Oconee County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Norm Dukes Receives Recognition and Awards

Dukes - TS Middle and High Support Employee of the Year

Norm Dukes - Plague from TS Athletic Department

Norm Dukes - SDOC Support Employee of the Year

School Resource Officer Norm Dukes

School Resource Officer Norm Dukes

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————–Oconee County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Norm Dukes recently received recognition from the Oconee County School District, as well as from Tamassee-Salem Middle and High Schools.

Earlier this spring, Dukes was awarded the School District Support Employee of the Year for the 2014-15 school year. There are currently 627 support employees who work for the school district and each facility as well as the district office nominates one individual each for the award. Dukes was eligible for the district award by virtue of being named by Tamassee-Salem High and Middle School the Support Employee of the year. All the individual winners, including Dukes, went before a screening committee, who made the decision on the overall School District winner.

Also this year, both the athletic department and the special needs class at Tamassee- Salem High recognized Dukes for helping to raise money for both during his walk from the North Carolina line to the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. The walk, which covered 168 miles, raised $2,030, which was split evenly between the athletic department and the special needs class.

Dukes is the School Resource Officer for Tamassee-Salem Elementary, Middle and High Schools.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Burglary, Larceny Charges

Steven Lamar Craig

Steven Lamar Craig

William Kyle Craig

William Kyle Craig

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday morning on burglary and larceny charges in relation to an incident that occurred in late May. The Sheriff’s Office is still seeking one other individual who also has arrest warrants in the case.

45 year old Steven Lamar Craig, whose address is listed on arrest warrants as 171 Harbin Road in Westminster, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:22am.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to an address on Dr. John’s Road in Westminster the morning of Tuesday, May 27th in regards to a burglary that occurred between 5:30pm on May 26th and 8:30am on May 27th in which a Stihl Chop Saw, a Kawasaki dirt bike, a fresh air blower, a back pack blower, a 5500 watt generator and an air wrench were taken from a blue building on the property.

The investigation that ensued led to the issuance of arrest warrants against Craig, charging him with Grand Larceny and Second Degree Burglary. Investigators report that the dirt bike, the air blower and the air wrench have been recovered. The other items are still missing.

Craig is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $35,000 surety bond.

The other individual being sought by the Sheriff’s Office is Steven Lamar Craig’s son, 21 year old William Kyle Craig, whose address on warrants is also 171 Harbin Road. The younger Craig is also facing charges of Second Degree Burglary and Grand Larceny in the same case, according to arrest warrants.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of William Kyle Craig, contact Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Duke Power’s World of Energy Announces Schedule of Free Summer Events

WOE Summer Events calendar

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Duke Power’s World of Energy has announced a series of Free Summer Events that will begin next week and last until the first day of August.

The summer events will be bookended by the presentation of two outdoor movie nights. The first movie night will be next Friday, June 13th with the presentation of the Disney movie Frozen at 9pm and on August 1st with a presentation of the LEGO movie at 9pm that evening. The movie presentations will take place on Lake Keowee Point at the World of Energy.

There will also be free Wednesday morning programs at the World of Energy for children under the age of 12. The programs will take place every Wednesday, starting on June 18th until July 30th, from 10am until 11am. The educational programs will range from boating and water safety to a mini science camp to story time and much more.

For more information, visit the World of Energy website at www.duke-energy.com/worldofenergy or call 1-800-777-1004.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Tamassee Woman on Grand Larceny Charges

Lelani Lairson

Lelani Lairson

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Tamassee woman on Grand Larceny charges yesterday in relation to a theft of more than $7,000 in patio furniture from a Salem area business on May 10th.

37 year old Lelani Lairson of 686 The Bear Boulevard was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:00am. Lairson was released yesterday afternoon on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

A deputy was dispatched to the area of the Bear Boulevard during the late morning hours of May 10th in regards to a larceny and was met by the owner of Keowee Town Market, which is located on Highway 11. The owner told the deputy that sometime during the previous night that someone had stolen patio furniture from his business. Salem Police Chief David Poulson told the deputy that he had located the furniture at a house on the Bear Boulevard.

The deputy found the furniture sitting in the back of a Chevrolet pick-up and scattered throughout the yard. The deputy then spoke with Lairson, who told the deputy that she did take the furniture earlier that morning and that she was going to paint it as a favor to the owner. The owner told the deputy that he had never met Lairson. The investigation continued and arrest warrants were obtained against Lairson. The total value of the patio furniture taken was around $7,700.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Townville Man on Multiple Charges

James Clayton Webb

James Clayton Webb

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Townville man yesterday morning on outstanding warrants, including one that dates back to October of 2012.

46 year old James Clayton Webb of 401 Cedar Grove Road in Townville was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:38am. As of late this morning, Webb was being held at the Detention Center on a combined surety bond of $76,092.50.

Deputies responded to an address on Doma Cantrell Drive in Salem yesterday in regards to a verbal dispute between Webb and a female. Deputies were advised by dispatch that Webb did have outstanding warrants. After arriving on scene, deputies were able to determine the identity of Webb and he was taken into custody. The female on the scene yesterday is the same woman described in the outstanding warrants that Webb was arrested on, according to deputies.

One of the outstanding warrants charges Webb with Assault and Battery – 3rd Degree stemming from an incident on October 17th, 2012 in which Webb is accused of assaulting a female at Oconee Medical Center by grabbing the jacket she was wearing and pulling it over her head, forcing an IV needle from her arm through which she is receiving medication. The assault occurred in the labor and delivery ward of the Oconee Medical Center according to the incident report.

Webb also had outstanding warrants for First Degree Burglary and Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature from an incident that occurred in Fair Play at an address on Burriss Road on March 18th of this year involving the same female victim as the incident at Oconee Medical Center in 2012. Webb is accused, according to warrants, of entering a dwelling on Burriss Road without consent and armed with a knife. Webb is also accused of striking the victim repeatedly and threatening to take her life. Webb reportedly used the knife to cut the victims shirt all the way up the front.

Webb also had an outstanding municipal bench warrant from the city of Seneca.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Becomes First State Agency to Use “Mobile Watch”

Mobile Watch App

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has become the first law enforcement agency in the state to use an app that helps the Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Registrar to upload and update current information on registered sex offenders in the County.

“Mobile Watch” was purchased by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office last year after Deputy Kelly Winchester, who is the Sex Offender Registrar for the Sheriff’s Office, realized that this technology would help with the efficiency of keeping tabs on registered sex offenders. After using the app during a 30 day free trail, arrangements were made to purchase the app. The costs of $500 per year are being paid with funds that some offenders are required by law to pay. Therefore, no taxpayer money was used to purchase the app and the technical support that comes with it.

The app is a product of Watch Systems which is based out of Covington, LA. “Mobile Watch” is available to law enforcement agencies but not to the general public. Since Oconee County was the first state agency to use “Mobile Watch,” Deputy Winchester was recently asked to give a demonstration of the uses of the app during a recent statewide meeting of law enforcement officers at the Sheriff’s Association in Columbia on May 11th.

The greatest advantage of “Mobile Watch” is its use outside of the office to help Deputy Winchester upload and update current information regarding registered sex offenders in the County in real time. That information may range from address verification to employment to information on new vehicles. “Mobile Watch” also allows new pictures of those on the registry list to be updated within seconds and for investigative notes to be uploaded as well. Deputy Winchester can also use “Mobile Watch” as a GPS device to locate the addresses of offenders to get directions to their residence if Deputy Winchester is at a different address.

There are currently 154 registered sex offenders in Oconee County.

2014 United Way of Oconee County “Day of Action” Upcoming in June

Day of Action flyer2014

(Walhalla, SC)——————————The 2014 United Way of Oconee County “Day of Action” is upcoming in a few weeks and the United Way is looking for volunteers to contribute.

The “Day of Action” will be held on Friday, June 20th from 8:30am until 2pm and provides a chance for those in the community to reach out and help others.

During this time, volunteers are being asked to help repaint the three Born-Learning Trails, pick up litter from Shiloh Road to Clemson Boulevard and spruce up the United Way building at 409 East North 1st Street in Seneca.

Also, diapers will be collected for a Diaper Drive and hygiene products will be collected as well.

For more information, you are asked to call Kimberly Ellis at 864-882-9743 and then dial extension 101.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Teen on Drug and Weapons Charges

Kenneth Harold Miller, Jr.

Kenneth Harold Miller, Jr.

Miller - Drugs Seized

Miller - Hand Gun Seized

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem teenager Thursday morning on drug and weapons charges after deputies responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle.

18 year old Kenneth Harold Miller, Jr. of 160 Douglas Crowe Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:52am and has been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of and trafficking in methamphetamine, and unlawful carrying of a pistol.

Deputies were dispatched to Botany Lane in Walhalla around 4:58am yesterday morning and encountered two individuals who told deputies that they were having vehicle trouble. According to the incident report, the subjects appeared to be nervous. Miller told the deputy, upon a search for weapons, that he had a firearm in his left boot, which the deputy removed.

Deputies discovered that Miller had a large sum of money rubber banded to his wallet. Miller also informed deputies that there two additional weapons in the truck that was on scene. All the weapon numbers that the deputies ran came back clear.

Deputies asked Miller if he threw any objects into the woods and he replied no. Miller then changed his story and told deputies that he did throw an object in the woods at the same time that one of the deputies discovered a package, which was a black toiletry bag.

Deputies discovered inside the bag a jelly jar which contained about 4.75 ounces of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, plus a clear bag which contained about 20 grams of a substance believed to be marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. The amount of cash seized by deputies was around $1,722.

Miller was then transported to the Detention Center and is still being held at this time on a combined surety bond amount of $60,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Woman on Grand Larceny Charges

Christy Ashtin Worley

Christy Ashtin Worley

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca woman yesterday afternoon on Grand Larceny charges

26 year old Christy Ashtin Worley of 101 O’ Henry Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:56pm.

Warrants accuse Worley of stealing on Wednesday a 2008 Maroon 4-door GMC Sierra with a black in color Tontico bed cover which was valued at around $17,000. The stealing of the truck occurred at a location on Meldau Road in Seneca, which is right across the road from O’Henry Lane.

Deputies responded Wednesday morning to the Meldau Road location in regards to the stolen truck. The complainant told the deputy that his wife heard a noise that woke her around 3am Wednesday morning. The complainant told deputies that he found the truck gone around 6am.

During the course of the investigation, information obtained by investigators led them to the O’Henry Lane location, where Worley was arrested and taken the Detention Center.

Worley also had outstanding magistrate’s bench warrants from May 14th of this year on charges of driving under the influence – 1st offense and transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle with the seal broken.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Pee Dee Area Men on Stolen Goods Charges

Buick Century Car

James Thomas Coulter

James Thomas Coulter

Larry Alan Coulter

Larry Alan Coulter

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Pee Dee area men yesterday on possession of a stolen vehicle charges in regards to a vehicle reported stolen from Horry County.

James Thomas Coulter of 2411 Luck Road in Galivants Ferry, South Carolina and Larry Alan Coulter of 406 14 Avenue South in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center yesterday. Both are 32 years old and are twin brothers. According to outstanding bench warrants, the Coulter brothers lived at one time at an address on Susie Circle in Walhalla.

Deputies were dispatched around 2:18pm on Memorial Day due to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a location on Ridge Road near Whitewater Falls Road in Salem. The vehicle was reportedly silver in color and was backed up in the woods off of Ridge Road.

The deputies found the Coulter brothers inside the vehicle once they arrived on scene and one of the deputies ran Larry Coulter’s license along with the license plate of the vehicle. Dispatch informed the deputy that the vehicle was reported stolen out of Horry County, which was also confirmed with authorities there.

Larry Coulter advised deputies that he borrowed the vehicle from his roommate and had advised his roommate that he was coming to Oconee County for the weekend. He also said he was supposed to have the vehicle back today but said he would return it tomorrow since Monday was Memorial Day.

James Coulter advised deputies that he does not live with his brother and that his brother picked him up several days ago for vacation. The brothers stated to deputies that they had come to Oconee County and were staying with an individual who lives on Ridge Road. Deputies spoke with that person, who told them that the Coulter brothers came to his residence and asked to stay for a couple of days.

One of the deputies spoke with the victim of the stolen vehicle by phone. According to the incident report, the victim told the deputy that the Coulter brothers held him at knife point, tied him up, and took the vehicle and all the money he had on him. He told the deputy that he filed a report in Horry County.

The Oconee County deputies placed the Coulter brothers under arrest for possessing and receiving stolen goods. The vehicle was towed and both brothers were transported to the Oconee County Detention Center. Upon arriving at the Detention Center, deputies were advised that Horry County wished to place a hold on both brothers and that, according to the incident report, warrants had been obtained there on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, grand larceny and use of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. It was also determined that both Coulter brothers had outstanding bench warrants in Oconee County on charges of trespassing and petit larceny. Those bench warrants are from January of 2012 in regards to convictions in court on the charges back on August 8th, 2011.

The Oconee County warrants for possession of a stolen vehicle state that both Coulter Brothers possessed a 2002 Buick Century without the authority to do so and both did know that the vehicle was stolen. The vehicle itself was reported stolen last Friday, May 23rd.