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October 14, 2017 - 12:00 am


Trespassers found at vandalized historic S Carolina church

MAYESVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say three people have been charged with trespassing at the same historic South Carolina church which was vandalized with spray-painted satanic symbols last month.

Sumter County Sheriff's spokesman Ken Bell said Salem Black River Presbyterian Church was not damaged Friday night — the same day four Shaw Air Force Base airmen appeared in court on vandalism charges.

Bell says there are no trespassing signs, saying people can only be on the church property in Mayesville during services. The church dates back more than 250 years and its current building was constructed in the 1840s.

Local stories say the church may be haunted. Bell says deputies on patrol keep a close eye on it, and there is 24-hour surveillance on site.

Bell says the trespassing suspects were issued tickets.


School board member apologizes for racial slur in email

(Information from: Morning News,

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — A former school board member in South Carolina has apologized for sending an email where he called African-American board members "darkies."

But one black Florence School District One member says that is not enough and he wants a state and federal investigation into possible discrimination.

Glenn Odom sent the email to a district employee in August asking for a ride and also asking her not to "send it to the darkies."

Odom resigned Oct. 2, and the Morning News of Florence reported he apologized during a prayer gathering Friday, saying he was brought up to respect all people.

Board member Alexis Pipkins Sr. is still upset. He says African-American board members weren't told about the email for a month and that's why he wants the district's emails reviewed.



Man once sentenced to death gets life for killing teen

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (AP) — A man whose South Carolina death sentence was overturned after he wasn't allowed to represent himself has been found guilty again and sentenced to life in prison for killing a Georgia teen in 2001.

Solicitor Rick Hubbard says an Edgefield County jury deliberated an hour Friday before convicting 38-year-old Steven Barnes.

Authorities say Barnes ordered 16-year-old Samuel Sturrup, of Augusta, Georgia, beaten with a pipe before being shot in the head in September 2001.

Investigators say Sturrup's killing went unsolved for three months until a dog found a skull with a bullet hole.

Authorities say Barnes ran a teen prostitution ring where clients were robbed after having sex.

Barnes used lawyers in his trial.

Hubbard says Charlene Thatcher pulled the trigger. She is serving 20 years in prison in Georgia.


Trooper struck by vehicle on South Carolina highway

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a South Carolina state trooper has been struck by a vehicle while helping with a traffic stop.

Georgetown County Sheriff's spokesman Jason Lesley said the trooper was hit around 1:30 a.m. Saturday near U.S. Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet by a passing car.

Authorities say the trooper was taken to a Myrtle Beach hospital, and his injuries don't appear to be life threatening. His name was not immediately released.

Lesley says 24-year-old Larry Dominique Williams was charged with felony driving under the influence. He is awaiting a bond hearing and it wasn't known if he had a lawyer.


This story has been corrected to say the trooper was struck early Saturday morning.


Land around Francis Marion grave protected from development

(Information from: The Post and Courier,

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — More than 17 square miles of land surrounding the South Carolina grave of Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion will soon be protected from development.

The Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust says it now has a conservation easement for the 11,000-acre (45,000-square kilometer) site north of rapidly growing Charleston.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the South Carolina Conservation Bank gave $1.5 million to the easement, while the trust gave $1.4 million. Officials need an additional $700,000 to protect the entire tract.

The land is frequently used for quail hunting. The deal includes setting aside a small portion for education and only allows five homes.

Marion was known as "The Swamp Fox." His attacks on British troops before disappearing again into the South Carolina swamps were critical during the American Revolution.



Man who jumped from jail roof to escape sentenced to 7 years

(Information from: The Index-Journal,

GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — The man who escaped from a South Carolina jail by jumping from the roof has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The Index-Journal of Greenwood reports that 22-year-old Nathaniel Wideman pleaded guilty Friday, less than two months after his leap to freedom from the Greenwood County jail.

Wideman told a judge he made a quick decision after seeing he could climb a door to get to the roof under the jail's razor wire on Aug. 15.

While on the loose, police say Wideman led deputies on a chase that ended in a crash and was found with a stolen gun. No one was injured.

The charge that led to Wideman ending up in jail was later dropped when a witness did not contact authorities.


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