1 Killed, 2 More Injured While Fleeing Blue Lights

One person died and two more were injured when a wreck occurred during a Police Chase last evening. South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper David Jones said a 1999 Toyota Corolla was eastbound on Torrington Road around 7:10 Wednesday evening, attempting to elude law enforcement, when it went off the roadway on the right side and struck a utility pole. One person died at the scene while two others were airlifted to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries.

Laurens County Chief Deputy Coroner Patti Canupp this morning identified the deceased as 46-year-old Christopher S. Butler of Greenville.

Trooper Jones said an investigation into the wreck continues.

Man Found Not Guilty during Trial

A Man was Found Not Guilty this Week For an Alleged Sexual Assualt.

The trial of Leon Glenn Smith, ended yesterday with a not guilty verdict after the trial began Tuesday afternoon. The jury deliberated until eight in evening Thursdy

Smith was charged with first degree criminal sexual abuse of a minor younger than eleven years old.

The prosecution called the minor to the witness stand on Tuesday afternoon, who gave graphic details of how she was allegedly raped in a camper by Smith who was her step-grandfather.

The minor, who is now a teenager and first disclosed the rape to her school professionals who worked at her school in Texas, where her family had relocated.

The prosecution called professional counselors who testified to the authenticity of delayed disclosure, and also testified that common results of sexual abuse are behavior changes.

The defense called Smith to the stand, who emphatically denied the charges, and the defense also called a friend of the family who testified that whenever she saw the minor and Smith together they acted in an appropriate manner.

 

The defense also presented documents that indicated that the camper where the minor claimed the abuse occurred, had already been sold and was in possession of another person, at the time she said the incident took place.

Breach of Thrust of Vehicle

The Clinton Police Department Arrested a Clinton Man for Multiple charges on Sunday. 31-year-old Harvey Edward Fowler JR of Pine Street was charged with  Breach of Trust of Vehicle, Possession Marijuana 1st Offense, and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine 3rd offense.

On June 10th Fowler is accused of operating the vehicle belonging to the victim and refused to return it upon her request. The Value of the Vehicle s is more than 2,000. The alleged offense occurred on Pine Street. ON June 12th Fowler is accused of having a quantity of marijuana in possession less than 28 grams and possession of meth weighing over 1 gram. Harvey Fowler JR was released from the Johnson Detention Center Monday.

Approved Budget For The New Fiscal Year

On Tuesday night the Laurens City Council Meeting, council approved their budget for the new fiscal year. The total budget approved was $7,652,100, with $7,201,000 for the general fund, and $650,000 for hospitality.

The only no vote for the budget was from Councilor Alicia Sullivan, who told WLBG that she opposed the budget due to no provision for capital improvements provided for her district. The budget includes an hourly raise for employees and no tax increases.

Approval for the Construction of the Laurens Station

Tuesday Night the Laurens City Council, unanimously approved the request from Building and Zoning Director Jeremy Hudson’s to allow construction of the Laurens Station, which is a new subdivision within city limits.

The Laurens Station will be located by East Main, and West Farley, and trees are already being cleared off of Isaac Watts Blvd to make way for construction.  The subdivision is proposed to have 153 lots.

The proposed homes, built by Ryan Homes, will be designed to attract first time home buyers, they will be on a slab with no basements, but will have sidewalks, street lights, a playground and a home owners association.

Although the vote was unanimous, controversy did spark, according to the mayor and councilman Martine Lowry, who claimed scare tactics were used to circulate opposition to the project.

“This project is in line with our community, we want to have work force residents being able to afford a home of their own, in 1980 we had 10,00 citizens in our city, now we are down to 9,000. We can’t have this elitist attitude from higher priced home owners that these homes are not worthy to be built,” said Mayor Senn.

“I am so disappointed to hear that people who complain that we need more in the city, like restaurants, stores, etc, do not realize what it takes to have these things, and they are rooftops! I know that there is a market for these homes, this attitude of but you can’t have yours is wrong, and those people are trying to scare the public,” said Lowry.

No Support Payments since September 2019

Failure to make support payments since September 2019 was alleged with a booking in the Johnson Detention Center. 52-year-old Marvin Leevester Dandy of Woodyard Road, Kinards was booked Monday. A Bench Warrant from 8th Circuit Family Court cites him Failure to pay required support payments. Marvin Dandy remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Woodruff Man with Multiple Charges

The Clinton Police Department delivered a Woodruff man to the Johnson Detention Center Sunday for multiple charges. 35-year-old David Wesley Jordan of Theo Circle was charged with Possession With the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine 2nd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Under Suspension 2nd Offense.

Clinton Police alleges Jordan had in his possession quantity of methamphetamine which weighed over 1 gram with the weight and packaging visually evidence of the intent to distribute. He was also in possession of a glass type pipe that contained residue, this being in conjunction with a quantity of methamphetamine. Jordan is also accused of operating a motor vehicle while his privilege to do so had been revoked or denied by the State of South Carolina. Cash or Surety bonds were set at a total of $10,000 dollars on the Meth charge. Personal Recognizance bonds were set on the other charges. Davis Wesley Jordan remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning and is also on hold for the Woodruff Police Department on a Trespass Warrant.

Unlawful Use of 911

A Clinton man was charged Monday for Use of 911 number unlawfully. 32-year-old Jacob Robert Philips Highway 56 North was accused Sunday of calling Laurens County 911 emergency line using profane language, vulgar, lewd, lascivious  and indecent nature with the intent to intimidate or harass the dispatcher. Jacob Philips was released on a total Personal Recognizance bond of $1,000 dollars.

Litter Prevention & Beautification Efforts Continue to Grow

Laurens County Council, the City of Clinton, City of Fountain Inn, and City of Laurens, in partnership with the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office are cracking down on litter through the Litter Prevention Task Force.  The County wide partnership includes areas of impact, enforcement, and education.  A press conference will be held in Downtown Laurens, the County seat, on Tuesday, June 22 at 5:00 pm, on the north side of the Historic Courthouse.  This event is a celebration of the combined Anti-Litter & Beautification efforts across Laurens County.  County Council Chair, Brown Patterson, Mayor of Clinton, Bob McLean, Mayor of Fountain Inn, GP McLeer, Mayor of Laurens, Nathan Senn, Laurens County Sheriff, Don Reynolds, and Chamber President and CEO, Amanda Munyan, along with councils, staff, volunteers, and additional supporters plan to host the event.

The Litter Prevention Task Force has worked to develop a plan and the implementation process is progressing.  The unified message across Laurens County is clear, Laurens County leadership is engaged, and everyone is encouraged to participate.

 

Over the past few months Laurens County municipal Councils have reviewed and passed individual litter control ordinances and resolutions to blanket the County.  All law enforcement officers now have the authority to enforce litter control and regulatory compliance in the County and City limits.

 

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office recently hired a full time Litter Patrol Officer, working with inmates on roadside clean ups and enforcing the litter laws, dump sites have been identified and are being monitored, a Tarp it Campaign is in effect, and the Quarterly Community Clean Ups, partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, continue.

 

The Litter Prevention Task Force has also been working with Mallory Coffey, Community Outreach Program Manager for Keep South Carolina Beautiful through Palmetto Pride and plans to hire an Affiliate Coordinator, housed under the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce umbrella.  This Affiliate Coordinator position will be privately and publicly funded with support from Laurens County Council, the City of Clinton, City of Fountain Inn, City of Laurens, and the Laurens County Development Corporation.  Through the work of this Coordinator, Laurens County will become a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, securing more grant opportunities and support from experts.  This position will oversee volunteers, trainings, grant writing, and multiple anti-litter related initiatives, progressing Laurens County’s collaborative effort to crack down on litter.  The Affiliate Coordinator position will officially open on June 22, with a resume submission deadline of July 18.  Additional information may be requested, and resumes can be submitted to Amanda Munyan, LCCC President and CEO: amunyan@laurenscounty.org.

Veronica Corteville Elected State FFA Secretary

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The South Carolina Future Farmers of America is proud to announce Laurens County resident Veronica Corteville as the 2021-2022 State Secretary. She was selected for this position on last Thursday. Veronica Corteville is a member of the Laurens FFA Chapter and a student at Laurens District 55 High School. Her plans after high school and college is to the purse a career as a veterinarian.

Gray Court Woman Facing Multiple Charges

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Gray Court Woman Sunday on Multiple Charges that occurred in February. 32- year-old Ashley Revonda Bagwell of Douglas Road was charged with Failure to Stop for a Blue light, Driving Under Suspension 3rd offense, and Possession of a stolen vehicle. On February 1st, Bagwell is accused having in possession a 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX 1300 valued at $18,000 belonging to the victim. The Car was reported stolen out of Greenville County . Bagwell was also accused of failing to stop for blue lights which allegedly occurred near South Main Street in Fountain Inn. She was found to be operating a vehicle on a public roadway while her driving privileges were suspended. Ashley Bagwell remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

 

Financial Transaction Card Theft

A Laurens woman is behind bars for Multiple Charges involving Financial Fraud. Saturday, the Laurens Police Department arrested 40-year-old Jennifer Marie Cobb of Lakeview Drive for Financial Transaction Card Theft and six counts of Financial Transaction Card Fraud Value. Cobb is accused of obtaining a bank debit card she knew had been lost or mislaid with the intent to use it to deprive the victim. She allegedly made several fraud transactions with the debit card totaling of $425.78 Jennifer Cobb remained in the Johnson Detention center this morning with a total bond of $7,000 dollars.

Simpsonville Man Facing Multiple Charges

A Simpsonville Man is facing multiple charges that allegedly occurred Thursday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 24-year old Steven Carlo Aguilar of Wilson Bridge road for Receiving Stolen Goods Value $10,000 or More, Grand Larceny, Value More than $2,000 but less than $10,000, Driving Under Suspension, Failure to obey traffic control devices, Failure to stop for a blue light, and Resisting Arrest. An investigation by Deputy Waterman reported that on June 2nd Aguilar allegedly carried away 3 cell phones, Belk Gift Cards, Cash and a Purse with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property which is valued at $3,000 and is the property of the victim. On June 10th Aguilar is also accused of possession of a 2018 Kia Sedan, valued at $15,000, belonging to the victim. The Vehicle was reported stolen on National Crime Information Center June 9th.  The same day of June 10th the Suspect was accused of turning off headlights driving through the intersection of Highway 76 West and Highway 101 South disregarding the traffic light which was red. Deputy Lee reported that the Suspect failed to stop for blue lights, resisted arrest, and was driving under suspension on June 10th. Steven Aguilar remained in the Johnson Detention Center This morning with cash or surety bonds on his six charges totaling $32,000 dollars

Laurens County District 55 Reading Buddies

4K Students  from Laurens District 55 will be invited to the administrative office to  select and meet their take home Reading buddy. Students will also be provided with take-home books and supplies. Volunteers will also be invited to the event to share in the excitement with students.

Volunteers gathered June 8th to help Build Reading Buddies, filling the buddy stuffed animals with a created a birth certificate, and a written  special letter from the animal to the recipient. The group assembled 140 soft and cuddly animals.

“I am very appreciative of the volunteers who are donating their time to help create these adorable buddies for our rising 4K Students. We want our students to love reading . Our hope is that they will see it as a fun activity not as an assignment they must do, but something they look forward to doing,’’ said Superintendent Ameca Thomas. All rising 4k Students will receive a Reading Buddy this summer.

Fatal Collision Along US 221

The South Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed one person died in a single vehicle collision along US 221 near Harris Bridge Road. According to Master Trooper Gary Miller, the wreck happened early Sunday Morning at 3:08 am one mile south of Woodruff.  The Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger identified the victim as 18-year-old Gregory Allen Thompson-Wilkie

Trooper Miller stated that the Wilkie was traveling south on US221 in a 2007 Chevrolet Pick Up Truck when the he traveled off the right side of the roadway and loss control, then drove off the left side of the roadway striking a Utility Pole and Overturning. The 18 year-old was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.  Wilkie was taken to the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center where he later died.

Unlawful Use of 911

The Laurens County Sheriff’s office arrested a Gray Court man Wednesday for unlawful use of 911. 49-year-old Micheal James Hitt of Robert Harris Court is accused of calling 911 dispatch multiple times making obscene gestures and statements without the need of emergency assistance. A Warrant for his arrest Cites that the incident occurred on January 31, 2021. Micheal Hitt remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

 

Multiple Charges Against A Clinton Man

 

A  Clinton Man is behind Bars this morning for Multiple Charges that occurred on Tuesday.  The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Charged 27-year Tyler David Wix of Medical Ridge Road three counts of Assault and Battery 3rd Degree, and resisting arrest. Wix is accused of threatening to kill the victim , and intentionally shoving one victim through a doorway and knocking her down. When law enforcement arrived, Wix allegedly resisted the arrest.

SCDOT Employee Died During Deadly Wreck

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A South Carolina Department of Transportation Employee died during a deadly wreck yesterday. The Greenwood County Corner’s office identified the man as 60-year-old Charles Barry Kennedy.

Master Tropper Brandon Bolt of the Highway patrol said the fatal incident occurred 6:17 am Thursday Morning on Highway 178 near Scotts Ferry Road, in Greenwood County. He said the victim was driving east on highway 178 when a 2012 Crysler 200 driving east drove left to center striking the Victims 2017 Chevy Express Van. Charles Kennedy was  found dead on scene. He was wearing a seat belt.

Christy Hall Secretary of South Carolina Department Of Transportation said in a press release

“Our hearts are broken again as we suffer through another death of an SCDOT Team member and two more who were injured. Our hearts go out to the families. They can be sure that SCDOT will support them in any way possible.”

Charles Kennedy lived in McCormick and leaves behind a Wife, Son, Daughter, and a Number of Grandchildren

Gray Court Town Council elected New Memeber

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A new member of Gray Court Town Council was elected in a Special Election held Tuesday of this week. On the ballot without opposition, Geneik Brewster received all 19 votes cast, according to the unofficial vote count Tuesday night.

Ms. Brewster is the daughter of Adolphus Brewster, who served on Gray Court Town Council for over three decades and was also a long-time, loyal member of the NAACP branch in Laurens County.

Malicious damage & Unlawful Neglect

A Kinards woman is facing multiple charges that occurred Tuesday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 33-year-old Erica Nicole Lewis of Supreme Drive for Malicious damage to personal property valued $10,000 or more , and two charges of unlawful neglect of child. On June 8th , Lewis was accused of damaging the victims property by intentionally wrecking the victims F150 truck into the victim’s Nissan Moreno, door garage, and carport. The damages were estimated at $16,000 dollars. During the destruction of properties, Lewis was accused of having two children inside the F150 truck while driving. This caused injury to the two children. The incident occurred on Fairview Church road. Erica Lewis remained in the Johnson Detention Center This Morning