Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Deadly Shooting Incident at Pickens Residence (Death Investigation).

07/23/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Chuckj@co.pickens.sc.us

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Deadly Shooting Incident at Pickens Residence (Death Investigation). 

At approximately 12:38 AM on July 23rd, 2022, deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance at 270 Allgood Bridge Road in Pickens, South Carolina. As deputies were responding to the residence, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Communications informed deputies of an active altercation within the home and the sound of a possible gunshot.

Upon arriving at the residence, an adult male subject exited the home and approached deputies. The subject complied with deputies’ commands and was immediately placed into investigative detention. Deputies then entered the house and observed an adult male victim lying unresponsive within the residence; the victim appeared to have suffered an apparent gunshot wound and died at the scene. One adult male subject was transported to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for additional questioning by detectives.

The preliminary investigation suggests that the two parties were engaged in a physical altercation when one of the subjects discharged a firearm, ultimately killing the other subject.

No arrests have been made due to our obligation to investigate self-defense claims, as is alleged in this case. The investigation remains ongoing while detectives continue to collect, analyze, and compare evidence against statements provided by witnesses. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available.

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

The information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed.  

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Pickens County Coroner Identifies Body of Missing Man

07/08/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Chuckj@co.pickens.sc.us

Pickens County Coroner Identifies Body of Missing Man

At approximately 9:15 P.M. on July 7th, 2022, deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office located the body of what appeared to be an adult male in the 3100 block of Pumpkintown Highway. Pickens, SC. 29671. The body was suspected to be that of Francis Alward, who went missing on June 29th, 2022.  

On July 8th, 2022, The Pickens County Coroner’s Office positively identified the body as Francis Alward. No foul play is suspected.  

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank first responders from all over the Upstate and Foothills Search and Rescue members, who have worked tirelessly to locate Mr. Alward.

In addition, we greatly appreciate the public outreach for support in the search for Mr. Alward.

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Body Found in 3100 Block of Pumpkintown Hwy. Pickens, South Carolina

07/08/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Chuckj@co.pickens.sc.us

Body Found in 3100 Block of Pumpkintown Hwy. Pickens, South Carolina

At approximately 9:15 PM on July 7th, 2022, while investigating a report of an unusual odor, deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office located the body of what appears to be an adult male in the 3100 block of Pumpkintown Hwy, roughly 8/10 of a mile from the home of Francis Alward, who went missing on June 29th, 2022.

At 8:38 PM on July 7th, 2022, attendees of a wedding party at the location notified the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office of an unusual odor in the area.   Deputies responded to the residence and searched a large wooded site behind the home, where they discovered the body of an adult male. The body was found along a creek bed in the woods, several hundred yards behind the occupied short-term rental home.

The Pickens County Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene and is working with investigators to identify the body. When an identification is made, that information will be provided by the Pickens County Coroner’s Office. 

No additional information is available at this time

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Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Conducting Investigation into Shooting Incident

07/07/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Chuckj@co.pickens.sc.us

A 31-year-old man has been charged with Voluntary Manslaughter and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime following an investigation into the July 2nd, 2022, shooting on Green Meadow Lane in Easley, South Carolina.

On July 2nd, Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to 109 Green Meadow Lane regarding a shooting incident. Upon arrival, deputies located a 49-year-old male with two gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen. The victim was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead. While on the scene, deputies located Cordarrell Tashawn Gray, who was identified as the assailant. As a result of the investigation, Gray was charged with Voluntary Manslaughter and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. Gray is currently being held at the Greenville County Detention Center on unrelated charges.   

Charges:

Voluntary Manslaughter (2022A3910100704)

Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime (2022A3910100705)

“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Conducting Investigation into Shooting Incident”

07/02/2022

For Immediate Release

Chuck James, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Chuckj@co.pickens.sc.us

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Conducting Investigation into Shooting Incident

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting incident on Green Meadow Lane in Easley, South Carolina.  At approximately 4:48 PM today, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a shooting resulting in an adult male being injured.

Upon arrival, deputies located the adult male lying in the roadway of Green Meadow Lane with an apparent gunshot wound to the torso.  The injured party was transported to the Greenville Hospital System for treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries. 

During the investigation, Detectives have located numerous witnesses and are in the process of interviewing those witnesses.  An adult male, who was present during the incident, was detained and brought to the Sheriff’s Office for additional questioning by Detectives.  All parties have been identified and are cooperating with the investigation.  At the time, this event remains an active investigation and no arrests have been made.

Additional information will be forwarded as it becomes available

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“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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