Coroner Identifies Monday Morning Traffic Fatality

The Laurens County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of the fatal accident that occurred at about 3:40 am Monday morning on Fairview Road near the intersection with Swallow Drive in northern Laurens County.

The victim was 65 year old Susan Hiott of 423 Peden Road, Fountain Inn.  Ms. Hiott was driving a Toyota 4 Runner which ran off the left hand side of the road and struck a tree.  Ms. Hiott was wearing a seat belt but died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.  She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

3 Charged over 4 Days with Animal Neglect  

Two people were arrested yesterday in separate cases alleging Ill Treatment of Animals. They are among three so charged in Laurens County during a four-day period.

29-year-old Rhiannon Monique Deasy of 212 Sumter Street, Joanna was arrested early Sunday and charged with Ill Treatment of Animals and Permitting Animals to Run at Large, cited with violations Saturday.

Deputy Gerald Hilderbrandt states that on August 18th Ms. Deasy did not provide basic needs for multiple animals. He states that multiple animals were outside her residence without water, food and some type of shelter. One animal was treated for injuries and was positive for heart worms, hook worms and was greatly infested with fleas. That animal, the warrant states, was 30 pounds under weight.

In a second warrant, Deputy Hilerbrandt states that on August 18th Ms. Deasy allowed her dogs to run at large, resulting in injury to a neighbor’s animal and allegedly resulted in a dog that belonged to her being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. That warrant states this is not a first offense for Permitting Domestic Animals to Run at Large.

Rhiannon Deasy remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with a cash or surety bond set totaling $2,000.

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old James Adams Gary II of an apartment at 102 College Park Drive, Clinton later Sunday. He was charged with Ill Treatment of Animals yesterday.

Deputy HIlderbrandt states that on August 19th Mr. Gary did not provide the basic needs for his animal. He states the dog was found locked in a small wire cage, outdoors, greatly malnourished and underweight, with no access to food or water.

James Adams Gary II was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

30-year-old Elizabeth Lena James of 243 Lisbon Road, Laurens was arrested last Thursday and charged with Ill Treatment of Animals. She’s accused of depriving a dog of food and water for an extended time. She was later released on a $15,000 cash or surety bond. That dog was reportedly clinging to life. Sheriff Reynolds Saturday said this animal was being treated in an animal hospital. He said, “Inhumane treatment of animals will not be tolerated on my watch.


Traffic Fatality Early Today

Laurens County had another traffic fatality this morning. At 3:48 this morning, the Highway Patrol was dispatched to Fairview Road near Swallow Drive. Reports from the scene indicate there was a fatal injury in this wreck in Northern Laurens County.

District 55 & 56 School Back in Session

It’s back to school today for students across Laurens County School Districts 55 and 56. The Highway Patrol encourages all drivers to pay special attention as everyone gets back into practice, watching for children traveling to and from school.

PC Students Back on Campus

Presbyterian College students moved back to campus this weekend. Opening Convocation at PC is set for 11:00 Tuesday morning in Belk Auditorium.

Dr. Donald R. Raber II, provost, is featured speaker for the convocation tomorrow with address called “Promises,” examining the promise each student brings to PC as well as the promise of a PC education. In the process, Dr. Raber will update the campus community on the Promise of PC strategic plan, released last November.

After the address, new faculty, staff, and students will continue a PC tradition by signing the Honor Code.

PC President Bob Staton will offer remarks about the 2018 Martha Anne Green Award recipient before The Rev. Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, formally introduces the recipient.

The Martha Anne Green Service to Church and College Award was established by both the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton and Presbyterian College to recognize the contributions of Martha Anne Green to two communities — her college and her church.

Three student awards will be presented during convocation. The Freshman Academic Award is presented annually to first-year students in the previous year’s class who achieved a 4.0 GPA in all coursework completed in their first year at PC. The Department of Religion and Philosophy presents the Fraser Bible Award to a member of last year’s freshman class who is of exemplary character and who earned the highest average grade in Bible for the year. The Department of Religion and Philosophy presents the Hay Religion Award to the student who has the highest-grade point average in four semesters of religion and/or philosophy taken during their first two years at PC.

Classes for PC undergraduates begin this Wednesday, August 22nd.


Bank Card Fraud of Almost $5,000

A Laurens woman has been charged with unlawfully taking almost $5,000 from a bank. 39-year-old Peacheanna Cunningham of 309 Stuart Street, Laurens was arrested Friday and charged with Financial Transaction Card Fraud and with Criminally Receiving Goods or Services by Fraud.

Investigator Michael Polson states that between April 7th and 14th of this year Ms. Cunningham committed Financial Transaction Card Fraud in that she took $4,710.40 from T.D. Bank, with intent to defraud. She is further accused of Fraudulently Obtaining Goods or Services by Fraud in the obtaining of money from T.D. Bank through their ATM service.

Peacheanna Cunningham remained in custody at the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds set totaling $25,000.

Arrest Alleges Clinton Crack Cocaine Sales

The Police Division of Clinton Public Safety made another arrest yesterday from alleged undercover drug sales this year.

38-year-old Otis Junior Little of 149 Gray Street, Laurens was charged with two counts of 3rd or Subsequent Offense of Distribution of Cocaine and with two charges alleging Distribution of Cocaine within Proximity. He’s also charged with one count of Criminal Conspiracy.

In the two warrants charging Distribution, Sgt. Shane Prather states that on April 19th and April 20th Otis J. Little sold a quantity of crack cocaine to a confidential informant working in an undercover capacity.  The two warrants alleging Distribution within Proximity state that the two undercover crack cocaine sales on April 19th and 20th occurred on South Bell Street, within a half mile of a public park on Oak Street.

In a 5th warrant, Detective Prather states that on February 27th, 2018 Otis Little conspired with another man on West Main Street to sell a quantity of crack cocaine to a confidential informant who was working in an undercover capacity. The warrants indicate that Detectives Prather and Goggins investigated these cases.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $150,000 on the five warrants yesterday. Otis Junior Little remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

1st Degree Domestic Assault Alleged

Laurens Police made an arrest Friday from an alleged assault last month. 45-year-old Anthony Crittleton of 209 Truman Street, Laurens was charged with 1st Degree Domestic Violence. He is accused of kicking and punching the victim in front of a young child July 22nd at 209 Truman Street. He then allegedly threatened to kill the victim while he was presenting a handgun, should the police be called. This reportedly caused the victim to fear for her life. Anthony Crittleton was released this weekend, pending his trial, on posting a $20,000 cash or surety bond.

Four More Assault Arrests

Laurens Police arrested a man Friday from an alleged assault last month. 53-year-old Willie Shumpert of 6 Franklin Drive, Laurens was charged with 3rd Degree Assault and Battery. An investigation of Officer Rushing indicates that on July 31st Shumpert struck the victim with a closed fist on the side of the head, causing the victim to fall to the ground. Willie Shumpert was released on posting a $1,000 cash or surety bond.


41-year-old Josh Ruben Kane of Lurey Street, Laurens was arraigned Friday following a late-night arrest by Laurens Police. Officer Van Pelt issued a ticket charging Kane with 3rd Degree Assault and Battery at 10:53 Thursday night at 205 Lurey Street. Kane remained in the detention center this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $1,000.


The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Greer man last night for an alleged assault. 29-year-old Randall Scott Revis of 2900 East Phillips Road, Greer was issued a ticket by Lt. Timothy Byrd charging Revis with 3rd Degree Assault and Battery at 10:02 Sunday night at 334 East Jerry Road. Mr. Revis was held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.


The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office man an arrest Friday that alleges an assault earlier this month. 30-year-old Lutavious Denard Elmore of 218 Spring Street, Laurens was charged with 3rd Degree Assault and Battery. He is accused of committing battery on a victim August 4th by striking her in the face, causing a cut to her right eye lid and swelling on her lower lip.

Lutavious Elmore was released on a $1,087.50 personal recognizance bond.



Trespassing to Shoplift?

Of local shoplifting cases over the weekend, one arrest at Walmart also included a charge of Trespass After Notice. Laurens Police Sgt. Gallo issued tickets charging both offenses at 10:10 Saturday night at 922 East Main. 25-year-old Ashton Elizabeth Wilson of Green Tree Drive, Newberry was released on bonds totaling $1,117.

Water Value Being Replaced Overnight in Clinton

Clinton’s Department of Public Works has issued a “Boil Water Advisory” for parts of town, for tonight. It takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 20th.

This boil water advisory has been issued because Clinton utility crews will begin to work on installing a valve as part of the South Broad Street Water Line Project. They hope that by having the work done in the early Monday morning hours, this will result in the least amount of disruption for water customers.

The area to be effected is as follows:

From East Carolina Avenue south to East Calhoun Street AND From South Broad to South Adair Streets.


Once the water is restored (Monday Morning) customers will be under a Boil Water Advisory.

Sunday, Department of Public Works personnel were taking Boil Water Advisories door-to-door in the neighborhoods being impacted. Customers should find these attached to a door of your residence.

New Venue For Events In Clinton Announced Thursday

A new, large venue for weddings, business meetings and other special events was unveiled yesterday at the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center. Clinton Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) Director Marvin Moss introduced Starr Chappell, who announced plans to covert an old cotton warehouse in Downtown Clinton into “The Cotton Loft,” a special events venue on West Main Street near Laurens Street.



A Native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ms. Chappell came to South Carolina 22 years ago, and since then has operated the very popular Cabana’s Restaurant in Downtown Newberry. She brings a total of 40 years of experience in the Hospitality industry to the new facility in Clinton.

In more recent years, the building has been home to businesses such as Lazy Toe Productions.

Starr Chappell

Starr Chappell said that given the work to be done in the building, she expects to open for business in the spring of 2019. It will be available for weddings, business meetings and many other special events. In addition to large open spaces for big events, its featured amenities are to include a chapel and a kitchen.

CEDC Director Marvin Moss told WLBG that “The Cotton Loft” is going to be a big plus for Clinton. He noted that weddings and other evens that would use such a facility will be bringing lots of folks into Clinton, spreading awareness of all Clinton has to offer.

Drugs, Firearms & Receiving a Stolen Tractor

Drug and firearms charges from June of this year and a property crime warrant from this month were served yesterday on a man arrested Wednesday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 40-year-old Thomas Dean Jefferson Jr. of 969 Henderson Road, Gray Court with Distribution of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Convicted Felon and with Receiving Stolen Goods.

Sheriff’s Investigator Charles Nations states that on June 26th Jefferson knowingly and without authorization possessed an amount of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. A second warrant alleges that on the same date Mr. Jefferson was in possession of three handguns and one double-barrel shotgun as well as 41 rounds of various ammunition, which he his not permitted to have, as a person who has been convicted of a violent felony.

Deputy David Staton states that on August 15th Jefferson received a 2005 New Holland tractor valued at $7,000, knowing or having reason to believe that the property was stolen.

Thomas Dean Jefferson Jr. was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the three charges.

Drug Sale to Confidential Informant

Clinton Public Safety made an arrest yesterday in connection with an alleged undercover drug sale this past April. 57-year-old Ricky Eugene Graddick of 507 Caldwell Street, Clinton was charged with Distribution of Clonazepam and Distribution within Proximity.

Police Division Sgt. Shane Prather states that on April 30th the defendant sold a quantity of clonazepam to a confidential informant working in an undercover capacity, and that his took place on North Broad Street in Clinton. Prather states this occurred within a half mile of a public park on Jefferson Street. He was joined in the investigation by a Sheriff’s narcotics agent.

Ricky Eugene Graddick remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds set totaling $15,000.


County Council Gives Consent

Laurens County Council this week gave unanimous consent for a Gray Court plant to borrow money. Council was advised no resolution or ordinance was needed, just consent, due to a previous fee arrangement between the county and Isopoly. County Attorney Sandy Cruickshanks noted “This is the third time we have had to do this, and I urge its approval.” He said, “The owner is just refinancing and adding equipment which the county will benefit from,” and added, “There is no liability or risk for the county.”

CPW Working for More Industry

The Laurens Commission of Public Works this week went into executive session to discuss matters regarding grading on property around the new Spec Building for Hunter Industrial Park.

The CPW is also involved in discussions regarding a possible new project considering Laurens as a site.

Pointing & Presenting Firearm

A Waterloo area woman was arrested yesterday for an alleged incident involving presentation of a firearm August 10th. 25-year-old Shakia Kinyata Turner of 238 Riverfork Road, Waterloo was charged with Pointing a Firearm at a Person. In the warrant, Deputy Perry states that Ms. Turner did unlawfully and not in self-defense point or present a firearm at victims at an address on Edgewater Drive, Waterloo. Shakia Turner remained in custody this morning with a bond set at $15,000.

Failure to Return Car

Failure to return a borrowed car was alleged with an arrest yesterday. Laurens Police charged 47-year-old Jacqueline Michelle Taylor of an apartment at 219 Independence Street, Laurens with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent.

The warrant states that an investigation by Officer Hailstock indicates that between August 15th and 16th the defendant borrowed a white Ford Taurus for the purpose of traveling to one location and returning. Ms. Taylor then allegedly refused to return the vehicle as agreed on with its registered owner. Jacqueline Michelle Taylor was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.


3rd Indecent Exposure Charge This Week

An indecent exposure on Laurens’ West Main Street Wednesday was alleged with a warrant served yesterday. Laurens City Police arrested 28-year-old Terrell Jameal Warner of 6902 Maddox Court, Charlotte Wednesday, and held him for charges. The warrant served yesterday states that he exposed himself in direct view of a victim in the 1000 block of West Main Street, allegedly exposing his privates. A cash or surety bond on the Indecent Exposure charge was set at $10,000. Terrell Jameal Warner remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

This was the third arrest this week in Laurens County of a man accused of exposing himself.

2 Women Charged with Trafficking Cocaine

Two women were arrested this week after a Newberry County deputy reportedly spotted a suspicious situation off Interstate 26. Newberry Sheriff Lee Foster said a deputy on patrol at 5:25 Tuesday morning observed a vehicle parked near a convenience store on Highway 121 at Interstate 26. He observed two females inside.

Sheriff Foster said as the deputy investigated, he found a large quantity of cocaine – about 15 grams – along with a small amount of marijuana and a glass pipe with burned residue, commonly associated with drug use. Both women were arrested.

39-year-old Carla Fulmer Shealy of 266 Goldville Road, Whitmire was charged with Trafficking Cocaine and with Possession of Marijuana. 38-year-old Brenda Lee Edgins of 3784 Rocky Creek Road, Newberry was charged with Trafficking Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Both women remained in custody yesterday with cash or surety bonds on each totaling $100,000.

Sheriff Foster said “This is an outstanding example of knowing the community and current crime trends and applying good police work to that knowledge.” He referred to this case as “Another way we use technology and great law enforcement techniques to better serve the people of Newberry County.”