“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Continues to Investigate Fatal Shooting”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has continued to investigate the deadly shooting that occurred on Sunny Lane in Pickens during the evening hours on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Robin Janette Smith (39 yoa) was found deceased in the driveway of #110 Sunny Lane with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds.

Paul Scott Bennett (58 yoa) of #110 Sunny Lane is still detained in the Pickens County Detention Center after a Pickens County Magistrate denied bond earlier today on the two previously reported charges of Murder and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime.

The investigation is still on-going and detectives thus far have determined that the incident stemmed from a verbal confrontation that started earlier Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Bennett called authorities at approximately 4:30pm on Saturday and stated that he had been personally shot at by trespassers on his property.

Deputies arrived on the scene to investigate; however, Bennett recanted his story and stated that no one had been on his property and that he had heard gunshots in the distance by an unknown party.

Detectives do not believe that any other person fired any shots during the fatal encounter and the only weapon recovered at the scene was a .9mm handgun that detectives have reason to believe was brought to the encounter by Mr. Bennett.

Again, this case is still under investigation and no further information will be released at this time until additional interviews can be conducted and detectives have had time to complete the investigation.



“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Kidnapping of Pickens Resident Later Found in Oconee County “

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the alleged kidnapping of a woman from her residence on Holly Springs School Rd. that occurred at approximately 9:30am on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Pickens County was notified at approximately 12:30pm yesterday by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in reference to an abandoned Jeep Cherokee registered to a Pickens County resident. The vehicle was found on the roadside of Highway 183 near the Oconee Nuclear Station in Oconee County.

As Pickens County deputies were responding to the Pickens County residence to investigate, Oconee authorities advised that they had located the owner of the vehicle nearby after allegedly being forced from the vehicle by an unknown assailant and physically thrown into Lake Keowee.

A joint investigation between Oconee and Pickens County has determined that an unknown male wearing an orange colored mask allegedly abducted the female (66yoa) from her residence on Holly Springs School Rd. as she was attempting to enter her vehicle.

The unknown male forced the victim to drive him to various locations near the lake and at approximately 11:00am he made her stop the vehicle near the bridge on Hwy 183 and exit the vehicle. The suspect forced the victim to go with him down through a wooded area to the water’s edge where she was pushed into the lake.

A security officer from the Oconee Nuclear Station later observed the female in the water near the facility’s property and was able to provide her with assistance.

The victim did not sustain any serious injuries and the suspect has not been identified or located. The motive for the incident has yet to be determined.

The assailant is further described as being approximately 6’ tall with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a blue sweat shirt and black pants. His race is unknown at this time.

Anyone that may have any information regarding this incident is asked to call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Continues Investigation into the Murder of Man found Buried at Residence”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate the circumstances into the death of a man now identified by the Coroner’s Office as Brian Wayne Poole (41yoa) who is a 1st cousin to the shooter in this incident.

Early information regarding the victim indicates that he had been temporarily residing with his cousin, Timothy Poole, when the shooting occurred in February. The Sheriff’s Office is not making any comments regarding a motive other than to say that the shooting stemmed from a verbal dispute.

Detectives worked throughout the night conducting interviews and processing evidence as routine protocol that is followed in any homicide investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office feels confident at this stage into the investigation that all parties have been identified that are connected to this case and absent any new information do not foresee any additional arrests to be made.

From this point moving forward, the Sheriff’s Office will be requesting documents, forensic testing of evidence and completing any remaining interviews that need to be done in order to prepare the case for prosecution.

Sheriff Rick Clark stated…

“Our hearts and prayers remain with the family and friends. Violent encounters are never easy for any family especially when it involves the loss of life but incidents such as this unfortunately result in the loss of two family members as one may potentially face a life of incarceration.”

The Sheriff’s Office has no additional information to release at this time and will not be making any additional comments on this case in order to preserve and protect the integrity of the investigation until at which time it has been heard by a Judge and Jury.


“Discussions of New or Revised Animal Ordinances”

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This week, the Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from citizens throughout the county with questions, concerns and/or advice regarding the intent of the Sheriff’s Office to propose or endorse a “new” animal ordinance to be voted on by County Council.

Several citizens are under the assumption that this vote is scheduled to take place during the regularly, scheduled Council meeting in February. If you have been told or heard this information please beware that those rumors are false.

A vast amount of misinformation that has been disseminated in circles throughout our communities compels us to address these rumors so that we can perhaps ease any concerns that you may have.

The Sheriff’s Office has not drafted nor do we intend to endorse a “new” ordinance pertaining to animals at the next Council Meeting. Why?  Because no such “new” ordinance exists that we are aware of.

As most people know by now, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of state statutes and county ordinances that specifically govern the treatment and care of animals.

Sheriff Clark’s “Animal Enforcement Unit” was created in 2017 pursuant to an agreement between the Sheriff and Pickens County Council.

The transition of the enforcement component from the county’s previously known “Animal Control Unit” has been extremely successful due to the partnership between our elected Council, the county Administration and the Sheriff’s Office.

As stakeholders in the mission to ensure that our animal population is not neglected or abused, the Sheriff’s Office has been asked to engage in future discussions about any need to revisit existing ordinances that are relevant to our animal population.

Item 10 listed on the Council’s agenda for their February meeting is not a vote on a specific ordinance nor is it a public forum to address any item in a proposed ordinance because there has not been any new language created or submitted that we are aware of.

The agenda item is simply the recognized process to trigger the discussions before the appropriate committees so that Council can have visibility of an identified need, if any, that would require an update or revision to the existing ordinances.

The physical tethering of animals has been the topic of interest for local media outlets. This stems from actions and discussions in other municipalities and adjacent counties that have determined their need for such a provision; therefore, it is being assumed that Pickens County is staged to follow in those footsteps.

The Sheriff’s Office is very comfortable in saying to you that our conversations with our county Administration and members of Council reassures us that any change, revision or new ordinance regarding our animal population would only occur after this Council is confident that they have input from several stakeholders to include our citizens, our animal rights activists and law enforcement.

The Sheriff’s Office has no reason to believe that any decision made by Council regarding our animal population would ever be the result of a knee jerk reaction based on the trends of others.

Our limited conversations with Council thus far about our animals leads us to believe that any change in existing regulations would only be made after careful consideration based on the legitimate needs or desires that are unique to Pickens County.

Lastly, the Sheriff’s Office wants you to know that we share in your vision to ensure that our animal population is treated in a humane fashion void of abuse and neglect without the unnecessary infringement on individual rights.


Creed W. Hashe, Chief Deputy


“Fire at Pickens County Detention Center Contained with No Threat to Inmate Population “

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This morning, at approximately 8:55am, on-site personnel observed smoke near a room designated for laundry services located at the rear of the facility.

The Pickens City Fire Department was requested and responded with numerous other county responders at which time the fire was extinguished. The fire was contained to the laundry service area and never posed a threat to the inmate population.

No injuries were sustained during the brief incident. Reports of inmate evacuation are unfounded and at no time were any inmates removed from the facility.

Preliminary investigation by the fire service indicates that the fire was mechanical in nature and is believed to have started inside the drum of a dryer.

Estimated damages are unknown at this time but the utility machines used for washing and drying are expected to be replaced.

Routine damages to the area that are commonly seen in the course of fire suppression will also require further inspection and repair.

No further information is available at this time.


“Sheriff Rick Clark Holds News Conference”

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Sheriff Rick Clark hosted a news conference this morning for all media outlets regarding the culmination of an 8 ½ month, undercover drug operation from May of 2017 to this month.  A total of 37 charges are being brought against 13 individuals targeted as mid to upper level methamphetamine distributors. 

Sheriff Clark stated … 

“It is very important to emphasize to our communities that these subjects are not just “users” of illicit drugs but that they have been identified as being involved at a higher level in the structure that feeds the meth epidemic that unfortunately over time has taken a foothold in Pickens County.  These individuals are believed to be some of the primary providers of methamphetamine to our citizens that have been absorbed into a life of drugs”.

Media Release 1-19-2018 (Charges)

Brandi Nicole O'BryantBrandi Nicole O’Bryant

Jeremy Lee Farmer - ACSOJeremy-Lee-Farmer

Jonathan Michael PalmJonathan-Michael-Palm

Kenneth Clayton WaldropKenneth-Clayton-Waldrop

Kurtis Russell BurnsKurtis-Russell-Burns

Scott Allen DurhamScott-Allen-Durham

Sheila Elaine DurhamSheila-Elaine-Durham

Steven Kevin BrueningSteven-Kevin-Bruening

Tracy Renee ScivedgeTracy-Renee-Scivedge

Darrin Fitzgerald Rice – SCDC

Joshua Dalton Kelly – SCDC

William Lee Pressley – SCDC