LEWIS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR ARMED ROBBERY OF WAFFLE HOUSE

Anderson, SC —  Earlier today in Anderson County General Sessions Court the Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced Jonathan Lewis to 15 years in jail with no parole for the charge of Armed Robbery. 

Just before 2 am, on June 5, 2017, while armed with a handgun, Mr. Lewis entered the Waffle House located at 103 Assembly Drive in Piedmont. He pointed his gun at several workers and a customer and demanded money from the register. He then reached over the counter and grabbed $700 from the register. He ran out of the restaurant and fired a shot as he did so. Mr. Lewis’ face and the gun he wielded, and the car he drove as he left the scene were captured clearly on surveillance videos of the incident. This allowed law enforcement to identify Mr. Lewis and led to his arrest. 

Solicitor David Wagner said this about today’s sentence: “Would-be robbers would do well to remember that technology, such as the surveillance cameras in this case, allow us to identify criminals much more easily than we could in the past. I hope that will cause individuals who might consider committing offenses such as this one to think long and hard before they make a mistake that costs them 15 years in jail, as it did Jonathan Lewis.”

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REPEAT DRUG OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS WITH NO PAROLE

Walhalla, SC – The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Bobby Joe Shead of Seneca to 15 years with no parole after a guilty plea to Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2nd Offense. The State was represented by Deputy Solicitor Lindsey Simmons.

 

Shead was arrested during a roundup of drug offenders in an effort to curb the methamphetamine epidemic in Oconee County.  The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, using a confidential informant, initiated a controlled narcotics purchase from Shead in November of 2017. Lab tests confirmed the substance which was sold by Shead to be methamphetamine.

 

“Bobby Joe Shead’s sentence is a warning to meth dealers in Oconee County. You will be caught and prosecuted. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office does a great job of identifying the dealers and gathering the evidence necessary to convict them. We will continue to prosecute these dealers to get them off the streets of Oconee County,” stated Solicitor David Wagner.

 

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CHEVIS MORRIS SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS

Oconee, S.C. –  Yesterday, in Oconee General Sessions Court before the Honorable Judge Scott Sprouse, defendant Chevis Morris pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter, Armed Robbery and Burglary 1st degree.  He received a negotiated sentence of 30 years in jail. 

 

On July 30, 2016, the victim, Jennifer Poore, was shot in her home in Anderson.  Mr. Morris had gone to that location with two other females, to visit.  The shooting was witnessed by one of the women and the other saw the defendant running from the house with a gun in his hand.  When arrested and questioned by the police, the defendant said that he noticed the victim had a large roll of cash in her pocketbook.  The defendant said he intended to strike the victim in the head with his gun and steal her cash, but the gun went off when he hit her.  The defendant fled the scene and later broke into a residence and stole a car.  He was arrested the next day at his mother’s house.

 

“I hope that this lengthy sentence brings some peace to the family of Ms. Poore, who lost their loved one in a senseless act of violence stemming from greed,” said Solicitor David Wagner following the imposition of the sentence by the Court. 

 

 

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Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to 25 Years

(Anderson, SC). Late in the afternoon yesterday, following a three day trial, the Honorable Lawton McIntosh sentenced Mary Nimmons Patrick to 25 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections and a $100,000.00 fine, after a jury convicted her for Trafficking Methamphetamine between 200 and 400 grams.   Assistant Solicitor Chelsey Moore appeared on behalf of the State, and the defendant was represented by attorney William Yarborough.

 After several months of surveillance, Detectives with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division executed a search warrant at a home on Willingham Road in Belton. Inside the home, Detectives found the defendant, Mary Nimmons Patrick, and approximately a half pound of methamphetamine. Patrick admitted to Detectives that she divided the methamphetamine into smaller portions to sell.

Solicitor Wagner commented following the verdict:   “Ms. Patrick had two prior methamphetamine convictions on her criminal record. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has been working hard to stop drug offenders at high levels, particularly drug traffickers. The way they methodically worked the case against Ms. Patrick helped secure this conviction, and has stopped a large source of methamphetamine that was distributed in Anderson County.”

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LANCE BROTHERS SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS

(Anderson, SC). Earlier today in Anderson County General Sessions Court the Honorable Lawton McIntosh sentenced brothers Jacob and Oscar Lance to 30 years in prison for the 2015 killing of Todd Cantlay. The brothers pled guilty to charges of Voluntary Manslaughter, First Degree Burglary, and two counts of Third Degree Arson. They received 30 year sentences for the Manslaughter and Burglary charges, and 15 year sentences for both Arson charges, all of which are to be served concurrently. Senior Assistant Solicitor Lauren Davis Price appeared on behalf of the Tenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and attorneys Kurt Tavernier and Lee Cole appeared on behalf of Jacob and Oscar Lance, respectively.

There was evidence that the victim, Todd Cantlay, had called and texted with Jacob Lance prior to the incident date of November 13, 2015, concerning drug sales to his son, and threatened Jacob Lance in phone calls due to the son being “shorted” and paying too much for drugs. Jacob and Oscar Lance went to Todd Cantlay’s home on the incident date, entered uninvited, and struck the victim with a baseball bat several times in the head, which resulted in his death due to blunt force trauma. The Lance brothers then set the body of the victim on fire, postmortem, and stole guitars, an Xbox, a television, and a rifle from the victim’s home, before driving off in the victim’s vehicle. They took the victim’s vehicle to the woods where they attempted to burn it, and where it was later recovered by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Items belonging to the victim were found in Jacob Lance’s vehicle and in Oscar Lance’s home following search warrants executed on their properties. The baseball bat and rifle were also found behind the home of Oscar Lance. Both brothers gave confessions to law enforcement, but each blamed the other for striking the fatal blows. 

Following the sentence today Solicitor David Wagner gave the following statement: “In plea Court today, the finger pointing by Jacob and Oscar Lance continued, as neither admitted to being Todd Cantlay’s killer. These brothers will now pay for these heinous crimes they committed together. They are ‘eating from the same bowl’ with identical sentences handed down from the Court. We are pleased with the Court’s sentence today, which reflects the law in South Carolina that says ‘the hand of one is the hand of all’, and which appropriately holds the Lance brothers equally responsible for these acts.”

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GAMBRELL SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS FOR ARMED ROBBERY AND ATTEMPTED MURDER

(Anderson, SC). Today, Judge Lawton McIntosh sentenced Demetrius Gambrell on charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery to seventeen years in jail, to be served concurrently on both charges. He will get credit for 370 days he has already served. Representing the State was Senior Assistant Solicitor Kristin Reeves and Bill Hinnant represented Mr. Gambrell. 

On January 18, 2017 the victim, who was friends with Gambrell, was with the defendant on Leon Drive in Anderson County when the defendant opened fire and shot him five times before leaving him in a ditch by the side of the road and taking the victim’s vehicle. The vehicle was discovered outside of Gambrell’s house, where it had been set on fire, and the victim’s wallet was later recovered from the defendant’s residence. 

Then, on January 31, 2017 the defendant entered the Stop-a-Minute on the 28 Bypass in Anderson County, asked the store clerk for cigarettes before pointing a gun at the clerk and demanding money, threatening to shoot the clerk if he refused. He then left in a red car wearing a camo jacket and baseball hat. The incident was recorded on video. 

Gambrell was arrested on February 2, 2017 in Louisiana in the red car wearing the same clothing he wore when he committed the armed robbery. Officers in Louisiana recovered a .380 and ballistics testing matched the bullets recovered from the victim in the attempted murder. 

Following the sentencing Solicitor David R. Wagner said that “violent acts such as these will not be tolerated in our jurisdiction. If you leave the State, we will bring you back, and bring you to justice.”

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WEBB SENTENCED TO 45 YEARS FOR MURDER

Walhalla, SC—An Oconee County jury convicted R. L. Webb of Murder and Burglary 1st degree today in General Sessions Court.  The Honorable R. Lawton McIntosh sentenced Webb to 45 years on each charge to be served concurrently.  The State was represented by Assistant Solicitor Blair Stoudemire, who was assisted by Assistant Solicitor Brian Livingston. 

On September 1, 2016, Webb went to the residence of 50 year old Steven Gregory Brock at 208 Brock Road in Westminster. Webb and Brock had a verbal dispute earlier in the day at Webb’s residence.  When Webb arrived at Brock’s residence, he found the gate to the property was locked.  He unsuccessfully attempted to gain entry by shooting the lock several times. After gaining entry to the property via an alternate route, Webb approached Brock’s home and made forced entry. 

Webb found Brock in a bedroom in the home, along with a female acquaintance. Upon entering the bedroom, Webb fired a handgun at Brock, fatally striking him in the head.  The female acquaintance was able to flee the residence in Webb’s car, as Webb continued to fire at her.  A short time later, she approached a City of Walhalla police officer for assistance.  The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office also received two 911 calls around this time. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Brock Road location where they located Brock’s body and processed the crime scene.  The murder weapon was later located on the premises by a law enforcement K9 officer. 

After the shooting, Webb hid in the woods nearby the home and later fled the State. He was located the next day in Lavonia, Georgia and was apprehended by authorities there. 

At trial, The State presented video and written evidence of Webb’s confession, eyewitness testimony, law enforcement witnesses, medical experts, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division experts in the fields of firearms/ballistics, DNA, and gunshot residue analysis.  

Solicitor David Wagner stated after the trial, “The death of Steven Gregory Brock was a senseless and merciless tragedy. R. L. Webb killed Mr. Brock in the sanctity of his own home, the place where we should all feel most safe.  Today’s sentence ensures that our society will be protected from R. L. Webb for the rest of his life.  I would like to thank our law enforcement partners at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, Walhalla Police Department, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for their outstanding work in pursuit of justice.”

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WIDEMAN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR MURDER

Anderson, SC – Late Thursday afternoon an Anderson County jury convicted Raeford Wideman of Murder, and he was sentenced to 30 years in jail by Judge Lawton McIntosh. The case was tried by Assistant Solicitor Stan Overby for the State. 

At trial it was established that during the early morning hours of March 15, 2015, Wideman shot the victim, Ryan Oneill Tatum, multiple times while Tatum was in a vehicle outside of Mr. Wideman’s residence. Mr. Tatum had been dating Mr. Wideman’s sister at the time of the shooting, and was returning from Greenville with her and her cousin when the Defendant came out of the house armed. An investigation by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office determined that multiple shots had been fired at Mr. Tatum while the firearm was placed inside the vehicle he was driving. The investigation proved that Mr. Wideman had every intention of killing Mr. Tatum, though Wideman initially maintained he had fired accidentally. 

Following the verdict Solicitor David R. Wagner said “Thanks to the investigation by Detective Nathan Mitchell and the rest of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Wideman’s story was disproved and there can be justice for Mr. Tatum and his family today.”

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COLLINS SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS IN PRISON

Walhalla, SC – An Oconee County jury convicted Kenneth Strother Collins of Murder, Kidnapping and the Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime today in Oconee General Sessions Court. The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Collins to 30 years for Murder and 20 years for Kidnapping to be served consecutively as well as 5 years for the weapons charge to be served concurrently. The State was represented by Deputy Solicitor Lindsey Simmons who was assisted by Assistant Solicitor Jason Alderman.

 

On January 12, 2015, Jeremy Little was staying at an apartment at Walhalla Gardens where he met Collins and two other individuals. Collins purchased some methamphetamine from Little who was going to go meet with Collins later to get the rest of the money for the drugs. Sometime after 1 a.m. on January 13th, Little arrived at 505 N. Laurel Street in Walhalla where he was to retrieve money and smoke methamphetamine with Collins and others in the home. Two of the witnesses stated that when they came into the house that Collins was in a rage, brandishing a large knife and accusing Little of being an law enforcement informant. During his rage, he stabbed the victim, walked away and then returned to kick and stomp him in the face. As he lay helpless in the floor, Collins stabbed Little in the back again as one of the witnesses watched.

 

The witnesses were then forced to help Collins clean up the crime scene. The victim was stripped, gagged, bound and stuffed in a sack inside of rugs and other materials while he was still alive. Collins planned to hide the victim’s body in the attic but law enforcement arrived before they could hide him.  

 

Upon receiving two 911 calls, officers went to the location and at first found the house dark and quiet. When they went back later, they saw blood and forced entry into the house. Little’s body was found at the attic stairs but Collins and the two witnesses who were hiding in the attic were not immediately found. Several hours later, one of the witnesses fell through the ceiling from the attic where she and the others had been hiding under insulation. Collins later came down from the attic with a gun cocked in his mouth but was taken into custody before any shots were fired.

 

Although Collins claimed self-defense in this case, witness testimony and forensic evidence proved otherwise.

 

Solicitor David Wagner stated after the trial, “Kenneth Collins committed a savage attack on Jeremy Little. Jeremy Little begged for his life and Collins continued to brutally assault and stab him. Then, in a final brutal act, Collins stripped Little, bound him, gagged him and stuffed him in a bag while he was still alive in an attempt to hide his crime. Collins now has 50 years in prison to reflect on his crimes and how many people have been hurt because of his actions. Unfortunately, this will not make up for the loss of Jeremy Little to his family members and friends. However, it will prevent Collins from hurting or possibly killing someone else. I would like to thank Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and Walhalla Police Department for the excellent work done on this case.”

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DRUG TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON

Anderson, SC — On October 18, 2017, an Anderson County jury found Cole Brooks Gray guilty of the charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, with a weight range of 100-200 grams, Receiving Stolen Goods, and Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.  Following his conviction, the Honorable Alexander S. Macaulay sentenced Gray to 25 years in jail for Trafficking, 3 years for Receiving Stolen Goods and 5 years for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.  The case was tried by Solicitor David R. Wagner. 

 

On November 12, 2016, a Sheriff’s Deputy observed Gray run a stop sign near the Starr Community while driving a stolen 1994 Chevy C1500. The officer initiated both his blue lights and his siren but Gray failed to stop.  He then led deputies through Anderson County on a high speed chase that ended on Dixon Road only after officers barricaded a road and deployed stop sticks to deflate the tires of the truck Gray was driving.  Prior to stopping, Gray threw a large bag containing 109 grams of methamphetamine out of the driver’s window into the roadway. Following the chase another bag of methamphetamine was also found in the driver’s seat of the truck.  

 

“Cole Gray is a career criminal who put our community in danger not only by trafficking methamphetamine, but by completely disregarding public safety during a lengthy and dangerous chase with law enforcement.  Thanks to the hard work of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office he is off the streets and will no longer threaten the health and safety of the citizens of Anderson County,” said Solicitor Wagner, following the guilty verdict.  “Mr. Gray has 25 years in jail to consider how he wants to become a productive member of society.” 

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