Across the region

Guard held hostage at Lee Correctional


BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — A prison guard was held hostage at a South Carolina prison for several hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but was been rescued by officers who regained control of the facility.

South Carolina Corrections Department spokesman Clark Newsome says officers rescued the guard and regained control of the building at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The officer was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

Newsome said a nurse escorted by a guard was passing out medicine around 9 p.m. Tuesday when some inmates overpowered the guard. Newsome did not know how many inmates were involved, but the unit houses as many as 130 inmates in the high security prison.

He says about 100 officers blew open a door and rescued the guard after discussions with the inmates failed to resolve the situation.

Sentence restored in woman’s murder

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s highest court on Wednesday reinstated a life sentence for a Charleston man convicted of raping and killing a neighbor, reversing a lower court’s decision to give him a new trial.

In the 4-1 decision, the court said a trial judge shouldn’t have allowed a crime analysis witness to testify about a range of things unrelated to the case against Jarod Tapp, such as torture and drug-related homicides.

But the justices ruled the testimony didn’t directly affect the outcome, so the appellate court’s decision to reverse Tapp’s conviction and sentence should not have happened.

Tapp was convicted in the 2003 rape and murder of Julie Jett. Prosecutors said the 25-year-old Jett had just graduated from the College of Charleston and was moving out of her apartment when Tapp, who lived upstairs with his grandmother, barged in and attacked

Jett was stabbed more than a dozen times in the face and neck.

Authorities found semen, but they were never able to produce a full DNA profile.

Feds to probe man’s shooting by officer

ATLANTA — Federal investigators are looking to probe the case of the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old by a Union City police officer.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI want to determine whether federal laws were violated in the death of Ariston Waiters. The teen was fatally shot by Union City police officer Luther Lewis in December.

A grand jury decided not to indict Lewis last week.

Union City police officials said Lewis was justified in his actions, and that Waiters grabbed the officer’s gun as he was being handcuffed. An autopsy showed Waiters died of two gunshots to the back.

Woman wants test of infants’ hearts

COVINGTON, GA.A Covington woman is pushing state legislation for mandatory infant heart-defect screenings using a pulse oximeter. The painless, one-minute test requires doctors to place a small device on a baby’s toe or finger to check blood oxygen levels and heart rates. Jessica Hatcher’s 3-year-old son Wyatt was born with a congenital heart defect that required a heart transplant. Without the test, his condition might have gone unnoticed.

The Georgia Department of Public Health will study whether “pulse-ox” screening should be a standard test for newborns. Officials will look at the benefits, cost and implementation associated with testing.

If approved, it would mean insurance companies would have to pay about $4 per child.

In other news

A JACKIE ROBINSON biopic called 42 is scheduled to start filming in Macon, Ga., this week. Filmmakers will transform Luther Williams Field into the Daytona Beach, Fla., park where Robinson did spring training before he broke the color barrier and joined the major leagues in 1947.

A FEDERAL COURT on Wednesday turned down an appeal from three South Carolina men convicted of fleecing investors of $80 million. The “3 Hebrew Boys” were sentenced to decades in prison.

– From wire reports