A theft last week from a location west of Clinton was alleged with the arrest Saturday of 17-year-old Michael Tyler Copeland of 98 Cedar Street, Clinton. He was charged with Grand Larceny in a warrant from Sheriff’s Lt. J.D. Shelton. The warrant states that on February 16th Michael Copeland took away items valued at $2,000 or more from a location that is on US 76 between Clinton and the Hospital. Michael Copeland was released Sunday on a $5,000 Personal Recognizance bond.
Exploitation of a vulnerable adult was alleged in a case yesterday by Laurens City Police. 52-year-old Tina Michelle-Bodie Neaderhiser of 136 Tillman Circle, Joanna was charged with Grand Larceny, Forgery and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult. In warrants, Officer Jody Thibodeau cites investigation by Officer Michael Polson in alleging that Tina Neaderhiser willfully and knowingly exploited the victim by depriving the victim of funds while he was admitted and confined to a facility. It’s further alleged that Ms. Neaderhiser forged the victim’s name on multiple checks from December 5th, 2013 to February 13th, 2014 with intent to defraud the victim of funds, in an incident at 922 East Main in Laurens, and that she obtained money from the victim’s account during this same time period, depriving the victim of the funds. Tina Neaderhiser was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, pending a bond hearing today.
The Boy Scouts of America and over 40 citizens from the Clinton community attended their annual “Friends of Scouting” dinner Thursday night at Broad Street United Methodist Church. The Scouts honored Dr. Jim Barton for all his service to the Clinton community. The Scouts noted Barton has always been a strong Scout supporter, Scoutmaster of Troop 174 at Broad Street and supporter of the youth here in Clinton.
During the “Friends of Scouting” event, over $2,000 was raised to support the local Scouting program. The Clinton “Friends of Scouting” campaign has raised a total of $12,000 to be spent on the Scouting program in the Clinton community.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to the Laurens County Scouting program is invited to contact Field Director Andrew Reale at 864-233-8363 or Andrew.Reale@Scouting.org
The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office was called to a Tillman Circle, Joanna residence at 3:17 Saturday afternoon on a Theft of money report. A woman said she had just got her taxes done and had hidden $2,900 under the mattress of her bed. She said she had some friends over for a get-together Friday. After everyone left, she and her boyfriend went to bed. She said early Saturday she was awakened and observed another woman in the room with a flashlight. The woman reportedly told the resident she was looking for a cigarette. When the resident went to get her money Saturday morning to buy a car, she found it was gone.
Clinton Public Safety arrested a local man Sunday and subsequently charged him with assaulting his wife twice this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. 49-year-old Kirk Willis of 69 Palmetto Street, Clinton is charged with two counts of 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Criminal Domestic Violence. Kirk Willis is accused of assaulting his wife Saturday, March 1st by shoving her against the wall and down front steps of their home, and by striking her across the face with his closed fist, causing injury to her nose. In a second warrant, Kirk Willis is accused of assaulting his wife Sunday, March 2nd by striking her about the body with his closed fist, grabbing her by the hair and by pushing her out of the front door. With surety bonds set totaling $40,000 on both charges, Kirk Willis remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.
The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Friday arrested 51-year-old Robert Ibra Derrick Jr. of 762 Bal Harbor Avenue, Ware Shoals and charged him with Criminal Domestic Violence for an assault on Friday. Deputy Charles Nations states that on February 28th Robert Derrick Jr. attempted to cause physical harm and had the ability to do so at 762 Bal Harbor Avenue. Bond was set at $2,150. Mr. Derrick remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.
Domestic Violence charges were prepared regarding an incident outside Laurens Saturday afternoon. Deputy David Craig was dispatched at 3:21pm and found a woman with injuries, reportedly from an altercation with her live-in boyfriend and father of her one-year-old child. Her two children, 8 and 1, were reportedly present when the assault occurred. The boyfriend had left the scene. Deputy Craig obtained a warrant to charge the man with Criminal Domestic Violence, pending his arrest.
Clinton Public safety Officer Stephen Lawton responded to investigate a break-in on Walden Street at 1:45 Friday morning. A man said that he and his brother had gone to the Citgo on South Broad, and returned home to notice the side door, under the car port, had been kicked in. They stated the intruder had gone into one of the men’s room and taken between 70 and 80 pair of Jordan tennis shoes, $3,000 in cash and a black Baretta 9mm sub-compact pistol. The other brother indicated the intruder had taken between 20 and 30 pair of Jordan tennis shoes from him, along with $500 cash.
Officers questioned the brief time the men indicated they were away from the house, and was told that it was, in fact, an armed robbery with two subjects. Officer seized a black plastic box from the victim’s house for fingerprinting. Officers reportedly used a phone-app to locate a cell phone missing from the house at a location on Interstate 26. The $500 phone was recovered.
Laurens County Deputy Sweat arrested a man at 3:10 Saturday morning on Interstate 385 near Highway 418. The charge was Driving under the Influence. By the time the deputy left the subject in the Johnson Detention Center, another charge had been added. 48-year-old Jerry Dean Hellams of 330 Dogwood Drive, Simpsonville was also issued a ticket as of 4:25 Saturday morning charging him with Giving False Information. Dean Hellams was released later Saturday on personal recognizance bonds of $997 for the DUI charged and $262 for the False Information case.
A Laurens area man was sentenced to 18 years in the state prison system yesterday, after he entered pleas to charges that included a killing in 2011. In Laurens County General Sessions Criminal Court, 24-year-old Terrance Lamar Hunter of 33 Smythe Street, Laurens entered pleas on charges of Voluntary Manslaughter and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon from an offense on September 5th, 2011. He also pled to a Possession of Over One Ounce of Marijuana from April 1st of 2013. Sentences issued on all three offenses resulted in a total of 18 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Terrance Lamar “Merk” Hunter of Laurens was placed in the Johnson Detention Center, pending transfer to the state system.
He was given credit for some time already served on some of the sentences.
Laurens County Deputies arrested a man and woman overnight in Joanna near the intersection of Ellis and Morgan Streets. New drug charges are pending, based on a number of pills and some marijuana that were reportedly found in their possession. Deputies delivered the two to the Johnson Detention Center around 3:30 this morning. Warrants were outstanding on one of the two. New warrants were to be sought today for new charges on both. They are expected to be charged with Possession of a Control Substance and with Possession of Marijuana for pills and weed allegedly found in their possession overnight.
Laurens County Government finished the past fiscal year with a surplus of $8.6 million, according to an audit reviewed at this week’s County Council meeting. The report by Davis, McNeish and Cooke gave the county a clean audit.
County Council Chairman Jim Coleman said “With an $8.6 million surplus, we are very strong, and that is a compliment to council and staff. Thank you to all.”
Councilman Joe Wood asked about long-term debt capabilities. County Administrator Ernie Segars replied that the county could borrow up to three million dollars for the county and general fund, and that should county need to borrow more state law requires that would require the county to have a referendum to get approval from the voters.
Jim Coleman also remarked that the county had been shortchanged a million dollars by the state not funding local governments to the statuary limit. He asked everyone to urge the state to increase funding in next year’s budget.
Councilman Keith Tollison addressed the need to prepare for potential future financial concerns by saying “With the problems that cities like Detroit are having with the high costs of pensions, we will need to keep an eye on our county retirement employees.”