Originally created 12/16/06

Across the area



Man not using seat belt killed

AIKEN - A Warrenville man died just after midnight Friday morning after an accident on Huber Clay Road in Aiken.

Vernon Deryl Black, 44, was traveling west on Huber Clay Road when his 1990 Chevrolet pickup overturned on a sharp curve, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said.

Mr. Black, of Lee Drive, was ejected from the vehicle when authorities arrived at the scene just before 1 a.m. Mr. Black was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, Mr. Carlton said.

Mr. Carlton said alcohol was found in the vehicle, and a toxicology report was ordered to see whether it was a factor in the wreck.

This was the 30th fatal crash in Aiken County this year, Mr. Carlton said.

Mother pleads guilty in son's 2004 death

AIKEN - An Aiken woman has been placed on probation for two years after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her infant son.

Apral Simone Pulliam, 27, also was sentenced Thursday to 1,000 days in prison, but was given credit for the more than two years she had been in jail awaiting trial.

Ms. Pulliam was arrested in 2004 and charged with homicide by child abuse after her 4-week-old son, Raymond, died from severe blood loss.

Ms. Pulliam was allowed to plead to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter because of the unclear circumstances involving the boy's death, prosecutors said.

The indictment states something happened to Raymond Pulliam on or about March 12, 2004. The child was transported to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he died the next day.

Pupil charged with distribution of drugs

A Jefferson County High School pupil has been charged with distribution of a dangerous drug after police said he gave the prescription medicine Aderall to two female pupils - one of whom had to be hospitalized for an overdose.

On Dec. 4, the three juveniles took the drug normally prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and smoked tobacco laced with contents of a capsule as well, said Jefferson County sheriff's Investigator Clark Hiebert.

One of the female pupils began to hallucinate and was taken to Louisville Hospital. She was later taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and was released last week.

The juvenile was still in custody as of Wednesday, Investigator Hiebert said. No further information was available Friday.

Man wanted on drug, assault charges

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is looking for a man wanted on two counts of aggravated assault and two drug charges, according to a wanted poster released by the department Thursday.

Leslie Scott Craft, 45, has outstanding warrants for the two counts of aggravated assault, giving a false name to law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine with the intention to distribute and possession of marijuana, the release states.

Mr. Craft is accused of physically harming his mother and sister after the mother and Mr. Craft's girlfriend got into a verbal argument that turned physical, according to a sheriff's incident report.

Mr. Craft is described as 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 175 pounds. Anyone with information can contact the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at (706) 541-2800.

Two suspects sought in armed robbery

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was looking for a man and woman Friday in connection with an armed robbery of a northern Columbia County package shop.

The robbery reportedly occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday at Little River Spirits off Washington Road near the Little River Bridge, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

Capt. Morris said a man armed with a gun ordered two workers to the back of the store, tying them up. He said the man then stole one of the worker's vehicles, which was recovered Friday morning off Ridge Road in Appling.

Police describe one of the two suspects as a black man, 30 to 40 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing about 190 pounds. The man also reportedly was wearing a dark blue running suit with a white stripe down the side and had a close-shaved head and was wearing an earring.

The female suspect was described as 30 to 40 years old with short bleached blond hair and acne on her face. She is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds. The pair were last seen driving an older model, dark blue Pontiac with a loud muffler, according to a sheriff's office report. Anyone with information should call Investigator Jimmy Edmunds at (706) 541-2800.

Eighth-graders have jump in math scores

South Carolina eighth-graders had the best education gains in math in the nation from 2000-2005 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

South Carolina pupils' status was released Friday in an independent report from the Education Trust.

The study examined overall score increases on the NAEP. The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires every state to participate in fourth-and-eighth grade NAEP math and language arts testing every two years.

Over five years, eighth-grade math scores jumped 16 points and fourth-grade math scores jumped 18 points, tying with Idaho for the second-best score increase in five years.

Scores from NAEP are not used for yearly school and district report card grades.

The Education Trust is a nonprofit organization.

Repeat peeping Tom gets 3 years in prison

A mentally disabled Augusta man with a history of peeping into windows was sentenced Friday to serve three years in prison.

Marcellus L. Martin, 28, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a peeping Tom charge. His attorney, Tanya Jeffords of the public defender's office, stressed Mr. Martin's behavior wasn't sexual, but because of his obsession with video games. He was arrested for peeping into the window of a boy playing video games Jan. 16.

In sentencing Mr. Martin, Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr. said this was Mr. Martin's fourth peeping charge.

- From staff reports