Originally created 09/29/05

Across South Carolina



Man held in death of former beauty queen

NAPA, CALIF. - A 26-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on murder charges in the stabbing deaths of a former South Carolina beauty queen and her roommate nearly a year ago, police said.

Eric Matthew Copple, of Napa, was booked on two counts of murder in the deaths of Leslie Ann Mazzara and Adrienne Insogna, both 26.

The women were fatally stabbed the morning of Nov. 1 in a bedroom of the house they rented in the wine country town. A third roommate called police when she heard a struggle and then ran to safety.

Authorities did not immediately disclose what led to the arrests. Police said recently that DNA evidence suggested the killer was a white man who smoked Camel Turkish Gold cigarettes.

Mr. Copple was being held without bail at a county jail.

Ms. Mazzara, a former Miss South Carolina contestant, worked for the Niebaum-Coppola Winery.

Hard day's rain sets record in Charleston

CHARLESTON - Upward of a half-foot of rain that inundated the Charleston area Wednesday broke a record and snarled traffic.

Almost 3 inches of rain fell in downtown Charleston, but totals were about twice that on the nearby sea islands.

By 11 a.m., 2.79 inches of rain had fallen at Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, breaking the record for the date of 1.91 inches set in 1957.

Governor's bike ride sets course for Aiken

COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford plans to ride his bicycle from Aiken to Columbia as part of his effort to encourage South Carolinians to exercise.

The governor is promising a free lunch at the Governor's Mansion for those who complete the 60-mile ride Oct. 9.

Water and snacks will be provided. The governor's office asks participants to register at www.scgovernor.com.

Fire began after man's death, coroner reports

GREER - A man found dead in a burning mobile home earlier this week died before the fire, the Spartanburg County coroner's office said.

Silas Avery Coxie, 76, was identified using fingerprints, coroner's investigator Robin Forrest said. Mr. Coxie died of natural causes before the fire, the investigator said.