Crime

Inquest jury clears Columbia Police officers in Ajani Mitchell shooting

A coroner’s inquest jury found that Columbia Police officers acted in self-defense when they fatally shot Ajani Mitchell in May. Medical Examiner Dr. Bradley Marcus uses a mannequin to describe Mitchell’s wounds to the jury (photo by Allen Wallace) The verdict, returned Wednesday afternoon, rules that the officers were defending their safety  and that of others in the area. The…

Update: Man killed by deputy was wanted in North Carolina

The man who was killed by a Richland County Sheriff’s deputy Monday night after shooting at the deputy had a lengthy criminal history, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The intersection of Faraway Dr. and East Boundary Rd. where the foot chase took place (photo by Allen Wallace) A Sheriff’s Department spokesman said Mitchell Alanda St. Clair, Jr., 39, was wanted in…

Woman assaulted on Lincoln Street

University of South Carolina Police are looking for a suspect and warning students and others to be careful after a woman was assaulted Tuesday night on Lincoln Street. The woman was near the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center parking lot in the 500 block of Lincoln Street around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. A man asked her for directions and then…

Officers testify in Ajani Mitchell shooting inquest

“I was looking right down the barrel, and he made eye contact with me.” That’s how a Columbia police officer describes what happened May 25 when he and another officer fatally shot Ajani Mitchell. Columbia Police Officer Matthew Fields demonstrates Mitchell’s position at the time of the shooting (photo by Allen Wallace) The officers and others who were involved with…

Lexington County men charged in case of stolen lawnmower, gun

Two Lexington men are charged with possessing a stolen lawnmower, gun and motorcycle license plate. Travis Leon Horton (photo provided) Charles Heyward Spires, Jr. (photo provided) Travis Leon Horton and Charles Heyward Spires Jr., both 26, face one count each of receiving stolen goods. Both men previously were arrested on other charges and are being held at the Lexington County…

Suspect killed in deputy-involved shooting

A suspect was killed by a Richland County Sheriff’s deputy after he fired shots at the deputy Monday night, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The deputy attempted to pull over a vehicle because the vehicle’s license plate was not registered to that vehicle. The deputy attempted to stop the suspect in the Woodfield neighborhood near Decker Boulevard, and the driver…

Man tells police he was shot while confronting alleged dog thief

Columbia Police are investigating after a man was shot Monday afternoon on Oakbrook Village Road. Oakwood Village Rd. shooting scene (photo provided) The man, whose name has not been released, said he was shot after confronting another man, who he suspected was trying to steal his dog. His injury is not life-threatening, according to officers. Police are looking for three…

Gaston man charged with beating 3-year-old boy

A 53-year-old Gaston man has been arrested, accused of beating a 3-year-old boy so severely that the child suffered a fractured hip and had a seizure. Michael Anthony Still (photo provided) Michael Anthony Still faces a charge of inflicting great bodily harm upon a child, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Lexington County Sheriff…

2 domestic violence suspects arrested in Lexington County

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department arrested two men accused of criminal domestic violence in separate cases. David Christopher Austen (photo provided) Damon Taquan Jackson (photo provided) David Christopher Austen, 33, was arrested Saturday. A magistrate’s court bench warrant had been issued after Austen failed to appear in court on a charge of criminal domestic violence. Damon Taquan Jackson, 21, was…

Trial to begin for Brett Parker on federal gambling charges

Already convicted of murdering his wife and another man, Brett Parker will stand trial beginning Monday on federal gambling charges. Brett Parker (photo provided) U.S. District Judge Cameron McCurrie will preside over the trial of Parker, his father, Jack Parker, and a third man, Douglas Taylor. Brett Parker already is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for…

Shots fired at Richland County strip club

A dispute between a bouncer and a customer outside a St. Andrews-area strip club ended in gunfire early Sunday morning. The security guard told Richland County Sheriff’s deputies that he escorted the customer out of Mr. Lucky’s at 2605 Seminole Road, just off Broad River Road, around 1 a.m. Sunday. The bouncer then told deputies that the customer got into…

Update: Coroner identifies woman killed in Northeast shooting

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts has released the name of the woman killed Saturday night in a shooting in the Heather Green subdivision in the Northeast. Zelda Kollock, 51, of 616 Cottontail Court died from multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body. Richland County Sheriff’s deputies say 58-year-old John Washington, Kollock’s estranged boyfriend, is accused of shooting her after an…

Woman killed in shooting in Northeast

A woman was killed after what deputies think was an argument between an estranged couple ended in a shooting Saturday night. According to reports, 58-year-old John Washington and the woman argued around 8 p.m. in the yard of a home on Cottontail Court in the Heather Green subdivision off Longtown Road. Washington is accused of fatally shooting the woman, moving…

Keeping Five Points safe: Interim Chief Santiago leads CPD mission

Columbia’s Interim Police Chief does not want to arrest you, and his officers are not out to keep you from having a good time in Five Points on USC football game nights. Interim Chief Santiago chats with people in Five Points on the night of the UNC game (photo by Allen Wallace) Santiago did not spend the first game night…

Irmo Police search for indecent exposure suspect

The Irmo Police Department has released a sketch of a man wanted for indecent exposure. Sketch of suspect (photo provided) According to reports, a woman reported that a man exposed himself to her Wednesday in the Walmart shopping center parking lot on Dutch Fork Road. The woman said he called out to get her attention and was exposed and performing…

West Columbia couple charged with homicide by child abuse

A Lexington County couple has been charged with neglecting their infant daughter until she died of malnutrition and dehydration. Filiberto Garcia (photo provided) Tracy Roach (photo provided) Filiberto Garcia, 33, and his wife, Tracy Roach, 42, were arrested Thursday and charged with homicide by child abuse. Their child, 13-month-old Madison Garcia, weighed just over nine pounds when she died Sept….

Thieves target Dodge vehicles in Richland County

Richland County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the people responsible for a string of thefts involving Dodge vehicles. Sheriff Leon Lott said 65 Dodges of various kinds have been broken into since June 1. Many of the crimes happened in the Broad River Road, Harbison and Dentsville areas. The thieves frequently break in by damaging the driver’s door. Lott advises…

Update: Woman charged with causing Lugoff school bus wreck

A Hartsville woman has been charged with causing a wreck involving three vehicles, including a school bus, Thursday on U.S. Highway 1 near Lugoff-Elgin High School. Amber Huff, 24, is charged with driving too fast for conditions. South Carolina Highway Patrol investigators said Huff reportedly rear-ended a van just west of the high school, forcing it into the back of…

Update: Coroner says man found dead on Center Street was killed by gunshot

The man found dead by the roadside Thursday on Center Street in Columbia was killed by a bullet. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said 37-year-old Samuel Clemons died of complications from a gunshot wound to his upper body. Clemons, who lived on Magrath Street, was found by a person passing by Thursday around 8:00 a.m., near the intersection of Center…

Body found on Center Street; foul play suspected

Columbia Police say a man found dead on the side of the road Thursday morning might have been murdered. A person passing near the intersection of Center and McFadden streets discovered the body and called 911. Investigators suspect foul play and are following up on leads. The Richland County Coroner’s Office is assisting with the case. If you have any…

Man charged with stealing fishing boats

A Lexington man has been arrested after deputies say he was found in possession of four stolen fishing boats and trailers, along with other stolen items. Charles Heyward Spires Jr., 26, was arrested by Lexington County Sheriff’s Department fugitive investigators Saturday in a motel room on McSwain Drive near West Columbia. Spires faces charges of second-degree burglary, grand larceny and…

Man accused of entering occupied apartments

Richland County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man accused of entering four different occupied apartments without permission. Sheriff Leon Lott said all four invasions happened between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., with one report coming on Sept. 2, one on Monday, and two on Tuesday. All four victims were women who say they awoke to find the man inside…

4 arrested in Lexington County meth bust

The crackdown on meth labs in Lexington County continued Monday night with four more arrests. Darwin Jason Ciesielski (photo provided) Kimberly Elaine Kinney (photo provided) Charles Brandon Linton (photo provided) Cody Edward Shealy (photo provided) Officers with the Lexington County multi-agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) seized a meth lab at a home on Ivy Link Road near Leesville. A relative…