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October 05, 2018 - 12:00 am


The Latest: Bond denied for suspect in officer's slaying

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Bond has been denied for the man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a South Carolina police officer.

WBTW-TV reports Judge Tommy Mourounas denied bond Friday for 74-year-old Frederick T. Hopkins Jr., who is accused of slaying Florence police Sgt. Terrence Carraway. Hopkins is also charged with six counts of attempted murder in the wounding of six other law enforcement officers Wednesday.

A reporter from the station describes Hopkins as needing help getting in and out of the courtroom and appearing dazed.

Mourounas asked Hopkins whether he understood where he was and Hopkins responded by saying, "No, where am I?" The judge then told him he was at a bond hearing.

The court made no decision on whether to appoint a lawyer for Hopkins, delaying that issue until his financial status can be verified.


DNA evidence from dead man solves 3 homicides, rape case

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say DNA evidence has identified the man who killed three people and raped a girl in the 1990s, even though the suspect killed himself nearly 20 years ago.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Friday that Robert Brashers of Paragould, Arkansas, killed Genevieve Zitricki of Greenville, South Carolina, in 1990, and Sherri Scherer and her 12-year-old daughter, Megan, in Portageville, Missouri, in 1998. Megan was sexually assaulted.

Brashers also raped a 14-year-old girl in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1997.

Brashers killed himself in 1999 as Kennett, Missouri, police sought to question him in a stolen license plate investigation.

DNA evidence gathered from Brashers' relatives prompted a court order to exhume his body on Sept. 27. Missouri investigators say DNA from the corpse confirmed Brashers committed each of the crimes.


South Carolina woman gets 20 years for baby's drug death

(Information from: The Herald,

YORK, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman who prosecutors say used drugs during her pregnancy has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after her baby died less than two hours after she gave birth in a toilet.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported 24-year-old Abigail Victoria Madden of Tega Cay pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse Thursday.

Prosecutors said her son, Connor, was born and died Feb. 1, 2017.

Prosecutor Willy Thompson said the boy died from blood loss from a torn umbilical cord and a "huge amount of drugs in his system."

Thompson said Madden and her son tested positive for morphine and several other drugs.

Public defender Phil Smith said Madden was a bright, kind person who became trapped in the "horrors of addiction."



Vehicle parts maker to expand South Carolina plant, add jobs

(Information from: The Post and Courier,

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A vehicle parts manufacturer says it plans to expand a plant in South Carolina and add 115 jobs to the site.

The Post and Courier reported Wednesday that Mahle Behr Charleston Inc. plans to add an assembly and manufacturing line to its Leeds Park site in North Charleston. The state Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded $250,000 to the county to help cover costs associated with the expansion. Hiring for the new positions is underway.

Mahle Behr is a company based in Germany that employs nearly 78,000 people worldwide. The newspaper says Mahle Behr one of the largest automotive industry suppliers. It makes products for industries including rail transport and mobile machinery. It also makes parts for air conditioners and radiators primarily used in commercial trucks.



Lawsuit: Special needs student assaulted, teachers negligent

(Information from: The Sun News,

SOCASTEE, S.C. (AP) — A lawsuit says a teenager suffered assault and negligence at her South Carolina school.

The Sun News reported Wednesday the suit was filed by a family identified only as John, Jane and Janie Doe against Horry County Schools. The student has an intellectual disability, vision impairment and is nonverbal.

The lawsuit says she started at Socastee High in 2015 and was in a special needs class. It says a male teacher hired an aide for her, but the family wasn't consulted, and that he said he disliked having female aides in his classroom.

The family also alleges the girl was secluded, had a bruise on her back, and had her shirt removed by the teacher as he changed her diaper.

Schools spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier says the district doesn't comment on pending litigation.



Lawsuit claims girl was sexually assaulted on school bus

EASLEY, S.C. (AP) — Parents in South Carolina who say their 7-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by another student on a school bus are now suing the school district, alleging administrators failed to help.

News outlets reported Wednesday the lawsuit was filed in federal court last month against the Pickens County School District. It claims that in 2016 a 7-year-old boy pulled down the girl's pants and attempted to perform a sex act as they rode on the bus to their elementary school.

Joshua Slavin, the family's attorney, says an administrator interrogated the girl alone and blamed her for the assault.

The defendants seek damages, attorney's fees and other costs.

District spokesman John Eby says the suit has been referred to its lawyers. He says employees are trained how to correctly respond to sexual assault reports.

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