The Carolinas | Drunken fight leads to murder charge

December 28, 2012 

South Carolina

Orangeburg

Man faces murder charge in missing woman case

A S.C. man is under arrest for the murder of a woman missing for more than a week.

Authorities on Friday arrested Kenneth Franklin Cutter of North and charged him with the murder of Kimberly Parrish, who has been missing since Dec. 21.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says Cutter was a friend of Parrish’s for several months. The sheriff says investigators recovered DNA and clothing belonging to Parrish from an abandoned house near Cutter’s residence.

Ravenell says the search for Parrish’s remains continues with dogs, boats and aircraft. He asked hunters, farmers and others who may be out where the woman went missing to contact law enforcement if they find anything.

Cutter is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Monday at 2:30 p.m. in Orangeburg.

Columbia

Former councilman gives up law license

Former Columbia City Councilman E.W. Cromartie will never again practice law in South Carolina, a divided state Supreme Court ordered Friday.

In a 3-2 decision, the justices decided to accept Cromartie’s offer to give up his law license, an offer he made during oral arguments in October as he fought his pending disbarment. The court’s majority said giving up his license is a tougher penalty than disbarment because it’s permanent.

Cromartie, now 67 years old, spent 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges, ending his long tenure on City Council. In October, Cromartie told the justices he wanted to avoid the stigma of being forcibly disbarred to protect the name of his son. Ernest W. Cromartie III, who also is a Columbia attorney. His father’s name is Ernest W. Cromartie II.

Bluffton

Chase of alleged shoplifters leaves 1 dead

A woman suspected of shoplifting from a Beaufort County mall died following a police chase.

Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls III says the 19-year-old woman was found dead inside a car Thursday. Her name hadn’t been released as of press time Friday.

Authorities say the woman was one of four people in a car fleeing Beaufort County deputies. A clerk at a Bluffton outlet mall was assaulted as he tried to keep four shoplifting suspects from leaving.

Deputies followed the car, which hit a pickup truck and crashed into a tree.

Three people ran from the car and were later arrested. The driver, Craig Scott, has been charged with reckless homicide. He and two passengers were also charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

It wasn't known if they had lawyers.

Greenwood

Drunken fight leads to murder charge

A Greenwood County man has been charged with murder after the death of a man authorities say he beat in a drunken fight.

Authorities autopsied 29-year-old Jason Bush on Wednesday, two days after he died at a hospital.

Authorities were called to a home on Saturday about an assault and found Bush unconscious. Deputies say Bush's girlfriend told them he and a friend, 33-year-old Russell Aiken, had gotten into a fight at a bar that night.

The woman told deputies Bush was in his truck with her when Aiken got in and started punching him in the head. The girlfriend said all three had been drinking.

Aiken was originally charged with aggravated assault, but that charge was upgraded to murder on Wednesday. It wasn't known if he had an attorney.

North Carolina

Rosman

Thieves steal meteorites from institute

N.C. authorities are searching for thieves who stole more than 100 meteorites from around the globe in a Christmas Eve break-in at a science education center.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that the space rocks were taken from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, located on an isolated mountaintop about an hour’s drive southwest of Asheville.

Research institute vice president Dave Clavier said the meteorites are irreplaceable. He said each one is a one-of-a-kind object that flew millions of miles through space before crashing to earth. Security cameras recorded images of three people entering the facility.

The not-for-profit foundation provides hands-on educational and research opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. The facility was formerly a NASA tracking station and a National Security Agency station during the Cold War.

Atlantic Beach

Coast Guard releases turtles to Gulf Stream

The Coast Guard Cutter Block Island headed out on patrol Thursday with cargo that is part of its mission of protecting marine resources.

Eight juvenile sea turtles were loaded onto the cutter from its home port at Sector Field Office Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach as the crew made morning preparations to get underway.

Although the turtles are ready for their return to the wild, the winter water temperatures have dropped too low, with the turtles in danger of becoming too lethargic if released into inshore waters. The Block Island crew planned to head 45 miles offshore to release the turtles into the warm 70-degree waters of the Gulf Stream.

Wake Forest

Boy shot, killed in hunting accident

Authorities say a 12-year-old Tarboro boy was been shot and killed in a hunting accident in Wake Forest.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the shooting happened in the Falls Lake Recreation Area at around 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

Harrison said James Lee Parker was hunting deer with three other people, including two adults, when he was shot in the upper body.

Harrison says the boy was about 100 yards into the woods when he was shot. Authorities said the boy's father called 911 to report the shooting.

From wire reports

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