This week's local crime and court updates from The Times and Democrat
Two sought in shooting at Orangeburg convenience store
Investigators are seeking two people of interest in a shooting that occurred at a convenience store last week, Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.
“We have developed information that led us to these two individuals,” he said. “This happened in an area with both heavy foot and vehicle traffic, making for a dangerous situation.”
Investigators learned that on July 16 around 8:45 p.m. at least two individuals were in a Chestnut Street convenience store parking lot firing multiple rounds from handguns.
The sheriff said that no one was injured at the Bojangles/Shell business was due to “pure luck or a miracle.”
If anyone has any information on the two subjects, they are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office: Man cut with broken bottle at club
Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office
A 19-year-old Orangeburg man needed medical treatment after he was stabbed with a broken bottle early Sunday morning at a Chestnut Street club, according to a sheriff's office incident report.
The man was standing in the club near the back stage when “some dudes jumped him and cut him with a bottle,” the report said.
The man said he did not know the subjects and did not want to press charges.
A witness said the victim was fighting another male when five other males jumped him. They broke a bottle on his body and cut him with it, the report states.
The witness said she did not know who the men were either.
In other reports:
• An Orangeburg woman was allegedly assaulted and pistol-whipped by the father of her child after the two got into an argument over custody, an incident report said.
The woman said the man came over to her Belleville Road residence Saturday evening. The two got into a dispute and the man allegedly began to choke her before leaving the residence to retrieve a pistol.
The woman said he re-entered the house, hit her with a gun and started to wave it around.
The man alleged the woman struck him first in the back of the head when he grabbed his daughter, the report said. He said he unsuccessfully tried to get the woman to calm down.
• A Neeses man reported someone stole his 2007 silver BMW 328i from his Park Street residence Thursday night. Another attempt was made also made to steal another vehicle in the same neighborhood but was unsuccessful.
The vehicle is valued at $4,400.
• Someone broken into a disabled truck left on the side of Interstate 95 in Holly Hill.
Items stolen include a $3,000 Mac laptop computer, $200 worth of silver coins, $7,000 worth of logging tools and climbing gear as well as $200 worth of clothing.
• A Cope woman reported her 2014 white Chrysler 200 was stolen from a Mildred Drive residence Friday afternoon.
The woman said she dropped her sister off at the residence. She left the car running when she went inside the house, the incident report states.
When she came back outside, the vehicle was gone. It is worth an estimated $10,000.
• A 2015 red Suzuki four-wheeler was stolen from a Eutawville residence Saturday morning.
The four-wheeler, which was stolen from a Cayuga Lane home, was valued at $5,000.
The keys were left in the ignition of the four-wheeler, according to the incident report.
• A Eutawville man said someone broke into his barge on Lake Marion and stole about $12,340 worth of power and hand tools sometime last week.
Orangeburg Department of Public Safety
An Orangeburg woman reported her 2002 green SUV Mercedes was stolen Saturday afternoon from her Wells Drive residence.
The woman said she started the vehicle up around 1:30 p.m. in order to cool it off and went inside the residence. The woman said she was inside the residence for about ten minutes when she was informed by a family member her vehicle was missing.
The woman reported her pocketbook, which contained Social Security and bank cards as well as a diamond watch, was in the vehicle when it was stolen. Clothes were in the car as well.
The woman estimates the items within the car were valued at $1,700. The value of the vehicle is estimated to be about $3,000.
Driver, passengers arrested for drugs
A driver and his passengers were arrested on drug charges after he was stopped for speeding.
On June 28, a deputy observed a Columbia man in a black Mazda sedan traveling above the posted speed limit, which he confirmed with radar at 76 miles per hour. When the deputy stopped the car, he observed the passenger throwing out two bags and a green substance.
In a search of the vehicle, additional marijuana and paraphernalia were found. There were two passengers in the vehicle. Upon a check, the suspect was found to have outstanding warrants for driving with a suspended license, a conviction for driving under suspension and was a wanted fugitive from the city of Irmo.
He was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The other passengers were also arrested on drug charges.
In other reports:
• On June 30, a deputy observed a black Chevrolet Sedan traveling 70 mph on Columbia Road, driven by an Orangeburg man. A search of the car revealed cocaine. The driver was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, driving under suspension and operating an uninsured vehicle. The vehicle was towed.
St. Matthews Police
• On July 11, a police officer saw a silver Chevrolet Impala driven by a Columbia man roll through a stop sign. The officer conducted a traffic stop. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol and found an open container on the floor. He also found a rolled blunt and a bag that contained a Mason jar containing a green leafy substance. The driver was charged with simple possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and open container.
• On July 14, a St. Matthews man reported that someone broke into his residence and took a cup containing $100 in cash.
Orangeburg burglar receives 10-year sentence; man accused of helping with jailbreak
A 24-year-old Orangeburg man accused of helping with last year’s jailbreak has pleaded guilty to burglary.
Roosevelt Emanuel Johnson III pleaded guilty to violent second-degree burglary before Circuit Judge Ed Dickson on June. 27.
Dickson sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Johnson was given credit for having already served 721 days at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
A grand jury indicted him on the charge of first-degree burglary.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. A magistrate dismissed two counts of aiding an escapee from prison during a preliminary hearing.
On May 19, 2018, three inmates escaped from the Orangeburg County Detention Center. Other inmates were accused of assisting them, including Johnson.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Stokes said in May 2018 that Johnson was the “individual who put the plan into action.”
Sheriff Leroy Ravenell accused Johnson asking a guard for chemicals to clean his cell.
When the guard brought the chemicals to him, Johnson said he didn’t need them and placed the chemicals in the doorway of the control room, Stokes said.
That’s when other inmates allegedly entered the control room and overpowered the guard by taking his pepper spray and immobilizing him with it, Stokes said.
Some of the inmates “slapped the control panel buttons to the point where it blew a fuse,” Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said.
When that happened, locking mechanisms malfunctioned and three inmates managed to successfully escape the detention center.
Johnson was waiting on his trial date in the burglary charge when the jail escape occurred.
* This story has been corrected from its original version.
Man arrested for burglary in Denmark
A man was arrested for allegedly burglarizing an insurance agency in Denmark.
Officers were dispatched to State Farm insurance agency in Denmark on July 11 in reference to a burglary. Upon arrival, a suspect was taken into custody by a deputy at the intersection of Airport Road and Heritage Highway.
During a body search, the deputy discovered a 13-inch screwdriver located in the waistband area of the suspect’s underwear. About 20 feet away from where the suspect was apprehended, the deputy discovered a 12-gauge shotgun at the edge of a cornfield.
Shortly after, the deputy and two others went to the original incident location. The suspect was read his Miranda rights by the deputy, which was recorded on another deputy’s body camera. The suspect showed the deputies where he retrieved the shotgun from and was then transported to jail.
The deputies then went inside the State Farm building and spoke with a witness who stated that she observed the subject enter the lot and sit at a table under a shed. Shortly after, the witness saw the suspect enter the building and later come out with a shotgun in his hand. After leaving the building, the suspect was spotted heading toward Heritage Highway.
Information was taken, and video evidence was downloaded from the security system at State Farm. The subject was charged with burglary/breaking and entering and possession of burglary tools. The case has been turned over to investigators.
Holly Hill murder suspect’s bond set at $100,000; woman accused in boyfriend’s death
A Holly Hill woman accused of murdering her boyfriend will be released from jail as soon as she posts a surety bond of $100,000.
Sabrina Michelle Strickland, 50, is facing one charge each of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the shooting death of 46-year-old Robert Haskell McWaters on June 28. McWaters and Strickland lived at the same residence at 773 Target Road.
Strickland has been has been held at the Orangeburg County Detention Center since June 28.
She stood before Circuit Judge Howard King for a bond hearing on Wednesday. She was represented by attorney Jack Swerling.
Deputy Solicitor Tommy Scott told the court that law enforcement became involved in the incident after Strickland called her ex-husband, Joseph “Henry” Daugherty, around 9:30 p.m. on June 28 to tell him she had hurt her boyfriend.
“Mr. Daugherty said, ‘Why didn’t you call 911? You need to call 911,’” Scott said.
“She said something to the effect of she tried to call but didn’t get an answer,” Scott added.
Daugherty called Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office dispatch and notified them of the incident.
“Autopsy revealed that he suffered a gunshot wound to his right temple. Bullet path was right to left, front to back and slightly downward,” Scott said.
Scott said that Strickland changed her story several times during questioning.
He alleged Strickland first told deputies that it was an accident and then she later told them that McWaters charged her.
Later that night, she told an investigator that she went into her son’s bedroom and retrieved the gun because McWaters told her she didn’t know anything about guns, Scott said.
“She said she was kind of holding the gun, showing the victim that she knew how to use the gun and it was at that point that the gun discharged,” Scott said.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Andy Hayes told the court that the firearm had two safeties that had to be depressed before firing.
One of McWaters’ children, Jesse McWaters, told the court her father was a loving person.
“He would do anything for anyone in need. He had a way of uplifting a room and giving anything he could to help those people he encountered,” she said.
She said her father needed to “continue living life the way he wanted.”
“A life where he could watch my little sister walk across the stage and receive her high school diploma. A life where he could one day walk my sister and I down the aisle on our weddings. A life where, one day, he could enjoy his future grandchildren. But he was robbed of all of that because of this senseless, terrible, human being who thought this was the correct way to end their disappointment of a relationship,” she said.
She described Strickland as a “manipulative person who cannot be trusted.”
“If released on bond, I will truly fear for my siblings and family as well as my own. I will actually be terrified,” she said.
She alleged Strickland screamed at her face on two “unprompted or unsolicited” occasions.
Swerling described Strickland and McWaters’ relationship as volatile but “mostly on his part.”
“She did totally financially support him and I don’t know when the last time was that he worked,” Swerling said.
“He would push her, shove her, throw her down, things of that nature. She has a herniated disk after she was pushed into a bathtub. She was treated for that,” Swerling said.
King interrupted, “If she had her own money and she was supporting him ... she could’ve just picked up and left.”
Swerling said she “felt an obligation to stay.”
“He carried a gun on him at all times,” Swerling said. Authorities confirmed that they weren’t able to find any other firearms in the home.
“He never had a gun,” interjected McWaters’ brother, who was seated with several family members.
“He never carried a gun,” he said. “They’re doing nothing but lying.”
Two deputies escorted him out of the courtroom.
King called for order in the court and warned everyone in attendance that if they felt they could not contain their emotion that they needed to leave the courtroom as he didn’t want to hold anyone in contempt, he said.
“She had no intention of shooting him,” he said.
Swerling also stated, “I am told by family, her ex-husband and her that he was totally dependent on her for financial support. He did not work. She paid all of his bills, she paid the rent. She paid for the food, she paid for his transportation. She drove him back and forth every day. She’d drop him off at his brother’s house and then picked him up after work.”
“I’m told he isolated her,” Swerling added, noting that he allegedly wouldn’t let her have friends and wouldn’t let her see her children.
Daugherty told the court that he was married to Strickland for nearly 20 years.
“She was never violent towards me,” he said, noting that they had disagreements from time to time.
Swerling alleged that Strickland applied for restraining orders on McWaters on two separate occasions, but noted he had not investigated that claim.
According to the Orangeburg County Magistrate's Office, neither McWaters nor Strickland had restraining orders at any time.
Strickland does not have a criminal record. Scott also noted that McWaters had no history of violence on his record.
King set Strickland’s bond at $100,000 surety with specific restrictions.
She is required to wear a GPS monitor, must reside in Lexington with her ex-husband, make no direct/indirect contact with McWaters’ family or go within 10 miles of his family.
He is allowing her to go to work and medical/dental appointments.
He also restricted McWaters’ family from directly/indirectly contacting Strickland’s family.
“They are to stay apart from each other until this whole matter is resolved,” King said.
Scott raised a concern about one of McWaters’ non-blood related family members working at the same business as Strickland.
King amended the conditions of her bond to state that Strickland is not allowed to have any direct/indirect contact with any of McWaters’ blood relatives.
Scott said that the non-blood relative doesn’t want to have any contact with Strickland.
King said, “If she doesn’t want to have any contact with her, she’ll just have to stay away from her. I don’t know any other way to handle it. I can’t require her to quit her job. She needs to work.”
Orangeburg man admits cutting wife’s throat
An Orangeburg man is now serving time in prison after admitting he cut his wife’s throat.
Laterrence Lashar Mack, 35, of Caesar Ct., pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature before Circuit Judge Ed Dickson on June 26.
Dickson sentenced him to serve 15 years in prison. After he serves seven years, the remainder of his sentence will be suspended to three years of probation.
On March 3, 2018, Mack used a box cutter to slice his wife’s neck several times.
When deputies and EMS arrived at the residence, they found her lying in the front yard with several people tending to her.
Deputies assisted in holding a towel to the woman’s neck to stem the bleeding.
She told deputies that Mack started an argument with her and that she ran to a room to escape him.
He eventually caught up with her and sliced her neck.
Several children were inside of the home watching TV, but they were not injured.
A grand jury indicted Mack on one count of attempted murder.
In other reports:
• Louis Rivers Jr., 35, of 9484 Charleston Hwy., St. George, pleaded guilty to first-offense possession of methamphetamine.
Dickson sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person convicted of a violent felony.
• Claude Franklin McAlhany, 45, of 1216 McAlhany Road, Branchville, pleaded guilty to indecent exposure.
Dickson sentenced him to 18 months in prison or a fine of $300.
He stipulated that McAlhany does not need to register as a sex offender.
According to McAlhany’s indictment, he “did willfully and maliciously make an indecent exposure of his person in a public place or property of another to the view of persons” at a specific address in Branchville.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed his charge of trespassing.
• Khatoni Anthony Walker, 40, of 760 Crouch Cir., Bamberg, pleaded guilty to selling liquor without a license.
Dickson sentenced him to six months in prison or a fine of $600.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a charge of unlawful sale of alcoholic liquors.
• Cecil Dominique Murray Jr., 27, of 1126 Silk Hope Lane, Smoaks, pleaded guilty to unlawful carrying of a pistol.
Dickson sentenced him to one year in prison or a fine of $300.
A grand jury indicted Murray on one count of possession of a stolen pistol.
• Daniel James McNair, 68, of 269 Treadwell St., Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to first-offense possession of heroin.
Dickson sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended to 18 months of probation.
He stipulated that McNair must be evaluated for substance abuse and comply with all prescribed treatment.
Orangeburg man facing cocaine, weapon charges
Orangeburg County investigators allege an Orangeburg man reached into pants, where he was keeping a weapon, as they approached him.
“If it wasn’t for God’s intervention, someone could have been seriously injured or worse during this incident,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. “I’m so thankful it didn’t come to that.”
Timothy Hampton, 41, has been charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent felony and distribution of cocaine, second offense.
During a hearing on Friday, bond was denied for Hampton.
The Baxter Street man was taken into custody on Thursday, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s investigators were traveling on Edisto Drive around 12:30 p.m. when they saw what appeared to be suspicious activity on a side street known for drug activity and prostitution.
Investigators began following a vehicle that left the side street and discovered it had a suspended license plate.
When the Jeep turned into a nearby business, a male exited the vehicle and began walking away at a brisk pace.
Investigators pulled their weapons on the male when he was seen reaching into his pants and refused to show his hands, the release said.
When the male was taken into custody, a loaded .45-caliber handgun was allegedly located in this pants.
The driver of the Jeep was given a ticket for the license plate violation before the vehicle was towed.
Investigators Marty Journey and Rob Boyne are leading the ongoing investigation.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office: Neeses man accused of beating, kicking woman
A Neeses man was charged with attempted murder after a woman was sent to the hospital with extensive injuries.
“This individual attacked this woman for no good reason and punched and kicked her for some time,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.
“I can only imagine the fear she had as his attacks seemed to be endless,” he said.
Eric Goolsby, 31, was charged with attempted murder, domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and malicious injury to personal property.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s investigators were sent to a Lower Cherokee Road residence on Sunday after receiving a 911 call stating a woman had been severely beaten.
The woman told investigators Goolsby had asked to speak with her. She allowed him to do so after he stated he would not vandalize her car if she allowed him to visit.
After a few minutes of conversation, Goolsby allegedly began striking the woman each time she didn’t provide an answers to his liking.
The woman then fell to the floor. Goolsby allegedly began punching and kicking her in the back.
She tried to take a bath to rinse off the dirt and sweat when she was assaulted yet again, the sheriff’s office said.
While she was in the tub, Goolsby allegedly began kicking the woman in the face with steel-toed boots.
The woman fled the residence when Goolsby left, a sheriff’s office incident report states. She hid for a while in a nearby field before fleeing to a neighbor’s home.
The neighbor told investigators he found the woman lying on his steps when he answered the door.
Sheriff’s Office Victim’s Advocate Amy Rinkenberger told the court the woman could have died of her injuries during the hours she spent hiding in a nearby field.
During a hearing on Friday, bond was set on Goolsby at $77,000.
Orangeburg man shot, knocks on home’s door for help
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office
A 27-year-old Orangeburg man was shot early Thursday morning, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
He somehow ended up on the front porch of a Belleville Road residence.
The man told law enforcement he did not know how he got to the porch or where he came from.
The only thing the man knew is that he needed help, the report said.
The man arrived at the Belleville Road residence around 5 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the right side of his upper thigh.
The homeowner said she heard a knock on the door and told the victim to remain outside until officers arrived, the report said.
The woman said she did not hear or see anything prior to the knock on the door.
Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene and transported the man to the Regional Medical Center.
In other reports:
• Someone broke into the Edisto Fork United Methodist Church Community Center sometime between Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
The building is located on Franklin Street in Orangeburg. It is currently being renovated.
Items were in disarray but there did not appear to be any items missing, according to church officials.
The damage is estimated to be about $250.
• A Bamberg woman reported her white 2016 Toyota Corolla was stolen Thursday afternoon from the Regional Medical Center's parking lot.
The woman said she went into the hospital a little before 3 p.m. for a medical appointment and noticed her car missing when she finished her appointment.
The vehicle is valued at about $19,000.
• An Orangeburg woman reported her black 2008 Chevy Tahoe was stolen from her Heiligwood Road residence sometime Wednesday night.
The woman said she locked the door when she left the vehicle.
The vehicle is valued at about $10,000.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office: Vance man charged in shooting
An Orangeburg County man has been charged in a shooting that occurred over the long July 4th weekend.
“The victim in this case wasn’t even involved in the initial argument,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.
“He was just trying to break up the fight and got shot for his trouble,” Ravenell said.
Bobby Anthony II, 46, has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Ravenell said that investigators were called to the Regional Medical Center after receiving word of a shooting in Holly Hill.
The 49-year-old victim told investigators he had attempted to break up a fight at a Good Farm Road location in the early hours of July 5.
One of the two antagonists pulled out a handgun and fired twice, he said. One shot struck the victim, who was then taken to the hospital.
Anthony was also taken to the hospital for extensive injuries he suffered in the fight.
Once he was released, Anthony was then charged.
During a hearing on Thursday, bond was set on the Vance man at $15,000 cash or surety.
Inv. Addison King is leading the ongoing investigation.
Bamberg man accused of arson
A Bamberg man is accused of setting a structure ablaze on July 5.
Brandon Carlisle Brabham, 31, was charged with one count of second-degree arson, according to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.
SLED alleges that Brabham set fire to combustible materials at 6380 Char Augusta Highway in Bamberg, which the agency describes as a venue for gatherings.
Brabham allegedly told the officials he visited the property on July 2 and did not return until the fire was reported at 6:52 a.m. on July 5. He said he was home at the time when SLED believes the fire was started.
“A search of the defendant’s cellular telephone records indicated that he would have been near the area of the fire location at approximately 3:30 a.m. on the morning of the fire,” according to a SLED affidavit.
The SLED Arson Investigation Unit probed the fire at the request of the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office.
The case will be prosecuted by the Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Orangeburg man guilty of taking weapon from officer
Justin Michael Binnicker, 31, of 627 Binnicker Bridge Road, Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to unlawful taking of a firearm or weapon from a law enforcement officer.
Circuit Judge Ed Dickson sentenced him to time served of 581 days at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of third-degree assault and battery.
In other pleas:
• Steven Fanara, 57, of 1800 Columbia Road #M1, Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to second-degree domestic violence.
Dickson sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended to one year of probation. He gave Fanara credit for having already served 101 days in jail.
He ordered Fanara to complete a batterer’s treatment program and not to have any contact with the victim.
Fanara is not allowed to possess any firearm or ammunition for the next three years.
• Lisa Marie Aversa, 54, of 1328 Macon Dr., Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic violence.
Dickson sentenced her to time served.
• Clifford Jerome Curtis, 39, of 656 Broxton Bridge Road, Bamberg, pleaded guilty to second-offense possession of methamphetamine.
Dickson sentenced him to three years in prison, suspended to two years of probation.
He gave Curtis credit for having already served 77 days.
Dickson stipulated Curtis is not allowed to use methamphetamine.
• Myron Brabham Padgett, 55, of 15 Third St., Bamberg, pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery valued less than $10,000.
Dickson sentenced him to five years in prison. After he serves 15 months, the remainder of the sentence will be suspended to three years of probation.
Dickson gave him credit for having already served 103 days in jail.
He also stipulated that Padgett is to be evaluated for drug abuse and comply with all treatment recommendations.
Padgett must also receive an evaluation and mental health treatment.
• Joshua A. Boyd, 39, of 675 Alva St., Orangeburg, pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic violence.
Dickson sentenced him to 90 days in jail, suspended to one year of probation. He was given credit for time served.
He ordered Boyd to complete a batterer’s treatment program and not have any contact with the victim.
He’s also prohibited from carrying any firearm or weapon for the next three years.
Woman: Person shot at my vehicle twice in Cope
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office
A woman reported that someone fired two shots at her vehicle after a discussion with her ex.
Deputies responded to a call of shots fired on Cannon Bridge Road in Cope at 12:17 a.m. Wednesday.
The woman said that she and a friend were sitting in a vehicle smoking cigarettes near a mailbox when a burgundy Chevrolet Impala arrived.
The occupants of the Impala included the woman’s ex-girlfriend and three men, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
The woman said that her ex-girlfriend approached her side of the vehicle to talk to her while the men approached the side where her friend sat.
The woman said the doors were locked because the men tried to get into the vehicle and fight, the report said.
The woman placed the vehicle in reverse gear and pulled off.
While she backed up, someone from the Impala allegedly fired two shots at her vehicle.
The second shot struck the windshield, but didn’t penetrate the glass.
The woman wasn’t sure who fired the shot and the woman’s friend didn’t want to write a statement, the report states.
Deputies located two 9 mm shell casings nearby.
In an unrelated incident, a 58-year-old man is accused of punching and kicking a juvenile teen, according to an Orangeburg County arrest warrant.
Kenneth Michel Myers of St. Matthews is facing one count of unlawful neglect of a child.
Deputies took Myers into custody on Tuesday. The alleged incident occurred on June 18.
Warrants state that the teen had “visible injuries to (the) face and arm.” Deputies photographed the child’s injuries.
The child and a witness provided written statements to investigators.
If Myers is convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, a court-imposed fine or both.
North man guilty of blackmail; crime revealed after victim’s suicide attempt
A North man is going to prison after swindling thousands of dollars from a woman who later attempted to take her life.
James Michael “Mike” Phillips, 35, of 10183 North Road, pleaded guilty Tuesday to blackmail before Circuit Judge Howard P. King. Prosecutors dismissed a kidnapping charge as part of Phillips’ plea agreement.
King sentenced him to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. After he serves five years, the remainder of his sentence will be suspended to five years of probation.
He also ordered Phillips to pay $18,000 in restitution.
The blackmail scheme took place from April 2, 2018 until Nov. 13, 2018.
The scheme began when the woman and her now ex-husband separated in 2018.
Deputy Solicitor Tommy Scott said that Phillips convinced the woman that she wouldn’t have any trouble gaining custody of her daughter if she paid him money to give to a private investigator to help her.
“No investigator existed,” Scott said.
The woman divorced and she maintained custody of her child, Scott said.
But Phillips “conjured up another reason to extort money from her,” Scott added.
That’s when Phillips created a make-believe character named “Trell.”
According to Scott, Phillips told the woman not to tell anyone about “Trell” demanding money because “things will get worse.”
Phillips “kept demanding more money and more money,” Scott said.
Phillips used the money on material items that he wanted, not on essential items.
At some points, the woman gave Phillips her entire paycheck, took out high-interest loans online and even borrowed money from family members, telling them she “needed it for school,” Scott said.
Over the months, the woman deposited over $10,000 in Phillips’ bank account and also put cash in his truck.
As summer turned to fall, the demands for money intensified.
Phillips created a cellphone alias for “Trell” and convinced the woman that “Trell” sent him messages demanding money and threatening to harm her, her child and family.
Phillips claimed to the woman “he was trying to keep ‘Trell’ happy,” Scott said.
The scheme came to a head in the first two weeks of November 2018.
On Nov. 4, 2018, while the woman was facing a wall in a room, Phillips approached her from behind and held an object to her head, which she believed was a gun. Phillips later told authorities it was a remote control for a television.
Phillips made another demand for money.
On Nov. 7, 2018, as the woman was at work and closing down business for the day, she was on the phone with Phillips, who was demanding money of her.
At the same time, she received a text message from “Trell,” who was also Phillips.
The text message said, “You’ve done it now. I’ll see you soon,” Scott said.
Phillips allegedly told the woman the only way to get “Trell” to stop his demands was to pay $2,500 by the upcoming Friday.
Scott said the woman became so overwhelmed that on Nov. 8, she attempted to take her life by cutting both of her arms.
It wasn’t until she was in a hospital in Columbia that she told law enforcement what happened.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Rob Boyne said that the woman was paranoid that someone was standing in wait to shoot her.
Boyne said in court on Tuesday that the woman did not want to be interviewed in a room with windows.
“I’ve never seen mind control to the extent that I’ve seen in this case,” Boyne said.
“She wouldn’t take a breath without his permission,” he added.
“I’m impressed she’s still here,” he said.
Boyne said that the woman’s family has rallied beside her. He gives them credit for supporting her.
“It took a lot for her to come here today,” Boyne said.
Phillips’ attorney, John Keffer, told the court, “This is a horrendous case, there’s no other way to put this.”
Keffer told the court that Phillips is “trying to make it right” by pleading guilty to blackmail and agreeing to pay restitution.
Prior to his arrest on Nov. 15, 2018, Phillips was an employee of the Public Works department in Orangeburg County.
“He had retirement, he had medical benefits,” Keffer said.
Phillips’ mother also spoke in court.
“I’m not here to make excuses for him,” she said.
“Mike stands here today a changed man,” she said. “He’s lost everything he’s got. Material things don’t mean anything to him anymore.”
Phillips began to wipe tears from his eyes when his mother spoke.
“He understands he has a long road ahead,” she said.
She explained that she raised her children to “tell the truth, don’t lie.”
Phillips’ wife also addressed the court.
“It’s been hard on us just as it has the victim,” she said. She said she’s seen a major change in him.
Through tears and a cracking voice, she said, “Please allow him to come home and allow him to do better for himself and most importantly our kids.”
Phillips is a stepfather to two of his wife’s children and they have one child of their own.
Before making remarks in court, Phillips paused and said quietly to his attorney, “I can’t.”
King said, “Take your time.”
“I stand before you as a man, as a guilty man,” Phillips said.
He noted that no amount of money can replace all that he took from the woman.
“I took advantage of her when I shouldn’t have,” he said.
Phillips said he’s been working as much as possible as a tow truck driver and saving money for restitution.
“I’ll pay what I have to pay,” he said.
Prosecutors believed he swindled the woman of $35,000, but Phillips said he knows he took $18,000 from her.
He used the money to buy frivolous items, including a boat, which is now in the impound lot of the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office. He offered to give the boat to the victim.
He told the court that he took out loans to pay for material items that he wanted and then began demanding money of the woman so he could make his loan payments.
“I’m only human,” he said. “I made a mistake.”
Before King sentenced him, he told Phillips, “Your actions cannot be characterized as a mistake.”
“Your actions took place for more than six months and really is a cause of action.”
He told Phillips that the crime he committed against the woman is, “more akin to assault or personal attack.”
Phillips’ wife sobbed as King sentenced her husband.
Orangeburg traffic stop leads to weapons charges against Lexington, North men
Two men are facing multiple charges after an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer stopped them in a vehicle reported stolen out of Columbia.
Connor Dawkins, 20, of 178 Donald Drive, Lexington, is facing one count of felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of unlawful carry of a pistol.
Tyrese Glascho, 20, of 1709 Savannah Highway, North, is facing one count each of possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful carry of a pistol and felon in possession of a firearm.
The two were taken into custody after a deputy spotted a 2003 blue Honda Accord being driven at 2 a.m. Monday without any lights shining.
A check of the tag through dispatch indicated that someone reported the Honda stolen to the Columbia Police Department.
Officers stopped the vehicle in the 1800 block of Old Edisto Drive and detained the occupants.
Officers identified Glascho as the driver and Dawkins as a front-seat passenger.
Officers then noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, the report states.
During a search of the vehicle, officers allegedly located a 9 mm Taurus G25 in the passenger door and a .22-caliber Walther P22 on passenger floorboard.
Officers reported finding a .45-caliber Rock Island Armory M1911 under the driver’s seat.
“All firearms found were loaded and had a round in the chamber,” the incident report states.
Officers allege that a brown cigar with a green leafy substance was on the driver’s side floorboard.
After checking state and national databases, officers discovered the S.C. Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole had an outstanding warrant for Glascho.
Officers also determined that both Glascho and Dawkins have violent criminal convictions on their records.
A search of Dawkins resulted in a baggy with about two grams of a green leafy substance in his left sock, according to the incident report.
Officers placed items in the evidence room and requested a wrecker tow the vehicle to the impound lot.
Greenville man accused of assault on Orangeburg County deputy
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office
A Greenville man is facing multiple charges after a verbal altercation with his girlfriend at the Regional Medical Center spilled into the parking lot early Sunday morning, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
Rasean Javon Davis, 30, of 55 Villa Road Unit 307, is facing charges of disorderly conduct, malicious injury to real property, assault on a law enforcement officer, threatening the life of a public official and probation violation.
RMC security guards said they asked Davis to leave because he was engaged in a loud argument with his girlfriend in the waiting area.
The security guards called the sheriff’s office when Davis allegedly acted very aggressively toward them.
Davis admitted to getting into a heated argument with his girlfriend, the report states.
He said security officers were overreacting and out of line.
Davis said, “I’m not going nowhere without my girl,” the report states.
A deputy ordered him off of the hospital’s campus and told him that he could remain in the parking lot of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, if he chose.
Davis told the deputy he’d “have to lock me up then because I ain’t leaving,” the report said.
His girlfriend then spoke with a deputy outside of the hospital about how to obtain a restraining order.
As they spoke, Davis approached and began arguing with the woman again, the report said.
A deputy gave Davis a final warning that he needed to leave the property.
Davis then looked at three security officers and the deputy and said, “Y’all go do me like that, huh, aight, I got something for y’all. Let me go get my s - - - out the car,” the report said.
Davis ran over to a white Nissan sedan.
The deputy drew his service weapon and approached the driver’s side of the vehicle.
As the deputy approached, he saw Davis looking at him through the passenger rear window “acting as if he was pulling a weapon from under the seat,” the report states.
The deputy, with his service weapon drawn, stood behind Davis and told him that he was serious in his warning.
Davis turned around with his hands empty.
That’s when he leaned over toward the barrel of the gun and said, “Shoot me. You got have to bust that b - - - - today,” the report said. He then allegedly opened his mouth and licked his tongue toward the barrel.
The deputy holstered the gun and then drew his stun gun.
“As I drew my Taser from my left hip with my right hand, subject Davis slapped my hand attempting to knock the Taser out of my hand and run towards the front of the vehicle,” the incident report said.
The deputy pointed his stun gun at Davis and ordered him to get on the ground.
Within moments, the deputy had Davis in custody and put him in the rear of his patrol vehicle.
On the way to the Orangeburg County Detention Center, Davis banged his head against the metal window bar and kicked the flexible glass window, the report states.
As the deputy turned onto Decatur Street, he noticed the glass breaking and folding onto the passenger front seat.
As he pulled into the jail’s sally port, Davis allegedly said to the deputy, “When you come up missing and your family members don’t see you no more, just know it’s because of this” and then stated “check my record and see what I do to the police.”
Davis is currently serving probation for first-degree assault and battery for an offense in Greenville County.
67-year-old Orangeburg County man guilty of distributing cocaine, crack cocaine
A federal jury found Joe Roger Moultrie, 67, of Orangeburg County, guilty of two counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, according to U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon.
U.S. District Judge Margaret B. Seymour will sentence Moultrie after receiving and reviewing a presentence report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented during the three-day trial showed that on Aug. 20, 2015, an Orangeburg County narcotics agent followed Moultrie to a local laundromat because he suspected that he was dealing narcotics.
After watching Moultrie for a short time, he observed what he described as a drug deal.
The narcotics agent then turned on his blue lights and attempted to stop Moultrie, who fled in his car while the officer followed him.
After traveling a distance, Moultrie stopped his car and immediately got out of the car with his hands in the air and stated, “I ain’t got nothing!”
The narcotics officer observed both front seat windows were down and detained Moultrie while another officer searched the roadway in the path of the pursuit. He found cocaine and crack cocaine in the roadway a short distance from the laundromat.
Later DNA testing determined that Moultrie’s DNA was on the cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office’s press release.
Moultrie was arrested.
On Aug. 28, 2017, an Orangeburg County narcotics agent received a telephone call that Moultrie was selling drugs in an area in Orangeburg called “The Hill” while driving a red SUV, according to the release.
Narcotics agents went to the area and saw Moultrie parked in the roadway while another person was leaning into the car through the passenger window.
The agents went around the block, and when they returned to the area where they saw Moultrie, he was gone.
The officers followed Moultrie’s vehicle and reported seeing him commit multiple traffic offenses. Initially, Moultrie refused to stop but after a short chase, he stopped his red SUV.
As the officers approached, they observed Moultrie was very nervous and asked if he was having a medical problem. He said no.
The agents then deployed a K-9 who alerted to the armrest in Moultrie’s car. During the search of the car, the officers found a prescription pill bottle wrapped in camouflage tape containing 16 baggies of crack cocaine and cocaine in the armrest. Again, Moultrie’s DNA was found on the pill bottle, crack cocaine and cocaine.
The maximum penalty for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine is imprisonment for 30 years and a fine of $2 million.
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, S.C. Law Enforcement Division, the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William K. Witherspoon and Elliott B. Daniels of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.