DUI after almost hitting cop

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County mother has been charged with DUI and child endangerment after she nearly drove into a police cruiser while her two children were in her car.

Rashanda Horsley, 29, of Lilburn almost caused an accident with a Gwinnett County police car on River Drive near Royal Estates at around 1 a.m. Saturday.

According to the police report, the officer had to swerve in order to avoid colliding with Horsley's Hyundai Elantra. The officer pulled Horsley's car over on nearby Lester Road and noticed she smelled of alcohol, and had watery bloodshot eyes. The officer also spotted two small children, one of whom was not properly restrained, in the backseat.

Mercer law grad murder trial to start in April

Mercer law grad murder trial to start in April

MACON, Ga. -- Bibb Superior Court Judge Howard Simms says he's scheduled Stephen McDaniel's murder trial for April 28.

McDaniel is accused of killing his Mercer Law classmate and neighbor Lauren Giddings in June 2011.

His lawyers filed a change of venue request last month, and prosecutors agreed to it. However, Simms says he has not made a decision on moving the trial to a courthouse outside of Bibb. Another option would be to bring in jurors from another county in Georgia.

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.

Suspect now tied to seven armed robberies in past month

Suspect now tied to seven armed robberies in past month

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga -- A serial robber isn't making it hard for police to tie all of his robberies together. So far police believe the suspect has robbed seven gas stations or drug stores since December 10, 2013.

Five different police agencies have tied the cases together from surveillance video and descriptions from victims and witnesses in the seven robberies.

He walks into the stores and demands money from the clerk and then walks out with only a handful of cash. Police said he is rarely violent. In one robbery he knocked over a display case when the clerk didn't comply with his demands.

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.