“Extremely Belligerent”

Laurens City Police yesterday charged a local woman with two incidents last month. 25-year-old Catanelous Latoya Craig of an apartment at 900 Church Street, Laurens is charged with Public Disorderly Conduct and Malicious Damage.

She is accused of being disorderly by becoming extremely belligerent and argumentative with a cashier and by using profanity in a public store with customers present at the Dollar General at 907 East Main in Laurens on July 28th. In the second incident, earlier last month, Ms. Craig is accused of willfully and maliciously throwing a can or beans at the kitchen widow of a residence at 200 Hardin Road July 7th, breaking the window

Catanelous Craig was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on the two charges.

Progress for Development of Martha Dendy Property

Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon addressed City Council and interested members of the public on hand for the August meeting of Council Monday evening, giving information on plans for the Martha Dendy site.

After a brief explanation on receiving grants for a community center there, he asked Rev. Steven Evans, pastor of Friendship A.M.E. Church in Clinton, to help explain the future progress of establishing a way to fund the project.

Rev. Evans said he will be working to help establish funding for a sustainable community empowerment center that could supply enough services to the entire community, regardless of age or color. Evans said that on August 20th an RFQ or “Request For Qualifications” form would be distributed to anyone wanting to partner in submitting grants for the Martha Dendy project. He said that from there, people would be chosen based on their knowledge and qualifications from many different areas to help establish a means of submitting the appropriate paperwork for various grants to help fund a sustainable project all of Clinton and Laurens County could be proud of.

Checking for Asbestos

In City Manager Bill Ed Cannon’s administrative briefing during last night’s Clinton City Council Meeting, he addressed several issues that had been brought before council on multiple occasions from members of the public.

Clinton City Manager Cannon reported Monday evening about receiving a Brassfield Grant. This is to provide funding for asbestos testing in the Carriage House in Vance Park. Cannon said that tentative plan is to use the Carriage House as public facilities and host a Farmer’s Market in Vance Park.

Cannon also said that building 3 at the D.E. Tribble facilities would also be tested for asbestos with funding from this grant.

How About Bicycle Lanes

Monday night’s Clinton City Council began with comments about bike lanes, during the time set aside for comments to council. The first speaker was a member of the Laurens County Cycling Club, who suggested bike lanes being made more available for recreational biking and use by college students. Clinton City Council was asked to make recommendations on the matter so that the State Department of Transportation could act on them. City Manager Bill Ed Cannon commented that some of those concerns would be addressed shortly.

Swamp Rabbit Trail

Among the matters discussed last evening during an administrative briefing by Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon was the first planned segment of the Swomp Rabbit Trail for Laurens County. Noting that Greenville Health System has awarded a grant for the first segment of the trail in Laurens County, he said this segment will connect the GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital with the Richloam Plant off US 76 on the western outskirts of Clinton.

 

American Legion Hut Update

Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon didn’t have good news for the old American Legion Hut between Willard Road and North Adair. During his administrative briefing to City Council Monday evening, he made a presentation on bids to bring the property up to a better standard. He noted the lowest bid was over $229,000. Cannon said that rental income of the hut had averaged $53,000 per year over the last several years, which is not enough revenue to continue to maintain or upgrade the property. He recommended to council to either sell the property or exchange it for future use property.

Looking for District 56 School Board Candidates

With just over one week left in the filing period, no candidates had yet filed for the District 56 School Board. As of our check with Laurens County Elections Director Lynne West early Monday afternoon, no one had yet filed for either of the three seats on the District 56 School Board. Up for election on General Election Day this coming November are District 56 seats 5, 6 and 7.

In Laurens County School District 55, we have from one to three people filing for the three seats open there. For District 55 Seat Two, where long-time Board Member Mike Fortune had announced he is not seeking another term on the school board, three people had filed as of early yesterday afternoon. They are Jim Moore, Cathy Little and Bessie Eaddy Williams.

For Seat 4 on the District 55 Board, Mark Earle had filed. For Seat 6 on the District 55 School Board, David Underwood and incumbent Susan Calhoun Ware had filed as of early yesterday afternoon.

This filing period is also for anyone seeking election as Watershed District Commissioner.

Elections Director Lynne West said that the filing period will close at noon Wednesday, August 15th.  Candidates must file with the Laurens County Elections Commission. Their office is on the ground floor of the Historic Laurens County Courthouse, on the Laurens Square, which is open 9 to 5 weekdays.

District 56 Trustees on Conference Call

The Laurens County School District 55 Board of Trustees were to hold a called board meeting via conference call this morning. An announcement yesterday indicated the conference call was to originate from the Administrative Office at 11:00 a.m.

The purpose of this morning’s meeting was stated as action on certified contract employees, in order that these employees may immediately begin their duties in District 55.

At Least We’re Out of the Top Ten

Laurens County continued to hoover just below the list of the top ten deadliest counties in the state list yesterday, with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s latest weekly recap of traffic fatalities.

Public Safety reported 12 highway fatalities this past weekend, bringing the Palmetto State’s total for this year to 580 people, as of midnight Sunday. This number is down from 599 on August 5th of last year. This year’s 580 traffic deaths include 406 motor vehicle occupants. Just over half of those, 206 people, were not wearing their seat belts.

Through midnight Sunday night, we’ve had 83 pedestrian deaths on the state’s highways, down from 85 last year. We’ve had 64 killed on motorcycles, down from 67 last year. And we’ve had 10 killed on bicycles thru August 5th, down from 12 the same date last year.

Neighboring Spartanburg County continued posting a high number of traffic deaths, as did Lexington County. They’re each tied for the state’s most fatalities with 45 each. Charleston County is next with 39, followed by Horry with 48 traffic deaths.  Greenville County has the 5th highest number of traffic fatalities for this year, with 34.

Rounding out the top ten, Richland County has 29, Anderson has 26, Orangeburg has 24 highway deaths, and Berkley and Florence Counties each have 22.

Tied with the 11th highest highway fatalities thru August 5th are Laurens and York counties, each with 20.

As of August 5th, Greenwood County had just over half the fatalities of Laurens County, with 11 deaths on Greenwood roadways. Newberry County had 6 traffic deaths, Abbeville County had 2, Saluda had 1 and Union County still had no traffic deaths for 2018 as of midnight Sunday night.

Violation of Probation

State Probation, Pardon and Parole yesterday arrested 35-year-old Robert Rimeak Foulks of 838 Poplar Street, Clinton and charged him with Violation of Probation. A warrant cites three dates last September and October when he had failed to report, or anytime since, as of the date the warrant was obtained. He’s further charged with moving to an undisclosed location, thereby absconding supervision. Foulks was further accused of failure to make required payments, and of failing to follow the advice and instructions of his agent. Robert Foulks remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Domestic Charge Served

A man the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested Saturday was served with a warrant yesterday. 25-year-old William Michael Wells of 25560 East Highway 72, Clinton was charged with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence. The warrant states that he inflicted bodily injury Saturday by slapping his wife with an open hand, causing swelling and leaving an imprint on his hand on her face. He’s also accused of pushing her into a wall and into a television, causing her to be in fear of imminent peril. Mr. Wells remained in custody this morning with a bond set at $5,000.

4 Now Charged with a Warehouse Burglary

There have been two more arrests in connection with a burglary at a warehouse off Interstate 26 in the first four months of this year. Last week we reported on the arrest of two people on multiple charges in this case. Today, we have news of two more arrests by Clinton Public Safety, made Friday.

30-year-old Christy Dodgens and 32-year-old Timothy Joseph McKinney, both of 15150 Highway 221, Enoree, were charged with Criminal Conspiracy, 2nd Degree Burglary, Grand Larceny valued at $10,000 or more and with Damages from Unlawful Entry to obtain Metals.

Warrants allege that Christy Dodgens and Timothy McKinney conspired with each other, and with Dustin Scott Franklin Jr. and Kenneth McKinney, who were arrested earlier last week, to commit the crimes of Burglary and Larceny at 53 Commerce Avenue. This is off Highway 56 on the north side of its interchange with Interstate 26 in Clinton.

Detective Tyrone Goggins states that between January 1st and May 1st this year, Dodgens and McKinney entered into the Lanford Building at 53 Commerce Avenue without consent and with intent to commit the crime of larceny while inside.

After the entry without consent, they are accused of stealing items valued over $10,000. These items allegedly include, but not limited to, multiple types of wire stored in racks at the warehouse, batteries for heavy equipment, copper, tools and personal items.

They are also accused of causing damages estimated at over $5,000 by maliciously cutting wires connected to fixtures and by damaging the structure and fixtures during the process. Warrants state that this crime was committed intentionally for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals, and occurred at 53 Commerce Avenue in Clinton.

Christy Dodgens and Timothy Joseph McKinney remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $17,500.

Of the two men arrested earlier last week for the alleged Burglary and Grand Larceny on Commerce Avenue, one was also charged with a Burglary and theft of wiring from another building on East Florida Street.

 

Two More Undercover Drug Sales Alleged

Another arrest was made this weekend in connection with undercover drug operations in Clinton this year. Clinton Public Safety charged 50-year-old Harrison Daniel Vance of 320 East Ferguson Street, Clinton with one charge of Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine along with two counts of 3rd Offense, Distribution of Crack Cocaine and two counts, 3rd Offense, Distribution within Proximity.

Sgt. Shane Prather states that on February 27th Vance conspired with another man to sell a quantity of crack cocaine to a confidential informant working in an undercover capacity. He then allegedly sold a quantity of crack cocaine to a confidential informant working undercover on West Main Street in Clinton. A Warrant charging Distribution in Proximity states that this occurred within a half mile of a public park on Oak Street. Detective Prather and Detective Goggins were noted as the investigators in this undercover operation.

Warrants regarding the 2nd undercover operation this year allege that Harrison Daniel Vance committed a 3rd Offense Distribution of Crack Cocaine in an undercover sale March 8th on West Centennial Street, and that this was also within a half mile of the Public Park on Oak Street. Detective Prather and Sgt. Metz were noted as investigators in this incident.

Harrison Daniel Vance remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $35,000 on his five warrants.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with Intent to Distribute Meth was charged Friday in a warrant from Clinton Public Safety. 24-year-old Randall Bret Worthy of 1625 Whitmire Highway, Joanna had been arrested Thursday, in a case by Lt. Anderson. He is accused of having over one gram of methamphetamine in his possession in Clinton, Thursday, noted as prima facie evidence of intent to distribute methamphetamine. He was also charged with 2nd Offense Driving under Suspension Thursday. Randall Bret Worthy was released Friday on posting $6,000 for the two charges.

Assault by Threats with Machete

A Friday assault was alleged in a warrant served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Saturday. 33-year-old Reidel Garcia Lopez of 422 Powerhouse Road, Ware Shoals was charged with 1st Degree Assault, citing an investigation of Deputy Duckett as indicating that on August 3rd in Laurens County, Lopez allegedly committed battery upon the victim by threatening him with a machete, causing him to fear for his life. Reidel Lopez remained in custody this morning with bond set at $15,000.

2nd Degree Fist Assault

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office arrested 57-year-old Michael Golden of 10218 Highway 221 South, Waterloo and charged him with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. A warrant citing an investigation by Deputy Boyd states that on August 3rd Golden intentionally committed battery upon a victim by hitting him in the face and head with a closed fist, then pushed the victim to the ground and continued to hit him in the face with a closed fist. Michael Golden was being held earlier today, awaiting a bond hearing.

Threat from Machete

A Friday assault was alleged in a warrant served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Saturday. 33-year-old Reidel Garcia Lopez of 422 Powerhouse Road, Ware Shoals was charged with 1st Degree Assault, citing an investigation of Deputy Duckett as indicating that on August 3rd in Laurens County, Lopez allegedly committed battery upon the victim by threatening him with a machete, causing him to fear for his life. Reidel Lopez remained in custody this morning with bond set at $15,000.

3rd Degree Assault

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 57-year-old Michael Golden of 10218 Highway 221 South, Waterloo Sunday and charged him with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. A warrant citing an investigation by Deputy Boyd states that on August 3rd Golden intentionally committed battery upon a victim by hitting him in the face and head with a closed fist, then pushed the victim to the ground and continued to hit him in the face with a closed fist. Michael Golden was being held earlier today, awaiting a bond hearing.

Michael Eubanks Found Guilty Of All Three Counts of Criminal Sexual Contact with a Minor

A verdict was returned around 4:00 Friday afternoon with the jury finding 32-year-old Michael Cliff Eubanks of Old Colony Road, Clinton guilty on all three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. His defense said it will file for appeal.

Before Judge Gaddy pronounced sentence, the involved families were invited to make a statement. The victim stood up with her mother to speak. The victim told Eubanks that now she knows that he never really cared about her after all. Michael Eubanks did not make a statement, but his father tearfully made a statement. He told the jury that he understood they had to make a difficult decision. He also apologized to the victim’s family, and said that in the end the Lord will be the ultimate judge.

Judge Addy stated, “We had 12 people which all had to agree on this verdict, and I think they got it right, according to me. I don’t judge a person, I judge the crime.” Addressing Eubanks, he continued, “You were the last line of defense for this girl, and you failed miserably.” His honor then addressed the victim, saying, “You are a very brave young lady, bravery is you. Someday you will meet a man who loves you and will take care of you.”

Judge Frank Addy Jr. sentenced Eubanks to 25 years in prison on the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, plus a consecutive 15-year sentence on the charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.  Judge Addy further sentenced Eubanks to 15 years in prison on charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. That sentence is to run concurrently with the first 25-year term.

Of the 25-year-total from for the two concurrent sentences, Eubanks was given credit for 45 days already served. With parole possible after serving 85% of these 25 years, he will face the 2nd, consecutive 15-year sentence. After serving 5 of these 15 years, with good behavior, the remaining 10 years will be suspended.

The state presented a case that over a six-year period, Eubanks repeatedly assaulted this girl, under the age of 13. She came forward about the abuse in June of 2017.

Defendant & Mother of Victim Testify in Sex Case

The mother of a girl who was allegedly the victim of sexual conduct testified yesterday during the 3rd day of trail for 31-year-old Michael Eubanks of Clinton. The mother said she and Eubanks argued over the time he spent with her daughter. She said she threatened to install a nanny-cam. When asked by the prosecution how she didn’t know sexual abuse was happening, tears came to her eyes as she said that testimony from an earlier witness on behavioral ramifications in victims of abuse “Described my daughter to a T.”

Defense Attorney Rauch Wise called family and friends of the defendant to be character witnesses. They testified that they had never seen favoritism for the victim from the defendant or any bad behavior that may have been deemed sexual.

There was a slight delay in one witness taking the stand when a juror said she worked with that person. The witness was allowed. The defendant’s parents said they’d heard the victim’s mother saying she knew how to get rid of him. The prosecution questioned the girl’s mom about this and she said they were all just kidding around all the time.

The defendant’s father was another to bring up an accusation that the defendant had $40,000 in a safe and claimed it is missing.

When the defendant took the stand, he said he never was inappropriate with the victim and denied all the allegations from the victim and her family.

The defense questioned Eubanks regarding how there was opportunity for the abuse, due to lack of times they were alone, especially when the victim claimed how frequent the abuse was.

A medical record of the defendant indicating he had erectile disfunction was not allowed to be entered, after the prosecution objected, stating the doctor involved would need to testify on that.

The defendant testified that the victim was acting “provocative,” towards him, and he said that it gave him weird vibes, and he told her to stop that you shouldn’t be doing this. He did admit to an episode that had been brought up earlier this week where he had a sexual reaction that he blamed on the victim for her wiggling on his lap.

On cross examination, prosecutor asked the defendant about all the porn in his possession. He replied that he enjoyed the articles.