NCSO: Husband tries to blame wife for fender-bender

COVINGTON — A fender bender in a grocery store parking lot resulted in a Newton County couple being arrested after a man allegedly tried to get his wife to take the blame for the wreck.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office received a call Wednesday evening around 9:20 that someone had left the scene of an accident at the Kroger parking lot on Salem Road. When the deputy arrived, she saw two cars in the parking lot with their bumpers detached.

Just about that time, a woman, later identified as 26-year-old Shanice Jackson, approached the deputy to say she caused the wreck when she dropped her cell phone and reached down to pick it up.

The driver of one of the vehicles that was struck, Felona Williams, 31, initially confirmed this version of events, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.

However, a bystander told the deputy that Jackson was not the driver of the at-fault vehicle, but it was a man, later identified as 31-year-old Mario Benton.

The deputy then confronted the parties involved and Williams admitted that Benton was indeed the driver, but he begged her not to call the police. He told her to say that his wife was the one driving, the incident report states.

Sgt. Michael Cunningham said Benton apparently left the Kroger parking lot and came back a short time later with his wife, Shanice Jackson.

“If (the bystander) had not spoken up, Ms. Jackson would have gone to jail for a crime that her husband committed,” the deputy stated in the incident report.

Instead, Jackson, of 40 River North Court, and Williams, of 40 Lake Charles Court, were both arrested on charges of obstruction of law enforcement officers, and Benton was arrested and charged with reckless driving and failure to notify the owner after striking a fixed object.

In other news, a Monroe woman was booked into the Newton County jail on a number of drug charges after they discovered while processing her for a DUI charge that she had stashed cocaine and marijuana in her shirt.

An NCSO deputy pulled over Nadine Rene Starks, 59, around 1:50 a.m. Monday on Ga. Highway 81 South after she allegedly failed to dim her bright lights. While speaking with Starks, the deputy noticed a strong odor of alcohol every time she would speak. After conducting a field sobriety test, Starks was arrested on charge of DUI and was then transported to the jail, Cunningham said,

“While at the jail, deputies located in her top a pill bottle which contained a bag of marijuana, a small bag of a white powdered substance along with other unidentified pills,” he said.

Starks, of 2748 Oakmont Way, was charged with failure to dim bright lights, DUI, drug-related objects, failure to keep drugs in their original container, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, possession of several controlled substances, including molly, opana and hydrocodone, possession of cocaine with intent and crossing the guardline with drugs.