News from around The Carolinas

January 27, 2013 

South Carolina

Rock Hill

Officers search for man in fatal SC home invasion

Deputies are searching for a York man who had just been released on bond on weapons and drug charges and who is now charged with murder in a home invasion.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported that York County deputies have issued a murder warrant for 26-year-old Vincent Alfonzo Bratton, who had been arrested Friday and released Saturday on $30,000 bond.

S.C. Judicial Department records show he was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a pistol, manufacturing drugs and driving under the influence. Authorities say Bratton now is charged with murder in the death of 31-year-old Shannon Jenkins of Rock Hill, who was shot and killed early Sunday morning at his home.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast says an autopsy is scheduled for later Sunday for Jenkins.


SC student charged with trying to rape woman

A student who is a baseball player at Spartanburg Methodist College faces charges that he tried to rape a woman at an apartment where he and others had gathered earlier.

Authorities say 19-year-old Taylor Randall Childers of Royston, Ga., is charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say Childers and some other men were drinking at the female victim’s apartment with her and her roommates. After the men left, Childers is accused of returning early Friday and assaulting a woman as she slept on the couch.

She fought her attacker, who left his clothes behind when he ran.

Childers is being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. It wasn’t clear if he has an attorney.

North Carolina


NC church uses dead vulture to ward off lives ones

A Jacksonville church’s plan to use a dead vulture to ward away the live ones seems to be working.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported that Bethlehem Baptist Church contracted with the U.S. Agriculture Department to use vulture effigies to ward away live birds that were destroying the church roof.

The effigies are a taxidermist-prepared vulture body attached to a decoy head because real bird heads disintegrate too quickly.

The dead bird went up about a month ago. Vultures that used to flock to the church roof now hang out elsewhere.

The USDA also has used bird effigies to reduce the potential for bird strikes on military planes, including at New River and Cherry Point air stations. The USDA hung effigies from the water towers in Jacksonville and Havelock.


Amtrak train strikes car

A car trapped between the railroad crossing arms at the intersection of North Main Street and Webb Avenue in Burlington was struck by an Amtrak train Saturday morning.

According to a news release, the driver of the trapped 2002 Buick told Burlington Police at 8:59 a.m. Saturday that his car became stuck between the crossing arms as he approached the railroad crossing, traveling west on North Main Street.

Charlie Ellison, 67, of Burlington, said he saw the Amtrak train approaching and got out of his car before it was struck by the train, which was traveling about 25 to 30 mph at the time.

The train was traveling south with 72 passengers, and had been slowing to stop at the Burlington Station at the time of the accident, Amtrak personnel told police. No passengers on the train were injured and neither was Ellison.

Damage to Ellison’s car was estimated at $5,000, and the Amtrak train sustained no damage.


Church standoff ends with arrest of NC man

A man who took more than $2 million from friends and charities is back in custody after his arrest at an armed standoff at a Salisbury church.

Authorities said 52-year-old John Knox Bridges was arrested Saturday evening at Maupin Avenue ARP Church in Salisbury. A judge had issued a fugitive warrant Friday when Bridges didn’t attend his sentencing in federal court in Charlotte.

The Charlotte native stole $600,000 from the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation while he served on the foundation’s board. He was also accused of taking $600,000 from North Carolina fresco artist Ben Long.

He pleaded guilty in February 2012 to money laundering and securities fraud. Under the plea agreement with prosecutors, Bridges was expected to serve between five and six years in prison.

From wire reports

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