September Event to Promote New Program for Pregnant and Parenting Teens in Oconee County

(Walhalla, SC)———————————A new program for pregnant and parenting teens in Oconee County will be promoted and discussed at a September invitation only event in Walhalla.

The Joseph F. Sullivan Center at Clemson University is launching a program called CU Succeed, which is being funded by Children’s Trust of South Carolina and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, along with other statewide organizations.

An event and luncheon by invitation only will be held on Friday September 12th from 11:30am until 12:30pm at the Walhalla Depot at 211 South College Street to celebrate the launch of the CU Succeed program.

The CU succeed program will work with local organizations to encourage pregnant and parenting teens to stay in school, delay the next pregnancy, improve parenting skills, and become better connected to supportive resources.

For more information on the CU Succeed program or to RSVP for the luncheon, please contact Paula Watt at 864-656-3076 or by e-mail at PWATT@clemson.edu.

For more information on the grant, you can visit this website: http://scchildren.org/about_us/programs/community_support_for_young_parents/

The Children’s Trust event page can be accessed by visiting this website: http://scchildren.org/about_us/get_involved/event_calendar/

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Unlawful Neglect Charges

Britton Alisha Nickles

Britton Alisha Nickles

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster woman this morning on charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

27 year old Britton Alisha Nickles, whose address on warrants is listed as 420 Bountyland Road, turned herself in to deputies this morning at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center. She was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:57am.

Nickles is accused in warrants of exposing her two year old child to methamphetamine at an address on Chattooga Ridge Road in Mountain Rest. The victim tested positive during a drug panel screening on June 20th.

A deputy responded to the Chattooga Ridge Road address at the request of DSS back on June 19th concerning a complaint that the child was at the Mountain Rest address where suspected drug activity was going on. According to deputies, the residence was filthy, including a room in which the child reportedly slept.

Deputies at that point decided to place the child into emergency protective custody due to awaiting the results of a drug test, to have the child medically examined and due to lack of placement for a safety plan. According to the incident report, DSS then took custody of the child for placement.

With the arrest of Nickles, the Sheriff’s Office has arrested a total of six individuals on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges since last Wednesday.

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

William Zachariah Poole

William Zachariah Poole

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man today on Grand Larceny charges in relation to a June incident that occurred at Oconee Medical Center.

24 year old William Zachariah Poole of 309 Brady Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:36pm after turning himself into deputies. At the time of the larceny, Poole worked as a security guard at Oconee Medical Center.

A deputy responded to the hospital on June 26th in regards to a larceny of cash. The complainant, a hospital employee, stated that a patient lost $2900 in $100 dollar bills when he was admitted to the hospital as a friend was taking his belongings out of his vehicle and the money fell to the ground.

A good Samaritan found the money and turned it in to the security office where it was placed in a safe until someone could come and claim the money. It was later discovered that the money was missing.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and the hospital began a series of interviews with employees who had access to the safe. As the investigation continued, it was determined that Poole had taken the money out of the safe on June 20th. The incident was first reported to the Sheriff’s Office back on June 26th.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two on Unlawful Neglect of a Child Charges; Others Charged with Same Offense over the Weekend

Christopher Warren Vissage

Christopher Warren Vissage

Eva Karey Hudson

Eva Karey Hudson

Lisa Renee Reynolds

Lisa Renee Reynolds

Steven A.Broach

Steven A.Broach

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————Two individuals, a West Union man and a Walhalla woman, who were wanted on outstanding warrants, turned themselves into deputies this morning at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center.

35 year old Eva Karey Hudson of 247 Marvs Drive and 40 year old Christopher Warren Vissage of 2135 Pickens Highway were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:33am. Hudson is charged with two counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child while Vissage is charged with one count of the same charge.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was notified on June 26th by the Department of Social Services that the children of Hudson and Vissage had tested positive for methamphetamine. The case was then turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.

Warrants obtained by the Sheriff’s Office against Hudson and Vissage charge them with exposing their eight year old child to methamphetamine, which was discovered during a drug panel screening. Hudson is also charged in the second warrant with exposing her newborn child to methamphetamine by a drug panel screening. The incidents occurred at the Pickens Highway address. Hudson and Vissage were the father and mother of both children, according to investigators.

Both children were placed into protective custody by DSS. Hudson and Vissage both remain at the Detention Center after a bond hearing this morning in which both received a $20,000 surety bond.

Over the Labor Day weekend, two additional Oconee County residents were also arrested on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges.

40 year old Steven A. Broach and 41 year old Lisa Renee Reynolds, both of 14 Padgett Street, were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center this past Sunday at 12:57pm and last Friday at 6:15pm respectively.

On July 9th, a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office spoke to an employee of the Department of Social Services regarding a teenager who tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana during a drug panel screening. According to the incident report, the teen was also taught how to make meth by the parents, Broach and Reynolds. The incident occurred at the Padgett Street address.

The teen was placed with a family member. Both Reynolds and Broach have been released from the Oconee County Detention Center.

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

Matthew Vinson Leopard

Matthew Vinson Leopard

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man, who was wanted on several charges in Anderson County, near Seneca yesterday afternoon.

36 year old Matthew Vinson Leopard of 842 Robinhood Drive in Walhalla was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:24pm. The incident report lists Leopard’s address as 110 D Street in Anderson.

Deputies with the warrants division and the narcotics division of the Sheriff’s Office were notified via a tip that Leopard could be showing up at a business near Seneca yesterday. Leopard arrived at a business location on North Radio Station Road around 2pm and was taken into custody by deputies.

Leopard told the deputies that he had a gun and drugs in his vehicle, a red Chevy Blazer, and gave consent to search. A quantity of methamphetamine and marijuana was found in the vehicle as well as a handgun under the front seat. The pistol reportedly came back stolen when checked.

Leopard was placed under arrest and booked into the Detention Center on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants could be obtained, which they were this morning. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office warrants charge Leopard with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol. Leopard was also issued two traffic tickets on charges of Driving Under Suspension and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Leopard remains at the Oconee County Detention Center after a bond hearing this morning. Leopard’s total surety bond amount is $26,272.50 on all the Oconee County charges. A hold has been placed on Leopard by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office as well as by the department of Probation, Parole, and Pardons, according to the Detention Center.

The total amount of methamphetamine discovered by deputies was 3.5 grams, which has a street value of $350.00.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests North Carolina Man After Pursuit

Eric Joseph Fontaine

Eric Joseph Fontaine

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a North Carolina man earlier this morning on three charges after a pursuit that began in Oconee County and concluded on the campus of Clemson University.

21 year old Eric Joseph Fontaine of 142 River Cane Drive in Fletcher, NC was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:45am.

Around 3:45am today, a deputy on routine patrol traveling along Highway 123 towards Seneca observed a motorcycle, a 2009 gray in color Triumph with a North Carolina tag, traveling at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction on the by-pass towards Clemson. After turning around at the intersection of Highway 123 at Carson Road, the deputy made contact with the motorcycle on Highway 93 and initiated his blue lights near the Oconee/Pickens county line.

Due to the fact that the pursuit began in Oconee County and because of mutual aid agreements, the deputy pursued the motorcycle into Pickens County and onto the Clemson University campus. The pursuit continued on Highway 93 to Perimeter Road to Cherry Road. The suspect then lost control of the motorcycle and almost dropped the bike at the intersection of Cherry Road at McAlister Road.

The deputy at that point exited his vehicle as the driver, Fontaine, attempted to pick up the bike and continue on but the motorcycle stalled out. The deputy was able to apprehend Fontaine and placed him under arrest.

Clemson University Police arrived on the scene to assist the Oconee County Sheriff’s deputy. A search incident to arrest began, which produced drug paraphernalia and a clear plastic bag, which Fontaine said contained marijuana, in a back pack.

Fontaine was then transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and was charged with Reckless Driving, Failure to Stop, and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests West Union Man on Multiple Charges After Pursuit

Brandon Kyle Stancil

Brandon Kyle Stancil

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a West Union man yesterday morning on multiple charges after a pursuit when the subject failed to pull over for blue lights.

22 year old Brandon Kyle Stancil of 305 Rose Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:57am on charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, and Driving under Suspension. The Walhalla Police Department has charges against Stancil for Petit Larceny.

Deputies in West Union observed a 2000 Red Ford Focus that did not have any tail lights working. A deputy initiated his blue lights after passing the Ingles in West Union but the vehicle did not pull over. The area of the pursuit covered Anderson Street to Linhart Road to West Union Road to Old Walhalla Highway.

As the pursuit continued on Old Walhalla Highway, Stancil started hitting the brakes of the vehicle, attempting to cause an accident. The last time he applied his brakes, he went off the road and the deputy hit the rear end of the Focus, which caused minor damage. The chase ended a short distance down the road as the driver spun out on the left side of the road.

The pursuit ended on Old Walhalla Highway near East Halfway Branch Road. Stancil was then placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

The Focus was reported stolen by the owner to the Walhalla Police Department. Stancil also had a prior conviction for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.

Stancil is currently being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $30,652.50 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Child Neglect Charges

Bridgette Delanea McCall

Bridgette Delanea McCall

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster woman yesterday on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges.

36 year old Bridgette Delanea McCall of 1906 Clearmont Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:16pm.

According to the warrant, McCall is accused of exposing the victim, her one year old child, to methamphetamine. The warrant states that the victim tested positive during a drug panel screening and the incident occurred at a residence on Goat Road in Seneca.

The investigation began on July 9th when a deputy of the Sheriff’s Office spoke with an employee of the Department of Social Services. The child was removed from McCall and was placed with family members.

McCall also had an outstanding Seneca municipal court bench warrant at the time of her arrest.

McCall is currently being held at the Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond on the child neglect charge.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Georgia Man on Six Outstanding 2005 Warrants

Gregory Wendell Rutledge

Gregory Wendell Rutledge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Georgia man yesterday on six outstanding warrants from 2005, three of which were arrests warrants and three of which were outstanding bench warrants.

53 year old Gregory Wendell Rutledge, who address according to the Oconee County Detention Center is 1097 Old Federal Road in Chatsworth, GA, was booked into the jail around 1:29pm.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office traveled to Chattanooga, TN to pick up Rutledge from the Hamilton County jail. According to a deputy from the warrants division, Rutledge was involved in a motorcycle wreck in the state of Georgia last week and was airlifted to Chattanooga to received medical treatment for his injuries. When Rutledge was released from the hospital there, he was taken to jail there to await pickup.

According to warrants, Rutledge is charged with Pointing or Presenting a Firearm, 1st Degree Burglary, and Larceny in relation to an incident that occurred in August of 2005 at an address on Wolfers Hollow in Walhalla.

Rutledge is accused of pointing a handgun at an individual, breaking into a dwelling at that location “while entering, inside, or upon immediate flight from was armed with a deadly weapon,” and stealing items, including a firearm and a compound bow. The value of the items taken was around $1,100.

Rutledge also had three outstanding magistrates’ bench warrants from 2005, one from May 18th for disorderly conduct, and two from August 31st, one for an open container and one for no proof of insurance.

In 2005, Rutledge had a home address listed on warrants in Seneca.

As of this morning, Rutledge was being held this morning at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $60,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Two Outstanding Warrants

Andrew Casere Fant

Andrew Casere Fant

Fant Case - Picture One

Fant Case - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday on two outstanding warrants, one of which was for a drug charge.

44 year old Andrew Casere Fant of 557 Deborah’s Way, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:38am.

Back on August 12th, a deputy responded to the Deborah’s Way address in regards to a witness who noticed several marijuana plants in a pot at the residence and then later observed Fant dispose of the plants in an area off the property. The pot the plants were growing in and the plants themselves were later discovered by the deputy.

As the investigation continued, warrants charging Fant with manufacturing a quantity of marijuana were obtained by the Sheriff’s Office.

Yesterday morning, a deputy with the warrants division went to the Deborah’s Way address, where Fant was placed into custody on the drug warrant as well as on a magistrate’s bench warrant from November 12th, 2013 charging him with driving under suspension.

Fant is still being held this morning at the Oconee County Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.