Wednesday, July 1, 2015
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An Elgin police officer has been arrested by Kershaw County sheriff’s deputies and faces charges of second degree domestic violence.  Arrested was 41 year old Douglas James Barton.  According to the sheriff’s office Barton got into an argument with his girlfriend Monday afternoon.  When the girlfriend tried to call law enforcement Barton smashed her phone with a hammer.  Barton then held the girlfriend against her will and assaulted her throwing her to the ground.  The girlfriend then found another phone however Barton broke that phone.  The girlfriend told deputies that Barton then put a pillow over her head to prevent her from screaming and grabbed her around her throat and hit her in the face.  The victim was able to escape, get to a neighbor’s house and call authorities.  Deputies found that Barton was highly intoxicated.  Barton was place in the Kershaw County Detention.  Sheriff Jim Matthews says that Elgin police chief Harold Brown was informed of the arrest and that Brown has suspended Barton.

The executive committee of the KershawHealth board of trustees Thursday evening unanimously approved two motions.  The first motion approved authorizes the chairman of the KershawHealth board to negotiate and execute an extension of the letter of intent between KershawHealth, MUSC Health and Capella Healthcare through July 31st.  The committee also approved a motion to authorize KershawHealth, acting through its staff and accountants, to negotiate and if favorable terms can be reached, execute  health insurance agreements as discussed in executive session.

A Camden man, 42 year old Shon Lee Cueller, was killed Thursday night in a single vehicle accident on Highway 34 near Pine Tree Hill elementary school.  Kershaw county coroner David West says that Cueller’s vehicle left the road and hit a tree.  West says Cueller was not wearing a seat belt.  The accident is under investigation by the Kershaw County Coroner’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

On the morning of June 23, 2015 the Sandhills Bank located in the Town of Bethune was robbed by a gunman who forced a bank employee into the bank building at gunpoint and stole an undisclosed amount of currency. A citizen who witnessed the robbery attempted to follow the gunman, who fired two rounds from a handgun, which caused the citizen to stop following him. However, two citizens was able to provide law enforcement with a description of the getaway vehicle.

Yancey Wilson

Yancy Wilson

On the morning of June 25, 2015, a Kershaw County patrol supervisor observed a vehicle matching the description of the bank robbery getaway car at a car wash in Lugoff. The deputy determined that the vehicle also displayed a paper tag exactly like the one that was on the bank robbery suspect vehicle. Three male subjects, one of whom matched the description of the gunman were with the suspect vehicle. Additional deputies were called to the scene and the three men agreed to voluntarily go to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office for questioning.

Randy Jones

Randy Jones

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office investigators began interviewing the three men, one of whom provided details of the robbery to investigators. Based on the interviews, KCSO investigators, an FBI agent and the Bethune Chief of Police obtained and executed search warrants in several locations. The Bethune Chief of Police obtained arrest warrants for Yancey Wilson (21) of Elgin (Richland County) and Randy Jones (21) of Bethune charging them with armed robbery and criminal conspiracy. Wilson is also being charged with use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and kidnapping.

Both men are being detained at the Kershaw County Detention Center. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will likely file federal charges against the men relative to federal bank robbery statutes.

“Although these men are off the street, this investigation is continuing and additional charges against another individual may be forthcoming,” said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. “The deputy who broke this case did an outstanding job and was observant enough to recognize the suspect’s vehicle two days after the robbery at a location far from the robbery incident. This ultimately led to the arrests of the robbery suspects.”

Jones has no prior arrests. Wilson was recently released from prison where he served time for a strong armed robbery conviction. He has been previously arrested for burglary (1st degree), assault and battery (1st degree) and strong armed robbery.

Lugoff Fire-Rescue crews were dispatched to the 400 block of Oakview Drive off Wildwood Lane in Lugoff Monday evening June 22nd around 11 PM for a home on fire. Lugoff Fire Marshal 1 arrived first to find a large amount of fire and dark smoke in the rear of the single-wide mobile home around the back door and inside the back of the home. The occupant was home at the time of the fire and was able to escape with two dogs safely prior to fire crew arrival. Fire crews from Lugoff Engine 9 and 10 immediately attacked the fire stopping any fire progress and further damage to the home and contents. Battalion 1 commanded the incident and crews remained on scene for about 2 hours. Lugoff crews also treated the occupant for minor smoke inhalation when they arrived. There were no injuries and no one was transported to the hospital. The Red Cross was notified and assisted the occupant after the fire. Two firefighters from Blaney and one firefighter from Pine Grove Fire Departments also assisted with the fire.

“This fire proves how fast emergency notification, quick response, and rapid fire attack makes a huge positive impact on our ability to control fires in homes and save property. Our crews stopped the fire immediately upon arrival saving what would normally be a total loss in a single-wide mobile home as fires in these homes are very hard to contain once the fire gets started. We had a great paid and volunteer firefighter turnout and I appreciate everyone who had a part in saving this home and as much content as possible” Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray stated.

The Lugoff Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire to be from improper electrical cord use through the back door of the home. Crews used thermal imaging cameras to verify the fire was completely out and returned to the home the following morning to re-check by normal procedure.

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On June 24, 2015 Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Tyrone Cook Jr. (18) and Mardave Dawoo Hunter (19) on warrants charging each of them with 5 counts of theft from a motor vehicle, 1 count of burglary (1st degree) and 1 count of petty larceny.

Tyrone Cook

Tyrone Cook, Jr.

During the early morning hours of June 13, 2015 several vehicles in the Cool Springs subdivision were broken into with items stolen from each vehicle. Kershaw County investigators were called to the scene to investigate these break-ins and thefts. Also during that morning the Camden Police Department investigated an armed robbery and car break-ins in an adjoining neighborhood. The Camden Police Department ultimately arrested Cook and charged him with the armed robbery. They also arrested Hunter who was in the neighborhood and charged him with car break-ins that occurred in the city limits of Camden.

Mardave Hunter

Mardave Hunter

Kershaw County investigators believed that Hunter and Cook were responsible for the car break-ins that occurred in the Cool Springs neighborhood and worked with the Camden Police Department to confirm their suspicions. Additional investigative work by the KCSO investigators resulted in the recovery of some items that had been stolen and they were able to positively place Hunter and Cook in the Cool Springs subdivision during the early morning hours of June 13, 2015.  KCSO investigators were also able to tie Hunter and Cook in to a home burglary that same night in Cool Springs in which they broke into a home and were confronted by a person living there.

Cook and Hunter are already being detained at the Kershaw County Detention Center on charges brought by the Camden Police Department relative to the armed robbery and auto break-ins that occurred in Camden. On June 24, 2015 Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies served the additional warrants on Cook and Hunter and they will have to post bond on those charges before being released.

Cook has previously been arrested for simple possession of marijuana, breach of peace, burglary (2nd degree), petty larceny and criminal conspiracy. Hunter has been previously arrested for simple possession of marijuana (2nd offense) and resisting arrest.

“It’s a shame that these two young men are starting their lives off the wrong way, especially at such an early age,” said Sheriff Jim Matthews. “With all of these charges they are looking at some serious prison time. We are duty bound to take criminals of all ages off the streets, but it is saddening to us when those we arrest are young people.”

The Lugoff-Elgin Demons have named a new Varsity Head Wrestling Coach. Ted Monroe was approved by the School Board which made it official earlier this month. Monroe has coached the previous 12 seasons at Lugoff Elgin Middle school leading the Leopards to 8 undefeated seasons with 6 championships and a record of 227 wins and 11 losses. Here are highlights from an interview conducted last week.