Originally created 12/04/01

Across South Carolina



12-year-old suspect will get mental check

CHESTER -A 12-year-old boy charged with killing his grandparents and setting their house on fire has taken anti-depression medicine in the past and might have not been "in his right mind," when the killings happened, his attorney says.

The middle school pupil, who authorities say weighs less than 85 pounds, said nothing during his first court appearance Monday. Prosecutors agreed to have the boy examined by psychiatrists.

His name is not being released because he is a juvenile.

Chester County Sheriff Robert Benson said the boy has confessed to shooting Joe Frank Pittman, 66, and Joy Roberts Pittman, 62, with a shotgun in their bed Wednesday night. He then set the house on fire to cover up the killing and drove off in a sport utility vehicle, the sheriff said.

Class about Sept. 11 quickly fills up seats

CLEMSON -No seats remain for a new Clemson University course about the events of Sept. 11.

It will study patterns of global terrorism, civil liberty issues and weapons of mass destruction, said Bruce Ransom, an associate professor of political science. The semesterlong class begins in January and features speakers and discussions.

The idea for the class came after seeing the success of an October forum about the terrorist attacks, said Dr. Ransom, who is coordinating the class.

School officials planned for 45 students but moved the class to a larger room to accommodate about 60, Dr. Ransom said.

University president plucked from pulpit

COLUMBIA -Allen University officials selected a Charleston pastor Sunday to be the school's new president.

Charles E. Young, who has served as interim president since August, will become the private liberal arts college's 23rd president. The 450-student college is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Young, 51, has been pastor of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston for seven years. While there, the Rev. Young led a $1 million fund-raising drive to revitalize part of the city.