Originally created 11/19/02

Across South Carolina



Two people are killed after pickup hits tree

BELTON - An Anderson man and a Belton girl were killed and two others were injured after a pickup went off the road and hit a tree, authorities said.

The driver, Joseph Lyerly, 24, died in surgery Sunday morning, and Megan Chrisitine, 12, died at the scene, officials said. Jerica Geidl, 17, was listed in critical condition.

Officials said Mr. Lyerly had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit. Ms. Geidl's half sister, 17-year-old Leslye Dowen, was injured but released. No one was wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

Charleston leads state in Four Diamond sites

CHARLESTON - Charleston leads South Carolina in the number of restaurants and hotels awarded the Four Diamond rating by AAA Carolinas, club officials announced Monday.

In all, 16 hotels and nine restaurants in South Carolina received the rating, including 11 facilities in Charleston. The rating is the highest given by the association and signifies superior customer service and facilities.

Second man charged in slaying surrenders

LEXINGTON - A second man charged in the death of a West Columbia man has surrendered to Lexington County sheriff's deputies.

Terry Deron Haltiwanger, 28, of Columbia, surrendered to deputies Saturday, said Sheriff James Metts. He is charged with murder, robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy in the death of Paul Edward Keith.

Mr. Keith, 30, died Wednesday from gunshot wounds, Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman said.

Mr. Keith's common-law wife, Vicki Merritt, told police that several men forced their way into the home and shot Mr. Keith.

Quincey Marquette McCoy, 20, of Columbia, surrendered to police Thursday night, Sheriff Metts said. Mr. McCoy was charged with murder, robbery and first-degree burglary.

Detectives still were searching for two more Columbia men in the case. John "L.J." Henry, 20, and Kurtino Damon Weathersbee, 19. They are charged with murder, robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy, Sheriff Metts said.

Escaped inmates are linked to abductions

MYRTLE BEACH -Two inmates that escaped a Kentucky prison have now been linked to two abductions, the latest being a 44-year-old South Carolina woman, authorities say.

The escaped convicts also are suspects in a burglary and numerous car thefts, police said.

Branden L. Basham, 21, of Hopkins County, Ky., and Chadrick E. Fulks, 25, of Logan County, Ky., escaped Nov. 4, authorities said. Mr. Basham was serving a five-year sentence for criminal possession of a forged instrument, and Mr. Fulks was awaiting trial on robbery charges, authorities said.