Anderson, SC -- On October 18, 2017, an Anderson County jury found Cole Brooks Gray guilty of the charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, with a weight range of 100-200 grams, Receiving Stolen Goods, and Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.  Following his conviction, the Honorable Alexander S. Macaulay sentenced Gray to 25 years in jail for Trafficking, 3 years for Receiving Stolen Goods and 5 years for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.  The case was tried by Solicitor David R. Wagner. 

 

On November 12, 2016, a Sheriff’s Deputy observed Gray run a stop sign near the Starr Community while driving a stolen 1994 Chevy C1500. The officer initiated both his blue lights and his siren but Gray failed to stop.  He then led deputies through Anderson County on a high speed chase that ended on Dixon Road only after officers barricaded a road and deployed stop sticks to deflate the tires of the truck Gray was driving.  Prior to stopping, Gray threw a large bag containing 109 grams of methamphetamine out of the driver’s window into the roadway. Following the chase another bag of methamphetamine was also found in the driver’s seat of the truck.  

 

“Cole Gray is a career criminal who put our community in danger not only by trafficking methamphetamine, but by completely disregarding public safety during a lengthy and dangerous chase with law enforcement.  Thanks to the hard work of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office he is off the streets and will no longer threaten the health and safety of the citizens of Anderson County,” said Solicitor Wagner, following the guilty verdict.  “Mr. Gray has 25 years in jail to consider how he wants to become a productive member of society.” 

On the evening of March 28, 2016, Jason Franklin Carver and his co-defendant Woodrow Curry went to 108 Sterling Bridge Road in Powdersville to collect drugs or money from Steven Cameron. Carver drove a white Buick Regal to the victim’s home with Curry in the passenger’s seat. When they arrived, the men went on to the porch and an altercation ensued. During that altercation, Curry pulled a .25 caliber gun and shot Steven Cameron twice in the chest. He died almost instantly of those injuries. Carver and Curry were each charged with Murder. Woodrow Curry pled to Voluntary Manslaughter and received a deferred sentence on Tuesday. A jury found Jason Carver guilty of Murder this afternoon. Judge Lawton McIntosh sentenced him to 30 years.

Earlier today, in Anderson County General Sessions Court, Perry Pruitt pled guilty to one count of the Destruction, Desecration, or Removal of Human Remains.  He was sentenced by Judge Lawton McIntosh to 10 years suspended to 4 years of active jail time to be followed by 4 years of probation.  He will get credit for 728 days he has already served.  The defendant entered his plea under State v. Alford, otherwise known as a “no contest” plea. 

Mr. Pruitt was the boyfriend of the victim, Patricia Ann Freeman. She was reported missing by her family in February of 2015, although it was later determined the last time she was seen was September 8, 2014.  Her body was discovered by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in a well on property belonging to Mr. Pruitt.  

Anderson County pathologist Dr. Brett Woodard conducted an autopsy on the victim on Feb 22, 2015.  Although her body appeared to be mostly intact upon extraction, his report notes advanced decomposition.  Upon examination, he discovered a fracture to her cervical spinal column.  However, he waited to issue a report until toxicology results were obtained.  In a report dated Aug 18, 2015, SLED toxicologist found no drugs or poisons of concern, after testing muscle tissue from the victim.  At that time, Dr. Woodard determined that the victim died from a broken neck and stated the cause of death was homicide.  Mr. Pruitt was thereafter charged with the murder of Patricia Freeman and also the destruction, desecration or removal of human remains.  While the State was preparing this case for trial, additional tissue samples from the victim collected during Dr. Woodard’s autopsy were subsequently submitted to SLED for further toxicology testing.  In a report dated Aug 17, 2017, SLED toxicologists found cocaine and its metabolite in tissues from the victim’s brain and liver.  In light of this new result, Dr. Woodard amended his findings.  Due to the levels of cocaine and its metabolite found, he was no longer able to say Patricia died from a broken neck, and ruled her cause and manner of death to be undetermined.  For this reason, the murder charge originally brought against the defendant was no longer pursued by the Solicitor’s Office.

Today in Anderson in the Court of General Sessions, Jonathan Hamby pled guilty to one count of Felony Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Death and one count of Felony Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Great Bodily Injury and received a sentence of 15 years suspended to 11 years incarceration with 5 years of probation to follow before Judge R. Scott Sprouse of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.  Stan Overby represented the State during the plea, and Mr. Hamby was represented by attorney Druanne White. 

On May 4th, 2016 at 9:10 AM a pickup truck being driven by Hamby crossed from the South bound inside lane of SC 28, travelled over the median, and collided head on with a 2003 Chevy sedan.  The driver of the Chevy sedan, Loretta Pressley, was killed upon impact, and Ms. Pressley’s minor grandson, who was in the vehicle as well, suffered a facial and pelvic fracture during the collision.  Hamby was transported to AnMed from the collision scene, and results of a blood draw following a search warrant showed he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the incident. 

Following the plea, Solicitor David Wagner stated that “this tragedy illustrates how dramatic and far reaching the results of drug use and of driving while impaired can be.  Ms. Pressley’s grandson had to witness his grandmother’s death, and no child should have to experience something so harrowing.  My heart breaks for the child, and goes out to the family of Ms. Pressley today.”