In Anderson General Sessions Court today, thirty-four year old Kwan Raylee Fowler pled guilty but mentally ill to a charge of Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature. The Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced the defendant to 20 years suspended to 15 years in prison with 5 years’ probation to follow. The State was represented by Sr. Assistant Solicitor Kristin Reeves. 

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a domestic dispute call on April 25, 2016 to an address on Pocalla Way in Anderson, where they found the victim, the girlfriend of the defendant, with several large burns to her neck, hair and multiple areas of her body. The victim told officers that she had been assaulted at her home which was about a block away and ran to this address for safety and to call for help. After arguing for several hours, Fowler grabbed a lighter and lighter fluid which he sprayed on the victim and set her on fire in front of two of her children. Ms. Smith was able to escape to the children’s bedroom, where she climbed out of the window and fled to her mother’s home for help.  The victim’s four children remained locked in two bedrooms. As she ran away, Ms. Smith looked back and saw Fowler drive away. He was later arrested at St. Francis Hospital, although he stated he did not know how or why he was there. Ms. Smith was transferred from AnMed Medical Center to the Augusta Burn Center. 

Solicitor David Wagner stated, “Kwan Fowler is a serious danger to the community. Ms. Smith and her family will be safer with him in prison for the next 15 years. Although she continues to receive treatment, the pain and scarring are a lasting reminder to her of the devastating effects of domestic violence. Our community must become involved in helping to prevent and reduce the incidences of domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, reach out for help. Counseling, shelters and other services are available to those who ask. One organization that offers help is Safe Harbor which can be reached by calling 1-800-291-2139.”

Mandy Butts appeared in Oconee General Sessions Court today for sentencing on a Financial Identity Fraud charge, which she pled guilty to on April 27, 2017. The State requested the maximum sentence due to the defendant’s prior record. Judge Scott Sprouse sentenced Butts to the maximum, 10 years. 

In April of 2016, a business owner in Seneca contacted Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and advised them that between October 27, 2015 and March 29, 2016 someone had used his business account to pay bills which were not his or the company’s. Sergeants Justin Ward and Mandy Tinsley investigated the case which led to the identification of the defendant, Mandy Butts. When confronted with the allegations, Butts confessed to the offenses. 

"Mandy Butts is a financial predator and the reason maximum sentences exist.  This ten year sentence ensures the citizens of Oconee County will be safe from her financial exploitation for the longest term possible."

 

ANDERSON, SC - Anderson County jurors found Justin Jamal Warner guilty of Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime late this afternoon after 4 days of hearings and testimony. The Honorable Lawton McIntosh sentenced Warner to life in prison.  

 

During the trial, Deputy Solicitor Catherine Huey introduced surveillance video of the incident that took place on April 30, 2015 at the BP station near I-85 in Powdersville, SC. Mradulaben Patel was working alone that night in the convenience store that she and her husband had owned for several years. Around 10:15 p.m., a young black male came in, purchased a cigar and then shot Ms. Patel in an attempt to rob the cash register. The suspect then fled the scene. A customer who later entered the store found Ms. Patel, wounded and bleeding, on the floor behind the counter and called 911. Ms. Patel was taken to the hospital where she passed away on May 2nd as a result of the gunshot wound to her head.    

 

Law enforcement later received a tip which identified Justin Warner as the shooter. Further investigation revealed Warner’s date of birth to be the same as that of the last person to make a purchase at the store prior to the shooting. A cellphone number was identified that customer records indicated belonged to Justin Jamal Warner with the same date of birth as the store purchase. Cellphone records were then acquired and analyzed which showed that the phone was used in the vicinity of the crime scene both before and after the time of the crime.  A palm print taken at the scene was also identified as being that of Justin Warner.  

 

Following the verdict, Solicitor David Wagner stated, “It is impossible to understand why Justin Warner chose to do what he did that night. My office and the community are all grateful to law enforcement for the excellent work done on this case which helped us to put this violent defendant behind bars for the rest of his life. Our prayers go out to the Patel family for the tremendous loss they have suffered.”

 

Anderson, SC - Earlier today, Tabitha Roberts, Brandon Davis, and Wesley Malmister were all sentenced for their roles in an Attempted Armed Robbery that resulted in the death of the victim, Justin Ray Williams, and fellow perpetrator of the Attempted Robbery, Casey Waddell, in January of 2016.  The Honorable R. Scott Sprouse sentenced both Malmister and Roberts to 25 years in jail for each of 2 counts of Voluntary Manslaughter and 20 years for Attempted Armed Robbery, all to be served concurrently.  Davis was sentenced to 20 years in jail apiece for 2 counts of Voluntary Manslaughter and 20 years for Attempted Armed Robbery, all to be served concurrently.  Yesterday, Judge Sprouse handed down a 50 year jail sentence to the fourth co-defendant, Randall “Randy” Simpson on charges of Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime, and Attempted Armed Robbery.  Special Prosecutor Lucas Marchant, with the Tenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, represented the State today during the sentencing of Roberts, Davis, and Malmister. 

 

Following the sentencing, Solicitor David Wagner said:  “I am very pleased to see these sentences, and I hope the justice served today will bring some comfort to the grieving families of those whose lives were lost during this violent encounter.” 

 

On January 9, 2016, around 12:30 AM at Pierce Road and Amy Road in Iva, Justin Ray Williams was the victim of an Attempted Robbery perpetrated by Casey Waddell, Tabitha Roberts, Brandon Davis, Wesley Malmister and Randy Simpson.  Roberts, Waddell, Simpson and Malmister had discussed robbing Mr. Williams of drugs they believed were in his possession.  Waddell directed Roberts to call the victim and set up a purchase of methamphetamine at the victim’s residence where they then proceeded, all armed with various firearms.  Along the way, they picked up Brandon Davis.  Davis also armed himself with a firearm.  When they reached Williams’ residence, Roberts got out of the vehicle and went inside the trailer to ensure that he was alone. Waddell, Malmister, Davis and Simpson all exited the vehicle and proceeded to the victim’s home.  While armed with an assault rifle, Waddell jerked the door open, moved past Roberts and demanded that Williams “give it up”.  Williams was armed with a handgun and fired one shot striking Waddell in the head resulting in his death.  Randall Simpson then approached and entered the residence and shot Williams 5 times, with some of the shots penetrating his heart and lungs. He died as a result of those injuries. Roberts, Malmister and Simpson all fled the scene.  Davis ran into the woods and was picked up at a later time.  Following the investigation of this incident by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Roberts, Davis and Malmister gave full confessions to the investigating officer and the Solicitor’s Office.