Crime

Columbia teenager killed in accidental shooting

It was a deadly weekend in Richland County. The second shooting death in as many days has claimed the life of a Richland County teen, authorities said Sunday. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said autopsy results indicated Jalin T. Palmer, 17, of May Oak Circle in Columbia, died from a single gunshot wound to his upper torso. He was found…

Richland deputies investigating Columbia shooting death

Richland County Sheriff’s deputies continue to investigate the circumstances that led to a Columbia man being shot to death Friday night. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts on Saturday identified the victim as Benjamin Johnson, 37, of Camelot Street in Columbia. An autopsy revealed Johnson died at the scene as a result of a single gunshot wound to his upper torso….

Fingerprints lead to arrest of prolific strong-armed robber

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest of Chico Jermaine Bell, 43, who is charged with three counts of strong-armed robbery. Chico Jermaine Bell (Photo provided) Lott added that Bell may be charged with additional crimes following a string of strong-armed robberies in Richland County, and throughout the cities of Columbia, Forest Acres, and West Columbia. Bell was finally…

Suspected car thief killed in freak accident

A man alleged to have helped steal a SUV with two others died Friday in Columbia after the vehicle struck and killed the man after the trio abandoned the moving vehicle and attempted to flee police on foot, authorities said. The person killed was identified by Richland County Coroner Gary Watts as 18-year-old Djon D’Angelo McDaniel of Slighs Avenue, Columbia….

Ex-USC assistant coach sentenced for possessing child pornography

A former assistant USC Soccer coach has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Beth Drake announced Thursday. Bert Molinary (USC Photo) In addition to the prison term, handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger, Roberto “Bert” Luis Molinary, Jr., 51, must also submit to supervised release for life…

Lexington County man sentenced to life for murder

Charles Alton Morehouse, a 40-year-old Lexington County man, was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the August 2015 murder of James David Porter, III, according to the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Charles Alton Morehouse (Photo provided) Morehouse’s sentence by Circuit Judge Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., came following a week-long jury trial. In addition to the murder charge, Morehouse was…

Feds drop prosecution of Spring Valley High resource officer

The Justice Department on Friday said it has dropped its investigation of a former Spring Valley High School Resource Officer who had been accused of using excessive force against a black female student in an Oct. 26, 2015 incident that made national news. In a press release, the federal government said there was “insufficient evidence” that former Richland County Sheriff’s…

Lexington County woman charged with embezzling thousands

A woman entrusted to collect customer payments for the town of Swansea’s water and sewer services is now facing charges she stole a portion of those payments, following an investigation by Swansea Police and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Lorraine Culler (Photo provided) Lorraine Culler, 56, of Swansea has been arrested and charged with embezzlement of public funds, $10,000…

Man killed by drunk driver

A Cayce man is dead after his vehicle was struck by a drunken driver in Lexington, according to police. The victim was identified by Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher as 75-year-old Roger Wayne Johnson, whom an autopsy showed died from blunt force trauma to the head. Nicole Marie Wilson (photo provided) Meantime, Lexington Police said they have and arrested and…

Columbia’s ‘Uncle Teddy’ sentenced in oxycodone trafficking case

A man known as “Uncle Teddy” is headed to federal prison for his role as the mastermind of a scheme to acquire and illegally sell thousands of dangerous and highly addictive oxycodone pills in the Midlands, acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Thursday. Stock photo Theodore Fulton, 61, of Columbia was sentenced to 110 months imprisonment – more than 9 years…

Before apparent murder-suicide, a troublesome pattern was emerging

In the months leading up to a New Year’s Day slaying in Lexington County that claimed four lives, there were warning signs emerging, records indicate. Jorge Luis Chavez (Photo provided. Front page photo via Facebook) On the evening of January 1, a Honduran foreign-national named Jorge Luis Chavez showed up at the house of Marissa Hope Reynoso, his estranged girlfriend and…

Richland County woman charged with attempted murder

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott recently announced the arrest of Kimberly Miller, 23, who is charged with four counts of attempted murder, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Lott stated that Miller was arrested by Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators without incident last week on McKenzie Street in Eastover at a relative’s home. The sheriff…

Four found dead in Lexington County

The new year got off to a deadly and tragic start in Lexington County after four persons were found dead Sunday night in an apparent murder-suicide. Jorge Luis Chavez (Photo provided) The dead included two children, their mother, and a man believed to be the children’s father – and also possibly the culprit. Autopsies have been scheduled for Tuesday to…

Lexington Police officer awarded for life-saving efforts

A Lexington Police officer who saved a life during a medical emergency has been awarded for his heroic efforts. Lexington Police officer Cpl. Paul Walker (right) receives the annual Tommy J. Fox Award for heroism from LPD Chief Terrence Green. (Photo provided) LPD Chief Terrence Green announced that Patrol Division Cpl. Paul Walker is the 2016 recipient of the Tommy…

Lexington deputies on the hunt for armed robbers

Lexington County deputies are searching for two men who attempted to rob a Lexington County business Wednesday night. Surveillance photos provided According to a clerk, the two men entered the C Mart on Two Notch Road around 9 p.m. wearing sweatshirts, masks and gloves. The victim told deputies the men struck her, pointed a gun, and demanded money from the…

Pelion Police get help in battle against auto theft

Auto theft continues to impact citizens in South Carolina and across the country. In 2015, there were nearly 13,000 auto thefts in South Carolina according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Specifically, Columbia and the surrounding area, which includes Pelion, saw more than 3,000 thefts. To help reduce the impact of theft on citizens, the Pelion Police Department recently installed…

Suspect in Christmas package thefts arrested

A woman suspected of stealing Christmas package deliveries from an Irmo homeowner’s porch has been caught and charged. Shirley Jean Daniel (Photo provided) A resident’s tip, spurred after viewing posted video-surveillance footage from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, led to the arrest Wednesday night of Shirley Jean Daniel, 35, at her home on Kennerly Road in Irmo, the sheriff’s department…

Mother accused of kidnapping children at gunpoint

A Columbia woman has been charged with kidnapping and unlawful neglect of a child after allegedly forcing her mother and her two children out of a home and into a car at gunpoint, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Lauren Barnhardt (Photo provided) Lauren Barnhardt, 32, is accused of restricting the movement of her mother and stepfather Tuesday morning…

Police on the hunt for Five Points bandits

Columbia police are looking for two suspects after a robbery in Five Points on Tuesday night. The incident took place at the Jimmy John’s sub-sandwich shop at 2015 Devine St., where “the smells are free,” but the cash in the register is most definitely not. Surveillance photo of alleged suspects (Photo provided) Employees at the restaurant told police two men…

Deadly weekend in Richland County

A trio of people lost their lives in what was a deadly weekend in Richland County. On Sunday, a man who had been shot in the head on December 10 died, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. Justin Jones, 26, of Ridgewood Camp Road in Columbia, died Sunday afternoon at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, Watts announced. Jones was found…

Lexington County man convicted of murder

A tangled web of revenge and murder has come to an end in Lexington County. Nicholas Chhith-Berry (Photo provided) A county jury has convicted Nicholas Chhith-Berry, 19, of Lexington in the March 2014 stabbing death of 23-year-old Jamie Galloway, the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office announced Monday. Following the guilty verdicts on charges of murder and possession of a weapon during…

(Updated) Lexington Police seek leads on missing teen girl

UPDATE: Sarah Danielle Barnes has been found safe. In an email Tuesday, LPD Lt. Carroll Bledsoe stated: “Ms. Barnes was located safe this morning in North Augusta and we are working with them on reuniting her with her family.  Because of her juvenile status no further information is available concerning this case.  Chief Terrence Green would like to thank the…

Former CNA charged in Columbia nursing-facility assault

A Columbia woman has been arrested and charged with physically assaulting a patient at a local nursing facility, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The C.M. Tucker Nursing Care Facility. (Photo: S.C. Dept. of Mental Health) Laquita S. McReynolds, 25, was working as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) at the C.M. Tucker Nursing Care Facility in March when a…

Couple on months-long crime spree wanted by LPD

Their crime spree has gone on for four months, and Lexington Police are hoping for tips and leads and their identification as they attempt to shut the suspected criminals down. Surveillance photos provided by Lexington Police Dept. According to LPD Lt. Carroll Bledsoe, Jr., an unidentified man and woman have been on the loose since at least August and involved…

‘Armed and dangerous’ robber hits B-L bank

An armed man robbed a Batesburg-Leesville bank Tuesday, and local law enforcement authorities are seeking the public’s help identifying him. According to the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and CrimeStoppers, the suspect entered a BB&T branch on 303 W. Columbia Ave. in Batesburg and was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Surveillance photo provided No one was injured…