Assault of Pregnant Girlfriend & Her Car

A Laurens man is now facing a drug charge and has also been accused of assaulting a pregnant girlfriend and her car yesterday. Laurens City Police arrested 30-year-old Billie Lee Tribble Jr. early yesterday morning. He is charged with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence at Walmart, Malicious Damage elsewhere and 2nd Offense Possession of Less than One Gram of Cocaine at a third location yesterday. While Tribble was booked with a Laurens address on Washington Street, warrants show an address on Raintree Drive, Laurens.

Warrants citing an investigation of Laurens Police Sgt. Lakeisha West state that on April 17th at 922 East Main Street Tribble punched the victim about her head and face, causing injury, and that Tribble and the victim have an unborn child in common. Billie Lee Tribble Jr. is also accused of maliciously damaging his girlfriend’s red 2008 Chevrolet yesterday at a location on Washington Street.

A third warrant, citing the investigation of Officer Van Pelt, states that Mr. Tribble knowingly possessed a quantity of less than one gram of a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine yesterday on Sumter Street, Laurens.

Bonds set during arraignment yesterday included a $40,000 cash or surety bond on the 2nd Offense Cocaine charge. Billie Lee Tribble Jr. remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with bonds totaling $43,000.

Addressing the Child Abuse Problem

Laurens City Council this week proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Police Chief Chrissie Cofield requested the action at the Tuesday evening council meeting. Chief Cofield told council members,

“Laurens County has seen an estimated 250 documented cases of child abuse and/or neglect since 2018.” She added, “Our children suffer unimaginable trauma from the incident and from the technical procedures afterwards.” Cofield said family structures are devastated, with Child Abuse leading to a lifetime of complications. She said because of this Laurens Police joins Laurens County First Steps asking for the proclamation. Mayor Nathan Senn read the proclamation aloud during the City Council meeting.



1st Steps Wants Adults to Help Address Childhood Issues

Before the break, we reported on Laurens City Council proclaiming April as Child Abuse Awareness Month, requested by Laurens Police and First Steps. Anyone who may have wondered what they can do about problems impacting our children should take note that Laurens County First Steps Partnership is now looking for people who will help First Steps in its commitment to the education, healthy development and well-being our Laurens County children from birth to four-years-old.

First Steps is now accepting suggestions of people to serve on the Laurens County First Steps Board. They’re looking for people from a variety of segments of the county population.

The deadline for someone to be nominated is tomorrow. Nominations from anyone in Laurens County needs to be delivered to the First Steps Office by tomorrow at the latest. The office is in the School District 55 Administration building at 301 Hillcrest Drive. Nomination forms are also available at the office today.

For more last-minute information, call Rosemary Patterson at 864-984-8130. That’s 984-81-30. Or Email:

Homeless Man Convicted of Multiple Burglaries

Ten people appeared before Judge McIntosh yesterday and pled to charges ranging from Grand Larceny to Drug Trafficking in Laurens County general Sessions Court.

The case of an eleventh person was heard in his absence. The 47-year-old homeless man was found guilty in his absence on three counts of 1st Degree Burglary. His sentence was sealed until he is apprehended, and the sentence is delivered to him.

27-year-old Daniel Joseph Vaughan of 108 Watson Road, Fountain Inn pled on two counts of Grand Larceny, one charge of 2nd Offense Distribution of Meth and to Contraband in a County Prison. Vaughn was sentenced to eight years in prison, with credit given for 390 days in jail. He was also recommended for an Addiction Treatment Unit. Following those guilty pleas, a Conspiracy charge was dismissed.

18-year-old Jaheim Daequarius Darby of 129 Harold Trailer Park Road, Clinton pled guilty on two counts of Breaking into Motor Vehicle or Pups and to Criminal Conspiracy. Judge McIntosh sentenced him to five years on probation, provided that if he has strict compliance after 30 months this can be terminated. He is also instructed to attend High School. In accepting these pleas, charges of 2nd Degree Burglary and two counts of Criminal Conspiracy against Darby were dropped.

44-year-old Clifton O’Neil Moore of 296 Blakelyville Road, Clinton pled to Manufacture, Distribution of Cocaine base and was sentenced to four years. He was given credit for 17 days in jail. The balance can be suspended to five years on probation, which also can be terminated with 30 months of strict compliance. With the guilty drug plea, charges of Conspiracy and a Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute case near a School were dismissed.

47-year-old Harrison Whitlock Bourne of 113 Shamrock Drive, Greenwood pled guilty to Grand Larceny. Judge McIntosh sentenced him to five years, provided that after service of three years and with credit for 206 days in jail, the balance will be suspended to five years on probation. That probation can be terminated with payment of Restitution in this an in all probation cases. He’s also to have not contact with the victim of his Grand Larceny.

Other guilty pleas heard yesterday included drug charges from a 28-year-old Taylors woman, a 36-year-old Greenwood woman, a 55-year-old Waterloo man and a 65-year-old Woodruff man. A 52-year-old Gray Court man pled to DUS & Habitual Offender DUS. A 58-year-old Gray Court man pled to Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Theft of Car, Driving It with License Suspended

A Midlands woman is being held in Laurens County on charges she stole a car in Laurens Tuesday and was driving it with her license to drive suspended. Laurens Police yesterday charged 51-year-old Janice Lashon Canzater of 3254 Lucius Road, Columbia with Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle and with 2nd Offense Driving under Suspension. Warrants with those charges cite an investigation by Officer Van Pelt.

One warrant says that On April 16th Ms. Canzater took a man’s 2004 Nissan Maxima without permission from a Laurens address on Douglas Street. The second warrant alleges that during the commission of stealing the Nissan Janice Canzater was driving a motor vehicle on a South Carolina public highway with her driver’s license suspended, and with a prior conviction for Driving under Suspension in the past five years.

Janice Lashon Canzater was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing on her two charges today.

Mayor Senn Thanked Saturday Volunteers

Mayor Nathan Senn conducted his first Laurens City Council meeting last evening. In his opening comments, the Mayor said he was pleased with last Saturday’s turnout of folks for the city-wide trash clean-up day. He Senn said, “It shows everyone that we care about our city.”

Mayor Senn also announced that Laurens’ City Building and Zoning Department Director, Clay Rykard, is planning to leave his position with the city as soon as a replacement has been found for the job. WLBG Contacted Mr. Rykard, who said he was going to return to pursuing his career as a Surveyor on a full-time basis. He had put that work on a back burner on taking the position with the city several years ago.

In announcing the news, Mayor Senn said that he was grateful to Mr. Rykard for his many years of service to the city. Council members and others in attendance applauded on behalf of the contributions to the city by Clay Rykard.

1st Degree Burglary Alleges Assault on Neighbor

A Wattsville community resident has been charged with a break-in and assault of a neighbor this past weekend. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday booked 35-year-old Darrell Rico Johnson of 12 Hammett Street, Laurens and charged him with 1st Degree Burglary. The warrant cites an investigation of Lt. Byrd as indicating that on April 13th Johnson entered the dwelling of another Hammett Street resident with intent to commit a crime therein. The Saturday incident reportedly happened at night with Johnson causing physical harm to the victim by kicking her in the ribs and by striking her multiple times in her face with a closed fist. Darrell Rico Johnson was being held in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, awaiting a bond hearing today on his 1st Degree Burglary charge.

Burglary, Assault & Ill Treatment of Animal Pleas

Judge McIntosh continued hearing guilty pleas yesterday in Laurens County General Sessions Court.

33-year-old Christy Nicole Earnhart of 189 North Forest Street, Spartanburg pled guilty to Forgery and to Breach of Trust, Obtaining Property under False Pretense. On each, she was sentenced to two years with credit for 180 days in jail. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

With the plea on those two charges, another case of Breach of Trust, Obtaining Property under False Tokens was dismissed.

26-year-old Mohammed Hosam Farhan of 4706 North Old Laurens Road, Gray Court pled yesterday to 2nd Degree Assault and Battery. An 18-month sentence was suspended to three years on probation. The probation can be terminated on completion of Anger Management and a Mental Health Evaluation. A “no-contact” order was reportedly lifted at the request of the victim.

30-year-old James Adams Gary II of 102 College Park Drive, Clinton pled yesterday to Ill Treatment of Animals. He was sentenced to a 30-days behind bars or a $200 fine. Gary was given 30 days to pay the fine.

26-year-old Keaunte Reddick of Wages Road, Columbia pled guilty on two counts of 2nd Degree Burglary. On both charges he was sentenced to 90 days, time already served. These were to be served concurrently, and concurrent to a seven-year federal prison sentence. Two Laurens County charges of Criminal Conspiracy were dismissed in yesterday’s court action.

38-year-old Julie Elaine Hueble of 23,278 Highway 121, Whitmire pled yesterday to Petit Larceny. She was sentenced to time already served. Charges dismissed for Ms. Hueble yesterday included Breaking Into a Motor Vehicle or Tanks, Criminal Conspiracy and Common Law Conspiracy.

35-year-old Tara Inez Tumblin of 973 Fleming Street Extension, Laurens pled to Enhanced Shoplifting. She was sentenced to 3 years, but the balance is to be suspended to five years on probation after 24 months, if she’s in compliance. Ms. Tumblin pled to Possession of a Narcotic and sentenced to 18 months. This is to be suspended to five years on probation if she’s in compliance after 24 months. Three more Possession of Controlled Substance charges were dismissed in the plea bargain with Ms. Tumblin.

A three-year sentence for a 47-year-old Gray Court man was suspended to 15 months on probation following pleas to Cocaine and Marijuana Possession. A 22-year-old Laurens man who pled to DUI was sentenced to five days or a $400 fine and was given 90 days to pay the fine.

Arrest Alleges Ill Treatment of Pit Bull

A Waterloo man has been charged following the death of a dog Monday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday booked 50-year-old John Allen Davis of 1021 Harris Springs Road with Ill Treatment of Animals.

Deputy Adam Galloway states that on April 15th Dais committed the crime of Ill Treatment of Animals in general, Torture, in that he caused the death of a pit bull by tying a rope around its neck, causing asphyxia that resulted in the animal’s death. Mr. Davis was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the Ill Treatment charge.

Book Signing for Volume III, Laurens County History

The third book in a series on Laurens County history has been released. Local history enthusiasts have planned a special book-signing event to introduce the new publication this month. Volume III of Laurens County history is entitled Dramatic Changes: 1840 – 1900.

The event to highlight the new book is to be held in Holmes Photography on the north side of the Laurens Public Square on Thursday, April 25th. The event will start at 5:30 that afternoon and continue until 7:00 pm.

You’re invited to come meet the editor, Richard Fowler and the other contributing writers for Volume III.

The Laurens County history series began with the original residents prior to the arrival of European. The 3rd volume has details of the political history, development of transportation, the War Between the States, Reconstruction and covers African American Society from Slavery to Citizenship. This book is considered a who’s who of prominent Laurens County individuals and also chronicles industrial and economic development in Laurens County during the 1840-1900 time span. It had pages of old home places, maps and genealogy.

Again – the book signing for Dramatic Changes: 1840-1900 is Thursday, April 25th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Holmes Photography. All three volumes will be available for purchase.

Clinton Tractor Store Moving to Greenwood

Blanchard Equipment has announced it’s moving its Clinton John Deere store to Greenwood. General Manger Matt McMahon said, “We are excited for our customers and employees and we were fortunate to find the facility in Greenwood.” He added, “Enhancing our network of stores, providing newer facilities, and investing in the most up-to-date technologies allows Blanchard to provide excellence in customer service.”

Transitioning from Clinton to Greenwood will begin on this Friday, April 19th. During this transition time the Clinton location will be closed. Customers are reminded they can get the parts, equipment and service they need from other Blanchard Locations. Until the Greenwood store opens, the closest are in Newberry and Ridge Spring. The Clinton store’s phone number, (864) 833-5337, will remain active during this interim time and stay the same for the Greenwood location. More information, including a Customer Portal, is available at Blanchard’s website:

Blanchard Equipment was founded at Waynesboro Georgia in 1957. They now have 16 locations in Georgia and South Carolina.

The Clinton store is moving to 1827 Bypass 72, Greenwood. That location is to open in May.

Blanchard purchased the former Epting Turf and Tractor a few years ago with the retirement of Leland Epting.

Six Charges Include Failure to Stop

Multiple traffic charges were issued yesterday following a police pursuit in Laurens County. Sheriff’s Investigator Sgt. Matthew Veal issued tickets with six charges for 43-year-old Timothy Joseph Anderson of 122 McDowell Street, Greenwood. Anderson is accused of Failure to Stop for Blue Lights, Driving under Suspension, having an Uninsured Vehicle and Failure to Register a Motor Vehicle. He’s also accused of Simple Possession of Marijuana at 2:02 yesterday afternoon on North Old Laurens Road, Gray Court. Timothy Joseph Anderson was held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing today.

Petit Larceny

A 41-year-old Clinton woman was charged yesterday with Petit Larceny, accused of a theft from a Greenwood man. Clinton Police arrested her Monday, pending the Petit Larceny warrant. The woman was released yesterday on a $500 personal recognizance bond.

1st Degree Burglary, Grand Larceny

A 1st degree nighttime burglary in June last year south of Hickory Tavern was alleged with a Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest yesterday. 36-year-old Christopher Michael Massey was booked with an address on Bonnie Woods Drive, Greenville. A warrant lists and address on Liberty Street, Piedmont. In addition to 1st Degree Burglary, Massey was also charged with Grand Larceny, Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime and Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime.

In warrants, Deputy David Staton said that on June 17th of 2018 Massey entered a dwelling in the 3,000-address range of Neely Ferry Road without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein. Massey reportedly entered the dwelling at night and obtained a firearm during the commission of the burglary. Mr. Massey then allegedly committed Grand Larceny by taking away jewelry, firearms, computer equipment and a 1998 GMC Jimmy with intent to deprive the owner. Items stolen were valued between $2,000 and $10,000.

In the two warrants alleging firearm violations, Deputy Staton indicates that Massey displayed what appeared to be a knife or firearm during commission of the violent crime last June. Further, as someone prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition, due to his conviction for a violent crime, Massey reportedly had in his possession four separate firearms during the commission of a burglary.

Christopher Michael Massey was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing on his charges.

Guilty Pleas Include Trafficking Meth, 1st Degree Assault

Guilty Pleas were heard yesterday by Circuit Court Judges in two Laurens County Courtrooms during the first day of a new session of Laurens County General Sessions Court. An anticipated jury trial was postponed.


57-year-old Johnny Earl Womble of 1007 North Sloan Street, Clinton pled to Trafficking in Meth or Cocaine Base, between 10 and 28 grams. Judge McIntosh sentenced Johnny Earl Womble to four years in jail. Womble received credit for 460 days already spent in jail. Other charges that were dismissed against Womble were Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, 2nd Offense Possession of a Controlled Substance, 2nd Offense Possession of Marijuana and Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute in Proximity of a School.

22-year-old Keshawn Jamal Keith of 112 Sumter Street, Laurens pled to 1st Degree Assault and Battery. He was sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act to a term not to exceed six years. Keith was given credit for 309 days in jail. He is forbidden to have contact with his victim, directly or indirectly. Charges may be expunged after an appropriate time.

In accepting the 1st Degree Assault plea, the judge dismissed another charge for Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime.

31-year-old Antwain Jermaine Abercrombie of 100 Helen Street, Piedmont yesterday entered a guilty plea to charging including 2nd Degree Burglary, Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, Driving Under Suspension and Habitual Offender for Driving under Suspension. Judge McIntosh sentenced Abercrombie to five years, with credit for five days served.

Among other cases heard yesterday by Judge McIntosh, 27-year-old Tyler Aaron Charping of 15 Tray Drive, Greenville pled to Forgery, valued at under $10,000. He was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit given for the 55 days he’s already spent behind bars. Charping was also recommended for an addiction treatment unit.

From Southern Greenville County, 62-year-old Kenneth Edward Bennett of 1102 McKelvey Road pled to Threatening the Life, Person or Family of a Public Employee. Bennett was sentenced to the 90 days he’s served, awaiting his time in court.

Forgery, Weapons Violation

Among pleas heard yesterday by Judge Keesley….

52-year-old Stacey Lynn McKenzie of 10 Stover Hurley Drive, Gray Court pled to Failure to Stop for a Blue Light with no injury or death resulting. Judge Keesley sentenced McKenzie to one year, suspended to 52 days already served I jail plus random drug and alcohol testing. McKenzie’s Drivers License was suspended for 90 days.

38-year-old Travis Glen Tyner of 22 Agewood Court, Simpsonville, pled to Forgery of under $10,000 value. Tyner was sentenced to 18 months, but that was suspended to 53 days, time served and 18 months on probation. He’s also to attend Vocational Rehabilitation or the Job Corps and be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing. Tyner is also to pay court costs at the rate of $10 a month.

23-year-old Xaincantis Tychee Watts of 176 John Grant Street, Cross Hill pled to Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol. In the process, charges of Possession of a Narcotic and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime were dismissed. On the Unlawful Carry, Watts was sentenced to one year, suspended to 108 days, time served along with two years on probation. He’s also to attend Vocational Rehabilitation or Job Corps if not employed in thirty days and is subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Watts is to also pay court costs at a rate of $50 a month.

31-year-old Charlie Marie Shaver of 102 Dads Place, Gray Court, pled guilty to possession of less than one gram of meth and was given a one-year sentence that was suspended to 87 days served, then two years on probation.

Shaver is to attend Vocational Rehabilitation or Job Corps, to attend Drug Abuse Counseling and be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Shaver is also to pay $50 a month for court costs starting July 1st.

Forum Announced for Seat 14

A candidate’s forum has been announced for the Special Election being held this month to replace Mike Pitts in the State House of Representatives. It’s to be held in the Coffee Roost on the Laurens Square Wednesday, April 18th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Questions for the candidates will be submitted to the moderator, Coffee Roost Owner Peggy Cwiakala. Democrat Garrett McDaniel and Republican Stewart Jones are seeking to represent House Seat 14 in the Special April 23rd Election. Both now serve on County Council.

Traffic Fatalities

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety yesterday announced that four persons were killed this past weekend on the state’s highway. This preliminary count provides a total count of traffic fatalities for this year of 242, as of midnight Sunday night. That’s an improvement from the 268 people killed as of April 14th in 2018.

The 242 deaths on state highways so far this year include 167 motor vehicle occupants. 78 were not wearing their seat belts.

We’ve had 44 pedestrians killed on roadways, up from 41 this date last year. 14 motorcycle fatalities are noted, dramatically down from 24 last year. We’ve had 9 bicyclists killed in traffic this year, more than double the 4 killed on highways by this date in 2018.

South Carolina Public Safety records for 2019 report six traffic fatalities in Laurens County through April 14th. While that’s a big jump during the past week or so, it’s still below the 9 fatalities as of this date last year, and 15 this date in 2017.

What’s Your Name?

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office was holding a man wanted by another agency this morning, following his arrest in the early morning hours yesterday. 28-year-old Bradley Shane Matthews was booked with a Poplar Street, Woodruff address. A warrant gives his address on New Hope Road, Enoree. He’s charged with Giving False Information to a Laurens County Deputy early Monday. Deputy Kanipe states that on April 15th during a traffic stop on Highway 221, Enoree, Mr. Matthews provided false information by giving a false name and date of birth multiple times in an attempt to avoid an outstanding warrant.

During arraignment on the False Information warrant yesterday, a $465 bond was set. Bradley Shane Matthews remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning, with a hold for Fountain Inn Police.

Over $100,000 Bonds on Drug Charges

A local man, arrested last Thursday evening, remained in custody this morning with bonds exceeding $100,000 on multiple drug-related charges.

Laurens City Police served warrants charging 30-year-old Michael Leon “Mike” Killingsworth of 104 Candra Drive, Laurens with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 3rd or Subsequent Offense and with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. He’s also charged with Destruction of Evidence and with Flight Upon Sight of police.

One warrant, citing an investigation of Laurens Police Sgt. Billy Sellers, states that on Thursday, April 11th on North Harper Street in Laurens, Killingsworth possessed crystal methamphetamine with intent to distribute, having in his direct possession approximately two grams of meth. It adds that the defendant’s criminal history reflects an exorbitant number of prior convictions for meth-related charges, making this third or subsequent offense. Another warrant citing Sgt. Seller’s investigation states that on the 11th Mike Killingsworth possessed marijuana with intent to distribute, having approximately ten grams of marijuana accompanied by excessive amount of plastic sandwich bags and a digital scale, both commonly used in the sale and distribution of illegal substances. A warrant alleging Destruction of Evidence states that Killingsworth removed illegal substances from on or within his person while detained by law enforcement Thursday and concealed the illegal contraband within the confines of the patrol vehicle. In addition to the six warrants, Sgt. Sellers issued a ticket charging Flight on Sight (loitering) on Woodrow Street at 11:00 pm Thursday night.

Michael Leon “Mike” Killingsworth remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $102,000.