Originally created 05/15/04

Across South Carolina

Agency owner pleads guilty to sex charges

CONWAY - A modeling agency owner has pleaded guilty to several sex charges and was sentenced to three years in prison, prosecutors say.

Jason David White pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, lewd act on a minor, hiring a minor for an obscene act and distributing obscene material to a minor.

Mr. White owned the modeling agency Z-Bash Models and Talent Inc., where he enticed at least one 16-year-old girl to pose nude for photographs, authorities said.

Some of the photos were taken in public areas of Horry County and at one point he engaged in sexual activity with the girl without her consent, authorities said.

Firefighter dies in car crash on way to blaze

BELTON - A volunteer firefighter was killed Friday while responding to an emergency call, authorities said.

Michael Martin, a volunteer with the Ebenezer Fire Department, died at about 6 a.m. when his pickup ran off a road and struck a tree, authorities said.

The pickup truck was bent in half by the impact, and Mr. Martin died at the scene, officials said.

Mr. Martin, 18, would have graduated from Belton-Honea Path High School next week, officials said.

Body of man who fell in river is located

CHARLESTON - The body of a man who fell from the new Ravenel Bridge into the Cooper River was found Friday morning, authorities said.

A worker on the bridge saw the body of Erik Rojas-Hernandez, 20, surface about 50 yards from where he fell 75 feet into the water Tuesday, police said.

Charleston police have said Mr. Rojas-Hernandez did not have his safety gear attached to the deck when he fell.

Motorcyclist dies during annual rally

MYRTLE BEACH - A Marlboro County man has become the first motorcyclist to die in a crash during the 2004 Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Myrtle Beach Rally.

Martin Allen, 41, died of head injuries in the crash on U.S. Highway 17 late Wednesday, authorities said.

It's unclear what caused Mr. Allen's crash, authorities said. He wasn't speeding or wearing a helmet, officials said.


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