Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Regional Briefs


CHARLESTON

Sailors fall asleep during “Vampire Diaries,” Navy charge results

Navy Petty Officer Stephen Jones is contesting a dereliction of duty charge stemming from a night on which he and a friend fell asleep together in the same bunk.

According to Jones, he and sailor, Brain McGee, were watching the “Vampire Diaries” on DVD together at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command near Charleston when they both dozed off in Jones’ bunk. Jones’ roommate, Tyler Berube, says he returned from an out-of-town trip that night and found the two sailors asleep together in boxer shorts on the same rack. Jones said he was wearing pajamas and that McGee often dropped by the room to watch DVDs.

While there is no official rule against sailors sharing the same bunk, and though Jones maintains that nothing sexual transpired, the Navy is seeking to discharge him.

“The subterfuge is, they believe this kid is a homosexual, but they have no proof of it,” Gary Myers, Jones's attorney, told the Charleston Post and Courier. “So what they've done here is to trump this thing up as a crime. This is not a crime.”

A spokesman for the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command told the Post and Courier that the charges don’t stem from anything related to Jones’ sexual orientation –whatever that may be. Instead they said the sailor’s actions exhibited a “willful failure to exhibit professional conduct” in his bachelor enlisted quarters.

FLORENCE

Man fakes death on fishing trip to avoid child molestation charges

U.S. Marshals in Florida have captured and extradited a Florence man after he allegedly staged his own death and fled South Carolina to avoid criminal sex charges.

Harvey Legrand Cox, 58, had been on the run since Jan. 17 when he told relatives that he was going on a fishing trip to Murrell’s Inlet. Later that day he called his daughter and said that his boat was having mechanical failure and his radio batteries were dead. After a brief search was initiated, authorities found the empty boat and Cox’s truck and boat trailer abandoned at a nearby boat ramp.

Cox’s story began to fall apart, however, when a credible witness reported spotting the man in Florence County. Investigators later found evidence than Cox caught a cab from Murrell’s Inlet after his alleged staged disappearance.

Authorities believe Cox was fleeing an arrest warrant that was issued shortly before his fishing trip. The Florence County Sheriff’s Dept. has accused Cox of committing lewd acts upon a 10-year-old starting in 2008.

GEORGETOWN

Deputy charged in animal cruelty case

A Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office deputy and his wife have been charged with cruelty to animals.

In a news release, the sheriff’s office stated that Deputy William Baxley and his wife, Miranda, face four counts of the cruelty charge. Earlier this month, the department responded to a complaint about three dead dogs at an Orangeburg residence. Deputies found three dead dogs in fenced kennels in varying stages of decomposition and a fourth dog with a litter of puppies, according to the report. The investigation later uncovered that the dogs belonged to Baxley.

Baxley has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

ORANGEBURG

Clinginess costs woman relationship, license tags

An Orangeburg area woman called police following a domestic dispute stemming from accusations that her boyfriend didn’t want to start a family with her.

The unidentified woman told police that she and her boyfriend began arguing after he told her that he did not want a commitment. According to a police report, the man said he couldn’t take the arguing. The woman then demanded the license tags from the man’s car. When she tried to remove them, the man reportedly sped away, crashing into a row of garbage cans as he fled.

The woman told police she only wished to start a family with the man. When they asked where he lived, she said she didn’t know.

SPARTANBURG

Meth bust uncovers dead baby

Following a meth bust, Spartanburg County deputies used bolt cutters to force open a locked toolbox in the bed of pickup truck. Inside they found the body of a 2-month-old baby. The child’s parents, who were the primary suspects in the drug bust, admitted that the child was theirs and that they had placed his body in the toolbox.

According to authorities, toxicology tests are being performed on the baby’s body and, depending on the findings, additional charges against the parents may be filed.

On an initial search of the residence of Chuck Edward McCullough, 34, and Carissa Charla McCullough, 21, police found evidence related to methamphetamine trafficking. After finding meth-making evidence such as batteries and gas generators in the house, police searched the vehicles on premises. That is when deputies uncovered the child’s body in a truck toolbox.

During a bond hearing, the couple asked about the fate of their child’s body. The judge simply referred them to the jail director, according to the Spartanburg Herald Journal. The couple’s other two children have been taken into custody by the S.C. Dept. of Social Services.

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