Across South Carolina

Home care worker accused in death


COLUMBIA — An 82-year-old woman living in a Rock Hill assisted living home was killed by a nurse’s aide at the facility less than a day after she accused the worker of forging her checks, authorities said.

Other nurses at the home found Pauline Cook unconscious in her shower Sunday morning. They tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead a short time later, according to authorities and her family.

The coroner called police when she found out investigators had spoken to Cook the day before about someone forging four checks from her account worth $1,200. Cook told them she got copies of the checks and noticed they were made out to Braquette Walton, investigators said.

Walton, 30, was charged with forgery Monday, and investigators added a murder charge Thursday. She was being held without bail.

Authorities won’t say how Cook died, but her sister Jean Robinson said the family was told she was beaten.

Walton, hired in July, passed a background check and received several good reviews from her managers, according to Michael Smith, a spokesman for the facility. A state criminal records check showed nothing except for a charge of driving under suspension earlier this year.

Walton was immediately suspended from the home after Cook called police. She somehow managed to get back inside Saturday night, and administrators at the facility are investigating how Walton was able to return, Smith said.

Governor wants Citadel answers

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley says she wants to know why The Citadel didn’t give police information about a complaint against a former Citadel camp counselor now charged with five counts of molesting young boys.

Citadel President John Rosa has said the college lost public trust by not aggressively pursuing a 2007 report about a complaint against 32-year-old Louis ReVille involving an incident five years earlier at the camp.

Rosa said the college is investigating and has hired a New York company to review Citadel procedures and make a report.

In other news

HORRY COUNTY officials say more than 70 manhole covers have been stolen in the county in recent weeks because of the rising price of metal.