Charged With Alleged Sexual Groping

Sexual groping between last summer and last month was alleged with an arrest Friday morning. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office served a Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor warrant on 36-year-old Billy Ray Crowder of 3104 Highway 92, Gray Court.

Sheriff’s Officer Hunnicutt states that between July 15th 2016 and February 24th, 2016 Mr. Crowder engaged in sexual battery by fondling the breast and other private area of the victim, under and over her clothing, with the victim being between 11 and 14 years-old and the defendant being more than three years older.

Billy Ray Crowder was released from the Laurens County Detention Center Friday afternoon on a $50,000 cash or surety bond.

Marijuana & Cocaine

Possessions of Marijuana and cocaine were alleged with an arrest this weekend. Clinton Public Safety Saturday arrested 33-year-old Tony Eugene Turner Jr. of 208 Blakelyville Road, Clinton and charged him with Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana with Intent in Proximity of a Public Park. Warrants allege that on Magnolia Street, Clinton between March 10th and 11th Mr. Turner possessed a .85 gram of a white powdered substance believed to be cocaine. During the same time period Turer allegedly had 152.8 grams of marijuana which, by weight alone, is prima Facie evidence of intent to distribute. This also allegedly occurred at 217 Magnolia Street in Clinton between Friday and Saturday. With cash or surety bonds set totaling $20,000 on the three charges, Tony Eugene Turner Jr. remained in custody this morning.

Distribution of Acetaminophen

 

Distribution of Acetaminopohen on two dates last year was charged with an arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning. Booked was 52-year-old Robert Johnson Jr. of 1011 Quarry Road, Gray Court, also known as “Jake Neal.” Johnson was charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. Warrants alleged that Johnson distributed Acetaminophen / Hydrocodone, a schedule II controlled Substance, last year on August 21st and September 23rd. Robert Johnson Jr. was released Friday afternoon on cash or surety bonds totaling $50,000 on the two charges.

Multiple Drug Charges Early Friday

Laurens City Police had multiple drug charges following an early Friday arrest. Officer Sellers issued tickets charging 28-year-old Billie Lee Tribble Jr. of 11 Raintree Drive, Laurens with Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 1:30 am Friday in the vicinity of Jones Street and Irby Avenue. A warrant was later served also charging Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. Tribble is accused of having approximately 4.7 grams of cocaine in his possession, found during a lawful traffic stop on Jones Street. With cash or surety bonds set totaling $11,115, Billie Lee Tribble Jr. remained in custody this morning.

1st Degree Assault in July, 3rd Degree in December

A man wanted for assaults on his girlfriend twice last year was arrested Friday night by Clinton Public Safety. 34-year-old Brad O’Neal Davis was booked with a current address noted as 104 Twenty Street, Clinton. A Domestic Violence 1st Degree warrant, showing the same address, states that on July 16th, 2016 he struck the victim about the face, causing a loose tooth and creating fear of imminent peril. This assault  allegedly occurred at a Rose Hill Drive address in front of three minor children, one of which they share in common.

A Domestic Violence 3rd Degree warrant alleges he assaulted this same girlfriend on Rose Hill Drive December 3rd by striking her in the face with a closed fist, also allegedly on Rose Hill Drive, Clinton.

While a $2,500 cash or surety bond was set on one of the December Domestic Violence charge, bond was denied on the 1st Degree Assault warrant from last summer. Brad O’Neal Davis remained in custody this morning.

Domestic Assault Friday Morning

A domestic assault around 3:45 Friday morning was alleged in an arrest that morning. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office issued a charge of Domestic Violence 3rd Degree on 55-year-old Robert Ibra Derrick Jr. of 762 Bal Harbour Road, Ware Shoals. He is accused of assaulting the woman he lives with by hitting her on both her lefts, on the thigh. With a cash or surety bond set at $5,000, Robert Ibra Derrick Jr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Sunday Morning Assault Alleged

Clinton Public Safety arrested a local man Sunday morning following an alleged assault on his girlfriend yesterday morning. 27-year-old Marcus Antonio Jones of 106 Oak Street, Clinton was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. Lt. Lawton states that Mr. Jones assaulted a woman he lives with in a romantic relationship. This allegedly occurred Sunday morning at their residence with him grabbing her by both arms and shoving her to the ground, injuring her left arm. During arraignment later yesterday, a $2,500 cash or surety bond was set. Marcus Antonio Jones remained in custody this morning.

Arrest Alleges Sunday Assault

Clinton Public Safety last night made an arrest from a Sunday assault. 30-year-old Adrian Daniel Brown of 207 North Woodrow Street, Clinton was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. He is accused of repeatedly striking another man in the face with a closed fist at an address on Shands Street Sunday. This reportedly caused severe swelling, bruising and lacerations to the victim’s face. Adrian Daniel Brown was being held overnight in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.

3 Theft Charges Friday

Laurens City Police arrested an Upstate woman Friday afternoon on three charges of Petit Larceny. An officer issued tickets on 23-year-old Kristen English Clark of 10 Hazel Street, Taylors charging three counts of Petit Larceny at 5:00 Friday afternoon. She remained in custody this morning with bonds of $265 on each of the three charges.

Tire Puncture on Purpose

Laurens City Police charged a Cross Hill woman last night with puncturing tires on a victim’s vehicle this past Christmas day. 42-year-old Stephanie Dawn Fuller of 2971 Harris Springs Road, Cross Hill was charged with Malicious Damage to Property. She is accused of willfully and purposefully puncturing tires on the victim’s vehicle with a sharp object, causing permanent and non-repairable damage. This allegedly occurred on December 25th, 2016 at 495 Pinehaven Street Extension.  Stephanie Hill was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Resisting Arrest….Also

A Greenwood man reportedly resisted arrest in Laurens Sunday morning. A ticket was issued by Laurens Police Officer Sherfield charging 40-year-old Jeremy Chad Bible of 113 Shrine Club Road, Greenwood with Public Disorderly Conduct at 10:59 Sunday morning at 758 East Main. A second ticket charged him with Resisting Arrest. With cash or surety bonds set totaling $1,000, Mr. Bible remained in custody this morning.

Trip Detour to Detention Center

A Coastal South Carolina man had his trip through Laurens County interrupted Saturday morning with a traffic stop by the South Carolina Highway Patrol near Clinton. 31-year-old Guion Gregory of 21 Gregory Drive, St. Helena Island was issued a ticket by Trooper Gabriele charging him with Driving under the Influence at 7:05 Saturday morning on Southbound Interstate 385 at the 3 mile marker. A warrant was also served stating that Gregory was carrying a handgun about his person without authority to do so. Mr. Gregory was later released on personal recognizance bonds totaling $5,992.

  Clinton Woman Shot to Death

A Clinton woman was fatally injured with an apparent gunshot to her chest Friday afternoon at her home. Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols identified the victim as 40-year-old Kimberly Smith of 118 Mill Pond Road, Clinton. Nichols estimated time of death for Ms. Smith at 3:45 Friday afternoon.

A 911 call reporting a woman having cardiac arrest reportedly came in at 3:42 Friday afternoon. Clinton Public Safety Director Robin Morse was first responder on the scene. As CPR was attempted, evidence of a gunshot injury became apparent. Coroner Nichols was then called to the scene.

Laurens County Sheriff’s Officers identified a person of interest as an estranged husband of the victim. Chief Deputy Sheriff Jarvis Reeder said Deputies with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office assisted Laurens County by detaining a suspect in Greenwood.

At 7:30 Friday evening, Chief Reeder reported that the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office placed 40-year-old Clinton Anthony Smith of Greenwood under arrest for the murder of 40 year Kimberly Smith.  Investigators were on the scene of Mrs. Smith’s residence outside Clinton Friday night, with assistance of the State Law Enforcement Division processing evidence.

 

  Gray Court Teacher is Finalist for State Teacher of the Year

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman surprised Gray Court-Owings teacher, Marcia Womble, in her classroom with news that she has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award. In a release Friday afternoon, Superintendent Spearman said “Marcia is the proud product of Laurens County public schools and is truly devoted to ensuring that her students receive a well rounded arts infused education. I am so proud of her devotion to arts education and look forward to her continued leadership.”

Marcia Womble is a Visual Arts teacher at Gray Court-Owings Elementary & Middle Schools in Laurens County School District 55. She also serves as the District Visual Arts Coordinator. Drawn to teaching at a young age, Marcia has opened doors for her students by obtaining several grants to purchase new art media, tools, and sponsorship for her annual Arts Day.  During Arts Day, each class visits with different artists, musicians, dancers, authors, and actors. She believes in the power of positivity and starts each class by getting her students to “tell her something good.”

District 55 Superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters said ”Marcia Womble is a great example of what today’s students need; a great teacher who understands the importance of how to capture, inspire, and teach all of her students in ways that they receive the greatest benefit. She exemplifies the qualities parents desire, principals expect and colleagues emulate.” Peters said he is grateful to be working with her to advance the important work assigned to us. “Mrs. Womble is one of the best teachers I’ve had the opportunity to work with in my 37 years in public education,” he said.

As one of five finalists for the State Teacher of the Year, Womble will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an in-person interview with a team of expert judges. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala will be held May 3rd in Columbia.  The overall winner receives a total of $25,000 and gets to drive a brand new BMW for one year while advocating for the teaching profession across the state.

Lake Greenwood Clean-Up Tomorrow Morning

Since 2009, nearly 20 tons of trash that could have found its way into Lake Greenwood’s ecosystem has been safely disposed of, thanks to an army of volunteers who have teamed up to preserve the waterway. That analysis was included in a recent article in the Greenwood Index-Journal. The report noted that tomorrow – March 11th – officials are expecting roughly 300 or more people to turn out for the ninth annual Lake Greenwood Cleanup Blitz. This will be held tomorrow morning, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Lake Greenwood State Park. The Index-Journal quotes Julie Davis, director of lake management for Greenwood County, as saying that this response from the community helps caretakers stay on top of a problem they cannot confront alone. She said “It’s definitely a huge help, and we’ve had some great support and sponsors over the years.”

In the last two years alone, volunteers have removed more than 6,000 pounds of trash from critical areas of the lake. Sites noted for these cleanups included both Greenwood and Laurens sides of the Lake. They include Harris and Moon landings, the Buzzard’s Roost boat launch and Fellowship Camp and Conference Center.

Davis noted, “A lot of emphasis has been placed on the state park, but there are other sites that need cleaning up as well.”

Several organizations are partnering to coordinate this year’s cleanup. They include Keep Greenwood County Beautiful, Greenwood County Lake Management, Greenwood County Public Works, Lake Greenwood State Park, Preserving Lake Greenwood, the state Department of Natural Resource, Palmetto Pride and the Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

Volunteers were registering at the web-site: greenwoodsc.gov. The cleanup tomorrow morning is at the Lake Greenwood State Park, near Ninety-Six.

Tattoo & Other Charges Follow Flight from Police

Unlawful Tattooing was among charges served following an early morning arrest by Laurens City Police yesterday. Officer Robert Van Pelt was on patrol on Powerline Drive around 2:30 am Thursday when he observed a suspicious white Cadillac. The tag was reportedly registered as being on a Honda. The officer initiated a traffic stop, with the Cadillac stopping at the corner of Powerline Drive and Deering Street. The driver quickly exited and reportedly ran into nearby woods.

As the officer was searching for the subject, a call came in that a White Cadillac had been reportedly taken from a nearby area. As the officer went to investigate that area, the suspect was spotted and apprehended.

On arrest, the suspect reportedly had tattoo equipment and a gram of marijuana in his possession. A check on his identification determined that he was operating the stolen vehicle on a beginner’s permit.

34-year-old Christopher Lamont Henderson of 747 Sullivan Street, Laurens was charged with Flight upon Sight, Unlawful Tattooing, an Improper Vehicle License, Violation of a Beginner’s Permit, Simple Possession of Marijuana and Transport of Alcohol in a Vehicle with a Broken Seal.

Christopher Lamont Henderson was released from the Laurens County Detention Center later yesterday on cash and surety bonds totaling $2,826.

NBA Basketball This Week, Philharmonic Next Month

Over 150 members of Laurens County School District 55’s Ladies and Gentlemen’s Clubs had the opportunity to visit the Spectrum Center in Charlotte this week to watch the Charlotte Hornets host the Indiana Pacers in an NBA Matchup. The trip was made possible with help from Calvin Whitmire and his Bridging the Gap afterschool program, and the Charlotte Hornets organization, who donated the tickets to the after school program.

Students from each of LCSD 55’s nine schools were able to make the trip along with their adult club facilitators and members of the Bridging the Gap program.

Of Monday night’s trip to Charlotte, District 55 spokesperson Ed Murray said “The students and facilitators had a wonderful time. Ensuring our students have opportunities for new experiences is one of the key purposes behind our Ladies and Gentlemen’s Club initiative.”  Murray said the next major trip for the Gentleman’s and Ladies’ clubs is a planned visit to the Koger Center in Columbia April 22nd for a performance of the South Carolina Philharmonic.

Arrest Follows ATV Theft Yesterday

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest in connection with the alleged theft of an ATV in Laurens County yesterday. 31-year-old Kimberly Dianne Wooten was booked with an address at 136 Lynn Street, West Columbia. She was charged with Grand Larceny. In a warrant, Sheriff’s Officer Michael Polson states that on March 9th Wooten took a 2017 white Honda 4-wheel ATV with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. The Honda was reportedly valued at $8,000. Kimberly Diane Wooten was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Arrest Yesterday from Alleged Threats Monday

Threats this past Monday were cited with an arrest yesterday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 34-year-old Steven Harold Hunt Jr. of 1524 Miller Road, Hodges with Unlawful use of a Telephone and Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. In the Unlawful Use of Telephone warrant, Lt. Marty Crain Jr. states that on March 6th, 2017 one Steven Harold Hunt Jr. did in a telephone communication to the victim use profane, obscene, vulgar and/or indecent language, doing so repeatedly for the purpose of annoying or harassing the victim. The warrant states that the communication between the defendant and victim was heard by Lt. Crain. The Domestic Violence warrant states that, also on March 6th, Hunt committed Domestic Violence 3rd degree in that he intimidated the victim several times by telephone and text and by telling her that she better do what  he said, telling her to give him their child in common or else. This placed the victim in fear for her safety. Steven Harold Hunt Jr. remained in custody today.

Clinton Continues Restoration of Utility Rights-of-Way

The city of Clinton has worked over the past couple of years to re-claim rights of way for the city’s utility lines. Some of those rights of way traverse open, unimproved land, presenting difficulties in maintaining access for maintenance. This was addressed again this week at Monday night’s September meeting of Clinton City Council. City Manager Frank Stovall asked council to approve the purchase of a tractor and rotary cutter/mower in order to maintain those rights of way.

From the city’s bidding process, Stovall recommended that council approve the expenditure of $55,759 for a Kioti DL03 tractor from STEC Outdoor Power Equipment of Anderson. Stovall also asked for authorization to spend $10,486 for a Rhino 120 rotary cutter from Blanchard Equipment of Columbia.

He pointed out that the total cost will come in under the amount anticipated in this year’s budget. He also said Clinton will not be paying for the equipment in one lump sum, recommending Clinton take advantage of a lease/purchase plan. This means the actual cost to the city for this year will be a down payment of $19,982 for both pieces of equipment. City Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase as recommended.