Greenwood domestic abuser sentenced to 18 years in prison

STAVALYON TURNER

Greenwood, S.C.; October 5, 2018 – A Greenwood man will spend the next 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a June 2017 domestic assault, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday.

Stavalyon Amane Turner, 35, pleaded guilty Thursday at the Greenwood County Courthouse to charges of domestic violence, high and aggravated in nature, and violation of protection order. After hearing presentations by the state and the defense, Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. sentenced Turner to 18 years in prison.

On June 24, 2017, deputies responded to the victim’s residence where she told them that Turner had assaulted her and bitten off a chunk of her upper lip. Investigators later located the piece of the victim’s lip on her bed. The victim was taken to the Emergency Care Center at Self Regional Medical Center to receive treatment for her sever injuries, which included multiple surgeries.

Turner had committed prior domestic assaults involving one other victim and the current victim, which resulted in the order of protection that was in place at the time of the June 2017 incident.

Solicitor Stumbo and Assistant Solicitor Carson Penney handled the case for the state. Turner was represented by Michael Gambrell of the Greenville County Bar.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“It is extremely disappointing that Stavalyon Turner refused to take advantage of the multiple opportunities to succeed given by the people closest to him, including the victims of his assaults,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the proceeding. “It is unacceptable for a man treat a woman in such a manner, and we will continue to be relentless in our fight to protect victims of domestic violence.  Our state has made great strides in recent years to attack this issue, and I hope that this conviction and sentence only furthers the resolve to continue to pursue domestic abusers and bring them to justice.”

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Greenwood man sentenced to 100 months for possessing a firearm

Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated today that Tramain R. Anderson, 28, of Greenwood, was sentenced to 100 months in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g).  United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, of Charleston, sentenced Anderson and imposed a three-year term of supervised release.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on July 12, 2017, the Greenwood City Police Department received a report that a young woman was possibly being abused at a local motel.  Officers went to Room 207, knocked, and encountered Anderson.  Police smelled marijuana and Anderson admitted that he had just smoked a joint.  The drug evidence gave police probable cause to search the room.  Upon entering the room, they located  a young female occupant who said she was being held against her will and that she had been beaten by Anderson. She explained that Anderson had a gun and that it was in Anderson’s personal bag sitting on the bed.  In the bag, the officers found a Taurus .38 caliber revolver that was fully loaded.

In consultation with local authorities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to prosecute Anderson for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The case was investigated by agents of the Greenwood City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

This case is part of a joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

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Abbeville rapist sentenced to 25 years in prison

Abbeville, S.C.; September 7, 2018 – An Abbeville man will spend the next 25 years in prison after being convicted Thursday afternoon of a violent 2017 sexual assault, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday.

Lawrence Alando Postell, 35, was found guilty by an Abbeville County jury of first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree assault and battery, and kidnapping following a three-day trial at the Abbeville County Courthouse. The jury deliberated about two hours before returning the guilty verdicts.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then sentenced Postell to 25 years in prison on the charge of first-degree burglary as well as on the charge of kidnapping, 20 years in prison on the charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and 10 years on the charge of first-degree assault and battery. Judge Addy ordered all sentences to run concurrently.

In the early morning hours of May 5, 2017, Postell forcibly entered the victim’s Calhoun Falls home. Postell brutally beat and raped the victim. The victim was able to escape following the assault and a neighbor called police. When police found her, she was badly beaten and completely naked. Officers took the victim to the hospital where a rape kit was completed by a doctor. The doctor, who was qualified as an expert witness, testified that it was the most brutal rape case he had ever seen.

Assistant Solicitor Micah Black and Deputy Solicitor Demetri Andrews handled the case for the state, along with 8th Circuit Investigator Chris Wilkie and Victim Advocate Sarah Parris.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Sgt. Jeffrey Hines, Victim Advocate Monique Bell and all the deputies of the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the medical professionals who treated the victim, in securing the conviction.

“Lawrence Postell is a dangerous, violent criminal,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “It is beyond the realm of comprehension to most citizens of our circuit that attacks this vicious can actually happen because it defies any sense of moral decency. My office will continue to be the voice of these victims in the courtroom and will fight tooth and nail to see justice done.”

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Laurens child predator sentenced to 25 years in prison

James Redd stands with his attorney, Billy Long during a Thursday afternoon plea proceeding at the Laurens County Courthouse.

Laurens, S.C.; August 30, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday that a Laurens child predator was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting three girls under the age of 9 over a period of about a year.

James Edward Redd Jr., 31, pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor during a Thursday afternoon plea proceeding at the Laurens County Courthouse.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. sentenced Redd to 25 years in prison on the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, 20 years in prison on the charge of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and 15 years in prison on each charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Redd must serve a minimum of 85 percent of the 25-year sentence.

Judge Addy also issued three permanent restraining orders for Redd on the three minor victims in the case.

In October 2017, Redd’s then girlfriend suspected Redd of infidelity and began searching through his phone. She found a sexually explicit video depicting Redd with a child under the age of 5 who lived in the home. Redd’s girlfriend immediately notified authorities who then obtained a search warrant for Redd’s phone. On the phone, investigators found more video and picture evidence of Redd molesting two other children under the age of 9.

Investigators spoke with Redd and Redd admitted to committing the acts. Redd confessed to investigators that that he had been smoking marijuana and watching pornography, prompting him to begin acting out fantasies he had in his head.

Solicitor Stumbo handled the case for the state with the assistance of Assistant Solicitor Julie Kate Keeney and Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Redd was represented by Billy Long of the Greenville County Bar.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Inv. Jared Hunnicutt and Dep. Logan Kanipe of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence. Deputy Kanipe was with the Laurens Police Department at the time of the investigation.

“Our society has no room for sick sexual predators like James Redd, who exploit children for their own pleasure,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “I am glad that we were able to secure justice for these young victims without them having to relive the horror of the abuse in court. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement to pursue predators like James Redd and fight for our children.”

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Con man gets max prison sentence after trial

JOHN F. ANDERSON

Greenwood, S.C.; August 23, 2018 – A Hodges con man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from an elderly neighbor, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday.

John Fitzgerald Anderson, 53, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, receiving stolen goods, failure to stop for blue light, driving under suspension third and subsequent offense, and trespass after notice. A Greenwood County jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges after deliberating for just over three hours.

Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman sentenced Anderson to the maximum sentence on each of the charges: 10 years in prison on receiving stolen goods, five years in prison on exploitation of a vulnerable adult, three years in prison on failure to stop for blue light, 90 days on driving under suspension, and 30 days on trespass after notice. All sentences will run concurrently.

On May 30, 2017, members of the 89-year-old victim’s family filed a police report alleging that Anderson had been taking the elderly woman’s money. The elderly victim had been declared a vulnerable adult in November 2016. Anderson was put on trespass notice at that time and the banks were notified to contact the woman’s family if she showed with Anderson again.

On June 28, 2017, investigators were notified by the family and by a bank that Anderson and the victim had just withdrawn $300 from the victim’s account at First Citizen’s Bank in Ware Shoals. Deputies with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office spotted Anderson immediately and attempted to pull Anderson over. Anderson immediately began to flee from deputies and led them on a chase for nearly four minutes at a high rate of speed before crashing his vehicle.

Anderson was indicted for stealing $116,602 between January 1, 2017 and June 28, 2017. The family believes Anderson was able to coerce the victim into giving him more than $250,000 prior to January 1, 2017.

Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown and Assistant Solicitor Anna Sumner handled the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Windy Chappell and Victim Advocates, Mary Ann Stroup and Sarah Parris. Anderson was represented by Tristan Shaffer and Chris Fedalei of the Greenwood County Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Inv. Ronny Powell and Dep. Urban Mitchell Jr. of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in securing the conviction.

“Only a despicable, wicked person would rob an elderly woman of her entire life’s savings,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “This victim and her late husband did everything right, saved their whole lives and retired to enjoy their twilight years. John Anderson took advantage of a lady’s generosity for his own selfish gain. We are satisfied that justice has been served and Anderson will be a resident of our prison system for a long time.”

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Solicitor distributes school supplies

Greenwood, S.C.; August 17, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo continued the tradition of donating school supplies to each school district within the 8th Circuit, which is comprised of Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry counties.

The supplies are collected from participants in diversion programs, such as Pretrial Intervention, or PTI, and Alcohol Education Program. Participants in the diversion programs can elect to donate school supplies in lieu of a portion of their community service hours.

“This is my favorite part of the PTI program,” said Dale Allen, PTI Director for the 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. “It’s a unique opportunity to provide an opportunity for people who have been ‘takers’ to become ‘givers’ and experience that good feeling of helping someone who is less fortunate than you.”

Each year, millions of school children across the nation arrive at school without the supplies they need to learn effectively. According to recent research conducted by Kids in Need Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to provide school supplies for needy children, having access to school supplies led to significant increases in participation, social interaction, homework completion, and self-esteem.

According to Solicitor Stumbo, the school supply donations are at the very heart of his office’s mission.

“The mission of my office is to balance accountability with restorative justice, and the school supple donation program enables program participants to put their lives back on track to being productive, law-abiding citizens,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “What I love about this program is that one act of kindness changes two lives at once. It blesses a child with much-needed school supplies and gives the program participants the opportunity to experience the joy of giving.”

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Prosperity killer sentenced to life in prison for domestic homicide

CLIFTON BOOZER

Newberry, S.C.; August 10, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Prosperity man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of the 2017 killing of his estranged girlfriend.

Clifton Boozer, 40, was found guilty of murder Friday afternoon by a Newberry County jury following a week-long trial at the Newberry County Courthouse. Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then handed down a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

During the early morning hours of May 3, 2017, Boozer had a cab drop him off at the Prosperity home of his estranged girlfriend, 35-year-old Clatie Stribble. Boozer lay in wait until Stribble’s three children left for school then forced himself into the residence. Once inside the home, Boozer assaulted Stribble, stabbing her in the neck before strangling her to death.

Boozer called 911 and reported the incident. He later gave a statement to law enforcement, but claimed during trial that he acted in self-defense. The jury disagreed and found Boozer guilty of murder.

Boozer and Stribble had sustained an on again, off again relationship for six years before Boozer committed the murder. He had two prior convictions for criminal domestic violence, with Stribble being the victim on one of the convictions. Stribble also had an order of protection against Boozer, though she continued to see Boozer periodically.

Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Walter Bentley and 8th Circuit Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Boozer was represented by Newberry County Public Defender Charles Verner.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff and particularly of Lt. Harry Bodiford of the Prosperity Police Department, who was both the first responding officer to the scene and the lead investigator on the case.

“Men like Clifton Boozer have absolutely no place in our community,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing.  “Instead of loving Clatie and protecting her, he senselessly took a caring woman and devoted mother from her family forever. I hope this sends a message to domestic abusers, who derive pleasure from controlling and terrifying their partners, that we will relentlessly prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Child molester sentenced to 40 years in prison

Laurens, S.C.; August 3, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a child molester will spend the next 40 years behind bars after being convicted Friday afternoon by a Laurens County jury.

Michael Cliff Eubanks, 32, of Clinton, was found guilty of one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor following a four-day trial at the Laurens County Courthouse.

Following the verdict, Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. immediately sentenced Eubanks to 25 years in prison on the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, plus a consecutive 15-year suspended sentence on the charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.  Judge Addy also sentenced Eubanks to 15 years in prison on charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, with that sentence to run concurrently. Eubanks was sentenced to an additional five years of probation to start when his active, no-parole prison sentence is maxed out.

Over a six-year period, Eubanks repeatedly assaulted a girl under the age of 13. The victim came forward about the abuse in June of 2017.

Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Julie Kate Keeney handled the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Walter Bentley and Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Eubanks was represented by Rauch Wise of Greenwood.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Inv. Jared Hunnicutt and Inv. Michael Polson of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Kim Little of Gilchrist Consultation and Counseling in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“Predators like Michael Eubanks need to be behind bars so they can no longer carve a path of destruction through the lives of children to satisfy themselves,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “I am very proud of this young lady for having the courage to come forward and face her abuser in court. It is my prayer that she can now move forward and put this dark chapter of her life behind her.”

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Greenwood man sentenced to 40 years in prison for 2016 killing

Demorris Andrews stands in court following his conviction on three charges related to the 2016 shooting death of 57-year-old Barry Warren.

Greenwood, S.C.; July 20, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Greenwood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2016 killing of a man he called a friend.

Demorris Ocswavia Andrews, 27, was found guilty of murder, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection to the 2016 shooting death of 57-year-old Barry Warren. A Greenwood County jury deliberated for nearly seven hours across two days before returning the guilty verdicts.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then sentenced Andrews to 35 years in prison on the murder charge, 30 years in prison on the armed robbery charge, and five years in prison on the possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime charge. The sentences on the murder and armed robbery charges will be served concurrently, while the sentence on the possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime charge will run consecutively.

The sentence on the murder charge must be served day-for-day according to state law.

On October 25, 2016 Andrews went to Warren’s home to rob Warren of drugs and money and shot Warren two times, killing Warren. Multiple witnesses placed Andrews at the scene of the crime and one witness, a former cellmate of Andrews, testified that Andrews confessed to the two were incarcerated together at the Greenwood County Detention Center. During one interview with police, Andrews asked for an autopsy photograph of the victim to hang on his wall.

Assistant Solicitor and Violent Crimes Prosecutor Josh Thomas and Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Courtney Smith and Victim Advocate’s Mary Ann Stroup and Sarah Parris.

“This is another senseless killing in Greenwood,” Assistant Solicitor Thomas told the court during sentencing. “I hope this sends a message to our community that we are going to prosecute these cases no matter what kind of record the victim has or what part of town they live in.”

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff, along with Sgt. Blake Moore, Sgt. Matt Blackwell, and Sgt. Wesley McClinton, and former detective Joe Collins of the Greenwood Police Department, for their work in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“Our community has suffered enough at the hands of violent killers like Demorris Andrews who have no respect for the sanctity of human life,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “It’s time to end the silence from those who have witnessed these crimes and take the streets of our community back from dangerous, evil people like Andrews.”

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Meth cook sentenced to 15 years in prison

WILLIAM ROBERT RICHARDSON SR.

Greenwood, S.C.; June 15, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Greenwood County meth cook was sentenced to 15 years in prison after entering a guilty plea just moments before jury selection was to begin in his trial.

William Robert Richardson Sr., 47, changed his plea to guilty Thursday morning just as prosecutors and defense attorneys were ready to begin the process of selecting a jury in his trial. Richardson pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense, and threw himself on the mercy of the court. He was initially charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, third offense.

Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then sentenced Richardson to 15 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed under state law for the crime.

On April 7, 2017, the Greenwood Drug Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at a residence located in the Greenwood Mill Village. Inside the home was the defendant and his wife. Agents located an active one-pot meth lab as well as all the necessary items to make meth. Agents also located empty bottles with meth sludge indicating additional meth had recently been made, along with additional items used to manufacture meth in the garage of the home.

Assistant Solicitors Wade Dowtin and Julie Kate Keeney handled the case for the state. Richardson was represented by Ivan Toney of the Greenville County Bar.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Lt. Jaime Lovett, Sgt. Dyar Archibald, Agent Wesley McClinton and former agent Bryan Louis of DEU in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“Though much of the focus has rightfully shifted to the opioid crisis in our country, homespun meth labs continue to destroy families and ravage our communities,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the proceeding. “My office will continue to take the fight to poison pushers like William Robert Richardson until we get it off of our streets.”

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