Laurens County Bridge Update

Laurens County Council last evening received an update on county bridges that have been closed. The report from engineering firm Davis and Floyd told council that $10 million would be needed to repair and restore the problem bridges the county owns. Bridges closed last year on recommendations from the State Department of Transportation were Gristmill Road, Harris Grove Church Road, Wells Road, Burdette Road and Park Road. These bridges are basically in the northern part of the county.

County Council last evening discussed each bridge and how its closure hurt its area of the county. Reasons for bridge deterioration were also discussed. Trucks heavier than the posted weight limit was noted as one reason, but Laurens County Public Works Director Dale Satterfield said, “We do not have enough money or employees to monitor traffic on these bridges.” Satterfield said they have done a study of the area population and potential bridge use.

Council Chairman David Pitts said that he was shocked the county doesn’t get more complaints from people regarding the bridge closures. He added, “If a bridge that I use needs repair, its important, but for those who do not use it that bridge may seem unimportant, we need to find the bridge that has the most traffic and have it repaired first.”

County Council received the report as information, but no action was taken on bridge repair last night.

Guilty Pleas Continued Yesterday

More guilty pleas were heard yesterday in Laurens County General Sessions Court, with Judge Mark Hayes presiding.

28-year-old Melissa Olivia Brewster of Clinton Manor Apartments in Clinton pled guilty on two charges. For her plea to Cruelty to Children, she was sentenced to 30 days, suspended to the 28 days already spent in jail. Ms. Brewster also pled guilty to Possession of One Gram or Less of Methamphetamine or Cocaine Base, 1st offense. She was sentenced to three years on Probation from that offense. Her probation is being transferred to Anderson County. She is to be subject to random drug testing and is to attend substance abuse counseling. A Simple Possession of Marijuana case was dismissed in the process.

44-year-old Angela Diana Cooper of Jeannie Court, Spartanburg pled to Filing a False Police Report of a Felony. She was given a two-month sentence but is to be released on the 8 days already spent in jail, with the balance of her term to be suspended to Nine months of Probation. Her probation case is to be transferred to Greenville County. Charges of Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person were dismissed.

41-year-old Allan Dewain Cowart of Memory Lane, Enoree pled guilty on two counts of Receiving Stolen Goods. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail but is to be released on the 20 days already served with instructions to have no contact with the victim’s property. A civil judgement was issued on Mr. Cowart for restitution to the victim.

27-year-old Joe Michael Lawson of North Marion Street, Joanna pled guilty to Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth or Cocaine Base and was sentenced to 3 years, suspended to 18 months on Probation with random drug testing. He also led to Unlawful Carry. A one-year sentence was suspended to 18 months on Probation. Another drug possession charge was dismissed.

More on 27-Year Attempted Murder Sentence

Yesterday, we reported on a 27-year sentence handed down Monday in Laurens County General Sessions Court for an Attempted Murder guilty plea from 53-year-old Quientin Eugene Spearman of Fountain Inn. Later yesterday, 8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo issued a statement on the case.

Judge Mark Hayes’ sentence requires that 85% of the 27-year sentence be served before Spearman become eligible for parole.

The solicitor noted that in October 2018, neighbors heard screaming coming from the apartment Spearman shared with his then-girlfriend. When neighbors went to see what was going on, Spearman came to the door and assured them everything was fine. A short time later, neighbors again heard screaming. As they approached the apartment, they saw Spearman leaving the scene. Spearman told his neighbors they should check on his girlfriend because he thought he killed her.

A neighbor kicked in the door to the apartment and found the victim lying in a pool of blood with cuts to her face, neck, and chest. A razor blade that appeared to come from a box cutter was found on the victim’s neck and a box cutter with no blade was found in the apartment. Investigators were able to locate Spearman in Greenwood County and arrest him without incident.

In comments broadcast on WSPA-TV last night, Calista Rice said she remembered to use pressure to reduce blood flow from the cuts. She gave praise to God for giving her strength to endure.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Lt. Melissa Woods and the Fountain Inn Police Department is securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence. He said, “Our communities have grown tired of senseless domestic violence and the wide effect it can have. I hope this lengthy prison sentence becomes the springboard from which Ms. Rice can move past this dark time in her life and find happiness once again. My office will continue to do everything within our means to put an end to the scourge of domestic violence in our communities.”

Ill Treatment of Animals

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Clinton area resident yesterday on the charge: Ill Treatment to Animals. Sgt. Veal arrested 40-year-old Kevin Hill of the 1300-address-range on Charlottes Road. A warrant charging 1st Offense for Ill Treatment of Animals alleges that he failed to provide adequate food, water, and shelter to an animal in his care, reportedly evidenced the 1st of July last summer. Mr. Hill was also served a Bench Warrant regarding a charge of Malicious Damage to Personal Property. This was issued by the court last July 25th.

Overnight, Kevin Hill was awaiting a bond hearing on the new charge of Ill Treatment of an Animal.

Burglary at Family Dollar

Clinton Police yesterday arrested a man from an alleged theft of cash from a Dollar General Store in town last weekend. 20-year-old Quinta Lee McKissick of Buncombe Street, Woodruff was charged with 2nd Degree Burglary. A warrant alleges that in the night on Sunday, January 12th Mr. McKissick entered the officer area of a Dollar General Store and took money. Quinta Lee McKissick remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the 2nd Degree Burglary charge.

Arrest Cites Assault Last Summer

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a man from an alleged domestic assault last spring. 36-year-old Robert Steven Coleman II of Sandshore Drive, Greenwood was charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence. A warrant cited an investigation of Deputy Hilderbrant as indicating that on April 8th, 2019 he struck the victim multiple times in her head, chest and arms and pulled her hair. Mr. Coleman remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the charge.

27 Years for Attempted Murder

Quientin Eugene Spearman


An attempted Murder case was disposed of yesterday in Laurens County General Sessions Court. 54-year-old Quientin Eugene Spearman of an apartment at 205 Chapman Road, Fountain Inn plead to Attempted Murder. He had been arrested by Fountain Inn Police and charged with stabbing a woman on Sunday, October 28th, 2018 in the Laurens County area of Fountain Inn. The stabbing was alleged to have been with malice and with the possession and display of a knife during the incident. Judge Hayes sentenced Mr. Spearman to 27 years, with credit for 443 days, time already served. A second charge of Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime was dismissed.

Three Years from Guilty Plea to Arson

John Paul Clark


Setting fire to a Clinton area home last year resulted in three years to be served behind bars, following an appearance yesterday in Laurens County General Sessions Court. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested the suspect early last July and charged him with 1st Degree Burglary and 2nd Degree Arson, accusing him of the June 30th, 2019 break-in of a Clinton area home, theft of a .38 caliber handgun and of maliciously setting a fire that resulted in significant damage to the home. With yesterday’s guilty plea to 3rd Degree Arson, 52-year-old John Paul Clark of Daniel Avenue, Greenville was sentenced to ten years in prison. With the service of three years in prison, the balance is to be suspended to release on Probation. Mr. Clark is being given credit against those three years for 190 days he’s already spent behind bars. The 1st Degree Burglary charge on John Paul Clark was dismissed with his plea to Arson.

Five-Year Sentence on Grand Larceny Plea

A five-year sentence was handed down in Laurens County Circuit Court yesterday. 21-year-old Nijel R. Montgomery of South Bell Street, Clinton pled guilty to Grand Larceny valued at $10,000 or more. He had been accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Montgomery was sentenced to five years, but given credit for 518 days, already served. The sentence was under the Youthful Offender’s Act. With the guilty plea on the Grand Larceny charge, charges of Armed Robbery and Criminal Conspiracy were dismissed on Nigjel Montgomery.

3-Year Sentence Suspended to Probation & Conditions

33-year-old Anthony Rashia Anderson, of Watts Street, Laurens, pled guilty to

2nd Degree Domestic Violence. He was sentenced to three years, provided that upon service of the 95 days already served, the balance is suspended to three years on Probation. He’s also to be involved in “PTUP” upon completion of a Batter’s Treatment program. He is forbidden to make contact with the victim of his Domestic Violence and must comply with domestic violence rules. Anderson also plead guilty to failure to stop for a blue light first offense and was sentenced to 60 days on that, with credit for 42 days already served. A Forgery charge on Anthony R. Anderson was dismissed.

Sentences on Drug, Firearms, Sex Registry

20-year-old Jmaurice Shundre Lee of Georgia Acres Road, Gray Court pled guilty yesterday to Sale or Delivery of a Stolen Pistol. He was sentenced under the Youthful Offenders Act to a term not to exceed five years; but, with one day already served, the balance is suspended to Mr. Lee serving 18 months on Probation. Charges dismissed on Mr. Lee with his guilty plea yesterday were Strong Armed Robbery and Unlawful Carry of a Firearm.

33-year-old Gregory Lamar Cullen of Cypress Street, Clinton pled guilty yesterday to Possession of a Controlled Substance in Schedule I to V. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit given for the 51 days he’s already been incarcerated, waiting for his court appearance.

45-year-old Felicia Marie Richards of East Liberty Springs Road, Cross Hill yesterday pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance in Schedule I to V. She was sentenced to 90 days in the Johnson Detention Center but given credit for six days she’s already spent behind bars. Another charge of Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth or Cocaine Base was dismissed.

38-year-old Michael Anthony Stewart of Check Road, Gray Court yesterday pled to Failing to Register with the Sex Offender Registry. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit for one day already served.

Arrest Alleges 1st Degree Assault

Thomas Dylan David Owens


A 1st Degree domestic assault Sunday was alleged with the Sheriff’s Office arrest of 27-year-old Thomas Dylan David Owens of Thomason Road, Fountain Inn. He’s charged with 1st Degree Domestic Violence. According to an investigation of Deputy Lowe, Mr. Owens is accused of assaulting the victim by slamming her hand in a door, causing a broken finger and possibly also a broken hand. The assault is alleged to have occurred in the presence of her children Sunday at a location on Thomason Road, Fountain inn. Thomas Dylan David Owens remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the 1st Degree Domestic Violence charge.

Man & Woman Charged with Domestic Violence

A man and woman have been charged with a mutual 2nd degree assault on each other, following their arrests by deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Sunday.

25-year-old Taylor Breanne Passmore of Whitehorse Road Extension, Greenville is charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence. She’s accused of an assault on Justin Riden, accused of pulling on his shirt and scratching his shoulder area with her nails, causing markings to that area of his body. This is reported to have occurred in the presence of her Child Sunday at a location on Highway 101 South, Gray Court.

Taylor Beeanne Passmore was released from the Johnson Detention Center yesterday on posting a $5,000 cash or surety bond.

28-year-old Justin Tyler Riden of Highway 101 South, Gray Court, in the Dials Church area, is also charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Assault.

He is accused of having the present ability to cause physical harm to Taylor Passmore during a verbal altercation that created reasonable fear of imminent peril to her. He also is accused of jumping up and down on a vehicle and breaking a windshield in the presence of her child Sunday at a location on Highway 101 South. Deputy Gary also issued him a ticket charging Justin Riden with Non-Aggravated Breach of Peace at the location of Highway 101 South just before 11 o’clock Sunday night.

Justin Riden remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds set at $5,000 on the 2nd Degree Domestic Violence warrant and $1,087 on the Breach of Peace ticket.

Possession of Marijuana with Intent

Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol and Possession of a Marijuana with Intent to Distribute were the two charges served yesterday following the arrest of 19-year-old Naizajan Dimante Walker of Washington Street, Clinton. Warrants allege he had a Taurus 9 mm handgun in his possession yesterday without a concealed weapons permit.  He’s also accused of having approximately six ounces of marijuana that was packaged separately and had a working digital scale yesterday.

Jaizajan Dimante Walker remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier today, awaiting a bond hearing.

Distribution of Heroin, Fentanyl….…

Laurens County Sheriff’s Sgt. Noble yesterday arrested a man on drug charges. 31-year-old Roderick Antonio Moss of Montgomery Avenue, Greenwood was served a warrant charging him with Distribution of a Controlled Substance in Schedule I and II. He is accused of distributing a round, blue pill imprinted with M 30 that tested positive for Heroin, Fentanyl, Codiene and Morphine. This allegedly occurred on December 11, 2018.

Roderick Antonio Moss was released from the Johnson Detention Center later yesterday on posting a $15,000 cash or surety bond.

CPW Approves Blue Star Incentives

The Laurens Commission of Public Works last night approved an incentive for natural gas customers. This is a Blue Star Natural Gas Appliance Incentive. It allows for customers who purchase either a gas stove or water heater, for replacing an electric appliance, to finance it on their monthly CPW bill, along with receiving a rebate on the purchase. Rebates offered are a $500 rebate for a natural gas water heater and a $100.00 for a gas dryer or cooktop/range.

Charges Include Malicious Damage

Charges have been served from a Sunday night incident in Joanna. The Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Randy Lee Hicks of Tillman Circle, Joanna Sunday night and a ticket was issued charging him with Public Disorderly Conduct just after 6:30 Sunday evening on Tillman Circle. He was later served with warrants also charging him with Resisting Arrest and with Malicious Damage to Personal Property.

He is accused of pulling away from the arresting officer in an effort to escape the arrest and of causing a window to break, at a Tillman Circle address Sunday night.

Randy Lee Hicks remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning, awaiting a bond hearing.

Duck! Here Comes the Medicine!

Clinton Police have charged a man with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence after he allegedly threw a basket of a woman’s medicine at her yesterday. Clinton Police responded to a home in the Southwest quarter of town Monday. Anderson spoke with the victim, who said that after she told the man she was leaving him because he’d cheated on her, he picked up a basket with her medication and a drinking glass and threw it at her. Lt. Anderson noted observing the basket, medicine and the broken drinking glass on the floor.

Officers placed the 47-year-old man into custody and charged him with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence. He was later released on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.

Massive Power Outage in Clinton

Clinton Repair Work Post

As storms passed through the Upstate Saturday evening, the City of Clinton had extensive damage to its electrical system.

A Clinton Facebook post Saturday night indicated there was widespread damage around town. Crews were assessing the scene and damage for safety prior to beginning repairs. Some areas were expected to require trees or other debris to be removed before restoration could begin to that area.

When we passed through town around 10:00 Saturday night, traffic lights were out on US 76 through town. Drivers are supposed to treat intersections as four-way stops before proceeding. Traffic was very light when we drove through. The area of Clinton North of US 76/Carolina Avenue was dark.

Crews continued working on the damage to Clinton’s electrical system through the weekend.

This morning, School District 56 said that the M.S. Bailey Child Development Center is closed today, due to having no power at the school.

SWAT Team & SLED Helicopter Aid in Arrest

Jonathan Mark Fuller

A Gray Court area man is facing multiple charges after the Sheriff’s Office called a SWAT Team and SLED Helicopter in to facilitate his arrest. A Sheriff’s statement indicates at around 9:15 last Thursday morning a Deputy patrolling Highway 92 in Laurens County observed a vehicle with a car tag that didn’t match. The Sheriff indicates a passenger who was forced from the vehicle indicated the diver was in possession of a firearm.

When a deputy tried to make contact, the driver reportedly fled to another location. There, attempts to make contact from a safe distance were not successful. The SWAT team and a SLED Aviation Team were activated.

Eventually, with the SWAT team moving closer and with assistance from the SLED Helicopter, the subject was taken into custody.

Initially, 60-year-old Jonathan Mark Fuller of Hill Street, Gray Court was issued tickets from Deputy Gary at 3:00 am Friday on Warrior Creek Church Road, charging him with Failure to Stop for Police, Improper Display and 3rd Offense Driving under Suspension.

Jonathan Fuller was also charged with Trafficking in Meth or Cocaine Base. He is accused of having between 10 and 28 grams of methamphetamine. Other warrants served charge him with Possession of a Firearm in Commission of a Violent Crime as well as Possession of a Firearm and/or Ammunition by a Person who’s been Convicted of a Violent Crime. They allege he was in possession of a “PA style” AR 15 rifle and ammunition. Fuller is also charged with Resisting Arrest.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $67,250. Jonathan Mark Fuller remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Sheriff Don Reynolds said, “This situation could have certainly had the worst outcome. I am proud of our SWAT Team for their diligence, dedication, and quick thinking. Our road deputies made sure that those closest to the situation were evacuated and well out of harm’s reach.” The Sheriff thanked Captain Hunnicutt’s willingness and ability to communicate with Mr. Fuller, along with the training of the SWAT team that made this a successful operation.

Fuller was also served with a Bench Warrant showing he has been convicted of a previous Driving under Suspension charge and sentenced to 30 days or $647.50.