Across South Carolina

County's blue laws might be on way out

ANDERSON - Blue laws might not be back for long in Anderson County.

County Council Chairman Bob Waldrep hinted at Tuesday's meeting that the council might vote on whether to abolish them.

On Jan. 2, two new council members helped push a vote to reinstate the laws that keep most stores from opening before 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. That push followed a December vote to get rid of the blue laws.

Opening arguments begin in fraud case

LEXINGTON - A former HomeGold Inc. chief executive charged with securities fraud misled and lied to investors during the company's collapse, one of the biggest bankruptcies in South Carolina history, prosecutors said Wednesday during opening arguments.

Ronald Sheppard, 49, is charged with three counts of securities fraud in the failure of HomeGold and its subsidiary, Carolina Investors. About 8,000 investors lost around $275 million when the companies collapsed in 2003.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Peavy said Mr. Sheppard's actions "robbed thousands of people of millions of dollars."

Teen gets 25 years for stabbing cousin

CHESTER - A 16-year-old Lancaster boy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing his cousin more than 20 times, leaving her to bleed to death.

Diego Reyes Campos pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday in the December 2004 stabbing of 12-year-old Jessica Mora.

Mr. Campos was 14 at the time of the crime and was mad at his cousin because he thought she was trying to sabotage his relationship with his girlfriend, authorities say.

Would-be carjacker is shot by passenger

COLUMBIA - A man trying to steal a car at gunpoint from a couple was shot, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says.

Harold Levar Jeffcoat, 29, was arrested Sunday at the hospital where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the buttocks, Sheriff Lott said.

Mr. Jeffcoat was shot Saturday night after he stuck a gun into the stomach of a man getting into his car at a Wal-Mart, deputies said.

A female passenger pulled a gun from the glove compartment and fired five shots at Mr. Jeffcoat, hitting him once, investigators said.

- Edited from wire reports