Walhalla, SC --  Taylor Louise Bright appeared before the Honorable Scott Sprouse today in Oconee County pleading guilty in the death of her husband, John Taylor Bright in Seneca, SC in January of this year. The defendant, represented by Larry Brandt, pled guilty to Reckless Homicide and Unlawful Neglect of a Child. The State was represented by Asst. Solicitor Brian Livingston.  Judge Sprouse sentenced the Defendant to 10 years in prison for Reckless Homicide.  He also imposed a consecutive sentence of 10 years suspended on the service of 2 years and 5 years probation for Unlawful Neglect of a Child. 

On January 18, 2018, following a disagreement, Taylor Bright hit her husband with a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck and dragged him approximately 1600 feet under the truck through the streets of Seneca. Mr. Bright died as a result of chest and abdominal trauma. Although there had been one report of a domestic problem in 2016 which was determined to be unfounded, there had been no other calls to law enforcement regarding domestic matters between the Brights.  The Defendant and victim’s 4 year old daughter was in the truck during the incident.  Toxicology reports indicated Taylor Bright, who was pregnant at the time, was legally intoxicated and she also admitted using marijuana.

Solicitor David Wagner stated after the plea, “I applaud the outstanding work of the Seneca Police Department that helped secure a guilty plea in this case.  This case is a senseless tragedy that has forever impacted the lives of two families.  Taylor Bright’s toxic combination of anger, alcohol and motor vehicles has left two children to grow up without either parent.”

John David Cowan, Jr.Anderson, SC -- Earlier today in the Court of General Sessions in Anderson County, the Honorable Cordell Maddox, Jr. sentenced John David Cowans, Jr., to 17 years provided upon the service of 11 years, with the balance suspended to 5 years’ probation for Entering a Bank with Intent to Steal, more commonly known as Bank Robbery. 

On January 10, 2018, Cowans entered the TD Bank at 2808 S. Main Street in Anderson where he told the cashier he was robbing the bank and demanded bills in $100 dollar denominations.  Although it was later discovered that the defendant was unarmed, he got away with $1600 in cash.  The entire incident was captured on video surveillance, and Mr. Cowans later confessed after turning himself in to the Authorities. 

“The Tenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office has secured multiple convictions this week in both Anderson and Oconee Counties for Armed Robberies and Attempted Armed Robberies, but Bank Robbery is covered under its own separate statute under South Carolina Law”, said Solicitor David Wagner following Mr. Cowans’ sentencing.  “Sentences like this one will act as deterrents which will protect the business owners, banks, and citizens of Anderson and Oconee counties.”

Anderson, SC --  Earlier today in Anderson County General Sessions Court the Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced Jonathan Lewis to 15 years in jail with no parole for the charge of Armed Robbery. 

Just before 2 am, on June 5, 2017, while armed with a handgun, Mr. Lewis entered the Waffle House located at 103 Assembly Drive in Piedmont. He pointed his gun at several workers and a customer and demanded money from the register. He then reached over the counter and grabbed $700 from the register. He ran out of the restaurant and fired a shot as he did so. Mr. Lewis' face and the gun he wielded, and the car he drove as he left the scene were captured clearly on surveillance videos of the incident. This allowed law enforcement to identify Mr. Lewis and led to his arrest. 

Solicitor David Wagner said this about today's sentence: "Would-be robbers would do well to remember that technology, such as the surveillance cameras in this case, allow us to identify criminals much more easily than we could in the past. I hope that will cause individuals who might consider committing offenses such as this one to think long and hard before they make a mistake that costs them 15 years in jail, as it did Jonathan Lewis."

Walhalla, SC – The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Bobby Joe Shead of Seneca to 15 years with no parole after a guilty plea to Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2nd Offense. The State was represented by Deputy Solicitor Lindsey Simmons.

 

Shead was arrested during a roundup of drug offenders in an effort to curb the methamphetamine epidemic in Oconee County.  The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, using a confidential informant, initiated a controlled narcotics purchase from Shead in November of 2017. Lab tests confirmed the substance which was sold by Shead to be methamphetamine.

 

“Bobby Joe Shead’s sentence is a warning to meth dealers in Oconee County. You will be caught and prosecuted. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office does a great job of identifying the dealers and gathering the evidence necessary to convict them. We will continue to prosecute these dealers to get them off the streets of Oconee County,” stated Solicitor David Wagner.