Criminal Sexual Conduct with Child Under 11 Alleged

Allegations of an adult male having sex with a minor between six and nine years ago were served this weekend by the Laurens County Sheriff’s office. 55-year-old Leon Glen Smith of 1144 Boyd’s Mill Pond Road, Ware Shoals was booked in the Johnson Detention Center a little after 2:00 o’clock Sunday morning. He’s charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 1st Degree.

In a warrant, Sheriff’s Investigator Hunnicutt states that between January 1st, 2010 and January 1st, 2013 in Laurens County Smith did engage in sexual battery by penetrating the victim’s privates, the victim being less than eleven years old and the defendant being more than three years older that her.

Leon Glen Smith was released late Sunday morning on posting a $50,000 surety bond.

Two Judges for Laurens County Circuit Court Today

Another term of Laurens County General Sessions Criminal Court gets underway this morning in court chambers of Hillcrest Square. This is another session where two Judges are assigned to Laurens County for one week. One judge will be hearing guilty pleas in one courtroom while the other is conducting trials in another courtroom.

School Board Meetings Tonight at CHS & LDHS

School Board meetings for May are meeting a week earlier, due to the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday. School District 55 Trustees meet at 6:30 this evening in the Lecture Theater of Laurens District 55 High School. The District 56 School Board meeting opens to the public at 7:30 in the auditorium of Clinton High School.

Need to Speak with Your Congressman’s Office?

While Congressman Duncan will be in Washington this week due to the House of Representatives being in session, Congressional outreach to constituents will continue this week with staff-led community office hours. These office hours are to give constituents an opportunity to seek assistance on any issue involving a federal agency or to discuss issues of concern.

The outreach was scheduled to be at two locations this morning, meeting with constituents at both the Gray Court and Fountain Inn City Halls from 10:00 until Noon.

Tomorrow they’ll be at Edgefield Town Hall from 10 ‘till noon and at Saluda Town Hall from 2:00 until 4:00 pm. Wednesday, congressional staff will be at the Oconee County Delegation Office in Walhalla from 10 to Noon and at two locations Wednesday afternoon. They’ll be in the Pickens City Hall and in Greenwood City Hall Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 until 4:00 o’clock.

Thursday, Congressional staff will meet with constituents in Honea Path Town Hall from 10:00 until Noon and in the Abbeville County Administrative Complex from 2:00 until 4:00 pm.

Common agencies that constituents seek help in working with are the VA, IRS, and Social Security Administration (SSA).

Absconding Supervision to Ohio

A Waterloo man remained in custody this morning following his arrest last Thursday for State Pardon, Probation and Parole. 36-year-old Jonathan Wendell Smith of 14434 US 221, Waterloo was served a warrant Friday charging him with Violation of Probation.

Smith is accused of failing to follow the advice and instructions of his probation agent. The failures reportedly include failing to report on June 3rd, 2015, of giving agents a false location for his residence and by moving out of the state to Ohio, thereby absconding supervision. He’s also accused of failing to make required payments, of failing to attend or complete a substance abuse program as ordered by the court.

Jonathan Wendell Smith remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning, awaiting a bond hearing.

$75,000 Bond on 2nd Degree Domestic Assault

Laurens Police arrested a man following an alleged early Sunday morning domestic assault. 24-year-old Derrick Torral Waldon was booked indicating an address of 330 Wilson Street, Laurens. He was charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence.

A warrant with that charge cites an investigation of Officer Blackstock as indicating that on May 19th the defendant struck the victim across the face with an open hand, resulting in physical manifestation of injury, and that this occurred while the victim was holding an infant child. It states that Waldon and the victim lived together in a romantic relationship and have a child in common and that the assault occurred in the presence of a minor in an apartment on Garlington Street.

During arraignment yesterday, a cash or surety bond was set at $75,000. Derrick Torral “Finesse” Waldon remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Victim Passed Out After Assault

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Friday for an alleged domestic assault Thursday. 31-year-old Joshua James Jennings of 1342 Curry’s Lake Road, Gray Court was charged with Domestic Violence 2nd Degree. A warrant cites the investigation of Deputy Davis as indicating that on May 16th Jennings struck the victim in her head with a closed fist, then smacked her across the face, causing her to black out.

Joshua James Jennings was released Sunday morning on posting of a $10,000 surety bond.

3rd Degree Domestic Assault Alleged

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 20-year-old Joanna woman yesterday alleging a domestic assault. Lt. Richey issued a ticket charging her with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence on Smith Road at 3:25 yesterday afternoon. She was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

Teen Held on Multiple Charges

A Fountain Inn area teen remained in Laurens County’s detention center this morning following his early Friday morning arrest by the Highway Patrol in the Waterloo area. 18-year-old Bradley Noah Davis of 139 Little Virginia Road, Fountain Inn is facing multiple charges ranging from failure to stop for blue lights to littering. Lance Corporal Aga issued tickets charging Davis with Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, Driving under the Influence, Driving without a License, Unlawful Turning, Open Container of Beer or Wine in Vehicle, Simple Possession of Marijuana and Littering on Riverfork Road, Waterloo at 6 minutes after midnight Friday morning. Bradley Noah Davis remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with cash or surety set on his seven charges totaling $7,794.50.

Arson charged from Fire Burning Home & ATVs

A fire that destroyed a mobile home and multiple all-terrain vehicles last weekend was noted in charges served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. 26-year-old Sheala Pearl Thomas was booked with an address on Fairview Street, Kings Mountain, NC. A warrant charging her with 2nd Degree Arson gives her address as a Laurens Villa Apartment at 309 Exchange Drive, Laurens.

Sheriff’s Investigator Farrah Cook states that on March 11th Ms. Thomas willfully and maliciously set fire to a mobile home at 194 Wappo Road, Gray Court. Cook states that the home and all contents were destroyed, as well as multiple ATVs.

Sheala Pearl Thomas was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing today on the 2nd Degree Arson warrant.

Burglary, Theft of Food & Cigarettes

A Clinton woman was charged yesterday with a nighttime burglary Wednesday. Arrested Wednesday, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has now charged 41-year-old Kelly Amanda Gilliam of 205 Shands Street, Clinton with 1st Degree Burglary.

The warrant with that charge cites an investigation by Deputy Hilderbrandt as indicating that on May 15th Kelly Amanda Gilliam entered a dwelling in the 800-address range of Charlottes Road without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein. She allegedly entered at night when the resident was sleeping and stole cigarettes and food from him. The warrant states that she was on a trespass notice for the location she allegedly broke into.

With a cash or surety bond set at $25,000, Kelly Amanda Gilliam remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Investigator Farrah Cook is “Officer of the Year”

Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Farrah Cook was named the Laurens County “Officer of the Year” Tuesday during the annual awards luncheon at the Ridge in Laurens. A report on the event in this week’s Laurens County Advertiser noted Investigator Cook is a ten-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Don Reynolds said, “I was happy to see her win because she deserves it. She is a dedicated, true professional.” The Advertiser reported that Cook paid tribute to the other two nominees for the award, Lt. Heath Copeland of Laurens Police and Lt. Phillip Wicker of Clinton Police. She said, “I know these guys and they work hard, just like it do. They deserve this as much as I do, and they pull their weight every day, just as I do.”

The Officer of the Year banquet is held during National Police Week.

Preparing for Muffin Mam

Earlier this week we reported on the Laurens CPW approving a new rate for large, industrial users of electricity. One business moving to Laurens that could benefit from that also received approval from Laurens County Council this week. Council gave 3rd and final reading approval to Ordinance 869, which amends a Hunter Industrial Park agreement to include the Muffin Mam. The large commercial bakery based in Greenville County is building a second commercial bakery in Laurens’ Hunter Industrial Park.

Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury

Charges including Felony DUI were served yesterday from a South Carolina Highway Patrol investigation of a wreck on Sunday this past weekend. 57-year-old Marvin Thurman Coker Jr. was booked with an address on Old Glory Lane, Summerville. A warrant charging Coker with Felony Driving under the Influence with Great Bodily Injury lists his address as on Fisherman’s Cove, Inman. Marvin Coker was also charged with Open Container, Possession of a Controlled Substance and with Littering.

Warrants citing the investigation of Trooper Wray state that on May 12th in Laurens County Marvin Thurman Coker Jr. was involved in a motor vehicle collision on Interstate 385 at the 19-mile marker which caused great bodily injury to the victim. Coker was accused of having five Xanax pills, which are a schedule 4 controlled substance. In addition to being accused of having an open beer container in his vehicle, Marvin Coker Jr. was also charged with littering, accused of being observed kicking two beer cans under his vehicle after being involved in a motor vehicle collision. Marvin Thurman Coker Jr. was held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing on his charges.

Drug Charge Added to Traffic Tickets

A baggie with meth was reportedly found in a man’s jeans pocket during a Highway Patrol investigation in the Laurens area yesterday. 43-year-old Jackie Dewayne Painter of 135 Golf Lane, Fountain Inn was served a warrant charging him with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. It cites an investigation of Trooper Joseph McCord as indicating that Painter had in his possession yesterday 1.6 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Multiple traffic violations were also alleged. Trooper McCord issued tickets charging Painter with Driving under the Influence, Driving under Suspension, Failure to Stop for Blue Light, driving an Uninsured Vehicle and with a Tire Violation on US 221 at 12:50 yesterday afternoon.

While awaiting a bond hearing, Jackie Dewayne Painter was also being held for Fountain Inn Police.

Assault with Lacerations to Eye & Lip

The Sheriff’s Office served an Assault warrant yesterday on a person arrested following the alleged assault on Wednesday. 18-year-old Tyrese Lashun Dover of 52 Evans Drive, Clinton is charged with 2nd Degree Assault and Battery. He’s accused of striking the victim twice in her face with a closed fist, causing a laceration to her left eye and to her lip. Dover was held overnight, pending a bond hearing this morning.

ID Fraud & Sale of Information

Gaining personal information on a woman in Laurens County and selling it was alleged with a Fountain Inn Police arrest yesterday. 41-year-old Carl Daniel Ballard of 206 Donegal Drive, Moore is charged with Financial Identity Fraud and Sale of Personal Information.

Officer Joel Rivera states that on December 3rd, 2018 Ballard recorded information such as name, date of birth and South Carolina driver’s license number for his own personal gain by utilizing a third party that assisted in accessing financial records from Wells Fargo Bank and Suntrust Bank accounts belonging to the victim, without authorization from the victim.

Rivera states that Ballard then sold a document containing this personal information of the victim. Carl Daniel Ballard was being held in the Johnson Detention Center with bond set at $10,000.

Drug Charges on Two Subjects

Unlawful drug possession was alleged in warrants served on two people by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday.

42-year-old Stephen Ezekial Sutherland of 104 C & K Drive, Belton had been arrested Wednesday. He’s charged with Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth and with Trespassing on Wednesday, accused of entering another person’s land after allegedly continued to stay on the property after being told to leave. A $465 bond was set on the Trespassing charge, while an $8,000 bond was set on the Meth Possession charge. Stephen Sutherland remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

28-year-old Cheyanne K. Mulkey of 596 Mill Rock Church Road, Gray Court was also arrested Wednesday. She’s now served with two charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Bonds on the two charges were set totaling $4,000. Ms. Mulkey also remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Sentence for Killing Mom & Stealing Neighbor’s Car reports that a judge has sentenced a man to 35 years in prison for the 2017 murder of his mother. Christopher Lee Oliver pled guilty yesterday to the murder of his 70-year-old mother two years ago. He also pled to carjacking. Deputies were dispatched to Fountain Inn’s Hartwick Lane the night of June 17th, 2017 and two people told of a bloody, naked man armed with a knife stealing their car after they drove into the driveway of their home. A police chase ended with Oliver’s arrest in Downtown Greenville. During the police chase, other officers found Christopher Oliver’s mother’s body inside her bloody home, next door to the carjack victims.

Sawed-Off Shotgun

Possession of a sawed-off shotgun is alleged from a Sheriff’s Office arrest Wednesday. 40-year-old Brandon Ray Lee of 596 Mill Rock Church Road, Gray Court was charged yesterday with Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime. Deputy Shawn Davis states that on May 15th Mr. Lee was in possession of a sawed-off 20 gage New England shotgun. As a person who has been convicted of a violent crime, he is forbidden to possess a firearm or ammunition. Brandon Ray Lee was being held with a bond set at $4,000.