Another Scam Using Name of SC Sheriff’s Association

For the second time in a week, the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association is asking everyone to exercise extreme caution when receiving phone calls requesting donations or information on behalf of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. Jarrod Bruder, the Association’s Executive Director, said their office has been inundated with phone calls from individuals who believe they are returning a missed phone call. Some callers are being told via a recorded message that the Association needs to verify the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Others are speaking with live individuals who ask for complete Social Security Numbers and threaten to dispatch US Marshals if they do not cooperate. Bruder went on to explain, “It appears we are being spoofed. Our telephone number is showing up on the caller ID of these individuals, but I assure you, the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association is not making these calls. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, know that it is fraudulent and hang up.”

The South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association does operate a robust Honorary Membership Program but DOES NOT solicit via telemarketing.

Anyone with questions or concerns is invited to contact Jarrod Bruder, Executive Director of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, by phone at (803) 772-1101 or via email at


Multiple Sex Offender Violations

For the second time this week, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has charged a man with a repeat failure to register with the sheriff for the Sex Offender Registry.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office served a warrant charging a 3rd or subsequent Violation of the Sex Offender Registry on 46-year-old Wilson Simpson Jr. of 206 Sassafras Drive, Laurens. In the warrant, Deputy Richards states that on October 31st Simpson committed a 3rd Offense Failure to Register by failing to contact the sheriff to register as a Sex Offender, as required by law. Prior violations for this offense were noted.

Wilson Simpson Jr. was held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the Sex Offender Registry charge. He also had a hold from Clinton Police, who are expected to charge Mr. Simpson today with Resisting Arrest and Giving False Information to Police.

Speeding Ticket Leads to Meth Charge

A man the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested Wednesday on a Speeding ticket was charged yesterday with Possession of Less than a Gram of Meth. 29-year-old Justin Stewart Goff of 580 Johnny Parish Road, Batesville was charged with doing 93 in a 70-mph zone on I-385 at 3:18 Wednesday afternoon. The warrant states he was also in unlawful possession of meth. Goff remained in custody this morning with bonds of $5,180.

Invitation for Parents of 4K Students for 2019-2010

M. S. Bailey Child Development Center is the home to Laurens School District 56 4K students. M. S. Bailey CDC has been designated by the SC State Department of Education as a model literacy site for early learners.

In preparation for next year, M.S. Bailey is inviting all parents or guardians of prospective 4K students for the 2019-2020 school year living within the District 56 attendance zone to attend an informational meeting and tour of M.S. Bailey Child Development Center. It’s one week away, scheduled for Friday, December 14 at 9:00 AM. Parents will hear from Mrs. Carol Anne Barnes, CDC Director, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Biscuits and coffee will be served. Following the meeting, a tour of the building, and classroom visits will be offered. Parents in School District 56 with children eligible for 4-year-old Kindergarten area asked to contact the school at 864-833-0836 to indicate interest in attending.

What to Do About T.E. Tribble Building 3

Alternatives for what to do about a historical Downtown Clinton business building were presented this week at the Clinton City Council’s December meeting. City Manager Bill Ed Cannon gave the Mayor and Council an update on the condition and plans for the former D.E. Tribble property on Gary Street. Cannon explained that the property, built in 1926, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

He stated that of three buildings on the site, buildings #1 and #2 have been partially repaired through a Federal Historic Preservation Grant.  The work completed includes structural and masonry repairs, including a new metal roof on both buildings.  The storefront area was also rehabilitated.

The grant amount, however, was not enough to address the problems with building #3, and the problems with that structure have grown worse.  The City of Clinton had applied for and was a awarded a Community Development Block Grant for $99,000 to be used to stabilize building #3.

However, as city employees were inspecting the building, they discovered that a larger section of the roof has now collapsed and an existing hole in the concrete floor appears to have increased in size.  The state of the building was deemed too dangerous to allow for an adequate inspection.

Bill Ed Cannon suggested the City of Clinton has three options for the work on building #3 and asked for guidance from City Council on which path to take.  The city can, 1st, Proceed with the grant and hope that it is enough to stabilize the structure; 2nd, Decline the grant with the idea of tearing the building down to increase the area of parking for the complex; or 3rd, Do nothing.

The city manager’s report noted that since this site is on the National Register, demolition would have to be approved by the State Historic Preservation Office.  He said he had contacted them and learned they were not inclined to approve demolition until they were assured that all options for rehabilitation had been considered.  Cannon’s report further stated that the additional parking that could result from the demolition of building #3 would not, in the eyes of the State Preservation Office, be viewed as a reason to tear the structure down.

What path Clinton should take on the 3rd building at D.E. Tribble was not discussed by council Monday evening. Bill Ed Cannon told council he needs guidance “from each of you.”


Drug Distribution, Firearms, Fleeing Cops

Serious drug charges regarding two locations in Laurens and a police chase in that part of town Tuesday were alleged in warrants Laurens Police served yesterday morning. 27-year-old Desmond Marquis Bates of 208 Jersey Street, Laurens was charged with Distribution of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance and Distribution within Proximity of a School, along with 2nd Offense, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. He’s also charged with Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, Possession of a Stolen Handgun and Unlawful Carrying of that Pistol.

Warrants citing an investigation of Laurens Police Sgt. Billy Sellers allege that on December 4th Mr. Bates distributed a schedule 2 substance to a confidential informant in a parking lot at 101 Green Street in Laurens. Another warrant states this was within a half mile of Sanders Middle School.

Desmond Bates is also accused of having two bags of marijuana and a digital scale in his possession on Jersey Street, Tuesday. This was reportedly discovered during a lawful traffic stop.

Bates is accused of operating a vehicle on a roadway Tuesday and failing to stop when signaled by emergency blue lights and sirens as a lawful traffic stop was attempted. The offense reportedly began on Hance Street in Laurens. Bates allegedly reached speeds beyond those that are reasonable and prudent and endangered the general public.

The Possession of a Stolen Pistol warrant states that Bates had possession of a loaded Glock .45-caliber handgun that was reported stolen out of Clinton. This was reportedly discovered following a lawful traffic stop on Jersey Street. The unlawful carry warrant states that the handgun was located just behind the driver’s seat in a back-seat floorboard of the vehicle in which the defendant was found seated, on Jersey Street.

With cash or surety bonds set yesterday, totaling $101,000 on the six charges, Desmond Marquis Bates remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.


One Airlifted, One Charged with Stabbing

A stabbing incident northeast of Joanna yesterday reportedly resulted in one man being airlifted for treatment and his brother being arrested. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 27-year-old Justin Lee Bodie of 4660 Whitmire Highway, Clinton with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and with Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature.

Deputy Adam Galloway states that on December 5th Justin Bodie committed an assault upon a victim by stabbing him in the ribs with a four-inch knife. The warrant states the assault was deemed to be of a high and aggravated nature in that the injuries to the victim were potentially life-threatening. The victim was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital. In the other warrant, Deputy Galloway states that Justin Lee Bodie committed the crime of Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature, in that he stabbed his brother in the ribs with a knife, causing the peace and tranquility of the residence to be breached.

Justin Lee Bodie was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on his charges.


3rd Offense, Failure to Register as Sex Offender

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office booked a Greenville County man yesterday on charges of 3rd or Subsequent Offense for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. 45-year-old Earl Michael Burrell Jr. of 104 Coralvine Road, Simpsonville was served a warrant in which Deputy Sheriff Richards states that Mr. Burrell committed a 3rd offense of failure to register with the Laurens Sheriff’s Office for the Sex Offender Registry, as required by law.

Earl Michael Burrell Jr. was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

Grand Larceny, Multiple Items

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday made an arrest in connection with a theft of an ATV and various tools and parts last month. 48-year-old Anthony Keith “Tony” Thornley, booked with an address of 55 Dragon’s Trail, Laurens is charged with Grand Larceny. The warrant gives an address on Sawmill Road, Gray Court. It states that Thornley took a Honda ATV, a Kobalt welder, an air compressor, a power drill and a backhoe battery from the owner of the property on November 18th, 2018. The property was reportedly valued at between $2,000 and $10,000. Tony Thornley remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $10,000.

Woodland Gifts & Crafts at 1st ‘Merry Market’

Wonderful gifts and crafts will abound at the first Merry Market at the Laurens County Museum’s Witherspoon Building this weekend. The market will be open on the Laurens Square on Main Street in the future Museum building. The Merry Market will operate tomorrow evening from 4:00 until 8:00 and Saturday from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm, on Main Street.

The Merry Market coincides with evening trolley rides leaving from the Historic Courthouse along with Laurens Lights and the YMCA Reindeer Run. The Merry Market is open to the public.  Admission is $5.

Some vendor booths are available.  For more information, Debbie Vaughn, (864)683-3688,, or Jonathan Irick, (864)984-2119, Main Street Laurens, or Laurens County Museum Facebook page.



Clinton Recognizes Truman Owens & the late Alice Boyce

Resolutions honoring two Clinton residents for service to the community were unanimously approved this week during the December meeting of Clinton City Council. They received unanimous votes from City Council Monday evening in council chambers of the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center.

The first honor was afforded posthumously to Ms. Alice Marie Boyce for her contributions as a business owner and volunteer.  Ms. Boyce, along with her son Gerald Boyce, purchased property in downtown Clinton in 1993 where they operated Most Wanted Fashions.  The North Broad Street business was renamed G Squared International in 2012. The framed resolution was presented to members of the Boyce family by Councilwoman Shirley Jenkins.

Also honored Monday evening was Mr. James Truman Owens.  Mayor Bob McLean read and presented the proclamation which outlined the years of service by Truman Owens. The proclamation spoke of his years of service as a coach, a mentor in both the textile league and youth baseball.  Mr. Owens also worked as an official for the South Carolina High School League in football, baseball and basketball for more than fifty years.  Mr. Owens has been inducted into the National Federation of Officials Hall of Fame and into the Laurens County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Truman Owens also served for 41 years on Clinton City Council.  The proclamation also stated that the first baseball field completed at the city’s soon to be constructed recreational complex will be named J. Truman Owens Field.  As he received the proclamation Mr. Owens addressed the Mayor and Council and thanked them for their work on that recreational complex.  He said it had been a dream of his for many years and that it was one of the projects he advocated during his tenure on Council.


Meth Possession on Marion Street with Intent

Laurens Police charged a man and woman with Methamphetamine Possession on Marion Street with Intent to Distribute yesterday. They are 35-year-old Timothy Rea Wells of 444 Mount Pleasant Estates Road, Laurens and 30-year-old Ashley Revonda Bagwell, booked with an address at 309 Stuart Street, Laurens. Warrants citing an investigation of Officer Brent Rushing state that Mr. Wells was in possession of two baggies containing a total of 2.3 grams of meth and a scale and that Ms. Bagwell was in possession of one baggie containing a total of 1.3 grams of methamphetamines and two hypodermic needles containing meth.

The warrants state that the Meth Possessions occurred at 115 Marion Street, and that they were also witnessed by Lt. Simmons and Sgt. Sellers.

Cash or surety bonds on the Meth Possession with Intent to Distribute charges were set at $50,000 yesterday for Timothy Wells and Ashley Bagwell. A bond revocation was also in the works for a previous $25,000 bond for Ms. Bagwell.

Speeding Plus Drug Charges from April & November

A man the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested on a Speeding charge yesterday has since been served with narcotics charges from April and November of this year. 36-year-old William Tyrrence Sullivan of 20 Hazelnut Court, Laurens was initially issued a ticket charging him with Speeding, traveling at 90 in a 70-mile-per-hour zone near the five-mile marker of Interstate 385 at 3:25 yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Sullivan was then served with two warrants charging him with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigator Charles Nations states that Sullivan had approximately 411 grams of marijuana in his possession on April 19th, stating that he has prior narcotics-related convictions. In a second warrant, Nations states that on November 4th, Sullivan knowingly possessed marijuana with intent to distribute in that he was in knowing possession of separate packages of marijuana and a working digital scale. The 2nd warrant also notes the defendant has a prior related criminal conviction.

William Tyrrence Sullivan was held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing on his three charges.


Additional Failure to Register as Sex Offender

A repeated failure to make a required registration as a Sex Offender was alleged yesterday with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest of 39-year-old Nicholas Scott Schultz of 421 Chapman Road, Lot 32, Fountain Inn. He was charged with 2nd Offense, Violation of Sex Offender Registry.

Deputy Jeremy McMahan states that on December 1st Schultz failed to contact the Sheriff to register as a sex offender, as required by law, and that the defendant has prior convictions for this offense.

No bond was granted during arraignment yesterday. Nicholas Scott Schultz remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning,

“12 School Days of Giving”

Homerooms at Laurens Middle School are competing to see which class can collect the most items during their “12 School Days of Giving” campaign. The donations will be distributed to deserving individuals and/or agencies in our area before Christmas. Items being sought include clothing, new or gently used, along with non- perishable food items, toiletries, new toys, dry pet food, money and gift cards. Members of the local community are encouraged to join in this effort by dropping off donations in the main office during regular school hours. For more information visit our Facebook event page or They’re asking folks to please consider helping Laurens Middle students make this season a little brighter for others. “The 12 School Days of Christmas Giving” at LMS began yesterday and concludes December 19th.

Clinton Decides Referendum Not Needed

On the agenda of the December meeting of Clinton City Council last night was an ordinance which would have triggered a referendum on the issue of allowing permitted alcohol sales on Sunday within Clinton’s city limits.  However, before that item was taken up by council, City Attorney Allen Wham addressed council and advised that he no longer believed the action is necessary.

Mr. Wham reminded the Mayor and council that the referendum approved by Laurens County voters last month allowed for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the unincorporated areas of the county.  He said he had thought that to ease the alcohol restrictions inside Clinton, city voters would need to approve the same type referendum. Wham said he discussed this issue with other municipal attorneys and with county elections officials.  He said all agree that the county-wide referendum excluded the incorporated municipalities located within Laurens County. But that wasn’t the end of the matter.

Allen Wham told Clinton City Council that he called the South Carolina Department of Revenue last Friday, seeking clarification on the wording of the referendum questions.  He said he spoke with Ms. Tammy Young, an official with the DOR, who said that their department would “ignore the language about unincorporated areas” and would consider the referendum binding throughout Laurens County.  She said that this had been extensively discussed by their legal team and management of the Department of Revenue.

Further, she pointed him to the statute that enabled the referendum question in the first place.  There, he said, Section 21-6-2010-subsection F deals with the issuance of permits and states that permits may be issued in all parts of a municipality if any part of that municipality is in a county where the issuance of the permit is allowed. In other words, Wham said, the Department of Revenue considers the county-wide referendum as binding in all of Laurens County, including in the city of Clinton.

Wham said that Ms. Young advised that there is no need for cities to conduct a referendum, independent of the county.

Hearing that, Mayor Bob McLean did not take up discussion of the ordinance which would have created a referendum within Clinton.

Now Six Drug & Firearm Charges

A man arrested in Laurens Sunday morning remained in custody this morning, now facing six drug and firearms charges. Laurens Police Sgt. Alexander arrested 45-year-old Matthew Talmer Cagle of 403 Robinson Road, Laurens, initially issuing tickets charging him with Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 9:27 Sunday morning on Fleming Street. Warrants have now been served also charging Mr. Cagle with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance as well as Unlawful Possession of a Pistol and Possession of a Pistol by a Felon, Convicted of a Violent Crime.

Warrants citing the investigation of Sgt. Alexander cite information discovered during a lawful traffic stop on Fleming Street Sunday morning as indicating that Cagle had a total of 4.3 grams of methamphetamine in his possession and that he had a blue and white speckled pill identified as a schedule 4 controlled substance. The two firearms warrants allege that Cagle was found to have a Glock .40 caliber handgun under the seat cover of the driver’s seat, where he was sitting at time of the traffic stop. Also stated is that a lawful search of the vehicle located two or more additional handguns in the vehicle. Persons convicted of violent crimes are not permitted to carry firearms or ammunition.

During a bond hearing yesterday, cash or surety bonds were set totaling $68,865 on the on the six charges. Matthew Talmer Cagle remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Attempt to Pull Her Thru Car Window

A woman reportedly had injuries after an attempt to pull her through a car window last Friday. That day, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 37-year-old Michael Tyrone Brown of 14 Beatie Street, Laurens and charged him with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. A warrant cites an investigation of Deputy Wilkie as indicating that on November 30th Brown committed a battery on a female victim by grabbing her by the arm and attempting to pull her through a car window, causing abrasions and lacerations that needed medical attention. This reportedly occurred in the presence of two minor children. No bond was set during an initial court appearance. Michael Tyrone Brown remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Ecstasy & Oxycodone

Ecstasy and Oxycodone possession were both alleged yesterday with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest of 36-year-old Adrien Sentel Holmes of 132 Brentwood Drive, Greenwood. Holmes is accused of possessing 12 dosage units of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy and of one dosage unit of Oxycodone, a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Adrien Holmes remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with bonds on the two charges totaling $20,000.

Theft & Drug Charges

Theft and Drug charges have been served on two men Laurens City Police arrested Sunday night at Walmart. 33-year-old Joseph Michael Bunting of 340 Buntline Drive Mountville and 32-year-old Anthony Bruce Shepard of 210 Driftwood Drive, Greenwood were initially charged with Shoplifting at 7:53 pm at 922 East Main, in tickets issued by Sgt. Billy Sellers. Warrants were added later also charging Bunting and Shepard with Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth. Warrants allege they were found to be in constructive possession of less than a gram of meth Sunday at 922 East Main. Joseph Bunting and Anthony Shepard remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with bonds for each totaling $10,050.