Alleged Cheating & Stealing

Charges of a theft and of cheating someone of money on two consecutive days earlier this month were alleged in an arrest by the Sheriff’s Office yesterday. 45-year-old Anthony Keith Thornley of 3595 Saw Mill Road, Gray Court was charged with Petit Larceny and with Breach / Obtain Signature or Property under False Pretense. Sgt. Farrah Cook states that on October 6th Mr. Thornley took a washer and dryer from a victim that were valued at $900 and that on October 7th he fraudulently obtained less than $2,000 in money from a victim with intent to cheat and defraud him. Anthony Keith Thornley was released on personal recognizance bonds totaling $2,000.

Unlawful Start of Car is One of Charges

A Clinton man was released on this own recognizance yesterday after being arrested just before midnight the night before on multiple charges. Tickets issued by Lt. Anderson allege the multiple offenses occurred at 11:39 Tuesday night at or near the intersection of North Sloan and West Main Streets. 20-year-old Malcolm Issiah Robinson of 135 Kathy’s Drive, Clinton was charged with Driving under Suspension, Improper Start of a Vehicle, Failure to Surrender Driver’s License, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Malcolm Issiah Robinson was released on personal recognizance bonds totaling $1,327.25.

Laurens Council Approves Incentive

Laurens City Council last evening voted on measures setting up the framework for possible redevelopment of a large building on the Public Square that has been mostly vacant for many years. Council gave unanimous approval to a resolution regarding the multi-floor building at 111 and 113 East Laurens Street. While the Artists Coop occupies one side of the ground floor and the basement beneath that area, the other side of the ground floor and the 2nd and 3rd above-ground floors are empty.

The 21,000 square foot building was home of the Palmetto Bank many years ago. The parts of the building that are abandoned qualify the potential buyer of the property for a break on income taxes, but not on property taxes.

For the tax break to be given, at least $150,000 must be spent on renovations of the unused portion of the building.

Another action with numinous approval of City Council was 1st reading approval of an ordinance to provide a quit claim deed to the same company, Palmetto Enterprise LLC, for the alley behind the old bank building, from Silver Street to Laurel St. City Attorney Tom Thompson said this quick claim deed will allow for parking spaces for the new project, and is similar to what was used in a previous arrangement with Dominick Motors, on the other side of the square.


Laurens City Council last night gave 2nd reading approval to another ordinance regarding development of buildings on the Public Square. Ordinance 9-16-01 deals with The Historic Preservation Overlay District of the public square, and limits the use of street level building space as only to be used for commercial purposes, and not for residential. It does allow use of upper floors, above street level, for residential or commercial purposes. The ordinance was amended by council for clarification for basements. It excludes basements that have a rear entrance at street level from being considered “first floor.” That question arose during first reading of the ordinance in the September meeting of Laurens City Council.

Night-Time Burglary 2 ½ Years Ago

A night-time Burglary of a Clinton residence 2 ½ years ago was alleged with an arrest yesterday. Clinton Public Safety charged 25-year-old Willie Shawn Bookman of 414 North Marion Street, Joanna with 1st Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny. Detective Tyrone Goggins states that between April 9th and 10th of 2014 Willie Shawn Bookman broke into a residence in the 200 block of Brandi Lane within the nighttime hours and that he stole personal property from within. The property was valued at between one and two thousand dollars. Bond was denied on both charges during arraignment, so Willie Shawn Bookman remains in the Johnson Detention Center.

Mr. Bookman was also served with a Bench Warrant that shows he was convicted in Municipal Court August 31st of 2015 and sentenced to pay a fine of $324.88 or serve 30 days in the Johnson Detention Center.

Charges Served Tuesday from “Meth” Arrests

Bond was denied on all charges yesterday for a Greenville County man and a Laurens County woman who were arrested Monday night after two one-pots were allegedly discovered cooking meth in the back of the pickup they were in. As we reported yesterday, Deputy Brandon Howard made a traffic stop on Leesville Church Road, noting a defective tail light on the small Chevy truck.

Charged with Conspiracy to Violate Drug Law, Manufacturing Methamphetamine and Unlawful Disposal of Meth Waste were 52-year-old William Edgar “Red” Campbell of 484 East Old Hundred Road, Pelzer and 40-year-old Julie Delores Hostetler of 137 Forrest Road, Clinton.

Narcotics Investigator Nations cites Deputy Howard’s investigation as indicating that both were in possession of two one-pot methamphetamine labs used for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine on October 18th. Julie Hostetler is accused of obtaining Pseudophedrine the day before with the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. “Red” Campbell is accused of conspiring with Julie Hostetler to obtain Psuedophedrine for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Ms. Hostetler had a 4th warrant charging her with Possession of Diazepam, a schedule II Controlled Substance, without authority.

Both Mr. Campbell and Ms. Hostetler remained in the Johnson Detention Center today.

Stolen Pistol Possession Alleged on Two Robbery Suspects

Two men already charged with Armed Robbery have now been charged with Possession of Stolen Guns. 27-year-old Olin Christopher Rhodes II and 22-year-old Jonathan Eugene Merchant were booked last Thursday, each charged with two counts of Armed Robbery and two counts, use of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. Rhodes was booked with a Highway 92, Enoree address and Merchant was booked with a Young Road, Clinton address last week.

In warrants served this week, both are now also accused with Possession of Stolen Guns. Clinton Public Safety Sgt. Prather states that on October 11th – last Wednesday – each defendant possessed a stolen Springfield 1911 45-caliber firearm and an FN FNX 45-caliber pistol and that this occurred at 283 Locust Street in Clinton, listed as their address on the warrants.

With bonds denied on the new charges, both remained in the Johnson Detention Center today.

Car VS Motorcycle

A car versus motorcycle accident on Church Street in Laurens yesterday  afternoon caused serious but not life threatening injuries to the motorcyclist.  The accident occurred near the intersection of Church Street and Anderson Drive just after 4pm.

Multiple sources report that the injured motorcyclist was Ryan Thorne, owner of Thorne Ambulance Service and that Mr. Thorne suffered multiple fractures including possibly a broken leg.

Reportedly, the car involved in the crash left the scene crash but later returned.  Information concerning any charges was not available early this morning.

Multiple Charges Include Stolen Goods Possession

Laurens City Police yesterday arrested a local woman on multiple charges including possessing a stolen item. 31-year-old Tara Inez Tumblin of 973 Fleming Street Extension was arrested before dawn. An officer issued tickets charging her with Receiving Stolen Goods, Trespassing and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 5:36 yesterday morning at 1213 North Harper Street.

Cash or surety bonds on the three charges were set totaling $1,380. Tara Inez Tumblin remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Domestic Assault Alleged Last Night

Laurens Police made an arrest in a domestic incident last night. 50-year-old Gladys Little of 832 Sullivan Street, Laurens was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree in a ticket issued by Officer Sellers, alleging a domestic assault at 8:10 last night at her residence. Gladys Little was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Returns Home to find Door Kicked In

The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 6,000 address range of Green Pond Road at 4:14 yesterday afternoon to investigate a Burglary. Deputy Turner spoke with a man who said he arrived home from work and noticed that his front door had been kicked in. He indicated his mother had called him at work and reported observing a known person at the house yesterday. Electronics, jewelry and other items were estimated to have a total value of $1,900.

Tools Taken from Shed

The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Highway 101 north of Hickory Tavern at 11:25 yesterday morning, where a woman reported finding items missing from a building on her property. Several power tools and other tools were noted as missing from the unlocked building. Total value of stolen items was estimated at $1,610.

Mom & Grandma Doing “Bad Stuff”

A Deputy responded to a Clinton area residence yesterday morning after a woman in her early 20’s reported an altercation after she arrived at her mother-in-law’s house to pick up her daughter from her husband. She was reportedly upset that her daughter wasn’t ready to leave for school. As she and her husband argued, the mother-in-law indicated she got between her son and his wife because of the wife having previously accused her son of domestic violence. The child, who was sitting in a car, reportedly told the deputy that her mom and dad had been yelling before her mother and grandmother started doing “bad stuff.” When the Deputy asked the child to define “bad stuff,” she reportedly replied “hitting.” Both women declined to prosecute.

Active Mobile Meth Lab in Pickup

A Clinton woman and a Pelzer man were arrested last night after an active Mobile Meth Lab was reportedly found in the small pickup they were inside. Deputy Brandon Howard was stationary at the Leesville Community Center parking lot at 9:50 last night when he observed the small Chevy pickup pass by on Leesville Church Road. He followed for about a half mile toward the intersection with Forrest Road when the pickup driver reportedly slowed and waved for the deputy to pass. Noting a tail light didn’t work at that time, Deputy Howard signaled for the pickup to pull over. While writing a warning for the tail light, the officer reportedly observed the two looking through the rear window of the pickup. Sheriff’s Lt. Timmons responded to the scene for backup, as the officer asked to search the vehicle. During the investigation, a syringe was reportedly found in the man’s pocket and another was allegedly found in the woman’s possession. Further investigation reportedly revealed two plastic drink bottles which were under a spare tire in the back of the truck, which had a heavy chain on top. Narcotics Sgt. Nations was on the scene and identified these as two active one-pots with meth cooking. Due to the danger these pose, a SLED clean-up team had to be called to handle them.

Other items reportedly found included a digital scale and lighter flood. Other needles were located in a tool box in the truck bed as well as inside the truck. Another syringe was reportedly located on the male subject during booking in the Johnson Detention Center. Both the man and woman were being held in the Johnson Detention Center, pending charges.

Pills Thrown in the Shrubbery

A man was charged with trying to hide pills behind the shrubbery, in a warrant served yesterday. The incident allegedly occurred Sunday, before Laurens City Police arrested 52-year-old Ronnie William Coker of 2443 Ekom Beach Road, Laurens. The charge yesterday was Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance. A warrant states that he had thirteen orange and blue capsules in his possession Sunday which he attempted to conceal from law enforcement officers, allegedly hiding them behind shrubbery outside of the Belk Department Store at 911 East Main in Laurens. Ronnie William Coker was released yesterday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Code 3 Response to Domestic Incident

A Sheriff’s Deputy responded with lights and siren to an active Domestic Assault in progress overnight. Deputy Brandon Howard was dispatched at 11:55 pm and arrived at a Joanna residence at 7 minutes after midnight this morning. He spoke with a woman who told of an altercation with a boyfriend who had moved out about a month ago. She said when she returned home last evening a neighbor told her that her boyfriend, who had moved out a month before, had been looking for her. He then called her and asked to speak, so she said he could come over. She indicated that when he arrived at her residence he began to accuse her of cheating on him, so she went inside and locked the door. She said he came into the house through a living room window and began to chase her in the house. He reportedly threatened to get a knife from the kitchen but she held him out. She broke free from him and ran outside, calling her mother. She dropped the phone and he reportedly then smashed it. Her mother was on the phone at the time, and called 911. Deputy Howard noted visible injuries to the woman’s lip, a forefinger and a thumb, as well as a broken blue tooth device and a cell phone. Charges were pending.

Nighttime Burglary on Laurens Court

Fountain Inn Police yesterday arrested a man for an alleged night-time Burglary is the early-morning hours yesterday morning. 49-year-old William Scottie Sexton of 121 Laurens Court, Fountain Inn was charged with Burglary 1st Degree, Grand Larceny and Fugitive from Justice.

Fountain Inn Officer Robert Davis states that on October 17th the defendant broke into a dwelling on Boyd Street in the nighttime with intent to commit a crime therein, intending to take items from the residence with intent to permanently deprive the owner. He allegedly took away items valued between $2,000 and $10,000 from the residence.

Officer Davis also states that William Scottie Sexton is a fugitive from the states of New York, where he is charged with a Parole Violation.

William Scottie Sexton, also known as “Scotty Rock” or “Scotty Williams,” was being held in Laurens County’s detention center today with no bond set on either of the three charges during a Municipal Court proceeding yesterday.


Prescription Drug Fraud

A Laurens County man was arrested yesterday on charges of obtaining a prescription drug by fraud in July this year. 24-year-old Timothy Scott Coleman of 2514 Riddle Town Road, Gray Court was charged with Violation of Drug Distribution Law. A state drug control agent states that on or about July 9th, at the Rite-Aid pharmacy at 501 North Harper Street in Laurens, Timothy Coleman unlawfully obtained a quantity of Oxycodone, a schedule II controlled substance, by fraud. Agent Tomlinson states that when the alleged practitioner was asked if the prescription was authorized by him, he confirmed that it was not. The agent also cites an eye-witness account of Mr. Coleman picking up the prescription.

Timothy Scott Coleman was released yesterday on a $15,000 surety bond.

   Oh, what a night!

A Greenville man recounted events for a Laurens County Deputy from an incident last Friday night. A report on the incident was turned in yesterday.

Deputy Crosby was dispatched to the Fountain Inn Police Department, where the man had gone to report the happenings from Friday night to Sunday morning. He reported that he had been at a female friend’s house on Beaverdam Church Road, Gray Court Friday night and they were all drinking. He said he needed to go to the bathroom and while walking toward the bath he bumped up against his friend’s TV. He said all he remembers after that was waking up in a friend’s car with nothing on but his boxers and shoes. He said that this friend told him that the female friend was who had “done that” to him. Deputy Crosby noted observing a black eye and lacerations on the man’s face, arm and leg. When the officer contacted the female friend, she said she was at work. She met with the officer yesterday. During their meeting she reportedly indicated that the man was being rude, saying inappropriate things so three times she had asked him to leave her house. She said he bumped her TV, knocking it over, breaking it. She said she did hit him and made him leave her house, but she didn’t take his clothes. She said his house keys were still at her house. The officer was going to consult with a judge about the matter.

Possession of Stolen Pickup

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday charged a Spartanburg County woman with possessing a pickup this past summer that had been stolen from a Clinton area man. 28-year-old Ashley Marie Whittle of 304 North Carolina Avenue, Chesnee was charged yesterday with Receiving Stolen Goods and with Obtaining Signature or Property under False Pretense.

Sgt. Jamie Edwards states that on July 11th, 2016 one Ashley Marie Whittle committed the crime of Receiving Stolen Goods by having a 2002 Nissan Frontier truck in her possession without the authority to possess it. The vehicle was valued between $2,000 and $10,000. On the same day, Ms. Whittle is accused of fraudulently obtained money from the victim, valued at $2,000 or less, with the intent to cheat and defraud the victim.

Ashley Marie Whittle remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Engines & Engine Hoist Taken

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to a residence in the Lydia Mill community at 5 minutes after noon yesterday regarding theft of vehicle parts. A resident advised Officer Beaman that on returning from a trip out-of-town he found that two vehicle motors and an engine hoist had been taken from his yard. The engines had been sold to another man, who had advised he had not picked them up. The engine hoist was on loan from a friend, who was not available for contact at the time. Value of the stolen items was $800.