Originally created 10/31/04

Across South Carolina



Father who killed girl avoids more charges

YORK - A Rock Hill man won't face trial on four remaining charges after he was convicted of raping and killing his 12-year-old daughter.

On Friday, prosecutors dropped two rape and two child-neglect charges against Billy Wayne Cope because his life-plus-30-year sentence gives him no chance for parole, deputy prosecutor Kevin Brackett said.

Prosecutors worked on the case of Amanda Cope's death for three years.

She was found dead in her bed at the Cope family's home Nov. 29, 2001.

Jim Morton, Mr. Cope's lead lawyer, said he was not told the charges would be dropped. He said Mr. Cope would continue to appeal his conviction.

Mother charged with abuse in child's death

WALHALLA - The mother of a 4-year-old boy authorities say was beaten to death has been arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse along with her live-in boyfriend.

Joyce Lynn Veal, 28, knew of the abuse at the home and did nothing, the Oconee County sheriff's office said.

Billy Nathaniel Henry Jr. died Oct. 17 of a head injury, and Ms. Veal's boyfriend, Clifford Michael Baker, 37, was arrested.

The boy's 6-year-old brother has been placed in protective custody with the Department of Social Services.

Grand Strand sees 2 bus crashes in 2 days

LORIS - A second school bus crash in the Grand Strand area in two days injured two people in another vehicle.

No students were injured in the crashes Thursday or Friday.

In the five-vehicle crash Friday, a Horry County School bus driver was charged with failing to yield the right of way, said Jim Wright, the school district's transportation director.

The bus turned left onto South Carolina Highway 9 in front of two pickups. One of the trucks veered into oncoming traffic and struck a car and a minivan.

In the accident Thursday, Mr. Wright said, the bus driver was not at fault.

Man admits to killing restaurant manager

CHARLESTON - Christin Gilliard pleaded guilty Friday to killing the popular manager of the Boathouse restaurant last year during an attempted armed robbery.

His plea came three days before a trial on the murder charge.

Mr. Gilliard, 20, could be sentenced to 30 years in prison or life without parole on the murder charge and 20 years in prison for his guilty plea on a charge of attempted robbery.

He is expected to be sentenced Monday with his co-defendant, Kendrell Heidt, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to being an accessory after the fact of murder.