January 24, 2008

More Shame For SC!

1. Man admits guilt to criminal domestic violence incident at Anderson apartment

— Anderson Municipal Court Judge Ken Mattison said he would wait before deciding if a payment plan is in order for a 21-year-old Anderson man after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminal domestic violence.

Daniel Collins Dove was ordered to pay a fine of $2,125 or spend 30 days in the Anderson City Jail for his role in a 4:30 p.m. dispute Monday on McConnell Springs Road.

According to the incident report, Mr. Dove struck Amanda Holbrooks, 20, of Central in her face after the couple argued over their child.

According to testimony by Anderson City Police and Ms. Holbrooks, she was dropping off the couple’s 35-month-old son for court-ordered visitation at McConnell Springs Road when Mr. Dove struck her face and hit her vehicle’s window.

Mr. Dove testified that he has “been going through a hard time,” including having to pay child support, switching to a daytime shift at work, coping with prescription medicine and problems from being “mentally stressed out.”

“I just want to work and provide for our son,” he said.

Judge Mattison ordered Mr. Dove to enroll in and complete anger management counseling. But an option for a payment plan would be deferred until Ms. Holbrooks obtains an order of protection, Judge Mattison said.

On Oct. 31, police arrested Mr. Dove at the same location after he reportedly chased his mother, grabbing her by the throat and choking her, according to another incident report.

While Kim Mize, 48, spoke to a 911 operator, Mr. Dove was heard telling his mother that “he was going to cut her throat from ear to ear and that he was going to bash her skull in,” according to the incident report.

2. Shotgun fired during domestic dispute in Starr

— A Starr man was arrested about 11 p.m. Saturday after a domestic dispute left a hole from a shotgun blast in the couple’s bed.

Scottie Bryant, 32, was charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, according to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the report, deputies responding to Wesley Court found adults carrying children out of the home.

Once inside, deputies confronted Mr. Bryant, who allegedly was in a dispute with his wife, Laura Bryant, 30.

Mr. Bryant told deputies that a double-barrel .12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged when a male neighbor tried to keep Mr. Bryant in the bedroom and away from his wife, according to the report.

3. Homicide inside the home

The Post and Courier
Monday, September 24, 2007

'06 slayings spotlight S.C. domestic violence

How to get help

If you or someone you know is being abused and wants help, call one of the following:

--My Sister's House: 744-3242 or 800-273-4673.

--S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-260-9293.

--National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233.

The victims

In 2005, South Carolina ranked seventh in the United States for the rate of women killed by men.

--43 women were killed by men.

--22 victims were black, and 21 victims were white.

--38 knew their suspected killers.

--30 were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of the offenders.

--21 women were shot to death; 17 of those were killed with handguns.

--Nine women were slain with knives.

--Five women were killed by bodily force.

--One woman was killed with a blunt object.

With the first anniversary of his family's slaying approaching, Christan Rainey plans to spend some quiet time alone in his Baton Rouge, La., apartment.

On Sept. 30, 2006, his immediate family was gunned down in a North Charleston mobile home. In a sweeping act of violence, Rainey lost his mother, Detra Rainey, and four siblings.

Michael Anthony Simmons, Detra Rainey's husband of one year, awaits trial, charged with five counts of murder.

An overwhelming majority of women slain by men in South Carolina know their killers, according to the latest report from the Violence Policy Center. The

Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group analyzed 2005 homicide figures and found that all but five of the 43 women slain in South Carolina knew their killers. Thirty were wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of the assailants.

Nationally, black women were killed at a rate nearly three times higher than white women in 2005, according to the study. In South Carolina, 22 of the women killed by men were black, and 21 were white.

Nearly a year has passed since Christan Rainey received the terrible news, and he still struggles to make sense of it.

"You can look at everything from a religious aspect — that everything happened for a reason — but you're still forced to live with it," Rainey said.

"I wish I could have stayed home. Things would have been different," he said. "Michael never tried to disrespect my mom around me. I would not tolerate that."

The state moved down to No. 7 in the U.S. for its rate of women killed by men in 2005, with 1.97 deaths per 100,000 people. South Carolina ranked sixth for three years after it held the ignominious first place spot in 2001.

Vicki Bourus, executive director of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said, "We're praying this downward trend continues. It's certainly hopeful."

Bourus attributes the drop to a series of policy and legislative changes. A 2005 criminal domestic violence bill increased fines and sentences. Second offenses moved from the magistrate level to general sessions court, and third offenses became felonies with a minimum one-year sentence, up from a misdemeanor charge and minimum 90-day sentence.

Domestic violence courts are opening up across the state. These courts, which are led by judges more educated in domestic violence issues, lead to fewer dropped cases, better referrals to shelters and treatment for the batterers, Bourus said.

Also, state Attorney General Henry McMaster worked with the General Assembly to fund criminal domestic violence prosecutors. As this force takes shape in 2007, a team of established pro bono attorneys are helping prosecute cases at the first-offense magistrate level.

"Ranking No. 7 in the nation in something so hideous, as domestic violence is a terrible shame for South Carolina," said Mark Plowden, spokesman for McMaster.

Criminal domestic violence is the worst criminal problem facing the state, Plowden said. "Moving down a spot from No. 6 is encouraging, but more a glaring reminder that much, much more work must be done in this state," he said.

McMaster is expected to release 2006 figures on male and female victims killed by domestic violence at the 10th annual Silent Witness ceremony Oct. 1 in Columbia. Those numbers will be used by the Violence Policy Center for its next study.

Rainey, who is majoring in computer science at Southern University, works 40 hours a week at a Wal-Mart tire and lube service department to pay for his education.

"I wanted to come home, but I'm in school, and it's hard to come home," he said by phone from Baton Rouge.

When people gather at the steps of the Statehouse in Columbia to honor those killed by domestic violence last year, Rainey will hold a lone vigil in Louisiana.

With his compass gone, he doesn't know where home is. "I don't know where I'm happier at. I love being in Charleston ... but it's hard being there because you know something's missing."

4. S.C. domestic violence deaths soar

Associated Press
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

COLUMBIA — The number of domestic violence deaths in South Carolina in 2006 was nearly double compared with the previous year.

The 50 victims were being remembered in an annual ceremony at the Statehouse. Family members and friends held up life-sized silhouettes that represent each victim.

One silhouette also was held up to represent unknown or unreported victims of domestic violence.

Officials say the 10 men and 40 women killed by their partners in 2005 is up from 32 domestic violence deaths in 2005.

A national study released last week ranked South Carolina as seventh in the nation based on population in the number of women killed by men during 2005.

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