Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Woman on Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Jean Marie Moore

Jean Marie Moore

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla woman yesterday afternoon on Criminal Domestic Violence charges after an altercation at a residence on Little River Lane.

45 year old Jean Marie Moore of the Little River Lane address was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:20pm on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained today charging Moore with Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature.

Deputies were dispatched just before 2:30pm to reports of a stabbing in which a male was found stabbed in the upper torso. Deputies were initially informed that the stabbing was an accident but later Moore told deputies that the victim, her boyfriend who also resides at the residence, had assaulted her in the upper body but investigators did not find any physical manifestations of injuries on the upper body of Moore.

As the investigation continued, Moore admitted to deputies that she had stabbed the male victim, upon which point in time Moore was arrested and transported to the Detention Center. The reported weapon that was used was a knife.

The male victim was transported to Oconee Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Greenville Memorial Hospital to receive further treatment for his injuries, according to investigators.

Annual Schuck Memorial Blood Drive Scheduled for May 14th

schuck media

BLOOD DRIVE 2015

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————As a part of National Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week, the annual Schuck Memorial Blood Drive will be held on Thursday, May 14th.

The blood drive, held in honor of the late Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bill Schuck, will take place from 11am until 7pm in the gravel parking lot in the back of the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center at 300 South Church Street in Walhalla.

The Blood Connection will be conducting the blood drive this year and free t-shirts will be provided to donors.

Also, donations will be accepted that will go towards the Schuck Scholarship Fund, which goes towards tuition support for a high school student in the law enforcement program at the Hamilton Career who plans to continue their education at a college or university in a degree program that can be used in a law enforcement career.

Deputy Bill Schuck passed away in the line of duty in the early morning house of February 7th, 2010 after being pinned between his patrol vehicle and a tree on a dirt road off of Highway 11. Schuck served with the Sheriff’s Office for 2 years and before that with the West Columbia Police Department for 2 years.

The Blood Drive will also coincide with National Law Enforcement Officer Appreciation Week, which is May 13th – May 17th. The date will also coincide with National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which will be recognized on May 14th.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Drug Charges

John David Stancil

John David Stancil

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man on drug charges after a traffic stop late last night.

43 year old John David Stancil of Yellow Pine Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:28pm.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division on routine patrol shortly after 9pm observed a brown Chevrolet pickup with an improperly displayed license plate and initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Theo Martin Road and Goforth Lane.

The deputy observed the driver, Stancil, appear to be nervous as he looked for his insurance card in his wallet and continued to be nervous as he watched for the deputy to return to his vehicle.

For the deputy’s safety, he asked Stancil to step out of the vehicle to explain the reason for the traffic stop. Due to Stancil’s actions, the deputy asked for consent to search the vehicle, which Stancil denied.

A K-9 unit was notified and after being deployed around the vehicle, the K-9 alerted the officers to narcotics inside of the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle produced a pill bottle with what appeared to be numerous oxycodone pills inside, along with drug paraphernalia and a bag with what appeared to methamphetamine inside.

Stancil was placed under arrest and booked into the Detention Center on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants could be obtained today. Those warrants charge Stancil with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Drug Manufacturing Charges

John Daniel Alexander Price

John Daniel Alexander Price

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man early yesterday evening on drug manufacturing charges.

32 year old John Daniel Alexander Price of 28 Sirrine Street was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:29pm.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was on routine patrol on the Utica Mill Hill on Hope Avenue near Ames Street who observed two white males walking with book bags. After speaking to one of the individuals who was walking alone, the deputy drove down Hope Avenue, where he noticed the second individual, identified as Price, come off the hill out of someone’s back yard in a place where the deputy said he did not reside.

After speaking with the subject and asking for his identification, the deputy observed that Price appeared to be under the influence. After checking for weapons and receiving permission to look at Price’s book bag, deputies discovered ingredients for the making of methamphetamine inside.

Deputies also discovered in their investigation a large object in the sleeve of Price’s jacket, upon which they found what appeared to be a cooking meth lab. Narcotics officers were notified and a cleanup crew was called.

Price was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained today. Those warrants charge Price with Manufacturing Methamphetamine.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Issues Release With Update on Tucker Hipps Case

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a press release this afternoon to try to answer media questions that have arisen in the Tucker Hipps case.

“There has been quite a lot of media attention on the Tucker Hipps case and the Sheriff’s Office has been transparent and open in its attempts to keep the public informed,” says Captain Greg Reed of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. “However, finding out what happened to Tucker for his family and preserving the integrity of our investigation has been and still remains our top priority.”

The case does remain an active and ongoing investigation even as it has been transferred to the unsolved case investigator, Dean Brown. Brown was hired in 2014 to investigate nine unsolved cases the Sheriff’s Office profiled in 2013.

“Dean Brown is an outstanding investigator with years of investigative experience in local law enforcement and with his work with SLED,” continues Captain Reed. “He has made progress in his work so far in his investigations into our previous unsolved cases which he has been able to devote his full attention to. I know that Dean will do the same thing in the Tucker Hipps investigation.”

Media questions in recent days have centered upon comments attributed to Sheriff Crenshaw in which the Sheriff was quoted as saying that the chances were “slim” that the Hipps case would be solved.

“In every investigation that I have been involved with in my 30 years of law enforcement, and other officers know this, the first 24 to 72 hours are the most crucial hours in this type case,” continues Captain Reed. “And as the Sheriff has stated, with the passage of time, it does become more and more difficult to be able to solve a case. But, that does not mean that this case, or any other, cannot be solved. The solving of Tucker’s death remains a top priority of the Sheriff’s Office and for the Criminal Investigations Division”

Another question that has continued to surface has been the decision by the Sheriff’s Office not to release more information in the Hipps case. According to Captain Reed, that decision is not unusual in any investigation.

“The Hipps investigation has been handled no differently than any other investigation that we have conducted,” says Captain Reed. “There is certain information in any investigation that is not released due to several factors. We are advocates for the victim in any case, but we also must maintain a level of fairness should any case bring charges and then go through the court process, where the selection of a jury could be tainted through the premature release of information. “

“We do release certain facts about cases in order to keep the public informed but a majority of information in cases does come out in court proceedings if charges are brought and that is the venue in which all information should come out,” continues Reed.

As far as questions about polygraphs, Captain Reed says that polygraph tests are a tool that law enforcement uses much like any other instrument that officers have at their disposal and it is not unusual for law enforcement to use polygraph tests in an investigation. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing any information on who was polygraphed or the numbers of those polygraphed as the Hipps case remains an active and ongoing investigation.

In regards to any further information in the Hipps case, Reed says that there is still not a timeline for the investigation to conclude.

“With the issuance of this press release, the Sheriff’s Office at this time will not be releasing any further information regarding the investigation in the death of Tucker Hipps,” says Captain Reed.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Man on Assault and Battery, CDV, and Kidnapping Charges

Thomas Gregory Lockridge, Jr.

Thomas Gregory Lockridge, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man on multiple charges after deputies responded to an altercation at a home on Bessie Lee Drive.

28 year old Thomas Gregory Lockridge, Jr. of Rocky Knoll Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:29am this morning.

Deputies along with EMS were dispatched to the incident location around 11:12pm last night due to reports of a physical altercation. Deputies learned that there were altercations involving two separate victims, one, Lockridge, Jr’s. girlfriend, and two, a male who resides at the Bessie Lee Drive residence

Once deputies arrived on scene, officers discovered a victim, a male, who had suffered injuries to his facial area. As the investigation continued, it was determined that Lockridge, Jr. had a verbal altercation with his girlfriend that turned physical and he refused to let the victim go or leave after she asked Lockridge, Jr. to do so. Deputies observed injuries to the female victim as well in her upper torso area.

The residents of the house asked Lockridge, Jr. to leave. Lockridge, Jr. reportedly was trying to get the female victim to go with him. According to the incident report, the male victim intervened on the female victim’s behalf out of safety concerns. Two separate incidents reportedly occurred between Lockridge, Jr. and the male victim, with the second one resulting in injuries to the male victim.

Lockridge, Jr. was placed under arrest by deputies on scene. According to warrants obtained today by deputies, Lockridge, Jr. has been charged with Assault and Battery – 1st Degree, Kidnapping and Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host its fourth Coffee with a Cop on May 5th, 2015

Coffee With A Cop Logo

Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues

(Walhalla, SC)—On May 5th, officers from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members and the public are invited to attend. The event begins at 8am on May 5th at The Gazebo Restaurant in Fair Play just off exit 1, Highway 11 at I-85. Please contact Jimmy Watt with questions: 864-638-4199 or jwatt@oconeelaw.com.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Oconee County neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Hosts Pill Take Back Day This Saturday

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a “Pill Take Back Day” this Saturday.

The event will be held from 10am until 2pm at the substation located between Oconee Memorial Hospital and the Lila Doyle Nursing Care Facility in Seneca.

Agents will be collecting all types of prescription medication or vitamins in liquid or pill form. The collection will prevent medication from making it into the sewer system which can lead into contamination of land or water resources, plus, it will keep these products from not reaching the hands of children and young people as well, according to Lt. Jeremy Chapman of the Sheriff’s Office.

Agents will be on hand to collect the items and the items will be disposed of properly, according to Lt. Chapman.

Oconee County Law Enforcement Agencies Announce Two Additional Arrests in Ninth “Operation Infinity” Drug Sweep

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————Oconee County law enforcement agencies are announcing two additional arrests this morning in the ninth “Operation Infinity” drug sweep.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office along with all five municipal police departments in the county (Salem, Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster and West Union) as well as the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources participated in the countywide drug roundup that began last Wednesday.

The operation began with a briefing at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla at 8:30am. Officers had warrants on 41 individuals on a variety of drug charges. Warrants from four agencies (Sheriff’s Office, Seneca PD, Walhalla PD and Westminster PD) served as the basis for the operation.

As of 11am last Friday, 27 subjects had either been arrested or served with warrants related to the drug roundup.

As of 11am this morning, the total now stands of those arrested or served at 29. The two additional arrests are:

1) Barbara L. Morgan-Tucker
33 years old
Fair Play, SC
Distribution of Methamphetamine – 1 count
Arrested on April 10th, 2015

2) Augie Hayden III
39 years old
Seneca, SC
Distribution of Crack – 2 counts
Possession of Crack Cocaine – 1 count
Arrested on April 12th, 2015

As of 11am this morning, the following individuals are still being sought by Oconee law enforcement. If you have any information on the whereabouts of these individuals, contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111.

1) Tarrell LaShawn Lee Williams
34 years old
Seneca, SC
Distribution of Crack Cocaine – 7 counts

2) Lorenzo Lee Earle
29 years old
Seneca, SC
Distribution of Crack Cocaine – 1 count

3) Junior Michael Dickert
27 years old
Westminster, SC
Distribution of Methamphetamine – 2 counts

4) Sheldon LaShane Williams
40 years old
Westminster, SC
Distribution of Crack Cocaine – 2 counts

5) Shawn Paul Mathis
42 years old
Walhalla, SC
Distribution of Methamphetamine – 1 count

6) Marcus Derrel Whitner
28 years old
Westminster, SC
Removing, Destroying, or Circumventing Operation of Electronic Monitoring Device – 1 count
Distribution of Heroin – 1 count
Distribution of Methamphetamine – 1 count

7) Mario Demetric Stowers
35 years old
Salem, SC
Distribution of Ice (Methamphetamine) – 1 count

8) Aubrey Luke Justus
29 years old
West Union, SC
Distribution of Ice (Methamphetamine) – 1 count

9) Jessica Danielle Morris
28 years old
West Union, SC
Distribution of Ice (Methamphetamine) – 1 count

10) Kelley Suzanne Sosby
37 years old
Westminster, SC
Distribution of Methamphetamine – 1 count

11) Charles Kevin Smith
36 years old
Fair Play, SC
Possession with Intent to Distribute Lortab – 1 count

12) Johnny Matthew Robinson
25 years old
Possession of Lortab – 1 count
Trafficking Methamphetamine – 1 count
Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana – 1 count

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

Rebecca Reynolds Ratliffe

Rebecca Reynolds Ratliffe

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca woman over the weekend on burglary and larceny charges.

26 year old Rebecca Reynolds Ratliffe of Wolf Stake Church Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:15pm Sunday.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on Trillium Drive in Mountain Rest last Tuesday morning in reference to a burglary of a building on the property in which several items were taken.

As the investigation continued, it was discovered that Ratliffe had items that were taken from the Trillium Drive address on her property at the Wolf Stake Church Road address. Those items were discovered in plain view on the property and also discovered after deputies obtained a search warrant.

Warrants were obtained against Ratliffe last Thursday on charges of Third Degree Burglary and Grand Larceny. According to deputies, the amount of items taken was valued at around $2,650.