View Full Version : AIKEN COUNTY

01-20-2009, 09:48:11 PM
Read the current news from Aiken County. Human interest, crime, and noteworthy stories will be posted here. Feel free to post your own Aiken County & city's current news here. Want a particular topic or story posted? Contact MysticFlower. :)

02-05-2009, 08:30:33 PM
Flat tire leads to detection of home invasion

Staff writer

A Ridge Spring woman who returned to her residence shortly after she ran into car trouble Wednesday morning walked into her home to find a group of men inside, officials said.

Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies have arrested Jamal Hilton, 37, of Willis Hill Road in Aiken on allegations he was one of a group of men who broke into a Vanest Road home around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Hilton will be charged with first degree burglary. Other charges may be pending, officials said.

The victim told deputies she had a flat tire and was able to make a temporary repair so she returned home.

After walking inside, deputies said the woman was held at gunpoint and ordered to phone someone who could bring her money, officials said.

Deputies learned there had been gun shots fired and at least one of the suspected gunmen had taken off in a vehicle. An alert deputy, however, spotted a suspect walking in the area and began to question him.

Lt. Troy Elwell, a spokesperson for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, said temperatures were very low and the suspect was wearing a T-shirt and no coat.

The deputy gathered information from the suspect, and he was able to link the suspect to the break-in, Elwell added.

Investigators met with the victim who said she walked in on the men and asked them what they were doing. She said she was threatened at gunpoint.

The men demanded she hand over money and drugs, but she said she didn't have any.

Investigators said the men may have had the wrong home.

"She was forced at gunpoint to make a phone call and request money," deputies stated.

But, the woman's neighbors come home and spotted her keys lying on the ground and suspected something was wrong.

One of the gunmen then ordered the approaching neighbors to lie down on the ground, however, one of the neighbors ran into the house and began wrestling with the gunman, Elwell said.

The victim was able to get away during the fight and called 911.

The suspects then took off running, officials said.

Deputies began searching the area, called on the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team and called in a South Carolina Law Enforcement helicopter to search the area, however, Hilton is the only suspect in custody, Elwell said.

A second suspect, a juvenile, has been identified but is still at large.

Deputies are searching for two other suspects who may have been involved.

Other charges may be pending. ~snipped~


02-05-2009, 08:34:50 PM
Students discover a world of new fruits

OK, let's go through this stuff - kiwi, Asian pears (half apple), star fruit, mango, a blood orange from Israel, golden pineapple, banana chips, edible orchards, kumquats, purple potatoes, star fruit and yes, ugli fruit.

Any parents who put those fruits and vegetables and flowers in front of their first-grader could expect looks of horror. But at J.D. Lever Elementary School Wednesday, the first-grades didn't just try them.

"I thought they would be good," said Brianna Fields.

"All of it was good," said Alexis Taylor Hanna. "I really liked the orange."

Actually, nearly every Lever students got to experience these unusual foods, thanks to Carolina Produce of Anderson and its engaging public relations specialist, Don Welborn.

Lever, along with North Aiken Elementary School, received a grant this year from the State Department of Education and the U.S. and South Carolina Departments of Agriculture. Both schools regularly receive produce from Carolina Produce and from Rawls Farm in Columbia.

The grants also led to the appearance by Welborn, who makes his presentations at up to 50 schools every year.

"I just try to educate the kids on the importance of fruits and vegetables," he said. "I love getting on a level with the kids."

The ugli fruit is actually a Jamaican tangelo - part grapefruit and part tangerine. The golden pineapples come from Hawaii, while the fuzzless kiwi is from Oregon and is in limited supply. Star fruit, also known as Carambola, is found in Asia and has a high nutritional value.

The Aiken County School District's department helped with the program Wednesday. Field supervisor Karen Johnson credited Welborn for making the sampling of the fruits and vegetables so appealing.

First-grade teacher Jodia Lintner said all the students enjoyed the presentation and the food items.

"It's a way to do something healthy in a fun way," she said. "This program has educated the children about fruits and vegetables and encourages parents what they can buy for home." ~snipped~


02-05-2009, 08:38:39 PM
Dentists give back to kids
2/5/2009 1:37 AM

Senior writer

About 70 Aiken county children are expected for the annual "Give Kids a Smile" program, which returns with a revamped format Friday.

The children will receive free screenings, cleaning and other basic services through the project, which will be held at Aiken Technical College's health sciences building from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In the past, dentists performed additional work at the event for kids who needed it. This year, however, the dental hygienists will take center stage, handling the cleaning, sealants and x-rays.

"We've gotten dentists to agree to take 'x' number of kids and treat them at their offices," said Aiken dentist Dr. Charlie Wyont. "This way, we can get a lot more accomplished. We've had more dentists to agree to get these kids to a better level of health."

"Give Kids A Smile" is a national project involving the S.C. Dental Association in coordination with the dental education departments of the technical colleges of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina and Palmetto Health Hospital. The service provides needed dental care to eligible children, targeting those who don't have private insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid.

"We want those kids who don't have access to care," said Wyont.

The project also provides Aiken Technical College dental assisting students with a valuable service learning opportunity. They will volunteer during the clinic.

Wyont's hygienists, Beth Lynce and Michelle Shackford, will participate in the program Friday.

"I enjoy helping out the kids," Lynce said. "These are very good kids that come in there, and some have never been to a dentist before."

Angela Odum, a staff member in Wyont's office who coordinates the event, expressed her appreciation to dentists who have donated supplies and provided contributions for snacks for the children.

"It's very rewarding to see the results and helping children who can't get the dental care they need," Odum said.

A number of dentists have adopted Aiken County public schools where they provide screenings. If a kid arrives at school with a toothache and has no regular access to care, a school nurse can call the dentist and arrange treatment. As for those children who need immediate care after "Give Kids a Smile," sometimes dentists will continue working with them.

"There are some kids who have come to my office that we still see," Wyont said. "You get attached to them and can't let them go." ~snipped~


02-05-2009, 08:42:16 PM
Some pet owners don't think about oral health

By RACHEL JOHNSON Staff writer
Imagine going your entire life without ever touching a toothbrush to your teeth.

It's simply unthinkable. First, their would be the atrocious breath, not to mention the painfully inflamed gums, the infection and worse yet the unfathomable pain of teeth rotting out of your head.

You wouldn't let that happen to yourself, so why should your pet suffer.

"Ten out of 10 pets don't brush their teeth," said Brenda Sleasman of Veterinary Services. "Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Although daily tooth brushing is advised for dogs and cats, the reality is only 2 percent of pet owners follow through."

Sometimes its hard to tell if a pet suffers from periodontal disease or gingivitis, which can lead to other health problems.

"Often, pet owners don't know their pets are suffering," said Sleasman. "An animal's pain tolerance is so extremely high, owners can't see their pet is suffering until it is so bad they stop eating. Oral disease affects the entire body ... the teeth are where a lot of problems begin."

Veterinary Services recommends preventive measures to not only save money but to avoid a painful situation for pets. February is pet dental health awareness month at the Whiskey Road veterinarian.

"We have designated this month to pet dental health awareness and will offer discounts on dentistries, provide valuable information about the health risks from not providing health care and provide free samples of products that can help pets' teeth stay clean. All in all we want to bring awareness to Aiken's pet owners that the proper dental care is a yearlong and lifelong commitment."

It is recommended pets have their teeth cleaned every 18 months in addition to toothbrushing and utilizing other teeth cleaning products such as food, treats and toys.

Teeth cleaning aids include edible beef flavored toothpaste, a pet toothbrush, cat and dog treats, food and more. A variety of products are available at Veterinary Services.

To view a video of a pet dental cleaning or for more information, visit www.AikenPetVet.com or call Veterinary Services at 648-5489. ~snipped~


02-05-2009, 08:47:04 PM
S.C. specialty plates cater to Parrot Heads, war veterans

Staff writer

Jimmy Buffett fans have helped ensure that all roads in South Carolina lead to Margaritaville, thanks to the release of a new Parrothead specialty license plate by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

The new Parrothead license plate is bright yellow and features a flip-flop and palmetto tree design.

The plate costs $30 for two years, and proceeds from the license plate sales will benefit the Palmetto Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and the Upstate South Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

Parrot Head chapters throughout the state, led by the Columbia chapter, campaigned and did petition drives for the new license plate, according to Karl Keene, president of the Parrot Heads of the CSRA.

"It's to support the Alzheimer's Association because Jimmy Buffett's father died of Alzheimer's," Keene said. "I think it's a wonderful thing that they've been able to get the plates printed and available, and if it will help find a cure for this terrible disease, you can't go wrong with a Parrothead license plate."

Parrot Heads of the CSRA member Jana Anderson of Aiken has one of the first orders in for a new license plate.

"Mine was ordered through the club. The first 10 numbers were auctioned across the state, and each Parrot Heads chapter was offered a certain amount of numbers depending on the size of the chapter," Anderson said.

"Our chapter got two numbers, and because we have members in Georgia and South Carolina, we South Carolina members got together for our own mini-auction. We raised about $300 for Alzheimer's with it. But now the plates are available to everyone in South Carolina whether they're in a club or not."

The Parrothead plate was one of six new license plates released yesterday by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

Other new plates include a South Carolina Cattlemen's Association plate, Silver Star and Bronze Star plate for South Carolina veterans who have received the Silver Star Service Medal or the Bronze Star Service Medal, a Korean War Veteran plate for documented active-duty veterans of Korea, and a South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame plate for Hall of Fame inductees.

For more information about the new license plates, visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles' website at www.scdmvonline.com. ~snipped~


02-10-2009, 09:12:16 AM
Close-range shotgun fire mangles Aikenite's hands

An Aiken man's hands were severely mangled after he threw them up in front of his body while he was being fired at from close range by a gunman with a shotgun.

Maurice West, 36, of the 400 block of Union Street, was walking down Sumter Street around noon Monday when, he claims, a group of men in a car approached him and shot at him.

Although he was hurt, the injuries to his chest and shoulder were superficial, police said.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown, but police spent much of the day retracing the victim's steps and talking with witnesses.

Police found a round from the shotgun and one from what could be another firearm involved, but they have not said whether West was also armed.

After the victim was struck, he ran from the intersection at Sumter Street and Richland Avenue to a home on Kershaw Street, where he was able to get someone to call for help, said Sgt. Aaron Dowdy, Aiken Public Safety spokesperson.

"You can see the blood spatter where he was shot and then follow that across the street," he explained.

The victim was taken to the Medical College of Georgia from the Kershaw Street home. The officers had gathered some preliminary information about the shooter, saying they had identified him by his "street name" and had a vehicle description, but Dowdy said no charges had been filed.

According to police reports, the officers are looking for "Bebe."

The victim has not told police whether he was robbed or knew the gunman, only that he knew the man's girlfriend.

"This is all still under investigation," the sergeant said. Aiken Public Safety first received phone calls around noon from residents who reported hearings shots fired.

One witness spotted a man in a silver car armed with a gun, the sergeant added. Another caller saw three men running.

The vehicle believed to be involved is a silver two-door car.

It may have been a Mustang, Dowdy added. ~snipped~


02-10-2009, 09:19:13 AM
Elementary school drug bust called 'isolated'
2/9/2009 11:51 PM
Staff writer/Aiken Standard

Burnettown police said they don't know where two 10-year-old boys found more than three grams of marijuana or what prompted them to bring it to school and try to sell if for dessert and bubble gum, but they are not taking the matter lightly.

Classmates of the two Jefferson Elementary School fourth-graders approached their teachers last Thursday after the two boys tried to sell the marijuana.

The school's principal immediately took the drugs and called the police, said Burnettown Police Chief David Paul Smith.

"Right now, we believe this was an isolated incident," Smith said. But, what prompted two boys who have no family connection and little contact outside of school to bring drugs in on the same day is still unanswered.

Police said they do not believe the boys or any of the children at the elementary school smoked the drug or were in any serious danger.

Many of the children didn't know what the drug was.

The children who brought in the marijuana have changed their stories over and over, which Smith said makes getting to the bottom of the matter difficult.

Aiken Superintendent Dr. Beth Everitt said it is unusual for elementary students to bring drugs to school.

"We do take into account the age of the students in regard to discipline. There are certain mandatory disciplinary actions for things like drugs and alcohol," she said.

The Area 3 Advisory Council will be the first to consider the disciplinary matter, looking at the actions and the behavior of the students.

"Did they understand?" The Council will use that judgment in applying punishment.

So will family court, Smith said.

The police chief said the children knew they could sell the drugs for money, which raises concerns, but he said they also tried to sell it for pies and bubble gum.

Area 3 Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tim Yarborough said the advisory council has discretion and looks at each case individually, but the immediate reaction is to recommend an automatic expulsion recommendation.

He went on to say that there are a range of decisions that can be made. ~snipped~


02-11-2009, 09:45:46 PM
Police arrest two for assault
2/11/2009 2:02 AM

Staff writer

Police have arrested two men for attempting to kill an Aiken man, each shooting the victim and leaving him bleeding in the middle of the road Monday afternoon, according to police.

Wallace Glover, 42, and Joseph Scurry Jr., 33, both of Aiken have been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill on allegations they were in a silver Ford Mustang when they called out to the victim, 36-year-old Maurice West, and then each pulled out a gun and shot the man.

Glover is accused of firing at West with a shotgun and Scurry was reportedly armed with a .380 caliber handgun when he fired at the victim, arrest warrants state.

Within moments of the shooting, police stopped a silver Ford mustang on Vaucluse Road and found Glover and Scurry, but at the time police did not have enough information to make an arrest.

By Tuesday, investigators say they were able to link the men directly to the shooting and took them in to custody.

Glover was arrested at a Sumter Street home and Scurry at a Shady Lane residence.

Sgt. Aaron Dowdy, a spokesperson for Aiken Public Safety, said investigators worked with officers to develop enough probable cause to draw up warrants and track down the suspects.

At last word West was said to be recovering at MCG.

His hands were severely mangled after he threw them up in front of his body during the shooting to protect himself.

Although his hands were hurt, injuries to his chest and shoulder were superficial, police said.

Police found a round from the shotgun and the .380 caliber handgun in the roadway where West was hit.

He was not armed, the officers said.

After the victim was struck, he ran from the intersection at Sumter Street and Richland Avenue to a home on Kershaw Street, where he was able to get someone to call for help.

Aiken Public Safety first received phone calls around noon from residents who reported hearings shots fired.

One witness spotted a man in a silver car armed with a gun, the sergeant added.

No other charges are pending at this time, however the incident still under investigation, Dowdy said. ~snipped~


02-11-2009, 09:50:27 PM
Man jailed on child neglect charges

A Springfield Church Road resident was arrested late Monday after holding police at bay for about an hour after a domestic dispute escalated at the Trenton home around 7:30 p.m.

Jeffrey Jasmin, 46, of Springfield Chruch Road, has been jailed on two child neglect charges.

According to deputies, Jasmin refused to honor a family court order and let a family member take the two children with her and holed himself up in the home with the juveniles.

He told her that he would shoot anyone who tried to get in the house and stated that he was loading his gun, according to the police report.

The County's tactical team responded after a deputy failed to get the man to come out of the home. The specialized team eventually got the man to come out and took his weapons.

He was jailed at the Aiken County detention center. ~snipped~



02-13-2009, 04:40:33 AM
Police seek to identify body

Staff writer

Investigators will have to cross reference DNA taken from the badly-decomposed remains of a man found in Windsor Tuesday with family members of a missing man from Aiken County if they hope to positively identify the man they said was shot and killed.

Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, a Windsor man told Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies he and his girlfriend were walking down Stillwater Road collecting bottles and cans when they noticed a strong smell coming from behind an abandoned mobile home.

The man said he saw a pair of tennis shoes sticking out from under debris. After taking a closer look, he saw a skull.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office responded and began investigating the case.

The body was taken for autopsy Wednesday morning, but Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said the severe decomposition made identifying the body without DNA impossible.

Officials said the body is that of a black man who was likely about 20 to 30 years old. He was shot to death, Carlton said.

But, the coroner did not say whether the man was shot and killed in the rural part of Aiken County or if he was killed and his body dumped near an abandoned mobile home.

Based on the condition of the body, however, officials are speculating that he was not killed "recently."

Detectives are trying to work backwards from missing person cases in order to develop a timeline and victim information, but they have not named any one person they believe the victim to be.

In December, deputies with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office issued a news release about a search for 19-year-old Marques Tyler, a black male who was last seen by his aunt on Nov. 19, 2008.

But, Capt. Troy Elwell, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, would not comment on the Tyler case. He said investigators were talking with the family.

Tyler is still missing.

Investigators will work with families of the missing to get DNA to cross reference with DNA taken from the body.

DNA from the deceased will be taken to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and forensic specialists will take saliva and cheek cell samples from living family members of the missing.

The state lab will test for a match.

Carlton said samples are best matched with biological parents.

The state lab could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before they come back with answers, the coroner said.

"It's all based on their case load," he explained.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 642-1761. ~ snipped ~


02-13-2009, 08:50:20 AM
Body found in Windsor ID'd as teen missing since November
2/13/2009 12:17 AM

Using chest and skull X-rays from Aiken Regional Medical Centers that were taken when missing Marquez Tyler was alive, the Aiken County Coroner's Office has been able to positively identified the remains found in Windsor yesterday as that of the 19-year-old.

Tyler was last seen on Nov. 19 and was reported missing on Nov. 22.

Based on the level of body decomposition, it is likely the time of the homicide was in November, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said.

Investigators at the coroner's office learned Wednesday that Tyler had not been to the dentist since he was about 8 years old, and were not comfortable trying to match his dental X-rays with those taken of the body and thought they would have to resort to DNA samples.

But, Chief Deputy Darryl Ables discovered chest and skull X-rays that were taken more recently.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Michael Panella, of Newberry Pathology, used those X-rays to compare with ones taken during autopsy Wednesday.

"They matched perfectly," Carlton said. "We won't have to wait on DNA testing."

Capt. Troy Elwell, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, said investigators still haven't named any persons of interest in the death investigation that began Tuesday evening when the body was found behind an abandoned trailer in Windsor.

A Windsor man told Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies that he and his girlfriend were walking down Stillwater Road collecting bottles and cans when they noticed a strong smell coming from behind an abandoned mobile home. They saw a pair of tennis shoes sticking out from under debris and, after taking a closer look, they saw a skull.

"We had a strong suspicion that this was Mr. Tyler, but we could not confirm that until now," Elwell said. "From here we'll be following leads."

Investigators have not determined whether the man was shot and killed in the rural part of Aiken County, or if he was killed elsewhere and his body dumped there. ~ snipped ~


03-12-2009, 04:37:53 AM
Man in custody in case of hospital drug theft
3/11/2009 3:53 PM
By MIKE GELLATLY Staff writer

Law enforcement has a suspect in custody who is thought to have stolen medication from an Aiken Regional Medical Center operating room Tuesday.

John Matthew Fox, 36, of 1274 Booth Branch Road, Lincolnton, Ga., is being held by Lincoln County, Ga., authorities awaiting a decision on his extradition to face two warrants related to the theft.

Aiken Department of Public Safety has warrants for theft of a controlled substance and third-degree burglary waiting to be served.

According to Capt. Wendell Hall, ADPS received a tip Tuesday night as to the identity of the man who was captured on hospital security cameras.

Police are waiting to see if Fox will waive extradition proceedings so he can be picked up, Hall said.

Police think Fox was the man who walked into a secure area of the hospital, into an operating theatre and stole vials of Propofol, a drug used as an anesthetic.

When confronted, the man in the hospital said he was lost and then fled the building on foot, according to witnesses. ~snipped~


03-18-2009, 08:31:08 AM
Tipsters aiding in warrant roundup
3/16/2009 11:53 PM
Staff writer

More than 40 people with active arrest and bench warrants showed up at Aiken Public Safety Friday, most with cash in hand, to take care of warrants that have mounted at the City.

Since Aiken Public Safety's warrants blitz began around three weeks ago, more than 60 warrants have been cleared, and the City has recovered more than $35,000 in fines and forfeitures.

The City was able to recoup some of the money through a state program that debits the person's tax refund, but a handful of people showed up Friday knowing they had neither a tax refund coming or money to pay the fine.

"They said they would serve the jail time and just wanted to clear things up," Cpl. Jeremy Hembree, an Aiken Public Safety officer, said.

That money collected goes into the City's general fund.

The warrants blitz went fairly smoothly last week, Hembree said.

People were waiting at Aiken Public Safety early Friday, he explained.

The officers are concentrating their efforts once again on picking up those who failed to surrender last Friday.

The names have been posted online since late last month.

"Based on the success we had with this, we have no plans to remove the names from the City's webpage," said police Lt. David Turno.

The Aiken Standard has agreed to run the remaining names as well and may do so as early as next month.

"People can still turn themselves in before the names run in the paper, but we are actively seeking people now so they shouldn't wait," Hembree said.

On Monday morning, around 10:30 a.m., a tipster called CrimeStoppers with information about one of the residents posted online.

"By 11 a.m., we had that person in custody," Hembree said.

The tipster likely earned at least $50 using the CrimeStoppers tip line.

"We have had people call about their employees, where they live and even what they are driving," Turno said. "Some people took the initiative to come in, but we have also picked up a number of people because of tips."

Hembree said police in other jurisdictions have also been working from the warrants list.

To check the warrants list, visit www.cityofaikensc.gov/

For more information, call Hembree at 642-7698.

Individuals also should call CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of between $50 and $1,000. ~snipped~


03-22-2009, 01:14:09 AM
A large boom heard around area may have been bolide
Staff writer

The working theory at the moment is the boom heard 'round the CSRA can be attributed to a meteor.

While scientists haven't found any evidence of a meteor impact yet, Dr. Gary Senn, USC Aiken DuPont planetarium director, said one of two things likely happened, attributing the loud earth-rattling sound to either a sonic boom or an exploding meteor. A sonic boom occurs when something moves faster than the speed of sound. It's rare, Senn said, but meteors do move that fast.

A meteor is a piece of rock or debris from outer space that enters the earth's atmosphere. As a result of friction, it can appear in the sky like a streak of light or a fire ball, as some people say they witnessed between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Friday.

Several law enforcement officers working an overnight shift reported seeing a glow as well.

"They compared it to heat lightning," said sheriff's office spokesperson Capt. Troy Elwell.

Senn said the reports of a fireball in the sky could explain the meteor explosion theory.

There are hundreds of meteors that likely enter the atmosphere daily, but they are small and very fast.

"They are constantly hitting the planet, but most people don't see them because they may happen during the day," Senn said.

It is odd, however, that residents living in Georgia and South Carolina reported hearing the boom.

"But if it was large, it could do that," Senn said. "It is possible that it stayed in the atmosphere that long."

If someone does find something unusual, scientist can test the object and definitively say whether an object is a meteor.

The high amount of metal in the object would speak to that, he said.

"Someone trained will be certain of it," Senn said. "They are usually smooth in parts because of the heat."

For more information, contact the Ruth Patrick Science Center at 641-3313.

On April 4, the science center will host an observation program in celebration of the international year of astronomy. The program will begin at 4 p.m. and last until 11 p.m. Entry is free. ~snipped~


03-22-2009, 01:17:47 AM
Drug bust nets four arrests, $20K in drugs and $2K in cash
3/21/2009 12:12 AM
Staff writer

Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies have seized drugs valued at nearly $20,000 and drug money and have arrested four men on allegations the group has been involved in drug deals for a number of months at a North Augusta home, according to deputies.

Sherone Nealous, 32, of the 1200 block of Weston Street in North Augusta, has been charged with four counts of distribution of crack cocaine, four counts of distribution of crack cocaine within a half mile of a school, trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to distribute within a half mile of school, possession of a controlled substance schedule II, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana within a half mile of school, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a half mile of a school.

Jermaine Nealous, 25, of the 1200 block of Weston Street in North Augusta, has been charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a half mile of a school, general session bench warrant for distribution crack cocaine and family court bench warrant.

Thomas Wigfall, 21, of the 600 block of Hutchinson Drive in North Augusta, has been charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a half mile of a school.

Howard Apollo Henderson, 29, of Runs Creek Drive in Jackson, is charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a half mile of a school.

It took deputies several hours to positively identify Henderson because he reportedly gave investigators an assumed name.

Investigators say the arrests and drug seizures culminated a two-month long investigation. Undercover narcotics investigators had made drug buys at the Hutchinson Drive home, officials say.

On Thursday, narcotics officers served a search warrant on Sherone Nealous at 622 Hutchinson Drive, but the 32-year-old man took off running, said Capt. Troy Elwell, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

He ran down the street to his mother's residence at the 1200 block of Weston Street.

Narcotics investigators chased him there and arrested him "just inside the front door," the captain added.

"As Sherone Nealous was arrested in the front door, several baggies of narcotics could be seen in plain view inside the residence," Elwell said.

During the pursuit, Sherone Nealous's brother, Jermaine Nealous, ran from the Weston Street residence. He was chased and apprehended a short distance away.

Narcotics investigators then obtained a search warrant for 1210 Weston St. and found cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, Oxycotone pills and drug money.

The marijuana, valued at at least $16,000, is a "high end" version of the drug, investigators reported.

The cocaine recovered is valued at $3,500, crack cocaine at $300 and Oxycotone pills at $100.

Investigators also seized about $2,100 cash. ~snipped~


03-22-2009, 02:02:49 AM
Store worker charged with stealing lottery tickets
March 20, 2009

A Beech Island woman is under arrest as state investigators accuse her of stealing lottery tickets.
According to an arrest warrant, Shemeki Teriah Graham, 32, was working at a Kangaroo Express convenience store on Edgefield Road in North Augusta on Aug. 6, 2008, when she took South Carolina Education Lottery tickets without paying for them.

The warrant, supplied by SLED, alleges that Graham cashed in nine winning tickets for prize money.

Graham has been charged with intent to defraud the lottery. ~snipped~


03-23-2009, 08:04:16 PM
Men to walk a mile in high heels to raise sexual assault awareness
By NBC Augusta Staff
Story Published: Mar 23, 2009

More than 1,800 forcible rapes were reported in South Carolina in 2006. One in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted by age 18.

April is sexual assault awareness month. Paul Volz and Betsy McMahon of the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons stopped by the NBC Augusta studio to talk about an event they're putting on to raise awareness about sexual assault.

For more information, please watch the video included in this story.

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes
April 16
Downtown Aiken
6 p.m.

03-25-2009, 12:45:21 AM
Aiken County Sheriff's Office sued
Staff writer

A New Ellenton man has filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Michael Hunt, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and a former deputy alleging he was "hit in the throat" during an illegal search.

Lorenzo Williams of New Ellenton has filed a lawsuit the Second Judicial Circuit in Aiken claiming his fourth, fifth and 14th amendment rights were broken by former Deputy Jeffery Nation. The lawsuit alleges Nation violated Williams' rights by "without probable cause, searching him without probable cause, requiring him to produce identification, assaulting him, falsely charging."

On Sept. 7, 2008, Nation confronted the New Ellenton resident while he was walking down the side of the road. Nation was seen on his own patrol car's video camera demanding identification from Williams and then striking him in the throat.

Nation then arrested Williams for assault.

After sheriff's office officials reviewed the tape, Nations was fired and charges against Williams were dropped. ~snipped~


08-23-2009, 07:34:53 AM
Another man accused of sex crimes against kids in Aiken County
July 29, 2009

AIKEN CTY, S.C. --- An Aiken County man is in jail, accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. We'll take a look at how often this happens in Aiken County. 54-year-old John Arthur is facing 6 sex charges and has bond set at $230,000.

He is the second person in two days to face child sex charges in the county. But we find out, some say that is not a bad thing. They say the reason why is you.

"We learned a long time ago, you can't comprehend why they commit these crimes," says Capt. Troy Elwell with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

We got our hands on 6 warrants that put into words what investigators say happened at the 15-year-old girl's Aiken home. They add the victim knew her offender.

Child advocate Peggy Ford sees some of the more than 150 child/adult sex cases investigated by the Sheriff's Office last year alone. But she says the high number of reports is actually a good thing.

"Not oh my goodness, here's another person. But, oh my goodness, here's a community responding again to protect their children," says Ford. "I'm really glad that we're finding more that are coming to the attention of authorities."

Not only his arrest, but also Steven Abrams of Jackson, who was arrested on Monday, after investigators say he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl.

"You got to believe or understand that these children at some point are going to have to sit on a stand and look at their perpetrator," says Capt. Elwell.

"As a community, we want to respond to these people and get them to a community where they will not hurt children again," says Ford.

For now, investigators think they got two men, in just two days, away from the kids they may have hurt the most.

Investigators tell me they looked into similar charges against Arthur back in 2005. But they closed that case unless new info came up. After this arrest, that case could be re-opened again.


11-02-2009, 09:21:50 PM
Another teacher from school charged with sex crime
Associated Press - November 2, 2009 3:45 PM ET

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - Authorities have charged a former South Carolina middle school teacher with committing sex acts with a student, the second time in a month that a teacher at the school has faced sex charges.

Sgt. Dave Myers of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said Monday that 28-year-old Joseph Magni Jr. has been charged with lewd act and criminal sexual conduct with a minor. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Police said Magni engaged in sex acts with a 14-year-old female student at a movie theater and at his workplace between May and June 2009.

Last month, 38-year-old Tammy Joy Key faced similar charges for alleged sex acts with a 14-year-old male student between August 2005 and March 2006. Both Magni and Key worked at Leavelle Middle School in Graniteville. [snipped]