Originally created 03/01/05

Across South Carolina



Grandparents killer's sentence faces review

CHARLESTON - A state judge will consider today whether a 15-year-old boy who claimed Zoloft led him to kill his grandparents should get a new trial or have his 30-year sentence reduced.

Christopher Pittman was convicted last month of murder and sentenced for shooting his grandparents, Joe Pittman, 66, and Joy Pittman, 62, in their Chester County home in November 2001.

Mr. Pittman, who was 12 at the time, was tried as an adult, and Judge Pieper sentenced him to the minimum prison term allowed by state law.

Police car flips, killing corporal

HARDEEVILLE - A Hardeeville police corporal was killed when his cruiser flipped and hit a tree on Interstate 95 early Sunday.

Authorities have not determined what caused the 4:10 a.m. accident that killed Cpl. Mark Jones, 34, of Hardeeville.

The state Highway Patrol said Cpl. Jones had completed a routine traffic stop at 3:45 a.m.

Four minutes later, a call came in for police to go to a Waffle House near Interstate 95 where a drunken person was causing trouble, authorities said.

Hardeeville spokesman Rob Dewig said police do not know whether Cpl. Jones was responding to the call.

Family offers reward in student's killing

MYRTLE BEACH - The family of an Horry-Georgetown Technical College student who was killed outside his home has offered a $25,000 reward for information about his death.

Christopher Jones Fretz, 22, died after being hit in the head near his condominium Feb. 19.

Police have not said what weapon was used or how many times Mr. Fretz was hit.

Man gets life term for a second time

COLUMBIA - A man has been sentenced to death a second time for killing a Sumter County sheriff's deputy in 1996.

A jury deliberated more than three hours Sunday before returning the sentence against 39-year-old Bobby Wayne Stone.

The South Carolina Supreme Court had ordered a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Stone in the shooting death of Sgt. Charlie Kabala.

The justices said in 2002 that the original jury should have been told that a life sentence would have meant that Mr. Stone would not be eligible for parole.