Elrod Trial Continues In General Sessions Court

The trial of Daniel Elrod at General Sessions Court at Hillcrest Square on charges of grand larceny involving goods with a value of more than $2000, but less than $10,000, plus receiving stolen goods, back in February 2018, was scheduled to begin Monday.

On Monday morning, Elrod was in attendance for jury selection, with the trial to begin after the lunch break, but when court resumed Elrod was nowhere to be found.

Elrod was contacted Monday night by his attorney and was told that if he did not appear Tuesday, he would be tried in absence, and of 9:54 AM Judge Hocker ruled that since he still was absent from the courtroom, the trial would continue without him.

David Elrod was defended by Attorney Dorothy Manigault of Greenville, while Deputy Solicitor Jared Simmons prosecuted.

Opening arguments by the prosecution began with a list of items taken, which included a motorcycle, a 4 wheeler, a trailer filled with personal family belongings and antiques parked in a driveway while the owners were doing home renovations.

Officer Andrew Turner of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, who was called to the witness stand, testified that he went to the residence where the stolen items were located, and the door was opened by Quinton Glenn Eaton, who told the officer that he needed to change clothes, and then quickly fled the scene.

Another resident, April Reddin, was also present at that time and was expected to testify as a witness for the prosecution claiming that she would testify that Elrod was involved with the crimes.

Reddin, however, is now incarcerated in Colombia, and was supposed to be transported to the courtroom Tuesday, but a communication mix up will delay her testimony until this morning.

Judge Hocker told court he would allow the record of Quinton Eaton, who is in the Laurens County Detention Center for charges of property crimes, and would be allowed to testify.

.    A witness for the prosecution was a neighbor who lives near Eaton testified he saw out his window the utility trailer being unloaded

Defense asked the witness if he recognized the people, two males and one female, but he stated he did not really know them personally.

Quinton Eaton, who is currently in custody at the Johnson Detention Center appeared as a witness Tuesday afternoon

Eaton testified that he was a good friend of Elrod, and that he was contacted by the defendant and requested a meeting, due to the fact that Elrod owed him money and wanted to pay him.

Eaton said that when he met Elrod, instead of being paid back the owed money, Elrod wanted to repay him with the stolen goods.

Eaton said he refused and that Elrod dropped the stolen goods anyway on his mother’s property without permission.

Eaton told the prosecution that when the police came to his mother’s house after locating the stolen goods, he was still on drugs at the time, and when asked who owned the stolen property, he made up a name, then ran away.

The prosecution asked him if he was promised anything if he testified, to which he replied that he had already accepted an 8-year plea bargain, and that it was the right thing to do, and he had nothing to gain by testifying.

On cross examination, the defense brought up Eaton’s criminal record which involved many counts of property theft, and said, “Do you really want the court to believe you with a criminal past as yours”.

Defense brought up again his former convictions as to disqualify his testimony as a witness, “and you want the court to believe with your history that you just want to testify because it was the right thing to do?”

Eaton said yes and then court ended for the day, awaiting the arrival of April Reddin Wednesday morning.