State Of South Carolina Quick To Catch Bogus Nurse, Who Was Only Able To Work 27 Years In The State Without A License

October 11, 2012

ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – An Anderson woman has been accused of practicing nursing without a license.

The State Law Enforcement Division says Denise Lynn Lollis has been charged with practicing nursing without a license from 1985 to 2012.

Lollis worked for years at AnMed Health Medical Center. She also was a nursing instructor for Tri-County Technical College.

The warrant accuses her of providing counterfeit licensing documents to her employers.

The hospital issued a statement saying Lollis had worked at the hospital “on an as-needed basis.” The hospital alerted authorities when questions about Lollis’ license were raised earlier this year. The hospital says her employment at the hospital ended in May.

Tri-County Tech says she has left the school.

It was unclear if she has a lawyer.

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South Carolina Voter ID Law Upheld By Fedral Appeals Court, But Not For THIS Election

October 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A panel of three federal judges upheld a South Carolina law requiring voters to show photo identification, but delayed enforcement until next year, in a decision announced Wednesday, less than a month before this year’s presidential election.

In a unanimous ruling, the judges said there was no discriminatory intent behind the law, ruling that it would not diminish African-Americans’ voting rights because people who face a “reasonable impediment” to getting an acceptable photo ID can still vote if they sign an affidavit.

The judge declined to let the law take effect immediately, “given the short time left before the 2012 elections and given the numerous steps necessary to properly implement the law … and ensure that the law would not have discriminatory” effects.

South Carolina voters who now lack the proper photo ID are disproportionately African-American, so proper and smooth functioning of the law “would be vital to avoid unlawfully racially discriminatory effects,” according to the decision, written by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. “There is too much of a risk to African-American voters for us to roll the dice,” he said.

South Carolina is one of 16 states, mostly in the South, where election laws are subject to Justice Department approval under the federal Voting Rights Act because of a history of discrimination. South Carolina’s was the first law to be refused federal OK in nearly 20 years, which led state officials to challenge that decision in federal court.

The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature pushed the law through last year despite heavy opposition from African-American lawmakers. GOP Gov. Nikki Haley signed it last December.

Voter ID laws and other restrictions on voting became priority issues in mostly Republican legislatures and for governors after the 2008 elections. Opponents have described them as responses to the record turnouts of minorities and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that helped put Barack Obama, the first African-American president, in the White House.

Such laws have become a critical issue in this year’s election because of the tight presidential race between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Supporters have pitched these laws as necessary to deter voter fraud, although very few cases of impersonation have been found.

Officials from South Carolina could not cite a single case of such fraud during the trial, but they said the law would help enhance public confidence in the election system and prevent other types of fraud.

South Carolina’s law requires voters to show a driver’s license or other photo identification issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, or a passport, military photo identification or a voter registration card with a photo.

The other judges in the case were Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court in Washington.

Kollar-Kotelly was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Bates and Kavanaugh were appointed by President George W. Bush.

The case number is 2012-203.

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Savage Black Beast Punches South Carolina Public Defender After Getting 15 Year Old Prison Sentence For Drugs, Robbery, And Assault (Win-Win…)

October 9, 2012


YORK, SOUTH CAROLINA
– Lamarcus Williamson wasn’t pleased with his 15-year prison sentence for robbery, drug and assault charges. WCNC-TV reports the 30-year-old punched his public defender last week after receiving the sentence from a York County judge.

And the video from the courtroom proves it.

“I’m still sore,” Hall told WCNC’s Rad Berky. “He hit me right above the teeth and right below the nose.”

Williamson received an additional six months for “contempt of court,” and Berky reports Williamson may also face extra charges for assault.

“It is clear your conduct is not governed by rational thought,” Judge William Nettles told Williamson in court, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The Observer also reports Hall had never experienced or witnessed anything like the punching incident in 25 years of experience.

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Douchebad Clover South Carolina Municipal Judge Melvin Howell Jails 79 Year Old Korean War Veteran Who Collected And Sold Junk To Pay For Sick Wife’s Medications

October 5, 2012

CLOVER, SOUTH CAROLINA — Johnny Ramsey, the 79-year-old Korean War veteran who collected and sold junk to pay for medications for his ailing wife, said just minutes before court Thursday evening: “If I have to go to jail, I guess I am ready.”

An hour later, Ramsey left a Clover courtroom in shackles – sentenced to 30 days in the York County jail for not cleaning up his yard eight months after a judge ordered him to get rid of the junk.

Clover Town Judge Melvin Howell ruled after a contempt of court hearing Thursday that Ramsey had refused to comply with court orders to both clean up his property and pay a fine for contempt.

The sentence will be served on weekends, but it started immediately after court was finished Thursday night.

Clover Police officers handcuffed Ramsey – whose nephew is a sheriff’s deputy, whose son is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to war – and walked him outside the court building and put him in a police car.

Then a burly officer thumped on the trunk, and the police took Clover’s junk man to jail.

Ramsey will get out of jail late Sunday night.

He will be out all next week with a chance to clean up the junk and not go back next weekend.

Ramsey said nothing as he walked out of the building. He just held up his handcuffed hands after surrendering his wallet and cigarettes.

After court, Ramsey’s wife, who walks with a cane and requires several medications for illnesses, said “it is just not true” that Ramsey did not try to clean up the property.

“He did try, four or five loads of stuff went out of here,” Patty Ramsey said. “That was a lie. I’m mad.”

On Wednesday, a church group from Rock Hill put up a privacy fence around some of the property after reading in The Herald about Ramsey’s fight with the town. Judge Howell saw pictures of that fence Thursday, but it was too little and too late.

The case against Ramsey – following coverage in The Herald since his trial in January – brought support for Ramsey from all over the country.

Enough donations came in to pay the $500 fine handed down by Howell after he was found in contempt in August for not cleaning up the property to the town’s satisfaction.

“There’s a man sittin’ right yonder with the $500,” Ramsey told Howell Thursday after he had been sentenced to 30 days in jail, but Howell was not swayed.

“If you had just worked with this court sir,” Howell said, then he was cut off by Ramsey.

“I did, sir…”

Howell, a York County magistrate, then cut Ramsey off.

“No; I have to do what I have to do.”

And Ramsey was taken to jail.

Ramsey, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, once was convicted of burning a cross on the front lawn of the former police chief in York. He served time in prison before the conviction was overturned on appeal.

He has since maintained he took the fall for two other guys.

Ramsey and his wife live in a mobile home on Social Security and veterans benefits that total less than $900 a month. He had sold junk for most of the 20 years he has lived in Clover to keep the lights on, water running and pay for his wife’s medications.

He has claimed that the town was out to get him. Court testimony showed no neighbors ever complained – but a town code enforcement officer did. His trial lawyer in January called the town’s code enforcement “rogue.”

Before court Thursday, he told officers working security: “I got no problem with the ‘po-lice.’ It’s just the code enforcement man.”

“All we ever wanted was for him to clean up his property,” said Joe Funderburk, Clover’s code enforcement officer, after Ramsey was taken to jail. “It is sad that it had to come to this today.”

Ramsey’s court-appointed public defender, Toni Johnson, told the judge that many people had tried to help Ramsey, and that “a lot of work has been done to clean up the area.”

But Johnson said she “understood that Mr. Ramsey has not complied to the satisfaction of the court.”

Johnson asked Howell to accept the $500 fine rather than give jail time, or have Ramsey serve house arrest if he had to be detained.

“I ask for the mercy of the court,” Johnson said.

During the hearing, which lasted more than half an hour, Howell had police officers put up on a wall screen a timeline of events that led to Ramsey’s being in court Thursday.

The town advised Ramsey in February 2011 that the junk was a violation. Ramsey was cited four months later after not replying to a letter stating he was in violation of town law.

Ramsey asked for a jury trial and was found guilty in January. It was then that Howell gave Ramsey six months to clean up the property or face 30 days in jail.

“I gave you six long months, I waited patiently,” Howell said.

Howell ruled in August that Ramsey had not cleaned up his property, found him in contempt of court and gave him two weeks to pay the $500 fine or face jail time.

The town even offered to haul off the junk if it was carted to the curb, Howell said.

“I don’t want to send anybody to jail, but I do like people to follow orders,” Howell said. “All I wanted to see was that you were working diligently to clean up the mess. Again, I tried to keep you out of jail.”

Howell told Ramsey in court Thursday that he saw a recent television interview in which Ramsey said he would refuse to pay the fine – even if he had $500 or $20,000.

Ramsey, who has been the most honest defendant in the history of courtrooms, spoke right up in court Thursday and said, “Yes, I did say that.”

Up there on the wall screen at that point was the timeline that said, “10/4/12: Court appearance for Mr. Ramsey. To date no attempt has been made to comply with any orders.”

Howell made it clear in court that any other defendant who does not comply with a court order goes to jail.

The judge took the time to say that he realized that Ramsey takes care of his wife, that he knows how difficult it is to live on a fixed income, and that he respected Ramsey for his military service.

“I respect you right now, Mr. Ramsey,” Howell said.

Ramsey replied: “I got the five hunnert dollars.”

Howell responded in similar vernacular from the bench: “I gotta do what I gotta do.”

Ramsey, before court, had put his medications for chronic headaches in a plastic bag in his wife’s purse. His wife had the car keys in case she had to drive home. He had a pack of cigarettes and his wallet and his hope.

He asked for one last kiss from his wife, standing there with a cane.

Howell did what he believed he had to do after explaining for several minutes that Ramsey had refused to follow repeated court orders.

“Thirty days, served on weekends,” Howell said from the bench in a courtroom that was as silent as a church.

Then Johnny Ramsey was taken to jail, and Patty Ramsey went home to an empty mobile home.

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Woman Shot At Her Kitchen Table By Estranged Ex-Husband Hiding In Attic – After Charleston County South Carolina Sheriff’s Department Had Searched Her Home

September 28, 2012

WEST ASHLEY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Melissity Q. Hayes sat at the kitchen table in her West Ashley home and turned on the television to watch news reports about the nightmare she was still living.

Her mother had been shot dead by Hayes’ estranged husband, Ronald David Ratliff, who was on the run. She worried that she could be next.

Then, as she sat there, Ratliff shot twice from the attic, striking her in the neck before killing himself.

Hayes holds the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office partly responsible for what happened. She contends that the Sheriff’s Office, which was supposed to be protecting her from her estranged husband, could have prevented the shooting, according to court documents.

Hayes recently filed a suit alleging that the Sheriff’s Office was negligent while she was under its protective custody. She maintains that deputies knew Ratliff had problems with substance abuse, that he had been violent toward Hayes and her family, and that he was armed and had access to her home.

Despite that, the suit claims, the Sheriff’s Office did not staff enough deputies at Hayes’ home and did not take the correct steps to keep the fugitive away from her.

“Evidence will show the Sheriff’s Office took complete control of the situation and negligently performed their duties and as a result Melissity Hayes has a bullet in her spine,” said her attorney, David Marvel.

Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady called the episode a sad situation that occurred with a tragic and difficult ending. Brady referred all specific questions about the suit to the attorney representing the agency, Sandy Senn.

“The sheriff and his deputies spent much time and manpower trying to keep Mrs. Hayes safe, and they are understandably upset that their efforts to protect her weren’t enough,” Senn said.

Ratliff’s suicide was the end of a tumultuous relationship that went on between 1990 and 2011. The last straw was on Sept. 20, 2010, when Hayes went to a divorce attorney. Later that night, Ratliff threatened to kill her and the rest of her family.

He was arrested and taken to jail. A judge granted Hayes’ request for a restraining order, and he spent 119 days in jail. Ratliff was released on Jan. 18, 2011, after pleading guilty to assault and battery and receiving a sentence of time he had served.

Hayes’ parents traveled from their home in Florida to their daughter, in fear of Ratliff’s release, the suit’s documents stated. Four days later, Ratliff sneaked into the Debbenshire Road home and shot and killed his estranged mother-in-law, 65-year-old Linda Hayes, authorities said.

Ratliff also tried killing Hayes’ father, Richard Hayes, but the gun jammed and he ran off, the suit’s complaint stated.

While investigators searched for Ratliff, Hayes spent a few days in a secured location with a security detail. She was allowed to return to her home with deputies on Jan. 25, 2011. Meanwhile, investigators surrounded Ratliff’s white van, found abandoned on James Island.

After deputies searched the home and let her and her family inside, Ratliff shot Hayes from the attic, then fatally shot himself.

Ratliff had spent three days in that attic, according to the court documents. Buried under the attic insulation and armed with a gun, he waited for Hayes until he had the chance to shoot her, Sheriff’s Office authorities have said.

A security detail failed to search the attic before allowing Hayes and her family into the house, the suit alleges. Deputies had reason to believe he could be in the attic, according to Marvel.

Senn argued that “law enforcement officers cannot always prevent a determined and vengeful murderer.” She said an estranged husband is to blame. “But he is not here to defend the lawsuit,” Senn said.

Following the shooting, Sheriff Al Cannon was questioned about the handling of Hayes’ security detail. He said he felt all along that the Sheriff’s Office was making all the right moves.

“But it would be ludicrous for me to not be concerned about how this ultimately played out,” he had said.

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Savage Black Beast Attacked 2 Other Women At Richland County South Carolina Library, Homeless Woman Slashed Them In The Face With Box Cutter Knife

September 27, 2012

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – Columbia Police officers say a woman arrested late Tuesday evening and after allegedly cutting two other women with a sharp object at the main branch of the Richland County Public Library will face additional charges after she lied about her identity.

CPD says 32-year-old Monique Tamahr Stroman has been charged of two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. She’s also expected to be charged with providing false information to police after investigators said she lied to officers about her real name.

Investigators say Stroman got into an argument with the two victims before 7:00 p.m. inside the library on Assembly Street.

Police say after the argument, Stroman reached into her pocket and pulled out what investigators believe to be a box cutter or another similarly sharp object, and cut both victims in the face.

The victims were not seriously injured, but they were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Stroman, who has no permanent address, was transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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Fired North Charleston South Carolina Police Officer Kenneth Ford Arrested And Charged With Attacking Man And Destroying Property While Unlawfully Detaining Him – Lied, And Texted Another Officer Asking Him To Lie For Him

September 25, 2012

NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – After a two-month investigation, state law enforcement agents arrested a former North Charleston police officer this morning on a charge that he roughed up a man in his custody.

Kenneth Ford was fired by Police Chief Jon Zumalt on July 23, five days after a complaint about the incident was lodged against him.

He surrendered about 9:20 this morning at the Al Cannon Detention Center. He faces a charge of misconduct in office, according to a jail employee.

After posting bail, he was released about 12:30 this afternoon.

An arrest affidavit released this morning stated that Ford’s charge stemmed from an incident that started around 10:30 p.m. July 17. The account is based on statements from the victim and witnesses.

Ford “unlawfully detained” a man on Montague Avenue, then took him to a dark location, according to the document. He then “physically assaulted” the man and destroyed his personal property, the affidavit stated.

“This is what happens when you disrespect the police,” Ford told the man, according to the paperwork.

Around 1 a.m., Ford removed handcuffs from the man and told him to find his way home, according to the document. Ford then sent a text message to an officer who had followed him and told that officer to lie about what had happened, the affidavit stated.

During a hearing this morning, Magistrate Linda Lombard called those allegations “serious” and set Ford’s bail at $25,000.

Zumalt, the police chief, said his department acted swiftly to investigate the complaint and remove Ford from its ranks.

The victim filed a complaint with a police the night after the incident occurred, Zumalt said, and he was informed the following morning. The department immediately began investigating and formally interviewed the man on July 20, he said.

“Once that happened, I realized there was some legitimacy to what he was saying had occurred,” he said.

Zumalt said he then called SLED chief Mark Keel and asked him to have his agents investigate the case. Keel pledged to do so beginning July 23. Zumalt said his investigators wrapped up their internal probe over the weekend and he fired Ford on July 23.

“We take these things seriously,” Zumalt said. “As soon as it came to my attention, we began investigating the allegations and then we terminated the officer. It’s not like we sat on this at all.”

The North Charleston Police Department, however, had denied requests for the termination’s circumstances in spite of the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.

At the time, a department spokesman said the agency had no record of it, and a SLED spokeswoman said the state also did not have a complaint document.

Paperwork submitted by Zumalt to the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy stated only that the State Law Enforcement Division had opened an investigation — which started two days after the complaint — and that Ford was accused of abusing the man and being deceptive about it to the Police Department.

Ford was in his first year as a North Charleston police officer.

He resigned from the Mount Pleasant Police Department in October to take the new job, according to a training-history report acquired from the Criminal Justice Academy after a FOIA request.

Before joining Mount Pleasant’s police force in March 2009, he had served as a correctional officer at the Al Cannon Detention Center since September 2007.

The documents do not indicate any earlier disciplinary issues with Ford.

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Another Guard Taken Hostage In Bishopville South Carolina Maximum Security Prison – Second Time In 3 Months

September 14, 2012

BISHOPVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – A corrections officer has been taken hostage at the same South Carolina maximum-security prison where another guard was taken hostage in June, a prison official said Thursday.

“The entire facility is on lockdown right now,” said Clark Newsom, a public information officer for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

The incident started just before 5 p.m. ET in the Chesterville dormitory of Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville, he said. Bishopville is about 55 miles west of the capital, Columbia.

It was not known how many inmates were involved, but each dormitory typically holds about 125 to 150 prisoners, he said.
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Convicted Horry County South Carolina Sex Offender Allowed To Continue Living Next Door To His 10 Year Old Victim

September 11, 2012

CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA — Chris Smith is outraged that Kerry Dane Marlowe still lives next door.

Marlowe has been convicted of criminal solicitation of a minor and is a registered sex offender because of an encounter between Marlowe and Smith’s 10-year-old daughter last fall across the chain link fence that separates their yards.

Accounts differ about what happened then and about what transpired between that day and the date of Marlowe’s sentencing hearing in mid-June.

But to the girl’s father, none of that matters.

“When it’s all stripped away,” Smith said, “I still have a convicted, registered sex offender living next door.”

Marlowe couldn’t be contacted for comment Monday afternoon, but his mother, Sally Osborne, said she doesn’t believe her son did anything to Smith’s daughter.

“If he did,” she said in her yard across the street from her son and the Smiths, “he was drunk.”

She said her son was depressed from a motorcycle accident some years ago and had been drinking a lot. She believes that Smith’s current wife, Laura Smith, fabricated the encounter between Marlowe and Smith’s daughter because she wants possession of the land where Marlowe lives.

“It’s just a feeling I’ve got,” she said. “It’s the way she acts.”

According to Chris Smith, his daughter was playing with Marlowe’s cat one day in the shade of an evergreen near the fence that separates the two yards. Smith said his daughter told him that Marlowe, who was standing on his side of the fence, started what would have been a criminal conversation by asking the 10-year-old her bra size. He then said he wanted to rub lotion on her, exposed himself to her and leaned over the fence to kiss her, Smith said.

The Sun News does not use the name of victims in sex-related charges. Smith gave approval to use his name.

According to Candice Lively, senior assistant 5th District solicitor who prosecuted the case, Marlowe did not try to grope the girl, but admitted he was drink and that he asked her if she would sleep with him.

According to Osborne, her son was drunk and didn’t remember anything.

After calming his daughter down and hearing what she said about the encounter, Smith said he called the Horry County Police, who arrested Marlowe within days on a charge of committing a lewd act on a minor.

At his probation hearing, Marlowe was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet so police could track his movement, and not to go within a mile of the neighborhood, Smith said.

Lively said that between that time and the mid-June sentencing hearing, she mailed two case information packets to Smith and made two telephone calls, but got no response. Smith said he never heard from the prosecutor.

Lively admits the two packets were sent to the wrong address — his mother’s house, in fact — and were never returned. She’s sure, though, that the two phone calls went to Smith’s phone, as she made a log entry for the one in January and he returned the one the day of the hearing.

She said that because of Horry County’s transient population, many times sexual predation is reported on children of people who have moved by the time the case gets to court.

“The family could have moved for all I knew,” Lively said of not reaching the victim’s family.

Smith said he doesn’t know what happened, but he never got the message Lively said she left on his phone in January. When he heard the June message on the afternoon of the sentencing hearing, he said he immediately tried to return the call, but was unsuccessful.

That was on a Friday, and the two finally sat down for a conversation the following Tuesday.

After that meeting, Lively said she believed Smith had a constitutional right to be heard, and asked for the case to be reopened. Marlowe pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation of a minor and was sentenced to four years’ probation and to stay at least 30 feet from Smith’s daughter. He moved back into his house next door to Smith’s the day after the sentencing hearing.

The judge couldn’t be convinced to change his original sentence, but Lively said she’s pretty sure that Marlowe is fearful of violating his probation. If he does, he goes immediately to prison, and she believes that Smith wouldn’t hesitate to notify authorities if an infraction occurred.

“Her daddy makes me have no concerns about her safety,” Lively said of Smith’s daughter.

Lively said the court couldn’t force Marlowe to sell his house, nor could it ban him from Horry County. But Chris Smith wonders why Marlowe wasn’t allowed within a mile of his daughter in his pre-sentencing probation and now can live next door.

Lively said that what Marlowe did was creepy, but she doesn’t believe he is a sex offender. He has none of the characteristics that fit the profile of a sex offender, she said.

Chris and Laura Smith said it would be rare for one or the other of them not to be home when his daughter is there, but should it happen, her 17-year-old brother is there and knows she is not to go outside.

When she does, the Smiths said one of them is with her.

Osborne said the Smiths’ children are outside now more than they have been in the past.

The Smiths laughed when they were told Osborne said the whole mess was cooked up by Laura Smith.

Chris Smith said he had to sleep with a gun outside his daughter’s bedroom for several days after the incident because she was so fearful, but added that she’s doing well now.

He’s trying to contact an Horry County legislator to get state law changed so that a convicted, registered sex offender cannot live within a mile of his victim, but as yet has not been able to get a meeting.

He’d sell his home and move, he said, but he doesn’t think anyone would buy it after discovering what’s next door.

Smith has lived in his house 10 years and said Marlowe has been his next door neighbor for six of them. The two were friendly, in a neighbor kind of way.

“We were on good terms,” he said. “We would help each other out.”

He said he did not notice that Marlowe seemed depressed and never smelled alcohol on his breath.

Osborne agreed that her son and Smith had been cordial with each other. She said her son watched Smith’s daughter grow up and she has no fear that there would ever be a reoccurrence of the circumstances that led to her son’s conviction, if they actually happened at all.

“Everything was going just fine,” she said. “I was just shocked. He would never bother them.”

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ID Theft: Savage Black Beast Assumed Doctor Friend’s ID And Saw 500 Patients

August 31, 2012

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — A man stole a physician’s identity and pretended to be a doctor for a year in South Carolina, and now investigators are combing through medical records to see whether he harmed any of the hundreds of patients he treated, authorities said.

Ernest Addo of Austell, Ga., is charged with unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretense, authorities said.

Addo doesn’t have a medical license in the U.S. But he assumed a doctor friend’s identity, getting a driver’s license and presenting the massive amount of paperwork needed to prove he was a doctor. The documents were given to him by the friend in hopes they could open a medical clinic together when the real doctor returned from a yearlong trip to Ghana, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said.

The real doctor, Arthur Kennedy, said he is embarrassed and devastated by what his friend did.

Addo did have some medical training, and acted enough like a doctor not to raise any serious suspicion beyond one nurse – interviewed after Addo’s Aug. 24, arrest – who wondered why he consulted ask.com when she questioned his treatment plan, Metts said.

The motive appears to be greed, the sheriff said. Court documents show Addo has a history of financial trouble.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show in the past 20 years, at least two dozen liens have been filed against Addo for around $200,000, including unpaid rent, credit card bills, student loans and taxes. Addo has declared bankruptcy twice.

After Addo’s arrest last week at his Georgia home, officers found fake IDs and other documents, and Metts said it appears Addo might have tried to fake his way through other lucrative careers, too. The sheriff wouldn’t specify which ones.

“He seems to be a professional con guy,” Metts said.

Authorities have said Addo received more than $10,000 for his services but declined to elaborate. One of the jobs also gave him the use of a Mercedes.

Addo, 48, has been jailed in Cobb County, Ga., since his arrest, and neither the sheriff nor jail officials knew if he had an attorney. Addo is refusing to talk to authorities, and both his home phone and cellphone have been disconnected.

Addo faces more than a decade in prison for his current charges, but he could end up in even more trouble. Metts said his investigators are reviewing the medical records of more than 500 patients Addo saw while at four Columbia-area senior centers and a rehabilitation center owned by Agape Senior Primary Care.

Metts said some of those patients died. He said more charges could follow if any of those deaths were linked to Addo’s actions.

Addo was hired as a general practitioner and provided the kind of exams patients would receive during a visit to the family doctor. Authorities said he also wrote prescriptions, including some for himself.

Officials at Agape are doing their own review of the care patients received from Addo. They said he never had sole clinical oversight of any patient.

“We have found no inappropriate diagnosis or plan of treatment. We are convinced that all of our patients are safe and receiving proper care,” Agape CEO Scott Middleton said in a statement.

Addo also worked as a contract doctor for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, filling in for a doctor on medical leave. Officials there said they also are reviewing Addo’s care and have not found any serious issues.

Patients treated by Addo could not be located by The Associated Press for comment.

Authorities started investigating Addo after he made a small mistake on a death certificate. South Carolina health officials trying to fix the error contacted the doctor Addo was impersonating. He told them he hadn’t practiced medicine for a year in the state because he was teaching at a medical school in Ghana.

Officials have refused to release that doctor’s name, but Kennedy confirmed his identity was stolen.

Kennedy said he was betrayed by his friend. Addo also obtained credit cards in Kennedy’s name, creating an even bigger mess to clean up, the doctor said Wednesday outside his home in Orangeburg.

He said he didn’t want to answer detailed questions about what happened until he spoke to a lawyer.

Both Kennedy and Addo are from Ghana. Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for president of the west African nation in 2008. He had a family practice in Orangeburg and spent plenty of time in his homeland, pushing for public health improvements. The two men resemble each other, and Addo used Kennedy’s reputation to help get him the doctor jobs. Agape said in a statement it hired him in part because he came highly recommended.

Both Agape and Jackson & Coker, the Alpharetta, Ga., physician recruitment firm that placed Addo with the Department of Mental Health, have promised to help authorities. Metts said it could take months for investigators to go through all the medical records.

Jackson & Coker also is exploring any legal action it could take against Addo and is shocked he was able to obtain all the documents someone would need to prove he was a doctor in the United States, spokeswoman Susan Meyers said.

“He was hired the same way in several different places,” Meyers said. “There were no red flags.”

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Veteran Saluda County South Carolina Deputy Sheriff Robert Lee Shorter Arrested, Suspended, And Charged With Drunk Driving While Driving Golf Cart On Roadway At 12:30 In The Morning

August 31, 2012

SALUDA COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – The South Carolina Highway Patrol arrested a Saluda County deputy early Saturday morning after investigators say he was driving a golf cart while intoxicated.

A spokesperson with the Highway Patrol says Robert Lee Shorter, a deputy with the Saluda County Sheriff’s Department, was pulled over while driving the golf cart on Chappells Ferry Road in Edgefield County. The arrest happened around 12:30 Saturday morning.

A spokesperson with the Highway Patrol says Shorter has been charged with DUI and operating an uninsured vehicle.

Shorter has been with the Saluda County Sheriff’s Department for 11 years, according to a representative of the department.

He has been suspended without pay pending an investigation.

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Dumb In Public: Charleston County South Carolina Sheriff Al Cannon Arrested And Charged After State Investigation Into His Attack On Man In Custody

August 30, 2012

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division say Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon was arrested on Tuesday on charges of third-degree assault and battery.

SLED says that Cannon was booked and fingerprinted at the Charleston County Detention Center. Cannon is out of custody after posting a $1,092 bond.

According to SLED, the arrest was a result of an investigation conducted by SLED at the request of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation pertained to an incident in January where authorities say Cannon slapped Timothy McManus, who is accused of leading deputies on a chase.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cannon said he was ready to face the consequences if he was charged in the incident. The York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett had recommended to the State Law Enforcement Division that Cannon be charged with third-degree assault and battery.

That charge carries a sentence of 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Furthermore, Cannon is prohibited from being within one block of where McManus lives or works.

“I have been up front about this since the beginning. What I did set a bad example. I want to apologize to Mr. McManus. What he did was dangerous, but I should not have reacted in that fashion,” Cannon said earlier on Tuesday.

In the wake of the incident, Cannon requested SLED investigate whether or not he broke the law. After investigating, SLED handed the case over to 16th circuit solicitor Kevin Brackett.

Brackett says all the deputies involved in the chase acted appropriately, but the evidence would support a charge of third-degree battery against the sheriff.

Cannon said in an earlier press conference on Tuesday that the slapping was very out of character for him, and if he is charged he plans on pleading guilty. However, he said he did not plan on resigning as sheriff.

McManus was arrested again this week for driving under suspension third-offense, being a habitual offender, borrowing or lending a license tag and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

He posted bond on Tuesday at $75,000.

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Folly Beach South Carolina Police Officer Ron Avallone Suspended After Not Arresting Pedophile Who Fondled Young Girl – Suspect Latter Assaulted Woman At An Apartment Complex

August 23, 2012

FOLLY BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Folly Beach police officer who city officials say didn’t arrest a sexual assault suspect has been suspended.

According to authorities, Officer Ron Avallone was suspended after he let Fred Rogers leave the beach in June after a young girl and her family complained that Rogers fondled her.

Rogers was questioned, but allowed to go. Police say just a few hours later, Rogers assaulted a woman at an apartment complex on Folly Road.

City leaders argue that if Avallone had done a proper investigation, Rogers would have been arrested and the woman would not have been assaulted.

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Former Anderson County South Carolina Deputy Sheriff mark Alan Miller Arrested, Charged With Misconduct In Office And Drug Dealing

August 5, 2012

ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – A former Anderson County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday and booked at the Anderson County Detention Center.

Mark Alan Miller, 31, faces misconduct in office and distribution of a controlled substance charges, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Earlier this summer, authorities say Miller conspired to distribute or buy hydrocodone, which is a controlled substance. Warrants say he intended to purchase or distribute the drug from his Anderson home.

It wasn’t immediately known if Miller had an attorney.

Miller is the second Anderson County deputy to face drug charges in less than two weeks. Earlier this month, SLED said Ronald Shane Thompson turned himself in on a charge of illegally possessing hydrocodone after the drug was found in his patrol car.

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BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

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St. George South Carolina Police Officer Richard Thomas Newman Sr. Charged With Domestic Violence After Twice Threatening To Kill His Spouse

July 21, 2012

SUMTER, SOUTH CAROLINA – A St. George police officer is facing charges after allegedly threatening his spouse during arguments in two separate incidents.

Richard Thomas Newman, Sr., 27, is charged with two counts of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say Newman is accused of pulling out his service weapon while dressed in his police uniform on July 12 and telling his spouse, “I’m going to shoot you in the foot” during an argument. He is also accused of telling his wife “I’m going to shoot you” on July 17 during another argument. Both incidents happened in Sumter County.

The report states that Newman turned himself in at the Sumter Law Enforcement Center and was transported to the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

The exact date that Newman turned himself in was not reported.

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Veteran Aiken County South Carolina Deputy Sheriff Arrested And Charged With Drunk Driving

June 21, 2012

AIKEN COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – News 12 has learned an Aiken County deputy has been arrested and fired for allegedly driving under the influence.

According to an official with the Wagener Police Department, Scott Baynham was stopped early Wednesday morning for a traffic violation. An officer smelled alcohol and asked him to take a field sobriety test. He allegedly failed the test and was arrested for DUI.

He was booked in the Aiken County Detention Center but has since been released.

Baynham was off duty and driving his personal vehicle.

According to officials at the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Baynham has been employed by them for the last six years.

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Douchebag Dorchester South Carolina Police Officers Use Taser Weapon On Naked 80 Year Old Woman – Afraid Of Her Cane

June 16, 2012

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Don’t tase the nude 80-year-old woman, bro.

Police in Dorchester County, S.C., used a Taser on a nude 80-year-old woman after she allegedly attempted to attack police with her walking stick. WCSC reports that when police answered a complaint of someone making loud noises in the area, they were met by an elderly woman wearing no clothes on her porch, reportedly hitting the steps of her porch with her cane.

According to police, the woman, who spoke “confusingly,” began to swing her cane at the officers when police tried to take it away from the nude woman. As police continued to talk the woman out of swinging her cane at them, another officer used his Taser on the woman’s back. The woman was immediately transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment.

When police investigated the area, they discovered that the woman, a former tenant, had broken three windows at the property after the owner attempted to give the deposit back to the woman.

WCSC reports that no charges were filed against the woman despite the $250 worth of property damage.

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Cheraw South Carolina Police Officer David Warren Watson Arrested, Fired, And Charged With Drunk Driving In Unmarked Patrol Car

June 7, 2012

CHERAW, SOUTH CAROLINA – Suspicious driving in the parking lot at Bojangle’s in Chesterfield, at nearly 3 a.m. Saturday morning, prompted a concerned citizen to call the police, and ultimately led to the arrest of David Warren Watson, an off-duty Cheraw police officer, for driving his unmarked police car under the influence of alcohol, according to police.

According to the incident report from the Chesterfield Police Department, the responding officer, Cpl. Robert Adams, saw a vehicle leaving the parking lot at Bojangle’s that matched the description given; a white car with tinted windows. The report said the caller had seen the car “backing around in circles and pulling up parallel with the building in the truck section of the parking lot.”

Adams followed the vehicle and said he was planning “to perform a traffic stop to identify the subject and inquire why the subject was in the parking lot at that time of night,” when the suspect turned into the driveway at 911 W. Main Street in Chesterfield, Watson’s home.

Adams turned on his blue lights and pulled in behind the suspect. When the suspect got out of the car, Adams recognized him as a member of the Cheraw Police force. He also noted that Watson was barefooted, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and had a “slurred speech,” the report said.

Although no open containers, or other evidence, was found in the car, Adams said “there was an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle as well as from his person.”

The report said, “Watson admitted that he had been drinking earlier that day.” However, he refused to take a field sobriety test, police said.

Watson was told to wait by the car for minute, but instead, followed Adams toward the patrol car in a “wide and erratic step,” said Adams, “which inferred that he was impaired.”

Adams then asked Watson to stand at the rear of his patrol car while he put in a call to Chesterfield Police Chief Eric Hewitt. When Adams looked back over his shoulder, Watson “was going inside the door of the house” and managed to lock the wooden door just as Adams reached the storm door.

Watson then refused to respond or to unlock the door. It was not until after Lt. Lisenby prepared a search warrant, and went to Judge Davis’ residence to get it approved and signed, that Watson emerged, police said.

“Upon return Chief Hewitt and Keith Thomas from the Cheraw Police Department had talked Watson into coming out,” said Adams. He was arrested without further incident.

Cheraw Chief of Police Jay Brooks has issued this statement: “David Watson is a fine officer and person who has made a very dangerous mistake. We deeply regret this for him, his family and friends, and this department.

“He will be afforded the full ‘due process’ of the law, as anyone would, however due to violation of several department and town policies, Mr. Watson is terminated effective immediately. The men and women in law enforcement are held to a higher standard, as are all people that work in public service,” Brooks said.

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Crazed Myrtle Beach South Carolina Police Arrest And Jail Mother For Cheering At Her Daughter’s Graduation

June 5, 2012

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA – In some places it’s fine to be proud of your graduating children — just not too proud.

A mother in South Carolina was arrested moments after she cheered for her daughter as she walked across the stage to accept her diploma.

Shannon Cooper was handcuffed at the South Florence High School graduation ceremony and charged with disorderly conduct.

“Are ya’ll serious? Are ya’ll for real? I mean, that’s what I’m thinking in my mind,” Cooper told WPDE in Myrtle Beach. “I didn’t say anything. I was just, like, ‘OK, I can’t fight the law.’“

School officials had announced before the ceremony that anyone cheering or screaming for those graduating would be escorted from the building.

Cooper’s daughter, Iesha, wasn’t aware her mother had been arrested until she was informed by friends while she was still participating in the festivities.

Police placed Cooper in a detention center before releasing her on $225 bond.

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Savage Black Beast Taking Picture Stabbed Man Who Walked In Front Of Camera

May 28, 2012

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA – A 29-year-old North Carolina man remains jailed in Myrtle Beach after police charged him in connection with a stabbing that occurred early Sunday where the victim allegedly walked in front of him taking a photo, according to authorities.

Brian Terrell Strayhorne, 29, of Rocky Mount, N.C., is being held pending a bond hearing on a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, police said.

The charge stemmed from 3:15 a.m. Sunday when police were called to 901 S. Ocean Blvd., for a stabbing at the Captain Quarters.

Officers learned the 26-year-old victim had been walking along Ocean Boulevard with his brother when he unknowingly walked in front of Strayhorne, who was taking a photograph, according to the report. The men argued and fought.

During the fight, the victim was stabbed with an unknown object, according to the report. Strayhorne was found at The Palms motel at 703 S. Ocean Blvd., and the victim was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Detectives are investigating the incident. The report did not list any additional details.

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Yemassee South Carolina Police Officer Capt. Gregory Alexander Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After $11,000 Goes Missing

May 26, 2012

YEMASSEE, SOUTH CAROLINA — A police captain from the Lowcountry community of Yemassee has been suspended without pay after being charged with talking almost $11,000 seized in police traffic stops.

The Beaufort Gazette reports town officials were notified this week that Capt. Gregory Alexander had been charged with one count of misconduct in office and two counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

He says he has full faith and confidence in the officer and that the matter will be resolved.

Police Chief Jack Hagy said the charges follow a State Law Enforcement Division investigation. Investigators say the money came from traffic stops in 2009 and 2010.

Hagy says the department is standing by Alexander. He says he has full faith and confidence in the officer and that the matter will be resolved. A phone number for Alexander could not be located.

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Darlington County South Carolina Deputy Sheriff Suspended For 5 Days After Wrecking SUV

May 8, 2012

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA –  A Darlington County Sheriff’s Deputy has been suspended without pay for a period of five days, Sheriff Wayne Byrd announced Tuesday.

The action was taken in connection with March traffic accident.

The deputy, who is an agent with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Division, was responding to a report of shots fired at a fellow officer when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle in which he and two fellow deputies were traveling. The accident occurred when the agent attempted to avoid a car that pulled out in front him. South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) investigated the incident.

“This was an unfortunate event involving a good officer,” Byrd said. “He loves and serves the people of Darlington County and would never intentionally put them at risk.”

The DCSO was unable to move forward with any disciplinary action until the SCHP’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) issued their report. That report was received Tuesday, and immediate action was taken.

“I have reviewed the findings of the Highway Patrol’s MAIT Team. I have taken into account the circumstances that set this all into motion, and I have also considered the deputy’s background and record of service,” Byrd said.

“This punishment is tough but fair and reflects the fact that the deputy made a mistake in judgment,” Byrd said. “I have also ordered a review of our call response policies and have ordered all our personnel to be updated on them.”

No one involved in the accident sustained serious injuries.

The agent’s name will not be released because of the nature of his job at the DCSO.

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Kid Singled Out And Suspended From School For Red Hair In Greer South Carolina

April 16, 2012

GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA – How red is too red to be considered “unnatural” for a hair color?

That’s what one Greenville County family is asking after their 13-year-old daughter was given in-school suspension for a hair color one of her teachers said was against the rules.

Hannah Adams and her friend dyed parts of their hair red at the beginning of spring break, and were sent to ISS on Tuesday when they returned to school. Adams said getting in trouble, and dying her hair a darker color than normal to cover the red has been a bigger distraction than when her hair was red.

The middle school’s dress code policy states: “Clothing and/or hair should not disrupt the educational process… Non-human hair color is not permitted.”

Hannah’s mother, Kimberly Adams, said the language is too vague since red can technically be a human hair color.

She says she wouldn’t send her kids to school with outrageous styles or colors, though. She says she and Hannah have both seen others at Riverside Middle with multi colored “unnatural” hair color.

The Adams’ think this week’s punishment and possible permanent record aren’t fair.

“[The administrators] keep going back to the handbook and going back to the policy and it should be that way across the board or it should not be that way at all,” said Kimberly Adams.

Hannah Adams hopes something can be worked out so that she can go on planned field trip Friday. Right now, her stint in ISS prevents her from participating.

The Greenville County School District said the principal has spoken with the Adams’, but that the rules, are the rules.

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A-Hole South Carolina State Trooper D.P. Boulware Targets Motorist With Intimidating Letter To Lawyer Demanding He Plead Guilty Or Go To Jail

April 1, 2012

YORK COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA — A harshly worded letter written by a South Carolina state trooper is raising concerns with the state Highway Patrol.

Eyewitness News obtained a copy of the letter after a man was stopped for reckless driving in York County. That driver did not want to talk about the incident, or have his name used in this story.

The letter is from South Carolina Trooper D.P. Boulware of York County to the offender’s lawyer. The lawyer’s name has also been marked out on the letter, so Eyewitness News was not able to contact the attorney for comment.

Here’s what the letter says:

“Please advise your client that he has until the 16th of March to enter a guilty plea to the pending charge. If there is no plea entered by this date, I will request jail time in lieu of a fine. Even if a guilty plea is entered after this date I will still request from Judge Grayson that your client spend time in jail as opposed to a fine. This is a case of your client wasting the time of both myself and the court presiding. I would never oppose anyone who questions their guilt requesting the verdict of a jury. However, this is an obvious attempt by your client to avoid responsibility for an offense of which he knows he is guilty. A copy of this letter will be on file with the presiding court.”

Eyewitness News brought that letter to the attention of commanders at the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

“I can tell you that’s not what we expect from our troopers,” said spokesman Bryan McDougald. “That letter was worded harshly, and strongly.”

In South Carolina, state troopers don’t just write tickets and stop drunk and reckless drivers. They also act as lawyers, and must prosecute their own cases in court.

Cases are often delayed or repeatedly continued for many reasons. McDougald said sometimes that’s frustrating to keep showing up for court and not being able to present a case. Still, he said that doesn’t mean a trooper’s attitude can change.

“If we’ve been to court 25 times this year, it should be no different than if it’s the first time. Even it’s the same person because that’s their day in court. They have a right to a fair trial.”

McDougald said the letter is being sent up the chain of command for a review. It’s not clear if any action will be taken, but Channel 9 learned that Trooper Boulware remains on active duty while the Highway Patrol investigates.

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South Carolina Lt. Governor Ken Ard Quits Amid Criminal Charges, Pleads Guilty In Federal Court For A TINY Slap On The Wrist

March 9, 2012

SOUTH CAROLINA – The lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Ken Ard, resigned on Friday and pleaded guilty to criminal charges of spending campaign funds on personal expenses and fabricating donations.

In a cascade of orchestrated events, Mr. Ard resigned in the morning, was indicted at 1 p.m. and then pleaded guilty at 3.

Apparently as part of a plea deal, Mr. Ard appeared before Judge G. Thomas Cooper of Circuit Court in Columbia, S.C., and pleaded guilty to all seven misdemeanor charges lodged against him. Judge Cooper then sentenced him to five years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. He could have faced up to $35,000 in fines and seven years in prison.

The indictment, announced by the state attorney general, Alan Wilson, charged Mr. Ard with what Mr. Wilson said was an effort to create “the false appearance of a groundswell of political support” by reporting $162,500 in “fictitious or bogus campaign contributions.” He also spent campaign donations on personal items, including iPads, clothes, football tickets and family vacations, the indictment said.

In a statement, Mr. Ard, 48, a Republican, admitted wrongdoing and apologized. “During my campaign, it was my responsibility to make sure things were done correctly. I did not do that,” he wrote. “I am deeply sorry and take full responsibility for the entire situation.”

Before running for lieutenant governor in 2010, Mr. Ard operated the truck manufacturing company that his father founded and served on the Florence County Council. In hindsight, his elaborate efforts to deceive voters may not have been necessary. He easily won election in an overwhelmingly Republican state.

But in order to give his campaign a sense of momentum, Mr. Ard funneled donations to individuals and then back to his campaign, and exaggerated the size of real contributions, according to the indictment.

The rapid series of events — from resignation to indictment to plea — brought new focus on a state with a history of political scandals. The former governor, Mark Sanford, admitted violating campaign spending laws and was censured by state legislators after confessing to an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

A grand jury had been investigating Mr. Ard since July. He has already paid more than $72,000 in fines and other costs after an ethics commission found he improperly spent funds after winning election. His violation of campaign laws was first reported by The Free Times in Columbia.

“This investigation is unprecedented in terms of who is involved and what crimes are alleged,” said Mr. Wilson, the state attorney general. “To our knowledge, the creation of such a fictitious campaign has never been criminally charged in the state’s history.”

By state law, the Senate president pro tem, Glenn McConnell, becomes lieutenant governor.

Gov. Nikki R. Haley issued a statement calling Mr. Ard and his family “good people” and not commenting on the charges. “I valued Ken’s partnership and wish Ken and his family all of the best going forward,” she said.

In his statement, Mr. Ard said no one else from his campaign deserved punishment. “There are no excuses nor is there need to share blame,” he wrote. “It is my fault that the events of the past year have taken place.”

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Illegal Immigrant Involved In Deadly Hit And Run – Killed Moron Riding Moped On South Carolina Interstate

January 22, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – The man accused of hitting and killing a moped driver on I-26 early Saturday morning is being held in jail with no bond because officials say he is in the country illegally.

Authorities say 29-year-old Lyson Soram has been charged with leaving the scene with death after troopers say he hit a woman riding on a moped at about 4 a.m. on I-26 near I-20, and then drove away in his 2002 Dodge minivan. The crash shut down the eastbound lanes of I-26 for about 5 hours.

Coroner Harry Harman identified the victim as 31-year-old Miranda Senn of West Columbia. Harman said Senn died at the scene.

Senn’s funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Brookland United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Celestial Memorial Gardens.

The mother of two was a member of Brookland United Methodist Church and a 1998 graduate of Brookland-Cayce High School.

Sorem is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement has a hold on him because deputies say he entered the country illegally.

The collision is still under investigation by the Highway Patrol MAIT Team.

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Spartanburg County South Carolina Sheriff Urges Residents To Buy And Carry Firearms After Woman Attacked In Park – “Don’t Get Mace. Get A Firearm.”

October 31, 2011

PARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. — The Spartanburg County Sheriff is known for speaking his mind, and at a news conference on Monday, he didn’t hold back his anger and frustration after a woman was attacked in a park over the weekend.

Investigators said 46-year-old Walter Lance grabbed a woman who was walking her dog in Milliken Park on Sunday afternoon. They said Lance choked the woman, made her take off her clothing and tried to rape her. (Full Story)

Lance is in custody and was denied bond on Monday.

Sheriff Chuck Wright opened his news conference by saying, “Our form of justice is not making it.”

He said, “Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.”

Wright said Lance had been charged numerous times with crimes against women, and other crimes such as resisting arrest and escape. Wright said Lance had been on probation for a federal gun charge.

He referred to Lance repeatedly as an “animal,” and expressed his disgust about Lance’s long record and the attack.

Wright said Lance has had more than 20 charges dating back to 1983.

Wright said Lance has been in jail more often than he has, and he runs the jail, and he said Lance gets out easier. Wright punctuated it by saying, “And I’m aggravated.”

He said he doesn’t believe every person needs to be kept in jail, but he said, “I don’t think this animal deserves to be out in our society, walking alongside our women.”

Wright said,”Liberals call me and tell me the chain-gang form of justice isn’t working. Well, let me inform you, your form of justice isn’t working either.”

He said Lance should not have had the right or opportunity to “violate a good, upstanding woman.”

“This is a horrific crime,” Wright said. “Her life was threatened so many times.”

He said Lance “doesn’t fight police or men folk — he just goes after women.” He said Lance is not married because, “No woman can stay married to him because he beats them down too much.”

Wright said, “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.” He said people are tired of doing the right thing and criminals getting away with their actions.

He said several times, “I want you to get a concealed weapons permit.”

At one point, Wright held up a fanny pack and said, “They make this right here where you can conceal a small pistol in them. They got one called The Judge that shoots a .45 or a .410 shell. You ain’t got to be accurate; you just have to get close.”

Wright said, “I’m tired of looking at victims saying, ‘There’s life after this’ … I’m tired of saying, ‘We’re sorry, we can’t keep them in jail.'”

Wright said in his view, gun control is, “Is when you can get you barrel back on the target quick. That’s gun control.”

Wright said the attack is not the fault of Millken Park. He said, “It’s a nice place for families.”

He said officers patrol the area all the time and respond to various calls there. He said, “Don’t blame anyone for having an animal on their property … We can’t get it all.”

He encouraged women to walk in groups, and he ended by saying again, “I want you to get a concealed weapons permit. Don’t get Mace. Get a firearm.”

And then he said, “I think I better stop before I get sanctioned.”

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Colleton County South Carolina Sheriff George Malone’s Wife Attacks His Secretary, From Outside A Moving Car, Ends Up Under A Wheel

March 24, 2011

WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA – Authorities say Colleton County Sheriff George Malone’s wife is accused of attacking the sheriff’s secretary while holding onto the victim’s moving car.
* Man accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting woman

The victim told police she was talking to Sheriff Malone in a restaurant parking lot around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, when the sheriff’s wife, Pamela Malone, pulled up.

Pamela Malone told authorities that as she was driving by Arby’s, she saw her husband and his secretary parked behind Arby’s. Malone said she then turned around and went back to the restaurant.

According to the victim, Sheriff Malone and his wife got into a verbal altercation and the sheriff then got into his vehicle and left.

Pamela Malone told police that she heard the secretary say, “I’ll see you back at the office” in a sarcastic way to the sheriff. Malone also said that the secretary told her she was crazy.

Pamela Malone then tried to assault the victim, according to the incident report.

A police report states that as the victim slowly proceeded to pull off from the parking lot, Pamela Malone suddenly ran to the victim’s vehicle and attempted to assault her through the open driver’s side window.

The victim said that out of fear of being assaulted by the woman, she kept her vehicle moving. Pamela Malone then grabbed a hold of the driver and door and held on while continuously trying to striker her, the victim said.

According to authorities, the victim kept moving and Malone started yelling that she was going to take the victim down. The sheriff’s office report states that the victim told deputies that she begged Malone to let go of the door, but Malone said she was not going to let go and kept yelling she was going to “Take her down.”

A report states that the victim pulled into a driveway next to a different restaurant, where she hit a hump and Malone lost her grip and fell in the driveway.

The victim said she heard Malone yelling, “My leg.”

The Walterboro Police Department say they spoke to Pamela Malone and that she gave a different story in the confrontation.

Pamela Malone said that as she ran over to the secretary’s car, the secretary rolled up the window so that both of Malone’s hands were stuck. Malone says that the secretary then drove off and proceeded to drag her.

According to Malone, the car hit a bump at which time Malone fell off with her left leg being run over by the car.

Malone was transported to MUSC as a result of the injuries sustained during the incident. No charges have been filed. So far, Sheriff Malone has declined to comment.

Colleton County Solicitor Duffie Stone released commented on Thursday, “Because the incident involves an elected official and the employee of a law enforcement agency, I have asked that the investigation be handed over to the State Law Enforcement Division.”

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South Carolina May Target Motorists – Seeks Huge Pile Of Money For Tiny Speeding Infractions – Fines 10 Times Current Minimum

March 9, 2011

South Carolina is considering a bill that would allow police to slap $150 tickets on motorists caught driving less than 10 mph over the limit –10 times the current minimum — but let them skip reporting the tickets to shield low-speed offenders from higher insurance premiums.

According to the bipartisan legislation, windfall revenues would be split between the state and the towns or cities that issue tickets.

It’s not clear how much money the proposal, which was introduced last month and is now under review in a legislative committee, would raise. South Carolina faces a $800 million-plus budget shortfall.

But state Rep. Todd Rutherford, a Democratic co-sponsor of the bill, told FoxNews.com that the legislation isn’t aimed at closing the deficit. While the local ticketing process would help divert revenues from insurance companies to the cash-strapped state, Rutherford said it’s directed at providing additional protections for motorists.

“My biggest thing is motorists should have an option and law enforcement should have an option,” he said.

Under current South Carolina law, low-level speeders are fined anywhere from $15 to $25 and all traffic tickets are required to be reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles where points are assessed according to the law.

Insurers say the targeted ticketing won’t make much difference for motorists since they no longer determine insurance costs according to a violator’s rate of speed. These days, insurers look at a wide range of factors when determining premiums.

“Driving points do count, but they’re not the immediate rate-raisers that they used to be,” Alicia Jackson, operations manager for S.C. Insurance News Service, an insurance industry trade group, told FoxNews.com.

Rutherford said that is “partially” true because premiums are determined by violations on a motorist’s record, regardless of what the violation is. So not listing violations means reduced insurance rates for motorists.

At the same time, he said he thinks most motorists would be willing to fork over $150 under the new scenario.

“If it doesn’t get reported, most people don’t mind paying,” he said.

Rutherford said he’s also not concerned by worries that the bill could bring back the days when police pocketed the fines or municipalities withheld the state’s share.

“They can’t do that in South Carolina,” he said, explaining that over the last 10 years, only one or two troopers have been caught pocketing fines. “The ones caught were taking it from illegals because they thought they wouldn’t report it.”

He added that most motorists don’t carry much cash on them so they wouldn’t hand the fine directly over to police.

Several of the state’s 46 counties already have laws on the books that create careless-driving tickets as alternatives to a statewide traffic violation, reported The State newspaper, which detailed the legislative debate. The state law would apply across the state’s 270 municipalities.

Careless-driving laws began to rise in popularity with towns and cities in the early 1980s and even more so in the mid-1990s when the state began tacking on several new fees to pay for a slew of programs related to public safety and the criminal justice system, the newspaper reported.

“It was both an attempt to dodge insurance points and to dodge the court fees imposed by the state,” Howard Duvall, the former longtime director of the Municipal Association of South Carolina, told the newspaper.

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Federal Judge Orders South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster To Shut The F*ck Up

May 23, 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA – A federal judge has ruled South Carolina’s attorney general must keep his mouth shut about threatening to prosecute Craigslist over ads for prostitution.

US District Judge Weston Houck granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary judgment against Attorney General Henry McMaster on Friday to “refrain from initiating or pursuing any prosecution against craigslist or its officer” in regards to content posted on the site.

McMaster is currently the subject of a lawsuit from Craigslist over his publicized threats to launch a criminal investigation against the online classified website for allegedly aiding and abetting prostitution.

Two weeks ago, McMaster demanded Craigslist remove the site’s “adult services” listings for South Carolina within 10 days or face possible criminal prosecution.

Eight days after the threat, Craigslist announced it would shutter the category on May 20 and replace it with a new section where each posting would be manually reviewed. When McMaster announced he would still continue pursing a criminal investigation, Craiglist filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief against such action.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster claims the website isn’t liable for content posted by third parties based on First Amendment free speech rights and under Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 essentially states that providers of interactive computer services aren’t considered publishers of information provided by their users for purposes of legal liability.

McMaster, who is considering a run for governor next year, intriguingly declared the lawsuit against his office “good news,” saying it “shows that craiglist is taking the matter seriously for the first time.”

Both McMaster and Craigslist have agreed to the judge’s restraining order.

Appeared Here


Federal Judge Orders South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster To Shut The F*ck Up

May 23, 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA – A federal judge has ruled South Carolina’s attorney general must keep his mouth shut about threatening to prosecute Craigslist over ads for prostitution.

US District Judge Weston Houck granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary judgment against Attorney General Henry McMaster on Friday to “refrain from initiating or pursuing any prosecution against craigslist or its officer” in regards to content posted on the site.

McMaster is currently the subject of a lawsuit from Craigslist over his publicized threats to launch a criminal investigation against the online classified website for allegedly aiding and abetting prostitution.

Two weeks ago, McMaster demanded Craigslist remove the site’s “adult services” listings for South Carolina within 10 days or face possible criminal prosecution.

Eight days after the threat, Craigslist announced it would shutter the category on May 20 and replace it with a new section where each posting would be manually reviewed. When McMaster announced he would still continue pursing a criminal investigation, Craiglist filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief against such action.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster claims the website isn’t liable for content posted by third parties based on First Amendment free speech rights and under Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 essentially states that providers of interactive computer services aren’t considered publishers of information provided by their users for purposes of legal liability.

McMaster, who is considering a run for governor next year, intriguingly declared the lawsuit against his office “good news,” saying it “shows that craiglist is taking the matter seriously for the first time.”

Both McMaster and Craigslist have agreed to the judge’s restraining order.

Appeared Here


Former Dorchester County South Carolina County Jail Chief Arnold Pastor Sentenced To Just 18 Months After Stealing $363,000

March 10, 2009

ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA — Arnold Pastor, the former Dorchester County jail chief accused of siphoning off $363,000 from a jail account, will spend 18 months on the other side of the bars.

He took one final look at his wife Wednesday and walked out of the courtroom between two deputies.

Circuit Judge James Williams could have given him 10 years.

Pastor’s attorney, Robby Robbins, argued that Pastor has been cooperating with the county to make things right and is working on paying back the rest.

“I just don’t think, in this particular situation, incarcerating him is going to do anything to help the county,” Robbins said.

Williams said he was impressed with Pastor’s efforts but couldn’t simply let him off.

“This is a pretty serious matter,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of money. … For me to let you walk out of here today … would not send a good message to the people of Dorchester County.”

Pastor got in trouble after County Council asked for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office spending. The audit didn’t find any problems with then-Sheriff Ray Nash, other than not keeping a close enough eye on Pastor, who had unfettered access to the jail fund. Nash chose not to run for re-election after the audit.

The forensic auditor and an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division discovered that $363,000 had been diverted between 2005 and 2007 from a jail fund into a personal account Pastor set up. The money came from inmate phone calls, haircuts, medical charges, snacks and processing fees, as well as money inmates had on them when they were put in jail.
Previous stories

Ex-Dorchester jail chief appears in court; Pastor charged with embezzling funds, published 04/23/08

Report details missing jail cash; $360,000 spent as quickly as it came in, audit shows, published 04/22/08

Robbins told the judge that Pastor didn’t spend the money on anything extravagant and that his wife, Tammy, had medical problems. Pastor had been working for the Sheriff’s Office since 1996 and was making less than $40,000 a year when he took the money, Robbins said. Pastor also was a firearms instructor, SWAT team member and dive team leader.

Pastor acknowledged taking the money.

“I’m just so sorry for what I’ve done,” he told the judge. “It’s been really hard and I’m sorry.”

Pastor has been trying to pay back the money, Robbins told the judge. He signed over his house and 8 acres of land in St. George to Dorchester County. A recent appraisal shows the equity to be about $150,000, Robbins said.

Pastor also gave the county a trailer that Robbins said might be worth $15,000. Pastor also signed an agreement to give the county anything of value for the next 10 years to help pay back what he took, as well as the extra cost of the audit.

Tammy Pastor will keep a small house in Hanahan that’s in her name and valued at about $60,000, Robbins said. The Pastors have been married since 1986 and have a daughter in college.

Robbins also asked Williams to consider the danger of putting a former law enforcement officer in prison.

“As a former jailer, I would consider him a marked man in our state prison system,” Robbins told the judge.

Sometimes former law enforcement officers who end up in prison are jailed separately to protect them, S.C. Department of Corrections Communications Director Josh Gelinas said after the court hearing. He said he couldn’t say what would happen to Pastor until his situation is evaluated.

After the hearing, Robbins said he thought the sentence was “fair.”

“That’s about as good as we could expect,” he said.

Dale Scott, a prosecutor with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, summed up the case against Pastor but did not recommend a sentence.

“We just hope this sends a message this is something we take very seriously any time somebody takes public funds,” he said after Pastor was led away.

Appeared Here


Former Dorchester County South Carolina County Jail Chief Arnold Pastor Sentenced To Just 18 Months After Stealing $363,000

March 10, 2009

ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA — Arnold Pastor, the former Dorchester County jail chief accused of siphoning off $363,000 from a jail account, will spend 18 months on the other side of the bars.

He took one final look at his wife Wednesday and walked out of the courtroom between two deputies.

Circuit Judge James Williams could have given him 10 years.

Pastor’s attorney, Robby Robbins, argued that Pastor has been cooperating with the county to make things right and is working on paying back the rest.

“I just don’t think, in this particular situation, incarcerating him is going to do anything to help the county,” Robbins said.

Williams said he was impressed with Pastor’s efforts but couldn’t simply let him off.

“This is a pretty serious matter,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of money. … For me to let you walk out of here today … would not send a good message to the people of Dorchester County.”

Pastor got in trouble after County Council asked for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office spending. The audit didn’t find any problems with then-Sheriff Ray Nash, other than not keeping a close enough eye on Pastor, who had unfettered access to the jail fund. Nash chose not to run for re-election after the audit.

The forensic auditor and an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division discovered that $363,000 had been diverted between 2005 and 2007 from a jail fund into a personal account Pastor set up. The money came from inmate phone calls, haircuts, medical charges, snacks and processing fees, as well as money inmates had on them when they were put in jail.
Previous stories

Ex-Dorchester jail chief appears in court; Pastor charged with embezzling funds, published 04/23/08

Report details missing jail cash; $360,000 spent as quickly as it came in, audit shows, published 04/22/08

Robbins told the judge that Pastor didn’t spend the money on anything extravagant and that his wife, Tammy, had medical problems. Pastor had been working for the Sheriff’s Office since 1996 and was making less than $40,000 a year when he took the money, Robbins said. Pastor also was a firearms instructor, SWAT team member and dive team leader.

Pastor acknowledged taking the money.

“I’m just so sorry for what I’ve done,” he told the judge. “It’s been really hard and I’m sorry.”

Pastor has been trying to pay back the money, Robbins told the judge. He signed over his house and 8 acres of land in St. George to Dorchester County. A recent appraisal shows the equity to be about $150,000, Robbins said.

Pastor also gave the county a trailer that Robbins said might be worth $15,000. Pastor also signed an agreement to give the county anything of value for the next 10 years to help pay back what he took, as well as the extra cost of the audit.

Tammy Pastor will keep a small house in Hanahan that’s in her name and valued at about $60,000, Robbins said. The Pastors have been married since 1986 and have a daughter in college.

Robbins also asked Williams to consider the danger of putting a former law enforcement officer in prison.

“As a former jailer, I would consider him a marked man in our state prison system,” Robbins told the judge.

Sometimes former law enforcement officers who end up in prison are jailed separately to protect them, S.C. Department of Corrections Communications Director Josh Gelinas said after the court hearing. He said he couldn’t say what would happen to Pastor until his situation is evaluated.

After the hearing, Robbins said he thought the sentence was “fair.”

“That’s about as good as we could expect,” he said.

Dale Scott, a prosecutor with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, summed up the case against Pastor but did not recommend a sentence.

“We just hope this sends a message this is something we take very seriously any time somebody takes public funds,” he said after Pastor was led away.

Appeared Here


Elderly Man Held On Minor Trespassing Charge Beaten To Death In Berkeley County South Carolina Jail

March 7, 2009

BERKELEY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – The family of a Berkeley County man who died after allegedly being attacked in jail said the attack happened when he was sleeping.

It happened back on February 23rd, but the victim, 64-year-old Nathaniel Sanders died late Wednesday night after being taken off life support.

Sanders’ grand-daughter, Lakeshia Shepherd, still can’t believe what the man accused of beating her grandfather said in court.

At a recent court hearing, Shepherd said her relatives told her Andres Glenn told the judge he killed Sanders on purpose.

“For someone like me to hear someone else’s father say they meant to kill my grandfather makes me to see him get the highest penalty that he can get,” Shepherd said.

Glenn, 47, is now charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

Investigators say Glenn beat sanders with a wheelchair that belonged to a third inmate.

All three were part of the general population at the jail.

“Knowing that he is still locked up and he took my grandfather’s life. He can take someone else’s life.”

Shepherd described her grandfather as “very loving, caring, funny, kind.”

Sanders was a father figure to many in the family, Shepherd said.

“It makes me feel terrible knowing that he’s a mental patient and he was in a cell with other mental patients and someone just attacked him while he was asleep.”

She had no chance to say goodbye.

Depending on autopsy results, Glenn’s charge of assault and battery with intent to kill could be upgraded to murder.

Glenn is no stranger criminal activity. His long criminal record goes back to 1982 and has convictions that included forgery, attempted robbery and grand larceny.

Sanders was being held on a charge of trespassing after notice and evading arrest. State investigators are also looking into Sanders’ death.

Appeared Here


Elderly Man Held On Minor Trespassing Charge Beaten To Death In Berkeley County South Carolina Jail

March 7, 2009

BERKELEY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – The family of a Berkeley County man who died after allegedly being attacked in jail said the attack happened when he was sleeping.

It happened back on February 23rd, but the victim, 64-year-old Nathaniel Sanders died late Wednesday night after being taken off life support.

Sanders’ grand-daughter, Lakeshia Shepherd, still can’t believe what the man accused of beating her grandfather said in court.

At a recent court hearing, Shepherd said her relatives told her Andres Glenn told the judge he killed Sanders on purpose.

“For someone like me to hear someone else’s father say they meant to kill my grandfather makes me to see him get the highest penalty that he can get,” Shepherd said.

Glenn, 47, is now charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

Investigators say Glenn beat sanders with a wheelchair that belonged to a third inmate.

All three were part of the general population at the jail.

“Knowing that he is still locked up and he took my grandfather’s life. He can take someone else’s life.”

Shepherd described her grandfather as “very loving, caring, funny, kind.”

Sanders was a father figure to many in the family, Shepherd said.

“It makes me feel terrible knowing that he’s a mental patient and he was in a cell with other mental patients and someone just attacked him while he was asleep.”

She had no chance to say goodbye.

Depending on autopsy results, Glenn’s charge of assault and battery with intent to kill could be upgraded to murder.

Glenn is no stranger criminal activity. His long criminal record goes back to 1982 and has convictions that included forgery, attempted robbery and grand larceny.

Sanders was being held on a charge of trespassing after notice and evading arrest. State investigators are also looking into Sanders’ death.

Appeared Here


Olympic Champion Not Charged After Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Pisses Away Tax Dollars Investigating Photograph

February 17, 2009

RICHLAND COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps will not face criminal charges in connection with a November party at which he was photographed using a bong, a South Carolina sheriff said Monday.
Michael Phelps admitted “regrettable behavior” after a photo of him using a bong was published.

Michael Phelps admitted “regrettable behavior” after a photo of him using a bong was published.

“We do not believe we have enough evidence to prosecute anyone” who was at the party in Columbia, South Carolina, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters, adding that authorities are ending their investigation into Phelps.

“We had a photo, and we had him saying he was sorry for his inappropriate behavior,” Lott said. “That behavior could have been going to a party. … He never said, ‘I smoked marijuana.’ He never confessed to that. We didn’t have physical evidence. We didn’t have enough where we could go arrest him.”

Phelps, 23, who won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, admitted “regrettable behavior” after a British newspaper published the photograph about two weeks ago. The tabloid News of the World showed Phelps using the bong during what it said was a November party at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Video Watch the sheriff say he won’t prosecute Phelps »

A bong is a device commonly used to smoke marijuana. University police and Columbia police both said they would not pursue charges against Phelps.

Lott said he has not spoken to Phelps, but hopes the swimming champion has learned from his mistakes and is willing to share an anti-drug message with children.

Phelps said Monday he had learned some “important lessons” from the incident.
Don’t Miss

* Phelps grateful for support, focused on training
* Phelps suspended from competition
* Phelps admits ‘bad judgment’ after marijuana-pipe photo

“I’m glad this matter is put to rest,” he said in a written statement. “But there are also some important lessons that I’ve learned. For me, it’s all about recognizing that I used bad judgment and it’s a mistake I won’t make again. For young people especially — be careful about the decisions you make. One bad decision can really hurt you and the people you care about.

“I really appreciate the support my family and fans have shown me, and now I will move forward and dive back into the pool, having put this whole thing behind me.” Video Watch Phelps acknowledge making ‘a mistake’ »

Phelps told CNN affiliate WBAL in Baltimore, Maryland, “This is something that I need to learn from, will learn from and have learned from.”

“I know that a lot of people make mistakes, and the best way to learn from them is changing things,” Phelps told WBAL.

Lott said the photo that surfaced of Phelps put him and his department in a “no-win situation.” If he had ignored it, he said, he would have faced criticism, but he also was criticized for investigating.
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However, he said, the photo did initiate an investigation into goings-on at the home where the party took place, and some people were arrested on suspicion of drug possession. The home has been the focus of previous drug-related investigations, he said.

He defended his investigation, saying, “As a cop, my responsibility is to enforce the law, not to create it or ignore it. Marijuana in the state of South Carolina is illegal.”

Appeared Here


Olympic Champion Not Charged After Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Pisses Away Tax Dollars Investigating Photograph

February 16, 2009

RICHLAND COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps will not face criminal charges in connection with a November party at which he was photographed using a bong, a South Carolina sheriff said Monday.
Michael Phelps admitted “regrettable behavior” after a photo of him using a bong was published.

Michael Phelps admitted “regrettable behavior” after a photo of him using a bong was published.

“We do not believe we have enough evidence to prosecute anyone” who was at the party in Columbia, South Carolina, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters, adding that authorities are ending their investigation into Phelps.

“We had a photo, and we had him saying he was sorry for his inappropriate behavior,” Lott said. “That behavior could have been going to a party. … He never said, ‘I smoked marijuana.’ He never confessed to that. We didn’t have physical evidence. We didn’t have enough where we could go arrest him.”

Phelps, 23, who won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, admitted “regrettable behavior” after a British newspaper published the photograph about two weeks ago. The tabloid News of the World showed Phelps using the bong during what it said was a November party at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Video Watch the sheriff say he won’t prosecute Phelps »

A bong is a device commonly used to smoke marijuana. University police and Columbia police both said they would not pursue charges against Phelps.

Lott said he has not spoken to Phelps, but hopes the swimming champion has learned from his mistakes and is willing to share an anti-drug message with children.

Phelps said Monday he had learned some “important lessons” from the incident.
Don’t Miss

* Phelps grateful for support, focused on training
* Phelps suspended from competition
* Phelps admits ‘bad judgment’ after marijuana-pipe photo

“I’m glad this matter is put to rest,” he said in a written statement. “But there are also some important lessons that I’ve learned. For me, it’s all about recognizing that I used bad judgment and it’s a mistake I won’t make again. For young people especially — be careful about the decisions you make. One bad decision can really hurt you and the people you care about.

“I really appreciate the support my family and fans have shown me, and now I will move forward and dive back into the pool, having put this whole thing behind me.” Video Watch Phelps acknowledge making ‘a mistake’ »

Phelps told CNN affiliate WBAL in Baltimore, Maryland, “This is something that I need to learn from, will learn from and have learned from.”

“I know that a lot of people make mistakes, and the best way to learn from them is changing things,” Phelps told WBAL.

Lott said the photo that surfaced of Phelps put him and his department in a “no-win situation.” If he had ignored it, he said, he would have faced criticism, but he also was criticized for investigating.
advertisement

However, he said, the photo did initiate an investigation into goings-on at the home where the party took place, and some people were arrested on suspicion of drug possession. The home has been the focus of previous drug-related investigations, he said.

He defended his investigation, saying, “As a cop, my responsibility is to enforce the law, not to create it or ignore it. Marijuana in the state of South Carolina is illegal.”

Appeared Here


Crazed Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Pisses Away Tax Dollars For Headlines In Michael Phelps Pot Smoking Case

February 11, 2009

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – New details have emerged about a party where Olympic champion Michael Phelps was spotted.

On Feb. 2, a British tabloid published a picture of the 14-time Olympic gold medalist using a water pipe to smoke marijuana. The picture was taken at a party in Columbia back in November when Phelps was here for a visit.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been taking a lot of heat from people in this country and all over the world.

They want to know why Sheriff Leon Lott is going after Michael Phelps.

Many are saying the sheriff should concentrate on more serious crimes, or at the very least, not focus solely on the Olympic champion when there were others at the party who were also breaking the law.

Now it appears the case has expanded beyond Phelps’ activities.

The party took place in November at a house on Blossom Street near Five Points.

It was at that house where someone snapped the photo of Phelps taking a hit on a marijuana pipe called a bong.

Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn’t ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

We’ve now learned that since investigators began trying to build a case, they’ve made eight arrests: seven for drug possession and one for distribution. These are arrests that resulted as the sheriff’s department served search warrants.

We’ve also learned that the department has located and confiscated that bong.

Sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

The owner, who wasn’t even at the party, is one of the eight now charged.

Phelps is not one of those charged at this point, but the sheriff’s department has strong evidence that matches the photo to the house on Blossom Street.

That house is in the city, but the Columbia Police Department decided not to initiate or take an active role in the investigation.

Governor Mark Sanford is also weighing in on the sheriff’s actions.

On the FOX News Channel Sunday night, Geraldo Rivera asked Sanford whether Phelps should be prosecuted.

“I don’t see what it gets at this point,” said Sanford.

His spokesman told us Monday night Sanford is letting that quote stand.

Appeared Here


Crazed Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Pisses Away Tax Dollars For Headlines In Michael Phelps Pot Smoking Case

February 11, 2009

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – New details have emerged about a party where Olympic champion Michael Phelps was spotted.

On Feb. 2, a British tabloid published a picture of the 14-time Olympic gold medalist using a water pipe to smoke marijuana. The picture was taken at a party in Columbia back in November when Phelps was here for a visit.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been taking a lot of heat from people in this country and all over the world.

They want to know why Sheriff Leon Lott is going after Michael Phelps.

Many are saying the sheriff should concentrate on more serious crimes, or at the very least, not focus solely on the Olympic champion when there were others at the party who were also breaking the law.

Now it appears the case has expanded beyond Phelps’ activities.

The party took place in November at a house on Blossom Street near Five Points.

It was at that house where someone snapped the photo of Phelps taking a hit on a marijuana pipe called a bong.

Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn’t ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

We’ve now learned that since investigators began trying to build a case, they’ve made eight arrests: seven for drug possession and one for distribution. These are arrests that resulted as the sheriff’s department served search warrants.

We’ve also learned that the department has located and confiscated that bong.

Sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

The owner, who wasn’t even at the party, is one of the eight now charged.

Phelps is not one of those charged at this point, but the sheriff’s department has strong evidence that matches the photo to the house on Blossom Street.

That house is in the city, but the Columbia Police Department decided not to initiate or take an active role in the investigation.

Governor Mark Sanford is also weighing in on the sheriff’s actions.

On the FOX News Channel Sunday night, Geraldo Rivera asked Sanford whether Phelps should be prosecuted.

“I don’t see what it gets at this point,” said Sanford.

His spokesman told us Monday night Sanford is letting that quote stand.

Appeared Here


Crazed Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Wants The Spotlight, May Charge Sports Figure With Smoking Marijuana Based On Photograph

February 3, 2009

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County.

Phelps, who set a record with eight gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics, was photographed smoking a marijuana pipe at a November party in Columbia.

The picture was published in the British newspaper News of the World. Phelps apologized Sunday, calling his behavior “inappropriate.”

“This case is no different than any other case,” Lott said Monday. “This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It’s a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred.”

Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a $570 fine, plus court costs.

But Lott seems to be the only person talking about making a case against Phelps. Both the USC and Columbia Police Departments said they would not pursue charges.

It was unclear Monday where the party took place, including whether it was on campus.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Phelps’ sponsors — from apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega — issued statements calling the incident a “nonissue.” The International Olympic Committee accepted his apology.

“We have no reason to doubt his sincerity and his commitment to continue to act as a role model,” the IOC said in a statement.

At the University of South Carolina, where Phelps was visiting when the picture was taken, the mood was largely “who cares?”

“It’s not a surprise,” said India Jones, a sophomore biology major. “He’s young, and he is human. They’ll probably let him off easy because he owned up to it.”

Lots of public figures have admitted to smoking marijuana — including President Barack Obama.

Rapper Lil Wayne, who professes his love for marijuana and other substances in his music, has a leading eight Grammy nominations this year. Phelps said he listened to Wayne’s graphic song “I’m Me” to pump him up for races at the Olympics.

When Phelps hosted “Saturday Night Live” on Sept. 13, Lil Wayne was the musical guest.

This isn’t the first time Phelps has been in trouble following a gold medal performance. In 2004, fresh off his wins in the Athens Olympics, he pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Maryland.

Forgiveness of Phelps could be attributed to how he handled both situations — admitting up front he did it and apologizing, said Matt Brown, associate professor for sport and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina.

“America is a forgiving society, and he came out and apologized immediately,” Brown said. “I think as long as we don’t see more pictures coming out and more things coming out that he’s been doing this consistently, he’ll be OK.”

It also helps that many see Phelps as a nice guy. When he was in Columbia, he took time to speak to a class on sports’ role in society.

“It was amazing how gracious and how humble and just how helpful he tried to be,” said Sid Kenyon, a USC adjunct professor who taught the class. “I can’t tell you how impressed I was with his mannerism and just how willing he was to help and do anything that we asked him.”

The Phelps story broke not in a sports magazine, but in a celebrity newspaper. Sports and entertainment journalism have been merging for years, Brown said, never more so than in the Olympics, which attracts a wider audience — including the kind of people who watch celebrity news on “Entertainment Tonight.”

“It becomes much more of an entertainment event than a sports event,” he said.

Appeared Here


Crazed Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott Wants The Spotlight, May Charge Sports Figure With Smoking Marijuana Based On Photograph

February 3, 2009

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County.

Phelps, who set a record with eight gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics, was photographed smoking a marijuana pipe at a November party in Columbia.

The picture was published in the British newspaper News of the World. Phelps apologized Sunday, calling his behavior “inappropriate.”

“This case is no different than any other case,” Lott said Monday. “This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It’s a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred.”

Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a $570 fine, plus court costs.

But Lott seems to be the only person talking about making a case against Phelps. Both the USC and Columbia Police Departments said they would not pursue charges.

It was unclear Monday where the party took place, including whether it was on campus.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Phelps’ sponsors — from apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega — issued statements calling the incident a “nonissue.” The International Olympic Committee accepted his apology.

“We have no reason to doubt his sincerity and his commitment to continue to act as a role model,” the IOC said in a statement.

At the University of South Carolina, where Phelps was visiting when the picture was taken, the mood was largely “who cares?”

“It’s not a surprise,” said India Jones, a sophomore biology major. “He’s young, and he is human. They’ll probably let him off easy because he owned up to it.”

Lots of public figures have admitted to smoking marijuana — including President Barack Obama.

Rapper Lil Wayne, who professes his love for marijuana and other substances in his music, has a leading eight Grammy nominations this year. Phelps said he listened to Wayne’s graphic song “I’m Me” to pump him up for races at the Olympics.

When Phelps hosted “Saturday Night Live” on Sept. 13, Lil Wayne was the musical guest.

This isn’t the first time Phelps has been in trouble following a gold medal performance. In 2004, fresh off his wins in the Athens Olympics, he pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Maryland.

Forgiveness of Phelps could be attributed to how he handled both situations — admitting up front he did it and apologizing, said Matt Brown, associate professor for sport and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina.

“America is a forgiving society, and he came out and apologized immediately,” Brown said. “I think as long as we don’t see more pictures coming out and more things coming out that he’s been doing this consistently, he’ll be OK.”

It also helps that many see Phelps as a nice guy. When he was in Columbia, he took time to speak to a class on sports’ role in society.

“It was amazing how gracious and how humble and just how helpful he tried to be,” said Sid Kenyon, a USC adjunct professor who taught the class. “I can’t tell you how impressed I was with his mannerism and just how willing he was to help and do anything that we asked him.”

The Phelps story broke not in a sports magazine, but in a celebrity newspaper. Sports and entertainment journalism have been merging for years, Brown said, never more so than in the Olympics, which attracts a wider audience — including the kind of people who watch celebrity news on “Entertainment Tonight.”

“It becomes much more of an entertainment event than a sports event,” he said.

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Summerville South Carolina Emergency Workers Evacuate Post Office Over Bomb Smelling Odor, Which Turned Out To Be A Skunk

January 29, 2009

SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – The scene is all clear now, but earlier today the Oakbrook Post Office was blocked off and evacuated by emergency crews after they received a call about a suspicious package.

The call came into the Old Fort Fire Department about 7:30 Wednesday morning from a postal employee. Officials say the package was wrapped in plastic and was giving off a bomb-smelling odor.

They immediately evacuated the post office and several surrounding businesses, but after a few hours of searching there was no bomb to be found. “There was stink. It just stunk. At first you didn’t realize it was a skunk until they guy said ‘I’m expecting a skunk’ and then you’re like, ‘That’s what it was,'” said one fire fighter.

“That’s exactly what it was.”

Apparently, the skunk was being delivered to a taxidermist who later told officials he has animals delivered to his home all the time.

Three weeks ago the same post office had to close because one of the heating units was smoking.

Appeared Here


Summerville South Carolina Emergency Workers Evacuate Post Office Over Bomb Smelling Odor, Which Turned Out To Be A Skunk

January 29, 2009

SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – The scene is all clear now, but earlier today the Oakbrook Post Office was blocked off and evacuated by emergency crews after they received a call about a suspicious package.

The call came into the Old Fort Fire Department about 7:30 Wednesday morning from a postal employee. Officials say the package was wrapped in plastic and was giving off a bomb-smelling odor.

They immediately evacuated the post office and several surrounding businesses, but after a few hours of searching there was no bomb to be found. “There was stink. It just stunk. At first you didn’t realize it was a skunk until they guy said ‘I’m expecting a skunk’ and then you’re like, ‘That’s what it was,'” said one fire fighter.

“That’s exactly what it was.”

Apparently, the skunk was being delivered to a taxidermist who later told officials he has animals delivered to his home all the time.

Three weeks ago the same post office had to close because one of the heating units was smoking.

Appeared Here


Out Tax Dollars At Work: Man Sentenced In Spartanburg South Carolina To 25 Years In Prison For Stealing Copper

December 22, 2008

SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Spartanburg man was given a 25-year prison sentence Friday for his role in a copper theft ring.

Carl Parris, 39, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of accessory after the fact of a felony, 11 counts of petty larceny and two counts of malicious injury to real property.

Parris’ sentence is followed by five years probation. He must also pay $14,000 in restitution.
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Parris was part of a group that took or attempted to take copper coils, copper tubing and copper pipes from 15 downtown Spartanburg-area businesses and sold the property to scrap metal businesses between July 28, 2007, and April 27, 2008.

Investigators said that the crime spree caused significant damage to local businesses, a church and a building owned by Spartanburg School District 7.

“This sentence should send the message that copper theft is a serious crime with serious consequences,” Principal Deputy Solicitor Barry Barnette said.

Parris’ co-defendant Brenda McCoy, 35, has pleaded guilty and she is awaiting sentencing.

Charges are still pending against 27-year-old Jackie Anderson Jr.

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Out Tax Dollars At Work: Man Sentenced In Spartanburg South Carolina To 25 Years In Prison For Stealing Copper

December 21, 2008

SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Spartanburg man was given a 25-year prison sentence Friday for his role in a copper theft ring.

Carl Parris, 39, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of accessory after the fact of a felony, 11 counts of petty larceny and two counts of malicious injury to real property.

Parris’ sentence is followed by five years probation. He must also pay $14,000 in restitution.
sponsor

Parris was part of a group that took or attempted to take copper coils, copper tubing and copper pipes from 15 downtown Spartanburg-area businesses and sold the property to scrap metal businesses between July 28, 2007, and April 27, 2008.

Investigators said that the crime spree caused significant damage to local businesses, a church and a building owned by Spartanburg School District 7.

“This sentence should send the message that copper theft is a serious crime with serious consequences,” Principal Deputy Solicitor Barry Barnette said.

Parris’ co-defendant Brenda McCoy, 35, has pleaded guilty and she is awaiting sentencing.

Charges are still pending against 27-year-old Jackie Anderson Jr.

Appeared Here