VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina to give 1st responders virus address data
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina public health officials are creating a statewide database of addresses of known positive COVID-19 cases, a secure tool only made available to first responders who have argued the information could help protect them. Nick Davidson is acting director of public health for the Department of Health and Environmental Control. He says the matrix goes online next week and comes in response to local officials' complaints that first responders were being left potentially vulnerable to the disease and also needed that information to conserve protective gear that is in short supply. Health officials said Thursday that COVID-19 has now spread to all 46 South Carolina counties.
SC House and Senate to come back for one day next week
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House and Senate plan to return for one day next week. Wednesday's session has a limited agenda of passing a resolution allowing state government to continue to spend money if a new budget isn't passed by July 1 and laying out what matters they can deal with after the regular session ends May 14. Both House and Senate leaders say members can spread out in the chamber and balconies. Senate Democrats don't like the plan and said senators should meet in smaller groups, maybe even by videoconferencing, then wait for the peak of the virus and meet all together.
Police: Kentucky murder suspect in custody in South Carolina
CHESNEE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina said a Kentucky man accused of killing a missing woman was arrested after deputies found his abandoned car. Anthony Daryl Hall, of Hillsboro, Kentucky, was arrested Wednesday night in Chesnee, South Carolina. Spartanburg Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an abandoned car and found Hall. Authorities said Hall told deputies he didn't know where he was and that he had killed his girlfriend on March 27. Kentucky State Police said the woman, Jodi L. Stapleton, was reported missing on March 30. Stapleton was later found dead. Hall is charged with first-degree murder and evidence tampering.
SC prosecutors: Deputy took bribes to protect gamblers
FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a deputy in South Carolina took money from illegal gamblers for five years to protect them from the law and kept feeding them information after the payments stopped. The state Attorney General’s Office said former Florence County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Edward Fuleihan was arrested Thursday. An arrest warrant says Fuleihan took the bribes from 2013 to 2017 to keep the gamblers out of trouble. The warrant says once the State Law Enforcement Division began investigating, Fuleihan stopped taking money but kept giving the gambling ring information. The 48-year-old Fuleihan was a deputy in Florence County since 1995. Interim Sheriff William Barnes fired Fuleihan during the state investigation.
Deputies: Bulletproof vest charity CEO charged with rape
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say the founder of a charity that provides bulletproof vests for police departments who can't afford them was arrested and charged with incest and rape. Richland County deputies said 56-year-old Michael Allan Letts sexually abused a relative from the time she was 10 until she turned 17. Deputies say Letts was arrested Wednesday at the completion of the investigation which began when the victim came to authorities in January. Letts is founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, which raises money for bulletproof vests for police forces that can't afford them. He also filed to run for the state Senate as a Republican this year against Democratic Sen. Mia McLeod of Columbia.
MISSING MAN-BODY FOUND
Coroner: body of missing SC man found with bullet wounds