A St. Matthews woman told police that a man hit her and pushed her to the ground. But the man claimed that she tried to hit him with a can of air freshener and she fell to the ground as he was attempting to protect himself.
On March 14, an officer observed the woman on the ground. The woman said a St. Matthews man had hit her and pushed her to the ground. The officer noted that she had an odor of alcohol, and there was a can of beer near her left foot.
The man said that the woman tried to hit him with a can of air freshener, and when he tried to protect himself, she fell to the ground. There were no witnesses and the matter will be presented to a judge. The officer placed a trespassing notice on the man for the woman’s apartment.
In other reports:
• On March 12, a St. Matthews woman was charged with tampering with a water meter after the water had been turned off for nonpayment of her water bill, but the water was turned back on and approximately 40 gallons had been used. The valve on the meter was in the on position when checked by a town employee.
Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office
• On March 16, a Swansea bank employee reported that the air conditioner was stolen from a house under foreclosure in Swansea. The air conditioner was removed by cutting lines, and the meter box was damaged. The loss was valued at $2,700.
Dell Hoover Jr., 47, of 1143 Stevenson Road, Cope, pleaded guilty to third-offense driving under suspension and habitual traffic offender status.
Circuit Judge Ed Dickson sentenced him to 60 days at the OCDC and credited him for having already served two days there.
He’s allowed to serve his time on weekends.
In other Orangeburg County guilty pleas:
Ronderick Antown James, 37, of 137 Laraleigh Road, Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to first-offense driving under the influence and first-offense driving under suspension.
Dickson sentenced him to 30 days at the OCDC or pay a fine of $400 by June 18.
He credited James for having already served one day at the OCDC.
A grand jury indicted James on his original charges of second-offense driving under the influence less than .10 blood alcohol concentration and second-offense driving under suspension, license not suspended for DUI.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of open container of beer of wine in a motor vehicle.
Eric Grant, 50, of 235 Lakewood Drive, Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to second-offense driving under the influence.
Dickson sentenced him to one year in prison and pay a fine of $2,100, suspended to five days and a fine of $1,100 and one year of probation.
He credited Grant for having already served three days at the OCDC.
Dickson also stipulated that Grant’s probation term may end after he pays his fine.
A grand jury indicted Grant on his original charge of third-offense driving under the influence less than .10 blood alcohol concentration.
Corey Van Norris, 38, of 10682 Two Notch Road #4201, Elgin, pleaded guilty to forgery valued under $10,000.
Dickson sentenced him to three years in prison, suspended to 18 months of probation.
Kyle Jeffery Sides, 24, of 266 Red Will Road, Neeses, pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle valued more than $2,000 but less than $10,000.
Dickson sentenced him to five years in prison, suspended to six months at an inpatient drug treatment program.
If Sides doesn’t complete the program, the court will issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of first-degree burglary.
Aaron De’Coby Profit, 25, of 192 Pedegree Lane, Santee, pleaded guilty to first-offense failure to stop for blue light and unlawful carrying of a handgun.
Dickson sentenced him to two years in prison, provided that after he serves 90 days at the OCDC, the sentence will be suspended to 18 months of probation.
Dickson is allowing him to serve his jail time on weekends.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charges of first-offense possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and possession of a stolen pistol.
Harry Lee Jones, 54, of 315 Ferris St., Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to unlawful carrying of a handgun.
Dickson sentenced him to 90 days the OCDC or pay a fine of $100 by May 22.
He credited Jones for having already served one day at the OCDC.
Michael Antonio Brown, 129 Omega Court, Santee, pleaded guilty to first-offense driving under suspension and hit-and-run property damage.
Dickson sentenced him to one year in prison or to pay a fine of $150 by May 21.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of first-offense uninsured motor vehicle.
A person was seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision in Orangeburg, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.
The public is asked to help identify the driver.
The collision occurred at about 8:40 p.m. Friday on Whittaker Parkway at Myers Road.
The person was struck by a 2016 black Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle should have damage on the driver’s side and a missing side mirror.
The S.C. Highway Patrol is asking anyone with information on the crash, vehicle or driver to call 843-953-6010 or *HP from a cellphone. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-CRIMESC.
Screening inmates, court schedule changes and ramping up patrols, the threat of the coronavirus has led local officials to make changes in The T&D region.
Detention centers across the state have released some of their non-violent offenders to curb the populations at their facilities.
Capt. Latarcha K. Wilson at the Bamberg County Detention Center said they have released one inmate. She noted the inmate was serving a family court sentence.
She said the current inmate population there is 18.
The Orangeburg County Detention Center has not released any non-violent offenders for the purpose of reducing the population at the jail for preventative measures of COVID-19 prevention, said Capt. Tyrone Ryant at the detention center.
Visitors are no longer permitted at both the Orangeburg County Detention Center and Bamberg County Detention Center at least until March 30 to ensure the safety of inmates and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.
At the OCDC, Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said that visitors are restricted to inmates’ attorneys.
He said that there are pastors and those involved in mission work who visit inmates, but those visits are temporarily suspended.
Video visits aren’t possible at the current OCDC but will be possible at the newly built detention center, which has not yet opened.
The opening of the new detention center had been tentatively scheduled for the end of May, but Young said the date has been set back and an opening date is not yet known.
On Sunday, OCDC inmate intake procedures became modified.
He noted that inmates are screened with a few questions, such as asking them if they’ve recently been out of the country or have been around anyone who has COVID-19.
In addition, inmates are checked for fevers.
Young said detention officers will place inmates in separated and isolation cells, if necessary.
He noted that there are deep cleaning and sanitation efforts already underway at the detention center. He said inmates are adapting to the changes well and they understand the modifications are directives from the governor’s office.
“Most of the pods with functioning TVs have one or two channels, so they’ve been able to watch the press conferences,” Young said, noting they understand the severity of the pandemic.
Young also said there’s been a temporary partial halt to some of the “weekenders.” Young said weekenders are inmates who serve sentences on weekends only.
As for bond court schedules, Young said those are under normal operations of twice daily. He said a consideration of once daily bond hearings is a possibility, if necessary.
In Bamberg and Calhoun counties, twice-a-day bond hearings in magistrate’s court remain the same.
Orangeburg County Chief Magistrate Derrick Dash has suspended all jury trials for the next 30 days at the Orangeburg County Magistrate Court on Ellis Avenue.
As for family court hearings statewide, S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty issued an order on Monday stating such courts will only hear emergency matters including, but not limited to: DSS emergency protective custody, juvenile detentions, bench warrants and emergency petitions for orders of protection from domestic abuse.
Beatty also ordered only the following to be allowed in the emergency hearings: attorneys, their clients and necessary witnesses.
The Orangeburg County Courthouse will remain open to the public for the following reasons: acceptance of filings, emergency hearings and bench warrant hearings.
All General Sessions and Common Pleas Circuit Court jury trials and hearings are postponed through the end of April. Family Court hearings for the weeks of March 16 and March 23 are postponed.
Jurors who are summoned for this period are excused and should not report.
All child support payment through Family Court must be made online through the State Disbursement Unit.
For additional information, call the Orangeburg County Clerk of Court 803-533-6260.
At the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, health and safety continue to be priorities.
Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said, “We are prepared to implement measures, and the safety of the public and our deputies is our number one concerns.”
Chief Deputy Matt Trentham said that the department received “pandemic kits” about three years ago. He said those kits include hand sanitizer, N95 respirators and latex gloves. He said deputies also have sanitizer spray to clean any equipment as necessary.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said, “We know that it’s a scare for our community, our state and our country.”
He said that operations continue as usual and additional deputies are patrolling.
“We don’t want anyone to think that because of the virus and what’s going on in our communities that we have less deputies on the road patrolling -- that’s not the case,” he said.
“We also ask that you listen to federal, state and local agencies as it relates to sanitizing your home, your cars and to continuously, continuously wash your hands,” he said.
“I will also ask you, as a community, to continue to pray. From this sheriff’s office, we believe in prayer,” he said.
Ravenell also noted the following:
There are certain areas that will be patrolled 24/7. However, those locations are not being disclosed -- those locations are up to the criminal element to identify.
OCSO vehicles and facilities are being sanitized.
There is limited contact with residents who make a call for service.
Fingerprinting, which normally takes place on Wednesdays, is suspended until further notice.
Individuals may still make incident reports at the sheriff’s office on Ellis Avenue, however, to limit exposure for employees and residents, the report will be made in the lobby or in private outdoors.
Access to the front lobby will be restricted to one customer at a time and a deputy will be stationed at the entrance to direct customers.
A switchboard operator, a desk sergeant and a records clerk will operate through glassed windows when possible and with appropriate personal protective and sanitation equipment.
At the Victim’s Services Building at 1032 Chestnut St. are the following changes:
Day-to-day operations will be shifted to headquarters at 1520 Ellis Avenue, as much as possible.
Issuance of non-ferrous metal permits is suspended, until further notice.
All sex-offender registrations will be conducted by investigators at the offender’s home.
Victim’s advocates will continue to offer round-the-clock services, but will operate on a staggered schedule when possible to minimize the frequency of face-to-face contact.
Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Director Mike Adams said, “We’re certainly going to do everything we can to be prepared should things heat up in our area, so to speak.”
“Every officer, when they report to work, goes through a screening just to make sure all of our staff is well. They’re asked a series of questions about how they’re feeling and asked if they’ve come in contact with anyone who’s not feeling well,” Adams said.
Adams said ODPS employees are also undergoing daily temperature checks.
Visitors to the building will undergo screenings and digital temperature checks before they’re allowed to meet with employees or officers, Adams said.
Currently, the lobby remains closed.
He noted he, officers and employees are constantly decontaminating the building and patrol vehicles.
Adams explained that officers have modified their responses to non-emergency calls.
“If we have calls that we can handle over the phone, then we’re going to try to do that,” Adams said.
Adams said for emergency and “in progress” calls, officers will respond as usual.
He also noted, “When possible, officers will be giving summonses, but not in crimes of violence. We will make arrests if the action warrants an arrest.”
Other changes at ODPS include:
Municipal court proceedings have been canceled and will be rescheduled. Letters will be mailed with new court dates and times. Court payments will still be accepted online, via mail and by phone. No payments will be accepted in person.
Daily bond hearings will be held as normal. The only people allowed in the courtroom for bond hearings will be defendants, attorneys, law enforcement and court staff.
Fingerprinting services are suspended.
Public Safety firefighters responding to calls will only respond to calls that are deemed to be urgent or emergencies Firefighters will take precautionary measures to protect themselves from the public.
Public Safety employees will use social distancing guidelines in determining whether any in-person discussion, meeting or material hand-off is necessary and will schedule as appropriate.
Public Safety employees will use social distancing guidelines in determining whether any in-person discussion, meeting or material hand-off is necessary and will schedule as appropriate.
Public Safety personnel reserve the right to screen any and all persons they may contact with, including, but not limited to, basic wellness questions and temperature screening.
A long-serving Orangeburg County magistrate has been placed on interim suspension after being charged twice with driving under the influence.
S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty signed an order on Feb. 12 placing Jacob Gillens, 70, on interim suspension. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel requested the action.
The suspension follows a Jan. 31 head-on collision that injured Gillens and two other people, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. Gillens received a charge of first-offense driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or less.
On Sept. 28, 2017, Gillens was charged with first-offense driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration of .08 but less than .10 and violating the state’s ABC law.
The charges are pending in both cases.
Beatty’s order states that the county is not obligated to pay Gillens.
Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said on Thursday that Gillens is not receiving a salary while he’s under suspension.
Beatty also ordered that Gillens is not allowed to have access to money, bank accounts and records related to any court in the state.
“Chief Magistrate Derrick F. Dash is hereby appointed to take charge of all such monies, bank accounts, and records for Orangeburg County,” the order states.
Gillens is also ordered to “release any public records in his possession to the Orangeburg County magistrate court. This order authorizes the appropriate government or law enforcement official to implement any prohibitions as stated in this order,” it says.
Gillens was first appointed magistrate for Orangeburg County in 1985. He serves as an eastern region magistrate.
A Moncks Corner man is accused of knowing about two Eutawville burglaries before they happened and then benefitting from the sale of the stolen items.
Howard Douglas Hayes Jr., 45, of 328 Buttonwood Lane, is facing two counts each of criminal conspiracy and accessory before the fact to a felony.
The burglaries took place on Chokeberry Circle on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2019. Residents reported their golf carts stolen.
Warrants say co-defendants in the case provided audio and video statements to investigators about Hayes’ alleged involvement in the burglaries.
Others already charged in the case include: Wade Carson Hampton Jr., 53, of 2162 Ridge Church Road, Summerville and Roy Wilson Roberts, 48, of 125 Chokeberry Circle, Eutawville. Both are facing charges of criminal conspiracy, third-degree burglary, malicious injury to real property and grand larceny.
Christopher Douglas Peagler, 31, of 2227 Unity Road, Holly Hill is facing the charges of criminal conspiracy, first-degree burglary, grand larceny and malicious injury to real property.
In addition to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office charges, Hayes is facing the following charges from the S.C. Highway Patrol: first-offense failure to stop for blue light, second-offense driving under the influence less than .10 blood alcohol concentration and second-offense driving under suspension, license not suspended for DUI.
Troopers charged Hayes on Saturday, March 14. He appeared before Orangeburg County Magistrate Peggy Doremus on Sunday.
In a separate incident, a Dragstrip Road man in North is missing his 2012 white EZ Go golf cart. The theft took place sometime on Tuesday before 11 a.m.
The golf cart has oversized tires, a lift kit and a rear flip seat.
The City of Orangeburg has agreed to pay $750,000 to a man who sued over being jailed for more than four months on charges that he hit an officer, even though a police supervisor said the accusation wasn't true.
The settlement for Demetrius Jamison was approved by the Orangeburg City Council on Tuesday, according to Justin Bamberg, Jamison's attorney.
Jamison was arrested in April 2018 on charges of head-butting and assaulting officers. A short time later, a police lieutenant wrote a memo saying that the then-26-year-old Jamison didn't actually strike an officer, and a review of camera footage from the day showed a police corporal encouraging officers to tell investigators that Jamison hit them, according to Bamberg.
Jamison's assault case was still taken to municipal court, where a judge found him guilty. Between his arrest and sentence, Jamison spent 128 days behind bars.
Jamison sued Orangeburg in 2019, accusing the city and its police force of violating his civil rights by the wrongful arrest and imprisonment, also arguing the publicity from the arrest prevented him from making a living.
"This is a case of failed leadership," Bamberg said, following the settlement approval. "Imagine law enforcement alleging that you were guilty of something that some of them already knew you didn't do, and all the while, you sat in jail contemplating the 20 years in state prison you were facing. That's unacceptable and un-American."
State police investigated Jamison's arrest, ultimately determining he did not hurt any officers, according to Bamberg. Prosecutors did not bring charges against officers, but Bamberg said police actions were being reviewed by another agency.
A Public Safety spokesman did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment on the settlement.