Police blotter for April 13th-19th

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Allendale County man gets 35 years for murder 

An Allendale County man was convicted April 5 and sentenced to 35 years in prison for the 2015 shooting death of a romantic rival. 

The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before convicting Jaycoby Terreak Williams, 30, of murder in the May 26, 2015, slaying of James Spellman, who was 29 at the time of his death. Spellman was struck by a single gunshot while talking to a cousin outside of Allendale’s Pinewood Apartments, where his girlfriend lived. 

The shooting was “a crime of opportunity,” according to Brian Hollen of the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. 

“The defendant and victim had been involved with the same person and had some feuds previously. This was an ongoing fight,” Hollen said. “Despite the fact it was broad daylight and despite the fact there were multiple witnesses standing around, Williams walked up and, without saying a word, fired a single shot.” 

The bullet pierced Williams’ heart and lungs, Hollen said. 

Although the murder weapon was never recovered, a ballistics expert from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division said the bullet was likely fired from a 40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. 

Judge Perry Buckner III presided over the three-day trial and handed down the 35-year sentence. 

Williams’ criminal history includes a 2015 conviction for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Allendale, and three 2010 felony convictions in Florida on drug possession and distribution charges. 

Burton deputy fire chief rescues two kayakers

Tom Webb
Tom Webb

Burton Deputy Fire Chief Tom Webb rescued two kayakers in distress on April 8 from the Harbor River.

Just past 7 p.m., the Burton Fire District was alerted to four kayakers overturned in the water at the end of Harding Street in the Harbor River. Initial reports stated the kayakers couldn’t swim and were in distress. 

Burton firefighters arrived on scene and located two kayakers, a male and female, still in the water approximately 75 feet from the dock. Only the female was wearing a lifejacket. 

Burton Deputy Fire Chief Tom Webb, who responded from home, walked through the marsh and entered the water, swimming to the kayakers and keeping the male afloat while holding onto the female. 

Burton firefighters threw 100 feet of rescue rope from the dock to the deputy chief, who helped bring the two kayakers to shore. All four kayakers, two males and two females, were treated on scene but were not transported. Beaufort Marine Rescue also responded and assisted in recovering the two kayaks. 

Explorer Program seeks participants

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is seeks participants between 14 and 21 years of age for its Explorer Program. 

Program benefits include opportunities to ride along with patrol officers, education and hands-on training for those who may be interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. 

The Explorer Post meets bi-weekly from 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact Explorer Program Coordinator Kiera Morris at 843-255-3316.

Two men shot at ball field

At approximately 6:35 p.m. on April 9 a shooting incident occurred at the ball field near the Grays Hill Community Center off of Bruce K. Smalls Drive. 

Two men were wounded, one remained at the scene, while the other was driven to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital. 

The gunshot victim was transported to Beaufort Memorial by EMS. 

Further details were unavailable.

Call leads to recovery of shotgun, 3 arrests

Christopher Doville
Christopher Doville
Joshua Frazier
Joshua Frazier
George Williams III
George Williams III

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. on April 8, Beaufort Count Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the parking lot of the Hilton Head Gardens apartments off of Southwood Park Drive on Hilton Head Island to a report of a suspicious vehicle. 

When they arrived deputies located the vehicle, a Dodge Charger with three men inside. The deputies said they could smell marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle and saw a man in the back seat had a sawed-off shotgun on his lap and several shotgun shells next to him. All three subjects were called out of the vehicle and detained.

The sawed-off shotgun and shotgun shells were safely recovered by deputies, and following a K-9 sniff of the Charger, marijuana was found.

In addition, when deputies searched the subject from the back seat, Christopher Doville, of Ridgeland, they said they found marijuana in his pockets. A criminal history check on Doville revealed he was a convicted felon. 

He was charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and simple possession of marijuana. 

The other two men, Joshua Frazier, 28, of Savannah, and George Williams III, 26, of Ridgeland, were charged with simple possession of marijuana. 

Bluffton man arrested for indecent exposure

Robert Lessig
Robert Lessig

A man was arrested for indecent exposure, open container and littering after he was seen driving in Old Town Bluffton while exposing his genitals to bystanders, according to a police report.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 6, a call was made to police in reference to a man driving around Dubois Park in a white Chrysler Sebring convertible naked. 

An officer immediately responded to find Robert Lessig, 63, parked at the end of Lawrence Street next to the park. The officer also found beer bottles inside and outside the vehicle, a report states.

During questioning, Lessig gave conflicting statements on what he was doing there, police said. Based on Lessig’s and witness statements, Lessig was taken into custody and transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Anyone with additional information about this incident can call the Bluffton Police Department Investigations Division at 843-706-4560.

Seven fires occur within one afternoon

The Burton Fire District responded to seven fires on April 1, four of which were outdoor fires and three of which were possible building fires. 

Between 1130 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Burton Fire District responded to four outdoors fires resulting from residents not following the Beaufort County Outdoor Burn Ordinance or burning in an unsafe manner. Burton fire officials are urging citizens to read and comply with the county ordinance to avoid fines and other legal actions. 

No damages or injuries resulted from the illegal outdoor burning fires. 

The Burton Fire District also responded to three possible building fires.

The first fire was reported Capehart Circle when a gas cooking grill caught fire on a back porch next to the home. The resident was able to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher and remove the grill from the porch before firefighters arrived. No damages or injuries resulted. 

The second fire was reported just past 8:30 p.m. at the BI-LO shopping center in Port Royal. The small kitchen fire was extinguished by employees prior to arrival of firefighters. Beaufort and Parris Island Fire Department also responded to the scene. No damages or injuries resulted.

While firefighters assisted BI-LO employees another house fire was reported on Falls Road in the Shell Point area. Firefighters responded but found no fire at the residence.

Body found in pond at Burton Wells Park

The body of a man was found in Burton Wells Park pond on April 6.

At about 8 a.m., Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a dead person submerged in the pond.

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and Coroner’s Office responded and the body was removed.

The remains were later identified as Javonte Colleton, 22, of Burton. He was reported missing by family members at around 11 p.m. on April 7. They told investigators that he took a bus on the afternoon of April 7 to go to Burton Wells Park and had not returned to his Shanklin Road home as expected at 5 p.m.

A forensic autopsy was conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina, and no signs of trauma were found.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is encouraged to contact Cpl. Jennifer Snider 843-255-3421 or CrimeStoppers 1-888-CrimeSC to remain anonymous and for possible reward.