The State from Columbia, South Carolina on November 1, 1989 · 14
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The State from Columbia, South Carolina · 14

Columbia, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Wednesday, November 1, 1989
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2-B The State Columbia SC Wednesday Nov 1 1989 - — h yjiB°5gp°£L Mall settles suit over teen’s death in chase Attorneys say decision not admission of guilt By WARREN BOLTON Staff Wrftar ‘Assault convict commits suicide in Richland jail An assault convict was found hanging in his cell at Central Correctional Institution Tuesday Melvin Kearse 30 was found hanging from a bedsheet tied to a ceiling pipe state Department of Corrections spokesman Francis X Archibald said A corrections officer making a routine check found Kearse about 12:15 am Richland County Coroner Frank Barron said an autopsy indicated the death was a suicide Kearse was serving the seventh ' year of a 25-year sentence for assault and battery with intent to kill and arson in Bamberg County He would r have been eligible for parole in 1991 Columbia mayor honored for distinguished services Columbia Mayor T Patton Adams ' Received the Award for Distinguished Service Monday during the awards luncheon of the Association of the US Army ! Adams is the third South Carolinian to receive the award Sen Strom Thurmond and J Willis Cantey are previous recipients from South Carolina The association honored Adams for his “selfless service to his city and nation” Also he was recognized as being the prime mover in establishing a memorial park to honor the nation’s service members The Vietnam Memorial was erected to honor the sol- diers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War I Adams mayor of Columbia since 1986 has served as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army since May 986 and a corporate member of the fssociation He has served as director ef the Columbia Development Corp and a member of the Central Midlands Regional Planning Commission f High school students get fchance to win free trip I South Carolina high school students will have a shot at winning an all-expense paid trip to the International Science Symposium in London by submitting reports on scientific or mathematical topics to the SC Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Sponsored by the US Army Research Office and the University of South Carolina the symposium will be held Monday and Tuesday at USC Five winners will be selected from the competition to present their papers during the symposium and receive an all-expense paid trip to the national competition May 17-20 at the University of Alabama The conference is one of 46 high fchool symposiums nationwide promoting study in natural sciences and mathematics at the high school level t P fcPA to hold talk at park on Bluff Road waste site Environmental Protection Agency officials and a team of environmental specialists will be available at Hopkins Park from 6 to 8 pm Thursday to answer questions on the the status of the Bluff Road hazardous waste site The informal session is to allow residents to question officials about the results of a remedial investigation and efforts to clean up groundwater and soil contaminants at the site Documents and diagrams relating to the site will be on display Public concern about high-speed chases swayed Woodhill Mall attorneys to settle a lawsuit over the 1987 death of a teenager But they say the move is not an admission of guilt The undisclosed settlement was reached Thursday several hours into jury deliberation Family members were seeking damages in the death of Susan Redd 16 who was killed when a shoplifter’s car collided with hers on Gamers Ferry Road as he was being chased by a mall security guard The decision to settle was made a week after an 86-year-old woman who was standing in her yard in Horry County was killed when a highway patrolman lost control of his car The trooper was chasing a speeder around a curve when his car flipped into a ditch in front of the elderly woman's home pinning her body under the vehicle “This was an emotionally charged circumstance with very high sympathetic value The general public is up in arms about high-speed chases" mall attorney Edwin Martin said “What you have is strong public sentiment against high-speed chases coupled with the death of a very beautiful young woman” Martin said of Ms Redd’s death The recent death of the Horry County woman added to the public upheaval he said Martin said Woodhill Mall officials felt the case warranted a compromise settlement But they agreed “without any admission of liability” on the mall’s part he said “It was our position then and now that we presented very clear and convincing evidence that that was not a high-speed chase on Garners Ferry Road” Martin said The security guard “exercised good judgment of breaking off pursuit before be got on to public property” he said In June 1988 Jerry Wheeles stepfather of Ms Redd and administrator of her estate filed suit seeking 5 million in damages for the death of his daughter The accident occurred May 15 1987 after Joseph Benson had shoplifted three cordless telephones from Gold Circle and was being chased by a mall security guard Benson was convicted in November of reckless homicide and shoplifting and was sentenced to seven years in prison Jo JackaonDw State Lexington County firefighters hose down tankers that collided on 1-26 near US 21 near Gaston Two tanker trucks collide on 1-26 igniting fire Two tanker trucks collided on Interstate 26 in Lexington County Tuesday night rupturing a diesel tank and igniting a fire authorities said The accident occurred about 10 pm in the westbound lane near UiL 21 at Gaston when the tanker of the first rig became detached and the second truck rammed it from behind Trooper Steve Smith of the Highway Patrol said The impact ruptured the diesel tank on the second tanka' igniting a fire and spilling fuel on the roadway Smith said The fire was quickly extinguished but traffic was snarled fa about a mile as about 25 firefighters from the Gaston Sandy Run and Oak Grove fire departments spread foam on the road The two trucks owned by Santee Carriers of Holly Hill were loaded with powdered concrete when the accident occurred near -the 119-mile marker Smith said The rig became detached because a pin on the first tanka was not locked into place he said Smith said the second truck was traveling about 60 mph when the col lision occurred Its driver Jay B Vinson 51 of Calera Ala suffered a bruised shoulder he said The driver of the other truck Donald McDaniel 40 of Lake View was not injured No charges have been filed he said — STEVE SMITH SC cultural life shaken badly by Hugo By JEFFREY DAY Steft Writer The committee responsible fa keeping tabs on cultural life in South Carolina has gotten an update on Hugo’s harmful effects on the arts and the news isn’t good At a meeting Monday of the Joint Legislative Committee on Cultural Affairs sevaal organizations outlined what they’ve been able to learn about the storm’s long-and short-term effects on cultural groups ' One of the most extensive reports came from the SC Department of Archives and History which has done extensive research on historic buildings that were damaged “The immediate news after the storm gave us real pause about what we would find in Charleston and otha places” the department directa Geage Vogt said Some of the most severe damage was outside the Charleston area Vogt said in Berkeley County and the towns of Sumter and McClellanville Sevaal of the buildings most badly damaged were in poa condition already and many were not insured he added The agency estimates that 25 buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places were destroyed Among the destroyed structures was a stable at Mid-dleburg The house there which dates from 1699 and may be the oldest frame house in the state was also damaged Three Charleston warehouses on Hayne Street built around 1855 were destroyed The Ropa Hospital in Charleston suffered extensive damage and will be demolished A rice barn on the Exchange Plantation in Geage- “The money is just not coming in at all” — Suzette Surkamer SC Arts Commission town was destroyed as were sevaal cottages in the Summerville historic district Markers in old cemeteries around the state were also damaged by fallen trees The Department of Archives and History has awarded about 3100000 in repair grants to about 45 sites Most of the money is being used to construct temporary roofs The emergency fund from which that money was drawn may be replaced by the National Park Service Vogt said There also were these updates: Isabel Hill director of the SC Film Office said the state lost three maja movie projects because of the storm The projects would have tonight about $6 million to South Carolina A survey showed that of 62 arts agencies contacted in the disaster areas 49 had suffered damage to their facilities said Suzette Surkama deputy director of the SC Arts Commission Worse than the physical damage has been the cancellation of performances and that will result in lost revenues Ms Surkama said Sevaal groups also dropped planned funding drives “The money is just not coning in at all” she said Ms Surkama said the commission has applied fa a 1100000 grant from the National Endowment fa the Arts to be distributed to groups around the state George Vogt Wheeles’ attorneys David Feda and David Massey claimed in the lawsuit that the mall security guard “recklessly raced through the parking lot at Woodhill Mall ran stop signs and entered Garners Ferry Road at a high rate of speed” The jury in the Redd case had deliberated fa four hours before the two sides in the case reached a settlement Feda said A condition of the case was that “the amount could not be revealed” he said Feda said Monday this is the last that will be heard of the Redd case but that it won’t be the last word on high-speed chases through busy streets “I wish I could say this was the last of hot pursuit I don’t know why in the wald they don’t stop this hot pursuit” Neither Wheeles na otha family members could be reached fa comment Fairfield officers are sued Father claims wrongful death in son’s shooting By DAVE MONIZ Stefl Writer The fatha of Samuel Owens whose death at the hands of Fairfield County sheriffs deputies brought protests from county blacks has filed a wrongful death suit in federal court The suit filed by Henry Owens in US District Court in Columbia on Monday names five Sheriffs Department employees as defendants Named are investigator Keith Lewis investigator James E Kitchens supervisa Robert El Ashford Lt James McConnell and Sheriff Leroy L “Bubba” Montgomery Owens 25 was shot by Lewis on Jan 5 in Winnsboo as he rushed the officer while holding an ax A chronic gasoline sniffer the younger Owens had been arrested at least eight times and had been treated by the state Department of Mental Health “40 to 50 times” according to his motha The family had called the Sheriffs Department the night of his death as Owens acted wildly after climbing a tree near his home He reportedly was high on gasoline fumes As police attempted to coax him from the tree Owens reportedly rushed them He was shot twice and died as relatives and neighbors looked on Relatives contended police acted impulsively in shooting him then handcuffed him and dragged him to an ambulance as he bled to death Owens’ death prompted protest marches and calls fa an investigation and the State Law Ehiforcement Division later released a repot that found no wrongdoing in the Sheriffs Department’s handling of the situation William Gary White III one of three attorneys representing Henry Owens said Tuesday that authorities erred by not contacting local mental health officials before Owens was shot “Tim Sheriffs Department avoided contacting the mental health people" White said “They knew a confrontation was likely and when the confrontation came they shot him” he said “We think the offica just panicked You can be wrong without being a criminal” he said The lawsuit lists several charges against the defendants including false arrest conspiracy negligence and a violation of Owens’ civil rights The lawsuit also says the defendants demonstrated a past pattern of such behavia “We suspect that at this point in time We have to get into the discovery phase to support that allegation” White said "The chief problem we found is it appears the mental health center was open that night There isn’t in Fair-field County a developed policy of how to deal with people who are mentally ill" Investigators enlist media in missing girl search By STEVE SMITH 8teH Writer ' Lexington sheriffs investigators and the family of Jessica Gutierrez are turning to a reward fund and a media blitz in hopes of developing information on the missing girl’s whereabouts The Adam Walsh Child Resource Center and ' the SC Victim Assistance Program announced Tuesday that they have established a reward fund called “Bring Jessie Home” fa information on the girl’s whereabouts The girl who will be 8 on Dec 3 was taken June 5 1986 from her bed in a mobile home in the Edmund community of Lexington County ' Shaie Carney the program's executive director said the reward fund began at $2500 but pledges were coming in from “sevaal generous corpaations” and individuals throughout the day Tuesday A total had not been determined late Tuesday afternoon she said Donations to the fund may be made by checks through Margaret El Collins executive director of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center 1632 Hampton St Suite 201 Columbia SC 29201 The checks should include Jessica’s name Television and radio spots about the case also will be aired The public service announcements were produced by John Walsh founda of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center the non-profit aganization named fa Walsh's son Adam Walsh was kidnapped and murdered in Florida in 1981 Also Sheriff James Metts said the television show “Unsolved Mysteries” has expressed interest in the Gutierrez disappearance but producers have not planned to re-enact ha kidnapping fa a program Metts also is trying to whet the appetite of otha TV shows similar to “Unsolved Mysteries” which recreates crimes in hopes viewers will call in with tips The shows have been credited with leading to the capture of several fugitives Metts said investigators have a suspect in the case but not enough information to make an arrest He refused to name the suspect “I am confident that if we can get the right information we can bring charges” he said Metts refused to talk about what evidence investigators have found so far but said the media campaign and reward fund are not “last resorts” “Nothing is ova until it's ova and this isn't over” he said In June howeva Jessica’s motha Debra Gutierrez Gamsey said a family friend may have kidnapped Jessica She said she found fibers in an abandoned car that were linked to ha daughter The car had been connected to a 27-year-old friend from West Columbia who was in a North Carolina prison on a rape conviction she said In 1987 he told a fellow inmate that he had kidnapped a girl in Lexington County and would tell all he knew if he were granted immunity The request was denied Mrs Garnsey said Mrs Garnsey who has moved to Walterboro said Tuesday she believes ha daughter is alive She has begun writing a book in the ordeal in hopes of raising money fa the reward fund “Halloween is supposed to be a fun time fa children but I am afraid that Jessie is scared fa real” Mrs Garnsey said Jessica has dark brown hair and brown eyes Sfte also has a small scar on top of ha forehead and a small brown birthmark on ha left buttock Three charged with ghooting teenagers in club parking lot Two suspects in the shooting of three Columbia teenagers turned themselves in to police Tuesday and a juvenile also was charged in the case authorities said Tanakya L Bell 17 of 412 W Miriam Ave Aaron W “Pep" Jones 18 of 1101 Marlboro St and a juvenile have been charged with three counts of assault and battery with intent to kilL They were being held in the Richland County Detention Center city annex pending bond hearings The victims were walking in the parking lot of the New Image Club at 925 Huga St about 1:30 am Saturday when a Chevrolet Blaza with sevaal men pulled up Gunshots from the vehicle struck the three teens Kim Eley 17 of Cambridge Station Apartments was shot in the back and buttocks Christopher Diamond 18 of 2122 Apple Valley Drive was shot in the left leg and Kevin Goodwin 17 of 225 Brook-green Drive was shot in the right leg Diamond and Goodwin were treated at Richland Memorial Hospital and released Miss Eley ' was in good condition a hospital spokeswoman said — STEVE SMITH r

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