Originally created 02/02/05

Across South Carolina



Bishop gets probation in statutory rape case

GREENVILLE - A Greenville bishop has been sentenced to three years' probation on a statutory rape charge from more than 30 years ago.

Bishop Johnnie Smith, 71, entered an Alford plea to the charge Tuesday. In an Alford plea, a defendant accepts punishment but doesn't admit guilt.

Prosecutors said Mr. Smith had sex with a 12-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. There is no statue of limitations on the charge, and police said the woman came forward last year after talking to a councilor.

The girl called Mr. Smith to talk about problems in her life, and the bishop invited her over and they had sex, prosecutor Betty Strom said.

Ex-deputy is arrested on lewd acts charge

GREENWOOD - A former Greenwood County sheriff's deputy has been charged with performing lewd acts with a child.

Norris Randall Jay, 35, was charged with lewd acts with a child under the age of 14 and aggravated assault and battery.

Court records indicate the incident occurred in 1997 at Mr. Jay's home. The victim was 12 years old at the time.

Mr. Jay, who was hired in 1992, was suspended in November when the State Law Enforcement Division began the investigation.

Sheriff Dan Wideman said Mr. Jay was fired after SLED agents signed a warrant.

Police arrest suspect in 67-year-old's death

LEXINGTON - A 67-year-old man was stabbed to death at an assisted living facility near South Congaree by a fellow resident, authorities said.

Elijah Mazyck, 50, was arrested at Cedar Acres Residential Care on Monday evening, shortly after William Hudson was killed outside the home, authorities said.

Mr. Mazyck had blood on his clothes, and witnesses told investigators he had killed Mr. Hudson, authorities said.

King Day will be held statewide next year

GREENVILLE - Greenville County - the last holdout in the state - will celebrate a holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. next year.

A 7-5 vote Tuesday night by the Greenville County Council ended years of wrangling over the holiday to honor the civil rights leader and means all 46 South Carolina counties will officially celebrate King Day.

The crowd, mixed between whites and blacks, stood up and cheered before the chairman could announce the vote.

"I think this is one of the greatest steps this council will ever take," Councilwoman Xanthene Norris said.

Civil rights leaders first fought for the holiday 19 years ago, but their efforts became intense in recent years, especially after the number of counties without a King holiday dwindled.