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DeKalb Co. workers on administrative leave paid millions

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – Taxpayers in DeKalb County have paid $3.7 million to employees on paid administrative leave in the last five years.

Until he was convicted on perjury and attempted extortion charges on Wednesday, suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis received his $153,000 salary while on paid leave. Overall, he collected nearly $300,000 while interim CEO Lee May ran the county.

Same-sex couples marry in Saturday DeKalb Court Weddings


DECATUR, Ga. -- As many across the country continue to celebrate the Supreme Court's decision in favor of gay marriage, the DeKalb County Courthouse opened its doors Saturday to allow anxious couples the chance to make their commitments official.

Newlyweds Jessica Watkins and Heather Davis have more to be excited about than their wedding.

"Just in time for the baby to come," explained Watkins.

The pair is expecting a baby boy in July and the ruling for gay marriage means a lot for their growing family.

"She gets to go on the birth certificate as his second parent, which is everything that we wanted," said Watkins. "That's a big deal for us."

3 convicted in FAMU death sentenced to 10 years' probation

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The final three defendants convicted in the 2011 hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion have been sentenced to 10 years' supervised probation.

Judge Renee Roche announced the sentence Friday for 24-year-old Benjamin McNamee, 22-year-old Aaron Golson and 28-year-old Darryl Cearnel at the conclusion of a daylong hearing that included testimony from the three men, character witnesses, and from Champion's parents.

Roche said their probation could be terminated early if they demonstrate a willingness through community outreach to help eradicate hazing.

Arson suspected in 2-alarm apartment fire in DeKalb County


DECATUR, Ga. (WXIA) -- Fire investigators suspect a juvenile intentionally started a fire at an apartment complex in Decatur, Thursday evening, that injured two people and destroyed or damaged six units, displacing five families.

"The fire was intentionally set," said DeKalb County Fire Captain Eric Jackson. "We've identified a juvenile and he will be facing charges. We believe an accelerant was used along with matches."

MARTA police seek Elder Road rape suspect

DECATUR, Ga. -- MARTA police are continuing to search for a potential rape suspect.

It happened on June 14 at the Indian Creek MARTA station.

According to the police report, a woman claims she was walking across the parking lot when a man grabbed her on Elder Road and pulled her into the woods where he raped her.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Marta Police at 404-848-4900.

11Alive will continue to follow this ongoing investigation.

Possible jury infighting, incriminating email review latest in Burrell Ellis trial


DECATUR, Ga. -- Jurors had their first full day of deliberations in the Burrell Ellis corruption trial on Thursday – and had only one key question for the judge.

11Alive spent the day at the courthouse to get the latest information.

One of the jurors arrived visibly upset - and a few minutes late - Thursday morning.

She said she apologized and explained what had happened but one of the jurors suggested she be voted out.

The judge quickly dismissed the idea but the incident may serve as an indication that some in the group don't want any distractions as they dive into the indictment.

Closing arguments made in Burrell Ellis trial

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – Lawyers made their closing arguments in the second trial of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis.

The second Ellis corruption trial was shorter, simpler and more combative than the first. Last October, a judge declared a mistrial after the jury couldn't come to a unanimous decision.

Before Ellis was indicted on perjury, extortion and theft charges, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told jurors it was Ellis that charged his vendors.

"He acted as judge and jury and he convicted her [the vendor]," James said.

Six men and six women must now decide whether the suspended CEO harassed vendors for campaign contributions and then lied to cover it up.