“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrest in Yesterday’s Shooting Incident in Central.”

 05/18/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Captain

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrest in Yesterday’s Shooting Incident in Central.

A 45-year-old female has been charged with Attempted Murder and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime following an investigation into a May 17th, 2022, shooting on Tankersley Drive in Central, South Carolina.

On May 17th, Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to 127 Tankersley Drive in reference to a shooting incident. Upon arrival, deputies located a 53-year-old male with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper back. The victim was transported via helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. While on scene, deputies located Jonie Ann Bridwell, who both the victim and neighbors identified as the assailant. Bridwell was detained for questioning and transported to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. As a result of the investigation, Bridwell was placed under arrest and booked at the Pickens County Detention Center, where she is presently housed.

The victim remains hospitalized.

Charges:                                                        

Murder (2022A3910100498)                                      

Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime (2022A3910100498)   

Bond was denied on both charges.

If there are any other changes or details that can be released without compromising or hindering the investigation, those details will be distributed at one time through a media release.

“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrest in Yesterday’s Fatal Shooting”

03/29/2022

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

A 27-year old female has been charged following an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the March 28th shooting death of Kennedy David Drayton.  

On March 28th, 2022, deputies responded to 5924-B Moorefield Memorial Hwy. in Liberty, South Carolina, in reference to a report that someone at the residence had been shot. Upon arrival, deputies encountered Nicole Michelle Heape (27 YOA), who stated that she had shot a male resident following an altercation at the residence. The victim, Kennedy David Drayton (31 YOA) was found in the hallway with an apparent gunshot wound to his abdomen. 

Over past few days, detectives have continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident, which included collecting additional evidence and interviewing parties associated with both Heape and Drayton in an effort to identify what transpired.   

Earlier this afternoon, Nicole Michelle Heape was charged by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office with the following:

Charge

Murder (warrant# 2022A3910100265)

Possession of Weapon During a Violent Crime (warrant# 2022A3910100266)

The bond is to be determined.

The Sheriff’s Office will not be conducting any media interviews or releasing any additional information regarding this incident at this time, as there are still investigative steps being taken. If there are any other changes or details that can be released without compromising or hindering the investigation, those details will be distributed at one time through a media release.  

A copy of the arrest warrants and booking photograph has been attached to this media release.  

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“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Shooting Death Following Domestic Disturbance”

03/28/2022

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Shooting Death Following Domestic Disturbance

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the shooting death of a 31-year old male that occurred at 5924 Moorefield Memorial Hwy. Liberty, South Carolina shortly after midnight.

Deputies were dispatched to this location at approximately 00:36 this morning following a 911 call.  Upon their arrival, deputies entered the residence and observed a 27-year old female attempting to render aid to the male subject, who had an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen.  The male subject later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased prior to 00:50 AM.   

The female subject was placed in investigative detention and was transported to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for questioning, before later being released.  At this time the case is being investigated as a homicide while detectives continue to review evidence of the female’s self-defense claim.  

Further details will be released at a later time.  

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“The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Deceased Persons on Holly Bush Road”

02/19/2022

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Deceased Persons on Holly Bush Road

At approximately 10:11 am this morning, deputies of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1215 Holly Bush Road, Easley, South Carolina.  Upon arrival, they discovered an adult male and an adult female that were deceased at the residence.  Detectives are reporting that there does not appear to be any indicators of foul play at this time.  The Pickens County Coroner’s Office is assisting with the investigation.  No further details will be released at this time.

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“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Seizes in Excess of 100 Dogs”

02/10/2022

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Seizes in Excess of 100 Dogs

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Pickens County woman following an investigation into an alleged “puppy mill” at 281 Tater Hill Mountain Road in Pickens, South Carolina.

On Monday, February 7th, 2022, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Enforcement Unit initiated an investigation into a complaint of animal neglect at 281 Tater Hill Mountain Road in Pickens, South Carolina.  Animal Enforcement Deputies immediately responded to the location and attempted to make contact with the property owner.  While at the residence, deputies observed several well-fed dogs living in poor conditions and could see further down the property that there were additional dogs living in kennels.  Therefore, on the morning of Tuesday, February 8th, 2022, Deputies with the Animal Enforcement Unit returned to the property and executed a search warrant to document the living conditions of the animals.

The findings of the search were presented before a judge on Wednesday, February 9th, 2022, and warrants were issued on Judith Lynn Brown (68 YOA) for two counts of Ill-Treatment of Animals – 1st Offense and one count of Animal/Rabies Control Chapter Violation.  Brown, who cooperated through the course of the investigation, turned herself into the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office’s Detention Center on February 9th, 2022. 

On February 10th, 2022, Animal Enforcement Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Pickens County Animal Shelter, Pickens County Building Maintenance, Anderson County Paws, and the Charleston Animal Society, removed one hundred and sixty-six (166) dogs from the property.  The dogs have since been transported to the Pickens County Animal Shelter and other area shelters, where they will be held pending a disposition of the criminal case. 

Sheriff Rick Clark stated, “I would like to thank the Pickens County Animal Shelter, Pickens County Building Maintenance, Anderson County Paws, and the Charleston Animal Society for assisting our deputies with the removal and placement of the animals.  It is a testament to what teamwork and cohesion can accomplish when agencies work together.  The amount of time, effort, and resources that are tied up in these types of cases cannot be understated, but I am grateful for the dedication of our Animal Enforcement Deputies and the other entities that came to our assistance to ensure the wellbeing of these animals.”

Pickens County Administrator Ken Roper said, “We want to thank the Pickens County Sheriff’s Animal Enforcement Unit, led by Lt. Anthony Raines, for their unprecedented work in this concerning case.  How a society treats its most vulnerable creatures speaks volumes, and we are so heartened by the assistance from other counties such as Anderson and Charleston as we deal with the influx of these precious animals that are now in our care.”

Charge:                                             Warrant:                              Bond:             Arrest Date:

Ill-Treatment of Animals                     2022A3910100104                  $10,000 (PR)   02/09/2022

Ill-Treatment of Animals                     2022A3910100105                  $10,000 (PR)   02/09/2022

Rabies Control Chapter Violation       2022A3910100107                  $500       (PR)   02/09/2022

Copies of the Arrest Warrants and a mug shot have been attached to this release.

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“Update: Murder Investigation”

12/30/2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Update: Murder Investigation

On December 19th, 2021, deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to 346 Stewart Gin Road in Liberty, South Carolina, regarding a disturbance. After arriving at the scene, deputies located an adult male deceased in the yard from an apparent gunshot wound. 

           Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the deceased, Stephen Wayne Kneece, arrived at the incident location shortly before the shooting with three other adult males. Upon arriving at the residence, Kneece, along with several other armed subjects, approached an adult male at the property, alleging that the subject owed them money. An altercation ensued, resulting in Kneece being shot by the subject.

           In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the male subject attempted to escape the area in a vehicle and, while doing so, was shot at by acquaintances of the deceased. Deputies were able to quickly locate the male subject at a nearby residence. 

            After having interviewed and located the parties present, many of whom fled the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement, as well as evaluated evidence recovered from the scene, Detectives with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office presented their findings to the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.  Following a review of the evidence by both the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the death of Stephen Kneece, at this time, has been determined to be a justifiable homicide; however, the investigation remains ongoing. 

            As a result of the incident, a total of three subjects have been arrested due to their actions immediately following the shooting death of Stephen Kneece.   A fourth subject, Rickey Wayne Green Jr., remains wanted in connection with this incident. 

The names and charges are listed below.

BASQUETTE, JEREMY LEE

  • 2021A3910101337 Attempted Murder

OWENS, NICHOLAS DALE

  • 2021A3910101345 Attempted Murder
  • 2021A3910101346 Obstructing Justice
  • 2021A3910101347 Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime

GREENE, RICKEY WAYNE JR

  • 2021A3910101342 Attempted Murder
  • 2021A3910101343 Obstructing Justice
  • 2021A3910101344 Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime

RUSSELL, DALTON LEE

  • 2021A3910101348 Attempted Murder
  • 2021A3910101349 Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime

“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Death of Piedmont Man as a Homicide”

12-20-21

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Death of Piedmont Man as a Homicide

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Pickens County Coroner’s Office are currently investigating the death of a Piedmont man as a homicide after he was found dead last night in the yard of a residence on Stewart Gin Road, Liberty, South Carolina.

Deputies were called to a disturbance where callers reported hearing several gunshots at the residence located at 346 Stewart Gin Road at approximately 10:38 pm on Sunday, December 19, 2021.  Upon their arrival, the victim who is an adult male was found deceased with a visible injury that is characteristic of a gunshot wound.  No weapon was found at the scene. 

Based on information obtained in the early stages of the investigation; Detectives believe that this is an isolated incident and there is no immediate danger to the public.  Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing to conduct interviews with witnesses, relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Inquiries concerning the identity of the victim should be directed to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.

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Update: “Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrest in Last Week’s Fatal Shooting”

10/21/2021

For Immediate Release

Contact: Chuck James, Captain

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

A 71-year old female has been taken into custody following an extensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the October 13th shooting death of Augustin Demsa.  

On October 13th, 2021, deputies responded to 110 Zion Heights Court in Easley, South Carolina, in reference to a report that someone at the residence had been shot. Upon arrival, deputies encountered Virginia Louise Cook (71 YOA), who stated that she had shot a male resident following an altercation at the residence. Shortly after encountering Cook, deputies located Augstin Demsa inside a camper that served as his living quarters, deceased from apparent gunshot wounds to the torso.  

Over the past week, detectives have continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident, which included collecting additional evidence and interviewing parties associated with both Cook and Demsa in an effort to identify what transpired.   

Earlier today, Virginia Louise Cook was taken into custody by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Pickens County Detention Center where she was charged with the following:

Charge:        Warrant #:                  Bond:                   Date of Arrest:

Murder        2021A3910101164      TBD                     10/21/2021

Poss. Weapon during Violent Crime   

2021A3910101165       TBD                     10/21/2021

“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Domestic Shooting Incident”

10/14/2021

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Captain

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Around 7:00 PM on October 13th, 2021, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a shooting incident on Zion Heights Court in Easley, South Carolina.  Upon arrival, deputies located an adult female at the residence who informed deputies that she had shot an adult male resident following a heated altercation.   While clearing the property, deputies located an adult male deceased with visible injuries that are characteristics of a gunshot wound. 

The circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.  At this time, no one has been taken into custody during the early stages of the investigation as Detectives continue to conduct interviews and gather evidence. 

Any inquiries concerning the identity of the victim should be directed to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.

“Large Scale drug sweep results in Pickens County Drug Arrest”

08-19-2021

For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Drug Arrest

Over the last week, multiple Upstate Law Enforcement Agencies came together to execute a large scale drug sweep within Pickens County. The criminal drug charges resulted from a combination of undercover operations, and street level drug investigations by Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Community Action Team, and Pickens City Police Department. Several of these cases began with citizen complaints about drug activity in their community.

The primary warrant roundup began on 08-16-2021, when Officers with Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens City Police Department, Easley City Police Department, Clemson City Police Department, US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), set out to serve 76 drug related arrest warrants on 37 suspects.

The week long operation has seen additional suspects charged with drug crimes, bringing the total number of drug related suspects and warrants to 42 offenders and 94 arrest warrants.

As of 08-19-2021, a total of 39 suspects have been arrested or are in the custody of another law enforcement facility, with 85 warrants served or accounted for. Officers are continuing to pursue the remaining few suspects, and anticipate having them in custody very soon.  

Officers also arrested 7 non drug related suspects that were processed at Pickens County Detention Center during the course of this operation. Offenses range from Criminal Sexual Conduct to bench warrants.   

Sheriff Clark would like to thank all the above listed agencies and their officers that assisted in the service of these warrants and who worked together to construct these criminal cases. Cooperation within the law enforcement community is essential to protect our citizens, and this operation is another example of the excellent working relations many upstate agencies share.

All defendants are presumed innocent until they are proved guilty in a court of law.

Drug suspects by charging agency:

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office:

Anders, Makayla Louise:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st

Bruce, Alex Tyson:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd
  • Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance

Chastain, Jason Leroy:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd 
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd 
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd 

Cobb, Hannah Ann:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Possession of Methamphetamine 1st

Cole, Shana Carter:

  • PWID Methamphetamine

Collins, Jeffrey Lavern:

  • Trafficking Heroin 14-28 grams 1st
  • PWID Controlled Substance Schedule I-III 1st
  • PWID Controlled Substance Schedule I-IV 1st
  • PWID Marijuana 1st
  • Possession of a weapon during a violent crime

Davis, George Jameson:

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 10-28 grams1st

Fowler, John Cameron:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 3rd

George, Stanley Scott:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 3rd
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 3rd

Harris, Sherry Renee:

  • Possession of Methamphetamine 1st

Holcombe, Judith C:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd

Holcombe, Randall Claude:

  • PWID Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID Marijuana 1st

Hudson, Scarlett O’Harro:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st

Kelly, Israel Dale:

  • Distribution of Cocaine 3rd

Lay, Torrey Tremayne:

  • PWID Marijuana 1st

Lee, Carla Michele:

  • Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd

Lester, Marinda Kaye:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd

Looney, Jonathan David:

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 2nd 28-100 grams 

Maloyed, Jerry Wayne, Jr.:

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 1st 10-28 grams
  •  Possession of a firearm during a violent crime.      

Metz, Timothy Jacob:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd

Murray, John David:

  • PWID Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID Heroin 1st
  • Possession of Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID Marijuana 1st

Neely, Shayna Marie:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st

Nichols, Christopher Eugene:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 3rd

Owen, Kevin Mitchell:

  • Distribution of Marijuana 1st
  • Distribution of Marijuana 1st
  • PWID Marijuana

Patterson, Jessica Gale:

  • Failure to Stop for Blue Light
  • Driving Under Suspension
  • Possession of Methamphetamine 3rd 
  • Receiving Stolen Goods less than $2000

Pinyon, Joshua Luke:

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 28-100 grams 3rd
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 3rd

Rasberry, Sabrina Nicole:

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 28-100 grams 2nd
  • Exposing a Child to Methamphetamine 1st
  • Exposing a Child to Methamphetamine 1st
  • Unlawful Neglect of a child
  • Unlawful Neglect of a Child

Rochester, Sabrina Nicole:

  • PWID Heroin 2nd 
  • Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd 

Rogers, Zachary Todd:

  • Possession of Controlled Substance 1st
  • Possession of a Sawed off Shotgun

Sexton, Lauren Gene:

  • Distribution of Controlled Substance 1st

Seymore, Lacey Deanna:

  • Distribution of Heroin 1st 
  • Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance
  • Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance

Smith, Victoria Ann:

  • PWID Methamphetamine

Turner, Jennifer Lynn:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance

Thrift, Harrison David

  • Trafficking Heroin 4-14 grams 1st
  • PWID Heroin 1st
  • Possession of Controlled Substance 1st

Underwood, Amber Nicole:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd

Watson, George (Jamie):

  • Trafficking Methamphetamine 2nd 10-28 grams
  • Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd
  • Possession of Marijuana.

Pickens City Police Department:

Carver, Brandon Oneal:

  • Failure to Stop for Blue Light 2nd
  • Possession of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Driving Under Suspension 2nd
  • Operating a Uninsured Vehicle

Duckett, Tosh Matthew:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School

Franks, James Vincent:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School
  • Possession of Stolen Property

Gantt, Timothy Eric:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • Distribution of Heroin 1st
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a Park

Gillespie, Lee Ann:

  • Distribution of Methamphetamine
  • Distribution Of Methamphetamine
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School

Harper, Joseph Cody:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine 1st
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School

Thrift, David Harrison:

  • Distribution of Heroin 1st
  • PWID of Controlled Substance within Proximity of a School