Originally created 12/30/04

Across South Carolina



Owner of gun charged after child's death

ROCK HILL - A 23-year-old man has been charged with illegally carrying a gun that police say a 3-year-old used to accidentally kill a 2-year-old relative.

Desmond Quintaja, of Fort Mill, was charged Wednesday.

Two-year-old Kenyatta Dixon was shot in the forehead with a .38-caliber revolver Sunday night and died a day later, authorities said.

Mr. Quintaja visited the home and left the gun used in the shooting there, police said.

The prosecutor's office will review any charges in the death of the child.

At least four people were in the home when the girl was shot, police have said.

Boss arrives at house to find worker dead

ORANGEBURG - A boss coming by to pick up his employee found him dead in a Bowman home, Orangeburg County deputies say.

The body of 23-year-old Lezama Rene Reyes was found at about 3:30 a.m. Christmas Day, sheriff's Maj. Barbara Walters said.

"His employer went to pick him up for work and blew the horn and didn't get an answer," Maj. Walters said. "He looked through a window and saw him laying on the floor. When he determined he was dead, he called us."

The home had not been broken into, so investigators think Mr. Reyes knew who stabbed him to death, Maj. Walters said.

8-year-old boy dies, mother hurt in fire

GEORGETOWN - An 8-year-old boy was killed and his mother was critically injured in a fire at their Georgetown County home.

Three other children in the home Monday night escaped the blaze, authorities said.

The fire might have been started by a kerosene heater, which was in the hall near the bedrooms in the mobile home, Coroner Kenny Johnson said.

The boy, Rahem Sumpter, was found under a mattress in his bedroom. His mother, Stephanie Sumpter, 25, was taken to a burn center in Augusta.

1st black deputy is now 1st black sheriff

WALTERBORO - New Colleton County Sheriff George Malone is used to being a trailblazer.

He was sworn in Tuesday by niece Jennifer Wilson, the chief municipal judge for Myrtle Beach, as the county's first elected black sheriff, 36 years after he became Colleton County's first black deputy.

After losing to Republican Allan Beach in 2000, he squared off with him again in November, and Sheriff Malone won with 53 percent of the vote in a county that is nearly 60 percent white.

He thanked the 200 people who attended the ceremony.

"This is the backbone of George Malone," he said, gesturing to his family. "This is what I'm all about."