Originally created 09/22/04

Across South Carolina



Trial proceeds calmly after defendant's fight

COLUMBIA - A Kentucky man on trial in the death of an Horry County woman appeared much calmer Tuesday - a day after a courtroom struggle with officers left him with scrapes and bruises on his face.

Branden Basham, 23, had to be wrestled to the courtroom floor Monday after a dispute with U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson.

Mr. Basham is charged in the kidnapping and carjacking of Alice Donovan, whose body has never been found. His co-defendant, Chadrick Fulks, pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced to death.

The outburst came after Judge Anderson decided against letting Mr. Basham have smokeless tobacco in the courtroom.

Robbery gives man 20-year prison term

CHARLESTON - A Moncks Corner man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in planning a robbery that resulted in the shooting death of the victim.

Daniel Preston Walker, 19, pleaded guilty Monday in Moncks Corner to attempted armed robbery, prosecutor Blair Jennings said.

Mr. Walker was indicted on murder and attempted armed robbery charges but was allowed to plead to the lesser charge, in part because of the wishes of the victim's father, Mr. Jennings said.

Brandon Lee, 19, of Ladson, and Tiffany Gabe, 18, of Pinopolis, were sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder earlier this year in the Oct. 26 death of William A. Martin II, 18, of Summerville.

A fourth defendant, Johnny Lee Scott, 18, of Moncks Corner, is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact of murder.

Father changed tale in daughter's death

YORK - A man on trial on charges of raping and strangling his 12-year-old daughter testified that he confessed only after police told him he failed a polygraph test and he started believing he was guilty.

Billy Wayne Cope said he then gave three alternate versions of the story in hopes of going to a mental health institution and avoiding punishment for the first confession.

Mr. Cope and James Edward Sanders are charged with murder, rape and conspiracy in the death of Amanda Cope, who was found dead in her bedroom Nov. 29, 2001.