Originally created 11/26/03

Across South Carolina



Two face charges in stabbing death

GAFFNEY - Two people have been charged after the body of a 28-year-old man who had been stabbed to death was wrapped in a white sheet and dumped in a wooded area, police say.

Eric Dwayne Blackwell, 23, has been charged with murder in the death of Christopher Riddle. Jessica Lee Blanton, 21, has been charged with accessory after the fact, police officials said.

Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Riddle began arguing at Ms. Blackwell's apartment early Sunday. Several people had been out drinking Saturday night and had gone back to Ms. Blackwell's apartment, where the two began fighting, officials said.

Mr. Blackwell stabbed Mr. Riddle more than once, officials said.

Fire causes damage to Charleston church

CHARLESTON - A fire damaged a 117-year-old church while destroying a vacant house and damaging another.

The fire early Monday damaged the attic of Mount Carmel AME Church.

It burned a hole above the church balcony and left debris in the upper pews. The ceiling suffered water damage as firefighters put out the fire.

The fire started on the porch of a vacant house and destroyed the structure. It damaged another house next door.

Detention center fails to hire teacher

CHARLESTON - Charleston County has two detention centers for juveniles charged with crimes. One has a teacher, one does not.

To save about $50,000, the Charleston County School District did not hire a teacher at the juvenile jail on Leeds Avenue.

State law, officials said, requires school districts to provide teachers for youthful offenders who are being held for more than 48 hours pending a court date. The school district has provided a teacher at both sites since 1995, officials said.

Ex-officer is charged in department theft

NORTH CHARLESTON - A former North Charleston police officer has been charged with stealing $6,000 worth of police equipment when he resigned from the department three months ago.

Investigators recovered a pistol, 20 uniforms, three badges, a laptop computer, training manuals and other police items from the home of former Cpl. Anthony Youngblood, authorities said.