Year in Review/Crime

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

Dorchester County law enforcement officials were kept busy throughout 2012. From the ridiculous to the sublime, the horrific and the senseless, officers in the law enforcement community dealt with a variety of situations over the year.
In real numbers, crime numbers appear to actually be dropping, according to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office crime reporting database.  There were three murders reported in Dorchester County in 2012, down from five in 2011. Likewise, the numbers of robberies, aggravated assaults, breaking and entering, larceny, and motor vehicle theft are showing downward trends.
Here are some of the more unusual situations that occurred throughout the year.

Three people were arrested for murder in connection with a drug deal gone bad.
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Enphaie Swarez, Ramera Stroman, and Dana Andrew Butler Jr. in connection with the Dec. 19 homicide of William Michael Cummings.  
The suspects allegedly arranged to buy marijuana from the victim. Swarez and Stroman allegedly met with the victim for the buy and Butler came out of the woods with a gun and began firing, killing Cummings.

On a more hopeful note, W8 2 Txt, a statewide campaign aimed at bringing awareness to the dangers of texting and driving to high school aged drivers and to get them to promise not to do this, kicked off at Summerville High School. The event included an appearance by Ashley (), who was badly injured in a car wreck due to her texting and driving. Students signed pledges not to text and drive and the high school in South Carolina with the highest percentage of students who sign the pledge received free lunches from Subway.
Leland Shannon Jr., 40, of Lincolnville, son of Lincolnville Town Council member Leland Shannon, was shot during a home invasion of his residence at 805 West Carolina Avenue in Lincolnville. James Reginald Rose was charged with murder, attempted murder, first-degree burglary, and possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime in connection with the shooting.

Someone broke into three churches in downtown Summerville. Emmanuel Baptist Church, Baum Temple AME Zion Church, and Brownsville Church of God, all reported break ins over the course of a weekend, with at least one large screen television and cash stolen.

Randall William Benton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for shooting his estranged wife, Treva Dawn Benton multiple times as they argued in a restaurant parking lot in Summerville in October 2010.
Witnesses reported that a man and a woman pulled into the parking lot of the Trolley Road Perkins Restaurant in a dark colored Chevrolet Trailblazer the evening of Oct. 30, 2010 and were arguing outside the vehicle when the man pulled out a gun and shot the woman multiple times.
By the time law enforcement arrived, the suspect was gone, leaving the victim’s body and at least eight spent bullet shell casings, a baseball cap, and a pair of glasses lenses – one with a bullet hole through it – near her vehicle.
Benton was arrested the next morning at a gas station in Lee County, Alabama located on a road named, ironically, Summerville Road.

A lone subject with a bandana over his face and a gun in his hand robbed a convenience store, but had to give up his ill-gotten gains when his victims chased him down a few minutes later.
According to DCSO officials, a white male subject with a bandana over his face and a gun in his hand robbed a Kangaroo Station and fled behind the store. Two employees and a customer, however, chased the suspect into the neighborhood behind the store. The suspect, who turned out to be a fifteen-year-old teen armed with a pellet gun, gave himself up to his pursuers and waited for deputies to arrive on the scene.

Former S.C. State Trooper Kurt Steffen pleaded guilty in federal court to drug charges for his part in a scheme to grow and distribute marijuana.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Steffen was part of a large scale indoor marijuana growing operation while employed as a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. 


Anthony Willis Jr., 18, of Summerville, was arrested and charged with a string of violent felonies, including armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent crime, possession of a firearm during a violent crime, and possession of a sawed off shotgun.
Willis, who had been arrested in May 2011 for the murder of 18-year-old Justin Jamal Smoot of Summerville, was out of jail on a $35,000 bond set by Judge R. Ferrell Cothran, Jr., during the time the crimes for which he has been charged were committed.
Willis was supposed to be wearing a home monitoring device on his ankle while out on bond.


One man was killed and his roommate wounded after an early morning home invasion
at a residence at 143 Brooks Loop in Summerville.
Daniel P. Robinson, 24 died from multiple gunshot wounds when unknown subjects kicked in a door and shot him and his roommate, a 55-year-old female. Robinson died at the scene and the roommate was transported to a local hospital.
Robinson’s mother, Linda Amiano, made an appeal to the community for help in finding her son’s killers. However, to date no arrests have been made.

A two-and-a-half month old baby was killed by a dog, a newly acquired family pet, while the hfather and a sibling were asleep in a nearby room.
Authorities responded to a 911 call at 151 Sampit Road in Ridgeville in reference to a child being attacked by a dog. According to authorities, the child, two and a half month old Aiden McGrew had been in a baby swing when at some point the dog, a recently acquired family pet, appears to have attacked the child, pulling him out of the swing and severely mauling and dismembering him.
The mother, Chantel N. McGrew had left the house with one of her children, leaving her husband, Quinten H. McGrew, at home with Aiden and a three-year-old child. At some point, Quinten McGrew apparently put Aiden into the swing in or near a bedroom, then got into the bed and fell asleep.
When Chantel McGrew arrived back home, she found Aiden out of the swing, horribly injured and called 911.


William Albert Brown, 49, a Dubose Middle School teacher was arrested for Assault 2nd Degree and Criminal Solicitation of a Minor after deputies received a call about a teacher making inappropriate comments to one of his 14-year-old female students. Investigators were called to the scene and uncovered additional information that the teacher touched the student inappropriately.

Three men broke into a home only to be chased out by the machete-wielding victim.
Andrew Patrick O’Neal, 18, of Folly Beach, and Deshawn Chaz Hawkins, 22, and Keenan Lourie, 20, both of Charleston were arrested on a number of charges in connection with an early morning burglary at a residence in Legend Oaks subdivision in Summerville.
The victim chased them out of his house with a machete, then got their license plate number and called 911.
Louis “Skip” ReVille, 32, was sentenced to 50 years in prison in connection with multiple acts of child molestation. A former teacher, coach, camp counselor, Bible study leader, and youth mentor , ReVille pleaded guilty to a number of charges related to his admitted sexual abuse of as many as 35 young male students across the Lowcountry, some of whom he met and abused while a teacher at Pinewood Preparatory School n Summerville.


Hali Jenkins, a Summerville native living in the greater Denver, Colorado area was on a date at a midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. About a half hour into the film, an armor clad figure entered the theater through an emergency exit, tossed two smoke bombs, then coldly and methodically opened fire on the people as they tried to flee the theater. Before it was over, a dozen people would be dead and 58 others wounded.


A 36-year-old woman found lying on a mattress, apparently having a seizure, at 3 a.m. was apparently the victim of a violent sexual assault by multiple men and women she said she knew but could not name. The woman, who apparently suffers from cerebral palsy, admitted to being high on cocaine as well as engaging in several consensual acts, but by the time she was found she had been repeatedly assaulted and was covered in dirt and bruises. No witnesses or suspects were ever identified.


James Randall Carpenter, 34, address unknown, was arrested and charged with murder after officers responding to call at the Shell Station on North Main Street and Holiday Drive in Summerville found the body of 21-year-old Jasmine Marrone of the Nashville, Tennessee area covered by blankets in the back seat of the car Carpenter was driving. The car was registered to Marrone.  


John Elliott Hancock, 36, was shot to death outside his home in the Robynwyn neighborhood in Summerville. Witnesses reported seeing a midsized four-door sedan leaving the area. The shooting was the catalyst for a community forum that was held for the purpose of addressing crime prevention and stopping violent crime.


Vincent O’Neal Howard, 49, of Summerville, a SC Dept. of Probations, Pardons, and Paroles agent was arrested for allegedly soliciting a bribe.
According to an arrest warrant, Howard willingly solicited a client/offender under his direct supervision for a specific amount of cash currency in exchange for the offender’s early release from the supervision of SCPPP.
The transaction was conducted as part of an undercover operation supervised by SLED, according to the warrant.

A man wanted for armed robberies of three area pharmacies was captured in Myrtle Beach. Taylor M. Watkins, 24, of Charleston was identified as the suspect in the robberies, two of which occurred about three hours apart on Nov. 4 and one that occurred in March.

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